Zoonotic Diseases – Research them!
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Bucks: (Med Breed) = 3 to 6oz. (Large Breed) = 6 to 8oz.
Does: (Med) = 4 to 6oz. (Large) = 8 to 9oz.
Does (when bred and between 1-15 days): (Med) = 6oz. (Large) = 9oz.
Does (when bred and between 16-30 days): (Med) = 7 to 8oz. (Large) = 10 to 11oz.
Doe (with a litter of 6-8 kits / 1 week old): (Med) = 9 to 10oz. (Large) = 12 to 13oz.
Doe (with a litter of 6-8 kits / 1 month old): (Med) = 18oz. (Large) = 24 to 30oz.
Doe (with a litter of 6-8 kits / 6-8 weeks old): (Med) = 28oz. (Large) = 36oz to full feed.
Doe (after litter is weaned): (Med) = 4 to 6oz. (Large) = 8 to 9oz.
A young and weaned rabbit: (Med) = 3 to 6oz. (Large) = 6 to 9oz.
The cornerstone of any good adult rabbit diet consists of quality pellets, fresh hay, water, and fresh vegetables. Anything other than these basics should be considered a “treat” and be given in limited quantities. The amounts of these diet essentials varies with the age of the rabbit.
Pellets: Pellets are most important in the younger stages of rabbit development because they are highly concentrated in nutrients, helping to ensure proper weight gain. A quality pelleted food should be high in fiber (18% minimum) and nutritionally balanced. As a rabbit reaches maturity, however, pellets should make up less of the diet – replaced with higher quantities of hay and vegetables. Overfeeding pellets in mature rabbits can lead to obesity and other medical conditions.
Hay: Rabbits should have fresh hay available 24 hours a day. Rabbits less than 7 months old may have alfalfa hay, but older rabbits should have grass hays such as timothy or oat hay. Hay is essential to a rabbit’s good health, providing the roughage that helps reduce the danger of hairballs and other blockages.
Water: Fresh water should be available to your pet around the clock, as well. Each day, change the water in the dish or water bottle with fresh water. On a weekly basis, sanitize the water dish/bottle with a mild dish detergent and rinse thoroughly before adding drinking water.
Vegetables: Vegetables provide valuable roughage, as well as essential vitamins. As early as 3 months of age, you can begin to offer vegetables. Introduce new vegetables one at a time. This way, if a digestive upset occurs, you will know which food may be the culprit. Eliminate those that cause soft stools or diarrhea. Continue to add new varieties, including both dark leafy vegetables and root vegetables, and serve vegetables of different colors. Once your rabbit is used to several vegetables, feed him or her at least three different kinds daily for a mix of nutrients.
A Good Rabbit Diet Should Include Daily Fresh Vegetables
Include a variety of vegetables from the list below.
(Those containing a high level of Vitamin A are indicated by an *. Feed at least one of these each day.)
Alfalfa, radish, and clover sprouts
Beet greens (tops)
Broccoli (mostly leaves/stems)*
Carrots and carrot tops*
Dandelion greens (NO pesticides)*
Pea pods (the flat edible kind)*
Romaine lettuce (NO iceberg or light
colored leaf lettuce)*
Kale, mustard greens, and spinach contain high levels of oxalates (the salts of oxalic acid), which can accumulate in the system and cause toxicity over time. Rather than eliminating these veggies from your list (because they are highly nutritious and loved by most rabbits), limit your use of them to 1 or 2 meals per week.
Chewing items: In addition to nutrition, hay and vegetables are also important to your rabbit’s dental health. A diet that requires little chewing produces uneven tooth wear, causing enamel to grow on the sides of the teeth. These spikes can cause severe oral pain and excessive salivation (often called “slobbers”). They also cause reluctance to chew, inability to close the mouth, and reduced food intake. The situation deteriorates as the teeth continue to grow, and, if it is not treated, results in severe malnutrition. In addition to hay and vegetables, you will want to provide your rabbit with chew sticks or gnaw “bones” of untreated wood of various sizes and shapes. Cardboard tubes and untreated wicker can also be used.
Treats: Treats, including fresh fruits, should be given sparingly because of their calorie content. Rabbits can digest small quantities of oats and barley, but again, they generally provide more calories than necessary. And, too much carbohydrate has been associated with enteritis in rabbits.
Feeding rabbits through their stages of development
Like human beings, rabbits need to be fed differently at different stages of their growth to ensure healthy development, digestion, and weight. Throughout a rabbit’s life, avoid any sudden changes in diet; new foods should always be introduced gradually. Remember to keep fresh clean water available at all times, too. Water bottles versus dishes are recommended.
