Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Bunny Poop Circle of Life Photo Essay

I make my own soil for container gardening, and a critical component is poop. I feed my Eisenia fetida worms the house rabbits' poop and other organic waste, and the worms digest it down to worm castings. The worms even eat junk mail and cardboard.

First, the bunnies do their thing. In large volumes, every day.
The droppings get filtered out with a cat litter scoop. I avoid the urine-soaked bedding- it can hurt the worms. The dry bedding is ok, though. I compost the urine-soaked bedding separately- it's high in nitrogen.
The worms get fed their favorite food. To Eisenia fetida, bunny poop is ice cream. This bin needs some fresh bedding on top, but there is no odor and the worms are crawling all around it, so the bin is well-aerated and healthy.
It all gets digested, and redigested, into this fabulous stuff-- worm castings. The more times it passes through the guts of the worms, the better it becomes.
Finally, the castings go to the plants. I use my castings for everything- even my seedling start mix. Then, the plants feed us and the rabbits. See? Circle of life. Or as I like to call it, the Bunny Biosphere.
The stars of the show. See the little kid worms in the middle of the picture? There are probably 40,000 worms between my two bins.


Melissa ~ Wife to 1, Mom to 5 said...

What type of worm container do you use? I tried the homemade version w/ a large rubbermaid tote and had a hard time keeping it not too wet/dry. Lost 2 batches of worms before calling it quits. I've heard that there's a delicate balance but I like easy peasy stuff. I wonder if a proper bin would make a difference?

Kateri said...

I need some worms. I wonder if they like chicken poop.

ilex said...

Melissa, it probably would make a difference. I'd recommend the Can 'o Worms, and a great company to get one from is Happy D Ranch. Google them. They can set you up with starter bedding (coir is best), worms, books, you name it. And of all the companies I've dealt with, their worms were the best.

The Rubbermaid totes tend to get too wet- they are really not ideal for beginning worm farmers.

ilex said...

Kateri, Chicken poop is too hot for worms. But they love goat poop- maybe you should get a couple of pygmy milk goats! Rabbit, sheep, or goat poop is best for worms.

Rabbits' Guy said...

Parden ... ha ha ... me .. chuckle, chuckle ... heh heh ... but the comments ... hee heee .. are better than .. snorgle snuffle .. the posts!!!!

40,000 worms. And it's always the missing 5 or 6 that cause all the worries. Where exactly are they???

Meredith said...

I didn't know the junk mail was OK for the worms - is it only some kinds?

ilex said...

Meredith, any non-glossy and non-coated paper is great for the worms. Just shred it (or rip it up in pieces) and soak it in water first.

Deborah said...

Just found your blog and totally love it. We're homesteading in the country but just recently visited someone in St. Louis doing the same thing. I wish you had a "subscribe" or "follow" button, so I could add you to my reading list.

As for worms ... I use a Rubbermaid tote and have no problems with it being too wet. Then I read the comment about soaking paper in water. That would be too wet. You just need to spritz it with a spray bottle so that it's damp like a sponge. Also, drilling holes in the bottom of the tote will allow any extra water to leak out. Put landscaping cloth on the bottom so the worms don't crawl out.

PJ said...

That's just pooperific!
My worms are doing fabulously well and I couldn't/wouldn't have done it without you. Thanks, Ilex.

a maine homestead said...

I love reading about what you are doing in a condo! We had worms for years before moving and loved it. We tried rubbermaid totes and the worms kept crawling out, so my husband made some wooden boxes with holes drilled in the bottom. They worked great.