Waste Control

Even a few animals can produce a surprising amount of poop. The miracle of it is only really appreciable though, if you have a place to recycle it.

If you are raising animals on a balcony, it may be difficult to compost manure for reuse. The amounts may be too large for you to use with plants, but too small to sell. If you have a friend with a large garden, you may be able to work out a mutually beneficial barter though.

Raising worms or Soldier Fly Larvae can be helpful, if you have room for a small system. This is especially beneficial if you have chickens or ducks. You may be able to sell the worms or larvae more easily than you can sell compost, but only if you live in an area with a thriving population of chickens, or reptiles that can consume the grubs or worms.

All that waste also smells. Chicken and rabbit manure are pungent when they build up. They aren't too bad when the bedding is fresh, but after it builds up, it gets rather rank. Keeping the messes cleaned up helps keep odor down. We recommend weekly cleaning, though this can be extended if you have a large enough dropping pan, and if you add in some fresh bedding to absorb the odors.

Straw, aspen shavings, cob, or even hay scraps can be tossed in to absorb moisture and odor. Cat litter can also be used, but does get pricey, and the perfumes in it may irritate the animals.

If you are keeping the animals outdoors, a dropping pan system works best for caged animals - raise them on wire, and clean the dropping pans weekly.

If you are raising them indoors, a cage with bedding in the bottom is easier to manage, and smells less.

Either way, both the waste, and the bedding, can be composted to use for garden fertilizer. Rabbit waste can be used without composting, though you may need to put some wood shavings in to neutralize the urine prior to using on the garden.

Composted waste can be used in traditional gardens, raised beds, or in container gardens. You can mix it with the soil, or use it for top or side dressing.

If you don't grow plants, animal waste is going to be nothing but a headache. If you do, it is just another great element in a symbiotic cycle.

 

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