Baby rabbits: A baby rabbit, or kit, feeds solely on its mother’s milk for about the first three weeks. During the first few days, the milk contains high levels of antibodies that help protect the kit from disease. After three weeks, the kit will begin nibbling on alfalfa hay and pellets. By 7 weeks of age, baby rabbits can handle unlimited access to pellets and alfalfa hay in addition to mother’s milk. Kits are usually weaned from their mother’s milk by 8 weeks of age, depending on the breed.
Juveniles: Between weaning and 7 months of age, the young rabbit can have an unlimited amount of pellets and alfalfa hay. At 3 months of age, start introducing small amounts of vegetables into your rabbit’s diet. Introduce one vegetable at a time. If any vegetable seems to cause digestive problems, avoid feeding it in the future.
Young adults: Young adult rabbits from age 7 months to 1 year should be introduced to timothy, grass hays, and/or oat hay, and it should be available all day long. The fiber in the hay is essential for their digestive systems to work properly. At this point, they will require little alfalfa hay, as well as fewer pellets. Alfalfa hay has more calories and calcium than rabbits need at this stage of development, and the high calorie content of pellets can also begin to cause weight problems. Instead of offering unlimited pellets, a good rule of thumb is 1/2 cup of pellets per 6 lbs. of body weight daily. To make up for the nutritional loss, you must increase your rabbit’s intake of vegetables and hay. You can feed your rabbit some fruits during this stage, but because of calories, limit them to no more than 1-2 ounces per 6 pounds of body weight daily.
Mature adults: Mature adult rabbits should be fed unlimited timothy, grass hay, and oat hay. Once again, you should reduce the pellet portion of the diet. A standard guideline is 1/4 cup of pellets per 6 lbs. of body weight per day. Several servings of vegetables are required (2 cups per 6 pounds of body weight daily). Make sure to choose dark, leafy greens, and feed at least three different kinds daily. Iceberg or other light-colored varieties are NOT nutritious. Also, make sure you are offering dark yellow and orange vegetables. Treats, including fruits, must be fed sparingly.
Seniors: Senior rabbits over 6 years of age can be fed the same diet as mature adults if they do not have weight loss problems. You may need to increase pellet intake if your pet is not able to maintain his or her weight. Alfalfa can also be given to underweight rabbits, but only if calcium levels are normal. Annual blood workups are highly recommended for senior rabbits to determine the level of calcium and other components of the blood.
40% protein source for chickens, composting larvae will reproduce like crazy and just pump out food for your chickens.
Tastes like Veal
1. Broadcast Dutch White Clover = Trifolium repens at 12 pounds of live seed per acre. You can start to graze the clover when it reaches its mature height = 6 inches. Dutch White Clover is sweet so pigs eat it readily. My relatives in Austria have been pasturing pigs on clover for 800 years. This is very old technology that dates back to when knights went clanking about in armor. Pigs do well on clover but they grow more slowly than if fed a mixed diet of corn, soybeans, and pasture. Butcher pigs immediately they reach 6 months = 180 days old. 6 month old pigs won’t have swine-flavored meat so there is no need for castration. 180-day pigs are very lean. If you want more fat then feed some grain (any kind will do) along with clover pasture. Clover raised, corn fattened hogs were the standard in colonial America.
2. Pig manure makes great fertilizer. Plant pig pastures to small grains and get big crops! Here is an easy way to grow “organic” wheat: Broadcast Dutch White Clover at 12 pounds per acre. Let clover grow 1 full year. Fence off clover then turn in pigs. Do NOT put rings in hogs’ snouts or they will not be able to root. Pigs will tear up ground just like a rototiller, uprooting all vegetation. Broadcast spring wheat onto pig tilled field. Run sheep or cattle over field to stomp in seed. When wheat starts to head out, broadcast turnip seed over standing wheat. When wheat is harvested turnips will quickly take over the field blotting out almost all weeds. 2 weeks before turnip harvest broadcast Dutch White Clover over standing turnips. When turnips are lifted clover will carpet field and overwhelm most weeds. Let clover grow a full year then repeat rotation. No tractors, diesel fuel, fertilizer, herbicides or insecticides needed. Expect 40 bushel per acre yields (2,400 pounds per acre) in most temperate climates with at least 40 inches of rainfall during the growing season. Yields can reach 80 bushels per acre with plentiful rainfall or irrigation. This technology dates back to early Renaissance Europe.
