viable seeds in rabbit manure

munalos(z4)February 17, 2010


Thanks in advance for this groups sound advice and assistance!

I supplement my rabbits feed with wholesome kitchen scraps (Onion tops, carrot peeling etc.) and edible weeds I pull from my vegetable beds. (They love purselane!). My primary goal after their well being is that I have a fresh supply of manure to put back into the vegetable garden.

Springtime isn't a problem but once these edible weeds start setting seed I am reluctant to feed them to the rabbits. I wanted to know if anyone had any information on what seeds are still viable after being eaten by a rabbit?

Thank you,


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Any weed seeds that your rabbits consume will still be viable in their manure. If you're wanting to use the manure in your gardens the resulting weeds will probably be the biggest, healthiest weeds you ever saw. If you introduce redworms to the manure pile under your rabbit hutches, they may reduce many of the viable seeds, but you can't count on that. When your weeds set seed your best bet is to toss them out or pull the seed heads off and then feed the headless weeds to your rabbits. I wouldn't go to that much trouble though, I'd just feed them rabbit pellets and remind them that they are my little captives and they can like it or lump it. Cheryl

    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 10:42AM
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eric_wa(San Juan, z8 WA)


Sounds like a full circle / cycle to me. Feed the weeds to rabbits, manure to garden, weed seeds sprout, weeds back to rabbits. Sounds perfect. Rabbit pellets are expensive, so any supplementing is a good plan. Worm composting under rabbit hutches is a good system too.

You big meany! LOL Rabbit Tractor would give them a little more room to exercize.

Rabbits in the weedy patch. I fenced a small area for them to graze in. Pretty good lawn mowers.

I know this dosn't really answer your question about viable seed in rabbit manure.


    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 1:48PM
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Try putting some rabbit 'raisins' in a large pot of Canadian peat moss, water well, put it in the sun and you will be surprised that there are no weed seeds in them. Rabbits eat food than while resting will re-eat their 'little raisins' and then produce the large 'raisins'. So to speak, they chew/digest their food twice. Rabbit Âpoo is probably the only common animal waste that will not burn vegetation even when use fresh in any quantity. It is great for the veggie/flower gardens.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 3:23PM
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Here are some links about rabbits degistive system.

Here is a link that might be useful: rabbits degistive system

    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 3:32PM
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Eric, I love those pics of your rabbits, I think I saw them on another thread too. I really want a few rabbits as well but I have to be careful not to get ahead of myself or take too much on at once, LOL. I grew up with my oldest brother raising them for both meat and show/pets and he had quite a little business doing that. He also raised guinea pigs but I prefered the rabbits. What do you do with your rabbits? Lori

    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 8:54PM
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eric_wa(San Juan, z8 WA)

They are used for composting of weeds, kitchen scraps and then I invite them to dinner. I hope this is not to insensitive.


    Bookmark   February 17, 2010 at 9:21PM
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Got any more pics of where they live? Any other info you can share about starting. I am considering them. Thanks.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2010 at 7:26AM
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eric_wa(San Juan, z8 WA)


I replied on your post.


    Bookmark   February 18, 2010 at 12:53PM
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Thank you for all the replies!

I currently do make compost tea, and the rabbit hutch is inside the garden. I have moved its location a few times where I wanted to improve my soil. The manure is fantastic for improving the soil. I now feel that I am putting more back into my soil than I take away.

My goal is to have fertile soil. Healthy soil makes healthy plants.

That is why I was asking the seed viability question. I assume there is a publication or reference out there about seed viability in rabbit manure. I couldn't turn up much on a recent web search so, I thought I would post the question here.

I dislike weeding but, I do it often and diligently. I love putting a bunch of edible weeds in the rabbit hutches and watching them get devoured. Once the weeds start to set seed I have to re-direct the weeds elsewhere (usually the compost tea).

Thank you all again,

    Bookmark   February 18, 2010 at 6:50PM
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eric_wa(San Juan, z8 WA)

I'm thinking the few seeds in rabbit manure, if any, is no comparison to the thousands of weed seeds in the soil. A no till system is better at fighting weeds.


    Bookmark   February 18, 2010 at 7:44PM
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