Rabbit Waste Management

DellaMyDarling

Songster
Dec 13, 2017
618
862
186
Mass Hilltowns
Show me your more advanced system with the materials you used please.
I'm a homestead operation, not fancy breeder. Cheap and efficient is our goal.

Facebook group post has more criticism than help, but I do think it helped me decide that we want not just trays for under the cages, but a sloped system leaving the waste in a central bucket. This naturally annoyed my builder partner, but I'm worried the trays will lead to the same problem I'll highlight below.

I've got these hanging cages.
No, they cannot be moved outside at this time. When we win the lottery I'll have the Mr. build a beautiful outdoor rabbit bank that eliminates all this commotion.
Cages are hung over the goat stall. Goats only use this indoor stall if I'm treating for something, kidding time, etc. We have a doe due in 3 to 4 weeks, so we are in a rush to improve this.
The problem? Ammonia!
The goat and rabbit waste coexists nicely and heads to garden together, except for the ammonia smell. The stall floor has thick rubber mats and a copious layer of pelletized stall bedding (think horse) plus whatever hay, etc the animals drop. The goats could be cleaned out once a week if they were in there without nasty build up, but even if I clean under the rabbits every day I can't seem to knock down the ammonia much.

I have tried PDZ under the Buns.

The sheetrock below Buns is going to be cut out during our upgrading, to ensure that soiled sheetrock isn't contributing to filth. We are thinking a plywood covered with sheet linoleum as a replacement, for easy cleaning and as long as we seal edges, safe for goat kids.

So why not trays? That was my partner's original plan. Simple and easy. I'm worried that if there is this much ammonia on a larger bedding absorption surface below the cages, there may be an even higher concentration of ammonia right underneath the Buns in a tray. Experiences please?

I got many questions regarding ventilation. Yes I think it could help, but I dont think it's everything here. How do I determine proper level of air exchange to the barn? We have a gable vent each end that may get a summer upgrade, older pane glass windows left cracked, and I leave door ajar in mild weather (most of the time.) The chickens have the other half of this barn, so drafts vs air exchange is to be highly scrutinized. Again, we aim for cheap and efficient, not highly sophisticated systems.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Great Horny Toads
Staff member
Premium member
Jul 16, 2015
37,789
59,042
1,312
central Wisconsin
If you dump the trays daily and dust with barn lime the smell should be limited. Are you actually talking about an ammonia smell or the smell of rabbit pee which stinks, especially the males. Goats generally don't stink unless the bedding start to break down in a deep litter.
 

DellaMyDarling

Songster
Dec 13, 2017
618
862
186
Mass Hilltowns
If you dump the trays daily and dust with barn lime the smell should be limited. Are you actually talking about an ammonia smell or the smell of rabbit pee which stinks, especially the males. Goats generally don't stink unless the bedding start to break down in a deep litter.
It's the rabbit pee, which I presume stinks due to ammonia content.
The goats are so rarely in the stall, but the upcoming birth will see mama and kids in there for 2 weeks or so.


So, I think we should build a poo sluice.
One bucket hung between the cage banks, with an angled catchment below the cages.
Anyone got one? I'm thinking low tech 1x1s and used grain sacks.
 

RoosterRules

Chirping
Dec 1, 2018
41
156
90
Alberta, Canada
It will work. I breed rabbits outside in a warren but I have a screened-bottom hutch in a shed where I put rabbits who need observation or treatment. I tried different sloped contraptions and ended up stapling a leftover piece of thick laminated polycarbonate fabric under the hutch. The polycarbonate was from an old awning that had been ripped in a tornado. It has worked very well for several years now as the rabbit manure catcher because it stays flexible even when things are frozen so that I can just pop out chunks of frozen waste. I have a pail to catch the manure in the summer and I keep about two inches of white vinegar in the pail to neutralize the smell. I will try to take a picture over the weekend.
 
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