3. “Hogging Down” crops dates back to the Middle Ages. Plant crops that pigs like to eat (turnips and clover are good choices). When crops are mature turn in hogs and let animals feed themselves. Hogging down corn was a labor saving technique widely used in colonial America.
4. Most animals change lipids into one particular kind of storage fat. Pigs store fats just as they eat them = no biochemical conversion to a “standard” fat. Thus, pigs fed on corn (or other grain) will have solid lard. Pigs fed on acorns will have semi-solid almost liquid lard that drains away leaving very lean meat = Malaga Hams. You can control the texture and fat content of pork by varying what you feed pigs.
5. Mulberry trees make good “mast” for pigs. A mature mulberry tree can feed up to 6 hogs for 2 to 3 months during the summer. Space mulberry trees widely = no closer than their mature height. This ensures high mulberry yields and ample sunlight for maximum forage production. You can develop permanent pig pastures by planting a wide variety of mast = fruit and nut trees into mixed-species cover crops selected for grazing pigs.
6. Use pigs to clean up fallen fruit in orchards. This helps break insect reproduction cycles.
Feeds one can Grow
1) Sun Chokes – Excellent feed weed for pigs/humans alike. (Promotes healthy gut bacteria and brain performance)
2) Ground nuts which are a vining plant with edible root.
3) Dandelion roots
6) carrots if soil loose enough
7) tiger lily roots are edible
9) clovers that have already been talked about
10) hosta montana
11) Garlic – lots of calories if pigs will eat them. select a very mild type
12) Broad beans can be planted in the Autumn or the Spring depending on the variety.
13) several types of onions
14) winter peas
If you want a fall feed
2) edible canna lily
3) cow peas
4) winter squashes
Good to plant pig feed:
soft grasses (bluegrass, rye, timothy, wheat, etc);
legumes (alfalfa, clovers, trefoil, vetch, ect);
brassicas (kale, broccoli, turnips, etc);
millets (White Proso Millet, Japanese Millet, Pearl Millet);
other forages and herbs.
Exactly varieties will depend on your local climate and soils. I avoid the grasses and such that turn toxic with drought, frost or other stress as they make our management system too complex.
I prefer perennials or things that self-reseed. Some things labeled as annuals are-actually perennials in our climate because we get early snows that protect their-roots over the winter – e.g., kale, broccoli, etc.
In our winter paddocks we plant during the warm months things like pumpkins, sunflowers, sunchokes, beets, mangels, sugar beets, etc.
We blend seed by spreading a tarp, setting out barrels, pouring a little of each seed we want in the mix into the barrel and then when it has all the types and is about 80% full we close the barrel and roll it around to mix.
We seed by hand broadcasting with the mob, the storm and the frost. Over seed a bit. Smaller seeds do better than larger seeds this way but even oats work. If seeding sunflower or other large seeds where grackles and other birds will steel try first seeding radishes a week or two before to create a non-tasty cover. Then seed the larger seeds.
Seed companies we buy from: Johnny’s, Hancock, High Mow, Bakers and a couple of-others I’m not thinking of at the moment.
Things You Can Put In Your Worm Farm:
Fruit & vegie scraps
Bread & cheese
Cooked vegetables, grains, pasta & rice – basically all vegetarian foods, no meat-based sauces!
Coffee grounds & tea bags – as long as teabags are paper and not plastic mesh
Egg shells – great source of calcium, a mineral which worms require in their diet to stay healthy
Newspaper & unprinted cardboard (soaked) – no glossy printed pages
Things You Can Put In Your Worm Farm (with caution!):
Vacuum cleaner dust – only if your carpets are natural fibre, not synthetic carpets!
Citrus & onions – only small amounts or none at all!
Pet waste – only in a dedicated worm farm for pet waste only
Things You Can’t Put In Your Worm Farm:
Fish & meat – this will stink and attract vermin such as rats, use a Bokashi bin instead to compost meat
Garden waste – too slow to break down in a worm farm, put into compost bin instead
Glossy and bleached paper – this is toxic, you don’t want this anywhere near your garden
Fresh manures – many animals are treated for worms with vermicides, which pass into the fresh manure and will kill your worms, compost them first!
How to Feed Your Worms
Secondly,how you feed your worms is also very important.
Place the food on the bedding, beneath the cover, also known as the ‘worm blanket’, which is just a damp old hessian sack or a whole newspaper, fold it to fit if necessary.
When you first set up your worm farm, add a small amount of food, and as the worms begin to feed in a few days, then add more. Don’t overfeed your worms as the food will remain uneaten, and will begin to rot, which doesn’t create a healthy habitat for your worms.
