Pet Rabbits - A Worm's Best Friend - Uncle Jim's Worm Farm

Pet Rabbits – A Worm’s Best Friend

Compost, Mealworms, Night Crawlers, Red Worms

rabbitRabbit droppings are small, relatively dry and don’t contain too much nitrogen, which can spoil plant roots. Although new rabbit manure is considered great plant fertilizer, many rabbit growers choose to put earthworms under their rabbit cages.

Why? Rabbit manure along with wasted rabbit feed has been proved to be some of the best food a worm can eat. Also, when properly cared for, earthworms eliminate manure piles, odor, and fly problems all together. For this reason alone, rabbits and worms make a great team. Rabbits are a worm’s best friend.

Making Simple Compost with Earthworms

To set up your earthworms for an optimal place to feed, you will want to have them underneath your rabbits cage. The best earthworm that I have found is redworms. Ideally, you should have 250-550 worms per square foot. Worms will do a terrific job eliminating the rabbit poop and wasted feed into dark, nutrient-rich, finely textured humus.

In addition, keeping worms under the cages allows you to raise worms for fishing bait and worm castings for your garden. This ecosystem that you are creating with worms and rabbits creates a fantastic number of uses for catching fish and feeding gardens – all part of eating organically grown food.

Creating a Rabbit and Earthworm Ecosystem

Underneath the rabbit hutch you can build a wood frame around the worm bed.  This should be about 12 inches deep. The rabbit hutch should be 3 feet above the ground. A half inch wire mesh floor should be used so rabbit droppings can fall through easily. Bedding can be shredded paper products, decomposing leaves, hay, straw, or peat moss.

For the worm bed, start with a 2.5 – 4 inch layer of carbon material on the bottom. Moisten the bedding with water and let the rabbit’s thing cover the surface with 1 to 2 inches of rabbit manure. Mix the rabbit manure and bedding together and wet it down thoroughly. Although rabbit manure is considered a cold manure, it can still get hot due to natural decomposition processes.

Keep mixing the bedding and lightly water it once a day for 2 to 4 days. On the third or fourth day, put your hand into the bed to check and see if it is hot. If the bedding material is hot, keep mixing it once a day until all the heat is out of the bedding material.  Next you’ll be able to start placing your worms in there. You’ll know you can start releasing the worms when your bedding is cool. They should disappear immediately into the moist bedding material once released, they won’t do this if it’s hot!

Good luck!  Let us know how it goes.


16 thoughts on “Pet Rabbits – A Worm’s Best Friend

  1. I raise Lionhead Rabbits and would like to start a worm farm to help with feed bills. I also have 3 miniature horses.

  2. How are for ants deadly with? I’m in southeast Texas and would love to put worms under my rabbits but am afraid ants would move in and eat them all.

    1. After setting up my 2nd worm bin indoors, I noticed ants were marching into the bin and setting up shop. I had numerous mature worms escape and died and it only stopped when the ants were gone. I mixed borax (laundry cleaner), white sugar and water and put it in a container on top of the bin closer to the place they were marching in. Just make sure the solution doesn’t spill in the bin. It is toxic to ants…and most probably to the worms, too.

  3. Once the process is started, can the worm bin be directly under the hutch, and simply let the rabbit waste fall into it, or should I be rotating worms in and out of bins of prepared manure?

  4. I had rabbits once. They make great pets.

    Putting the worms underneath sounds like a great educational lesson on composting. Would it work better indoors or outdoors?

  5. OH I REALLY wanted to do this. But, even though my worms seemed happy, they’re all gone now! I can only think that they died. And even though there are MANY articles that say rabbit manure is great for worms now I’m hearing that it’s actually toxic and that’s why they died?! I just don’t know what to do! :(

  6. In the past, I raised rabbits to feed my red wiggler. I had a problem with urine in the bins. To resolve the problem, I built a ramp out of hardware cloth that allowed the urine to pass through and the poop ran down the ramp into the bin, urine free.

  7. Hey does anyone know if soiled hay can also be added to indoor compost worm bins or should that be avoided? I have house rabbits, they love hay in their litterbox!

    1. Hello Gaby;

      You can use hay, bedding from Rabbits in the worm bin. That should be fine. You can also compost Rabbit manure.

      Uncle jim’s

  8. If you are thinking of putting a worm bin under a rabbit hutch please remember that worms require a range of ph levels in the soil. If your rabbits are heavy urinators like mine are then you may want to build something underneath the hutch that will direct the droppings into the worm bin while letting the urine pass through. I believe someone posted above about hardware cloth directing the poop away while letting the urine pass through. I have seen no studies where the urine is bad for the worms and when you think of it I am sure that worms encounter all kinds of things in nature, but putting a bin directly under a hutch will expose the worms to a higher than normal level of urine that they would not normally be exposed to. I would say if you can’t build something that can direct the poop into the worm bin while keeping the urine from getting in then it may be better to just collect the droppings independently and add them to your bin when needed. Just my 2 cents though.

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