Since I first started keeping rabbits, they have grown on me more and more as an all-purpose eco-friendly pet. Among the other ecological benefits of rabbits as pets, these snuggly critters provide and endless supply of used rabbit litter– which, to a gardener, is worth its weight in gold.
The bedding from a rabbit’s cage or enclosure can be used in several earth-friendly manners. Here are a few eco-friendly uses for rabbit litter in your garden.
This is, by far, the easiest and quickest use for rabbit litter. Many rabbit litters are made from pine and cedar chips, which are excellent mulch products, as well. This tecnique requires absolutely no time investment for composting, because the litter does not need to biodegrade or decompose to act as an effective much.
To use rabbit bedding as mulch, simply spread all of your extra litter around any area that needs mulch– such as the bases of trees and dormant winter flower-beds. As long as your bunny produces a steady supply of poopy litter, you’ll have limitless mulch for all of your gardening needs.
When allowed to decompose, rabbit bedding becomes an excellent compost material. It is very rich in nitrates and low in ammonia compared to other animal waste products. And, unlike cat poop and dog poop, it does not require years of decomposition before it’s safe to use on food crops. You can use all forms of rabbit bedding as compost, including paper pellets, pine and shredded cardboard.
If you are interested in this eco-friendly use for rabbit litter, you can either add it to your base compost pile or use it separately from composted food. Allow it to decompose for 4-24 weeks (depending on the type of bedding material) and then use it as you would use any other form of compost. You shouldn’t need additional fertilizer.
If you need a natural, earth-friendly fertilizer that you can pour or spray directly on your garden plants, rabbit bedding is an ideal base material. Put several scoops of rabbit litter into a one-gallon bucket, then fill it with water and leave it to sit for a few hours or overnight. After this compost “tea” has steeped, it is extremely rich in nutrients such as nitrates and can be poured on your plants.
As a pet guardian, you should take responsibility for your bunny’s ecological paw-print. If you are conscientious of your pets’ impact on the environment, you can help to ensure that your rabbit helps, rather than harms, the planet that we all share.