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Bunnyginup 1
Bunnyginup 1
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Parson Swamp Rd, Mayanup, Western Australia, AU
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Bunnyginup 1

Bunnyginup 1

Mayanup, AU

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The manure Problem, Solved

Project: Bunnyginup 1

Posted by Ted Russ about 13 years ago

A chance discovery, a chance article online a few weeks later, and a chance gift of poultry. Of these things is life sometimes composed...

I mentioned in my first Update that one of the reasons I had to move the Hordes of rabbits and chickens out into the country was that rabbit manure tends to accumulate and only so much of it can be turned into mulch and compost and fertiliser.  The same thing was to prove true out here.

The chance gift of poultry more than doubled my flock of hens, and added nine juvenile turkeys as well.  A second poultry run was hastily made (at the first farm I moved to) for the turkeys, and they proved to be quite adept at escaping. 

At the time, rabbit hay shreddings, half eaten pelleted feed, and manure was piling up under the rabbit hutches and pens.  I watched one morning as the escaped turkeys (three of them this particular morning) tried to rejoin the others in the pen, and then suddenly caught sight of the heaps under the rabbits.

They picked out the uneaten pellets, and fairly hoed down the shreds of hay as well. And an idea was born...

I started taking a wheelbarrow load of the trash from under the rabbit pens, and instead of trying to compost it all (with all the turning and aerating required, and my emphysema, that was getting to be very hard work) I'd unload it either in the chicken run or the turkey run.  

In their hunting for the delectable pellets of rabbit feed, they'd turn it over for me for a week or so, at which time I could collect the nicely decomposing and well-aerated remnants and drop those on the compost heap - it works, and works well.

Then I read in Permaculture Magazine that some permies use pigs to compost cow manure from the wintering in the sheds to achieve much the same thing.  

I've now got a pile of compost that's weeks ahead of itself, and every month, another 4 or 5 wheelbarrow loads of rabbit waste get turned into 1 or 2 wheelbarrow loads of material that's ideal for the compost pile.

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