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Effective Waste Management?

Advice on purchasing or constructing cages and hutches for your rabbitry.
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Effective Waste Management?

Post Number:#1  Unread postby lopluvva » Wed Dec 31, 2014 2:32 pm


Still (unfortunately) in the planning stage of my rabbitry, and a current question of mine is what are some good ways to manage waste for a small scale rabbitry? Do you prefer pans or bins or what? What is the easiest and most efficient way to deal with rabbit waste? And how should I dispose of it? Thanks :)
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Re: Effective Waste Management?

Post Number:#2  Unread postby MamaSheepdog » Wed Dec 31, 2014 2:42 pm


The easiest way is to let the waste fall directly to the ground. Most of my cages are arranged in two tiers, so I use slant boards. Pans are WAY too labor intensive for me, and I also don't like the idea of them being so close to their own waste, especially the urine.

lopluvva wrote:And how should I dispose of it?


Dispose of it?!?!? :o :fainting:

Don't even think of such a thing! It is absolutely the best fertilizer in existence for your yard, and doesn't need to be aged before application. I think it looks great as a mulch, too. :)

I just rake mine up periodically and either apply directly to the garden or bag it up for sale.
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Re: Effective Waste Management?

Post Number:#3  Unread postby lopluvva » Wed Dec 31, 2014 2:55 pm


MamaSheepdog wrote:The easiest way is to let the waste fall directly to the ground. Most of my cages are arranged in two tiers, so I use slant boards. Pans are WAY too labor intensive for me, and I also don't like the idea of them being so close to their own waste, especially the urine.

Thanks for the input! The slant boards seem to be the best option for me, however I still have some questions about that. Does it fall into a bin of some sort or just onto the ground, and how would urine most efficiently drain?
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lopluvva wrote:And how should I dispose of it?


Dispose of it?!?!? :o :fainting:

Don't even think of such a thing! It is absolutely the best fertilizer in existence for your yard, and doesn't need to be aged before application. I think it looks great as a mulch, too. :)

I just rake mine up periodically and either apply directly to the garden or bag it up for sale.


Okay great! Seems like a nice mini money maker :mrgreen:
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Re: Effective Waste Management?

Post Number:#4  Unread postby MamaSheepdog » Wed Dec 31, 2014 3:01 pm


lopluvva wrote:Does it fall into a bin of some sort or just onto the ground


Mine just falls to the ground, but some people make a worm bin below their cages. But if you have it fall into something (other than a worm bin), that is just like having trays, so defeats the purpose.

The urine just soaks into the dirt for the most part, although since rabbits tend to pee in one corner of their cage, their is usually a wet spot. In the warm months I scrape the wet dirt up every once in a while because it is in those wet areas that fly maggots seem to proliferate.

I also sprinkle Agricultural lime and food grade diatomaceous earth under the cages to control odor and insects. The Ag lime seems to be particularly effective in killing the little black gnats that congregate under the cages.
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Re: Effective Waste Management?

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Sagebrush » Wed Dec 31, 2014 3:09 pm


Right now everything falls strait down from my cages. I go in a couple times a week and scrape it all up and put it into the compost pile.

Since I only have 14 holes it is fairly easy to do for an hour each time I "clean" the rabbitry. I also clean the cages with high pressure water to get rid of all the hair and such stuck in the corners.

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Re: Effective Waste Management?

Post Number:#6  Unread postby lopluvva » Wed Dec 31, 2014 3:33 pm


Thanks! Another concern did come to mind- here in Atlantic Canada we have pretty harsh winters. Would the waste simply freeze and have to be scraped out with a shovel?
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Re: Effective Waste Management?

Post Number:#7  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Wed Dec 31, 2014 3:43 pm


lopluvva wrote:Thanks! Another concern did come to mind- here in Atlantic Canada we have pretty harsh winters. Would the waste simply freeze and have to be scraped out with a shovel?

I clean mine up until it freezes, then again in the spring before garden planting time.
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Re: Effective Waste Management?

Post Number:#8  Unread postby Galadriel » Wed Dec 31, 2014 5:30 pm


Our rabbitry is single tier cages hung above the ground with no pans, and our processors are 13 goofy chickens who sift it around for several months. After that, we shovel it out and stick it all in our garden.

I gotta admit, that was a pretty good harvest...
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Re: Effective Waste Management?

Post Number:#9  Unread postby MamaSheepdog » Wed Dec 31, 2014 5:42 pm


lopluvva wrote:Would the waste simply freeze and have to be scraped out with a shovel?


