Use Rabbit and Chicken Manure to Build Soil on Urban Farms

| 11/10/2016 10:21:00 AM

Tags: soil building, urban homesteading, sustainable agriculture, urban farming, rabbits, chickens, manure, fertilizers, Tobias Whitaker, New York,

One of the goals on our urban farm, the Bossy Hen Homestead, is to create a cycle of sustainability. This is certainly not to say that with a property as small as ours that we do not have to occasionally pursue outside avenues to ensure the proper functioning of the homestead. But over the years, as our knowledge and skills have developed, we have figured out how to keep the enterprise as independent as possible.

As is the problem with many urban farms, our space is extremely limited. In turn, if careful consideration is not taken, an urban homestead can face any number of problems caused by depleted soil, such as disease, pests, and poor crop production.


There are a number of ways to address this issue. Some people chose to incorporate synthetic fertilizers. Others preach the benefit of green manure, and I would be one of those people. Another option for the urban farmer is the manure of small livestock, in particular rabbits and chickens. 

Once again, if space for growing crops is limited, then it is easy to assume this will also be the case for raising livestock. There are also other considerations for a suburban environment, such as noise and smell. That is where chickens and rabbits come in as a particular benefit.

Rabbits Manure

I will begin with rabbits whom I believe are the easiest of the two to raise. They need very little room to be healthy. They are extremely quiet and they produce wonderful manure. Their manure is referred to as a "cold" manure meaning, unlike chickens their droppings can be directly applied to your crops without "burning" them. With that said, it certainly does not hurt to compost this valuable fertilizer for 6 months to ensure that any harmful pathogens have been properly disposed of.

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