Raising Rabbits

As you may know, having animals as part of your permaculture site is one of the easiest ways to cycle nutrients on your property while increasing your fertility. Though you can grow many plants that help with soil fertility, nothing quite beats the ability of some animals, like rabbits, who can convert an otherwise inedible yield to humans, like grass, into beautiful fertilizer.

That’s why I’m excited to share my video with you today. I filmed this back in March when I was in Colorado teaching a design practicum with Jerome Osentowski. If you don’t already know, Jerome is the founder of the Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute and the author of Forest Garden Greenhouse. In addition to being a wealth of information on food forests, he has an innovative, low-cost, and low maintenance system for raising rabbits that I wanted to share with you. 

I’ll admit it, I probably could never raise rabbits for meat. They are just too darn fuzzy and cute. But I’m seriously considering having them as fertilizer-making machines. Even with mulching heavily in the food forest each year, I am always removing grass from my beds. Though the chickens will peck at this a little, they don’t really fully eat it. But rabbits will devour quack grass, thistle, dandelion and other ‘weeds’ and convert them into great manure. And unlike other herbivore manures, rabbit manure doesn’t first need to be composted, it can be used immediately in your garden. They are a great way of producing fertility on your site and, as Jerome mentions, it’s like having your own little petting zoo!

Click on the video to learn more!