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#4217 - 05/01/04 01:59 PM Rabbits and Chickens
Aram Seattle Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 547
Loc: Washington
I was wandering, if I make cages without bottom trays, so that rabbit dropping go strait onto the chicken coop floor, will my chickens eat the droppings? What kind of risks would I run if they do consume these "alphalpha" droppings. I think Joes Salatin has a system like that, but I don't think that issue is ever mentioned.

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#4218 - 05/01/04 04:46 PM Re: Rabbits and Chickens
Rob2 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 03/28/03
Posts: 3068
Loc: Pennsylvania
Done it for years, no problems except the rabbit dropping are scatterd out from under the hitches unless kick boards are added.

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#4219 - 05/01/04 05:21 PM Re: Rabbits and Chickens
D. Caveny Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 1102
Loc: Arizona
The composition of nutrients in rabbit droppings makes them an ideal feedstuff for ruminants. Years ago I had a neighbor who ran mother cows. We built a feed bunk along our common fence and I would feed the cows on a weekly basis when I cleaned the rabbit barn. The cows stayed "greasy" and settled well with the supplement.

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#4220 - 05/01/04 07:57 PM Re: Rabbits and Chickens
Aram Seattle Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 547
Loc: Washington
So that means that chickens won't consume them, right? They just scatter them all over the floor.

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#4221 - 05/01/04 08:47 PM Re: Rabbits and Chickens
D. Caveny Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 1102
Loc: Arizona
No, what it means is that the microbes in the rumen convert the urine and other nitrogen sources in rabbit manure in to cellular protein which is then digested in the other stomaches of the ruminant. Chickens and other monogastrics (exception horses which have a large functional cecum) are not able to convert the nitrogen in the hair and urine into microbial protein because they do not have the fermentation vat with bacterial known as the rumen which cattle, sheep and other ruminants have.

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#4222 - 05/01/04 09:51 PM Re: Rabbits and Chickens
Anonymous
Unregistered


Caveny, the exoskeleton (chitin) of bugs is very high in nitrogen, but can chickens utilize it? I know that a well gritted gizzard can make it mush, but can the bird benefit from the nitrogen in the chitin?

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#4223 - 05/02/04 10:50 PM Re: Rabbits and Chickens
Sharkey Offline
Bantam

Registered: 01/30/04
Posts: 60
Loc: Florida
Caveny, A little slower and lower , please smile

Did you say that it was good for the chickens to eat the rabbit manure or not ?? Or that it just doesn't matter ??

Thanks,
Sharkey

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#4224 - 05/03/04 06:52 AM Re: Rabbits and Chickens
D. Caveny Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 1102
Loc: Arizona
I don't know about the exoskeleton but the internal parts of the bugs are digested. I think the chickens get some benefit from the rabbit manure but would have problems with the urine and some other constituents (nutrients) contained in the rabbit manure. I would probably NOT recommend feeding large amounts of rabbit manure to chickens on a daily basis and would limit amounts to not greater than they could clean up in about 5 minutes.
The rabbit droppings would be better fed to cattle, sheep, goats and horses or ponies.

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#4225 - 05/03/04 06:56 AM Re: Rabbits and Chickens
Aram Seattle Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 547
Loc: Washington
Well, if I got it right, then that means that it basically does not matter. Since chickens would just pass them through "unfermented" they will not benefit from it. On the other hand, if you have sheep, cows or goats you could benefit from it, though with these animals I think you'd have to be careful with bloating.

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