Sunday, December 23, 2007

The "Fertilizer Bunnies"

As many of you know, I have several animals. Most of them serve a purpose. The bird sings and makes me happy, the cat takes out the pests and purrs, the fish are grateful to see me and look pretty, the dogs-well the dogs are just kind of companions so I guess that is a purpose-wait-they guard the house too, and lastly there is the rabbit. He is the "Fertilizer" bunny instead of the Energizer bunny and provides my gardens and compost bins with a great amount of natural fertilizer.

We have had Cuddles for one and one half years now and he has been a very good source of natural fertilizer for the garden. Probably too good of a source considering how often I have to clean his cage. But I keep remembering just how many gardens I have to fertilize. He is in the first picture standing up and looking around. He lives in a cage my father built. I hauled the cage from Maine in the back of my Buick-that was a crowded trip!

I don't know what came over me when I recently I agreed to adopt Peter. I found Peter when a lady (Judy) posted an offer of a free rabbit on Freecycle. Against my best judgment, I offered to take Peter. I tell you, my hand and I had a fight when it involuntarily responded to her post of a rabbit on the computer keyboard. The menagerie we already have is enough-really! Mr. Fix-it (great guy that he is) is ok with our new acquisition, of course he doesn't clean the cage.

Animals are great but it is difficult to travel when you own animals, and they take a lot of time, money and energy. All of you know this. Anyhow, I reasoned that just adding one more bunny to the family with Cuddles wouldn't be toooo much. I mean afterall, I have twins-the more the merrier right? Two for the price of one?
Peter is a tame bunny and Judy was very sad to see him go. She was afraid someone would eat him. I assured her that she could come visit anytime she wants and he will most definitely not become our dinner. Judy already knew me as I had just met her the week before when she offered me some pine needles. She is a good gardener and used Peter's wastes for fertilizer in her garden.

Peter is much bigger than Cuddles and I am thinking he will do his fair share of serving his purpose around here by providing lots of natural fertilizer for both the garden and the compost bin. Peter is the big brown bunny looking like he wants to jump out of his nice cage Judy sent along with him. He has beautiful brown eyes and is very sweet. We love our two "Fertilizer Bunnies", and if you have fertilizer bunnies at your house, use their natural fertilizer in your garden-for free.

I checked to see if I could find the fertilizer value of rabbit manure to the garden. According to the website a resting adult can produce between 2-3 ounces of feces per day, and 3-4 ounces of urine per day. Broken down easier and for my benefit, I am receiving approximately 2 pounds of manure per week and over two pounds of urine (which soaks into the cedar shavings and is composted all together) from both rabbits together. This IS alot of compost and is very beneficial for the garden.

The nutritional value of the wastes is approximately 2.4% Nitrogen (N), 1.4% Phosphorous (P), and .6% Potassium (K). You should compost the rabbit manure or delay planting for at least three weeks. I do both in my garden. I have been known to spread it around in new gardens, but usually I toss it in my compost bins. Putting it in the garden fresh has not harmed my plants, but I recommend composting the manure first.

in the garden....spreading some natural fertilizer.


  1. I was thinking while reading, you were going to breed cuddles and peter, but no such thing huh?

  2. No breeding. Both are boys but even if they weren't, I wouldn't do it. I have enough to do already and there are already too many unwanted animals in the world. No, we just wanted them for pets and fertilizer. They are in the garage across from one another so they are not lonely. Springtime they will come out onto the porch. They do well but poor Cuddles had to be brought in this summer as it was soooooo hot. This is not normal.

  3. I just read your page, and was crying really bad. I really miss Peter alot but I know he is in a good home, he has such a wonderful personality. In the picture is exactly his morning greeting to me, maybe thats why the tears. His head is out to recieve his morning petting. he just loved his head petted and touched along with his ears. If you stopped petting him he would nudge your hand for more. My daily routine was when I woke up, Peter was first on my list, then the 2 kittens and the mother, then I would make my morning cup of tea. I will be paying him a visit in the future, right now I know he is in good hands and I am thankful for that. As I said he was kept inside the kittens would go in and out of his cage freely and they were great friends, If it wasnt for his personality he would just be a rabbit, but Peter is the sweetest one I have ever met. He is large not even one year old yet. I bought him in early spring last year and he was just a wee handfull. We took him out daily and let him in the yard where he fed, and played with the kittens. Stay happy Peter missing you....

  4. Hi Judy,
    Don't worry he is doing great. Quite the personality and appetite! I really thought two would be no big deal but they are both very demanding!:) It is no problem though, Jimmy helps out with them.

    Come and visit anytime. You have my email just let me know ahead of time. Peter misses you and the kittens too.....