Is Your Rabbit Healthy
Before you say ewwww, remember that rabbit poop isn't as stinky or messy as the stuff your dog or cat produces. If you pay attention, it can tell you a lot about the health of your pet.
Everybody poops. The title of this well known potty training book applies well when you have pets. Rabbits, in particular, produce a lot of poop.
Normal rabbit poop is the dry little round balls of manure that they leave trailing after them. This is what they produce after ingesting their food twice. It is made of all the stuff they really can't use from their food.
Yes, that's right. Rabbits ingest their food twice. On the first pass, they produce soft, smelly droppings called cecotropes, or night feces. Sometimes you may find some in their cage. These droppings are usually eaten so the food can pass through their digestive system again to get all the moisture and nutrition out of them that is possible. If your rabbit is producing normal poop, you can rest assured they are probably doing pretty well.
When rabbits are not doing well, they tend to produce diarrhea. This can be caused by stress, illness and about a hundred other causes. Most of the time it passes swiftly and all you need to do is give your pet some hay and some privacy. Sometimes they may need a bath for their nether regions.
The really good thing about rabbit manure is that you can use it in your garden. It doesn't have to compost first like chicken or cow manure because it is what is known as a cold manure. You can put their droppings directly around your plants without harming them.
You can mix the droppings in with the soil when you are preparing your garden bed. This is a gentle, natural fertilizer that will help enrich your soil without any harmful chemicals. In fact, rabbit manure is naturally high in nitrogen and phosphorus. These are nutrients important for flowering and fruiting.
So what exactly does rabbit poop do for your garden soil? As they slowly break down, they help build structure into your soil. It improves the porosity and stability of the soil. The nutrients are not only good for the plants, but for the beneficial soil organisms that are good for your plants, too. If you want to make a wonderful organic garden, this is the way to go.
Of course, you can compost rabbit droppings, too. Put some in a bucket and fill it with water. Let it steep for a few days and you end up with a rich manure tea that your plants will love. Rabbit manure breaks down fairly quickly during wet weather. If you put it on your compost heap in the summer, spray it with some water now and then to get the composting action going.
Rabbit poop is also an excellent medium for growing red worms. Red worms are good fishing worms and their casings make excellent fertilizer for the garden.
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