When feeding the worms in the worm farm, don’t cover the whole surface with food, place the food to one side only, and try to cover half of one side at the most. Just in case the worms don’t like what you’ve just put in there, they can go to the other side of the worm farm where there;s no food. If you cover it completely they’ll have nowhere to escape to if they don’t react well to your latest food offering. Once that half covered with food is eaten, add more food to the other side, and alternate sides, so there’s always a food free side for them to move to if they need to.
Feeding Your Worms
How to Feed Your Worms
Select foods that are suitable for worms including most fruits, vegetables, cereals and grains, and other organic items like cardboard and tea bags. It is best to cut food scraps into small pieces before placing them in the bin. The smaller the pieces the more surface area there is for bacteria to start breaking down the food, making it easier for the worms to consume. Some people put their food scraps, including eggshells, into a blender and make a slurry. The worms seem to love this, but it is not necessary.
Keep shredded black and white newspaper over the food at all times. Newspaper or bedding helps keep the bin dark and moist and discourages fruit flies. Other organic material such as burlap or shredded cardboard or paperboard can also be used. The worms live in these materials and they also eat them.
To feed the worms, place the food under the newspaper in a different part of the bin each time. Do not bury the food in the castings.
How Much Food?
Worms need to adjust to their new home and new foods so do not overfeed them the first few weeks. In addition to the food you are giving them, they’re eating their new bedding. Once they are settled, comfortable and happy they will quickly munch through their food. The bin will require more food as its population grows.
You want to feed the worms just ahead of their rate of consumption. Before adding new food, consider:
Have they had enough time to consume old food?
Is there food remaining because they do not like it?
Has the food not been broken down enough by bacteria for the worms to consume it?
If there is a little food left and the worms are eating, additional food can be added. But if food is left due to one of the other reasons, cover it with newspaper and don’t feed again for a week or remove the food from the bin.
Unlike other critters, worms don’t demand to be fed on a schedule. They can be fed once a day, every two or three days, or once a week. You can go on vacation for a month without worrying about them. Just give them a regular amount of food before you leave and place plenty of shredded newspaper, cardboard or paperboard on top of the food. Make sure you leave the bin in an area where the temperature will not get too hot (not over 90º) and the cover material is wet enough that it will not dry out.
Happy redworms will eat half their weight in food every day. That doesn’t sound like a very large quantity of food because they’re so small, but when you get a few thousand worms living in a bin, food disappears rather quickly.
Because worms have no teeth, they need to take in grit with their food. Rock dust or crushed oyster shells offer grit for their diet and can also help correct problems if you’ve added too much food to the bin. These can be purchased at most garden stores. To add these powders to the bin, sprinkle a small amount on the food scraps once or twice a month.
Pulverized eggshells are an excellent source of grit. If you are adding eggshells to your bin you probably won’t need to purchase other types of grit.
Problem: Moldy food
Solution: If you have fed the worms too much, the food might become moldy. Remove moldy food as worms are unlikely to eat it and it makes the system vulnerable to infestations from other microorganisms.
Problem: Offensive odor
Solution: Uneaten food has become anaerobic. Make sure there is a generous amount of damp newspaper or cardboard placed over the food and stop feeding for a week. Add rock dust or crushed oyster shells.
Problem: Worms trying to escape
Solution: Bin may be too wet or too dry. Add more dry bedding if too wet, or moisten bedding if too dry.
Examples of Worm Food
Fruit: apples, pears, banana peels, strawberries, peaches and all melons
Vegetables: beans, cabbage, celery, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, all greens, corn, corncobs and squash
Cereals and grains: oatmeal, pasta, rice, non–sugared breakfast cereals, corn meal, pancakes
Miscellaneous: coffee filter paper, tea bags, eggshells, dead flowers
Other food/bedding: newspaper (no shiny or coated paper), cardboard, paperboard, paper egg cartons, brown leaves
Use Caution When Adding These
Breads — can attract red mites
Potato skins, onions, garlic, ginger — get consumed slowly and can cause odors
Coffee grounds — too many will make the bin acidic
Do Not Feed
Meat, poultry, fish, dairy — protein attracts rodents
Potato chips, candy, oils — worms do not like junk food and these attract ants
Oranges, lemons, limes — citrus has a chemical substance (limonene) that is toxic to worms
Definite No–No’s in a Worm Bin
Non–biodegradable materials that do not belong in your bin include plastic, rubber bands, sponges, aluminum foil, glass, and dog or cat feces.