It will if it gets wet, otherwise you can sweep it out if you do it frequently enough.

Leaving it for months on end (even in the summer) works too. It only stinks when you start shoveling it out.

I personally don't like that option because my soil doesn't drain all that well and the lower layers get pretty wet and start composting. It makes for pretty heavy work, and the set up in my BunnyBarn is pretty awkward because there is not much room to work with either vertically or horizontally.

I find that it is easiest if I keep up on it and clean weekly, but that doesn't always happen.

I am considering doing a "deep bedding" system like Galadriel and her mom Miss M have in my growout area. Not because the chickens get to romp around there but because when we get heavy rains water drains through my growout area and it gets very slippery. A nice thick layer of shavings (especially in the aisles) would really help to keep the mud down.
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Re: Effective Waste Management?

Post Number:#10  Unread postby akane » Wed Dec 31, 2014 6:17 pm


Just plain poop is pretty easy to deal with. It breaks down quickly wherever you put it. Access to a few worms from the ground and some moisture will make it disappear pretty well. You just need to decide what system works for you. Whether you want to collect it a little at a time in pans or bins to place somewhere or scrape it all off the ground when it starts to build up. In some places you might be able to let it compost where it falls but probably not. Rabbits poop a lot and your rabbit area can become pretty unsanitary with a foot of rabbit poop composting under everything. I have solid bottom cages and colonies so I have a lot more to deal with. Disposing of all the wood bedding is difficult. Right now I am dumping it in layers over an area I want to kill all plant life and then put in a wildflower meadow. It mulches over the current plants and then breaks down in to soil.
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Re: Effective Waste Management?

Post Number:#11  Unread postby EnglishSpot » Thu Jan 01, 2015 11:25 pm


Both our rabbits are litter pan trained. (it's awesome IMHO) I scoop out the bunny raisins every couple days with a cat litter box scooper, shuffle out most of the dry litter through the slots in the scooper, and bag the dried poo for my garden this spring. The wet litter gets put into a tall commercial yard recycling bag along with soiled straw, hay, etc and is put out on the curb every few weeks.

When we have baby bunnies I've got a wire cage with a fall through bottom to a pan.

Our one rabbit has run of the back yard. We had to mow the back yard twice as often as the front yard this past year. Outstanding!!!
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Re: Effective Waste Management?

Post Number:#12  Unread postby akane » Fri Jan 02, 2015 1:34 am


Most people here have more than 2 rabbits to clean up after though. I'm definitely not going through the effort of trying to litter train a dozen and climbing and then empty the litter pans. A dozen is a small number. We had 60 on average before. We did debate being able to sift poop from sawdust using cat scoopers but we'd have to stop feeding hay inside the cage or it would clog the system up. It would also complicate what bedding we could and couldn't use.
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Re: Effective Waste Management?

Post Number:#13  Unread postby grumpy » Fri Jan 02, 2015 6:05 am


I have these fellas tackle the job a few times a year. Super good workers
and they're "CHEAP" :lol: :lol:
Myron and Brandon, two of my three adoptive sons.

I have a huge pile of this composted out near my garden. In the spring,
early summer, and fall, I'll run an add on Craigslist and sell some of it. It's
usually worth a couple hundred bucks when I run the ad.

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Re: Effective Waste Management?

Post Number:#14  Unread postby Marinea » Fri Jan 02, 2015 8:38 am


We use slant boards and a gutter system to collect waste.

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We collect and compost all the waste (poop and hay). I find them easy to clean, less smelly, fewer flies, less mess for the dogs to run through. It works for us.
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Re: Effective Waste Management?

Post Number:#15  Unread postby WhWRabbitry » Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:48 am


For those of us who do have trays/pans underneath cages what do you all suggest using in them?
I have 6 stackable cages with duratrays in an indoor workshop. (3) 30" x 30" & (3) 30" x 36"
I've been using layers of newspaper, with a little wood shavings & wood pellets put in the areas they potty most in the trays.
Then I roll the newspaper up and dispose of when cleaning. It sounds easy but isn't. The newspaper is so soaked it often falls apart when rolling. When it doesn't fall apart it still takes up so much room in our trash dumpster. Is it better to not use newspaper or is that messier?
Keeping odor down is huge to us. I am emptying out the trays every other day and still are often as soaked as I'm saying above. Just wondering if there is a better way.
Keep in mind in replies that this is an indoor workshop area where a method that isn't overly messy is what is needed.
Thanks for any feedback!

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