Rabbits in Permaculture

by Gary Deetz

Permaculturists keep rabbits for primarily two reasons:  food and fertilizer.  In our case, rabbits were our source of fertilizer.  Rabbit pellets are one of the best nitrogen fertilizers in existence.  It is an organic, low nitrogen fertilizer that won’t burn your plants.  With only one or two rabbits, you will get a constant supply of fertilizer for your garden.

If you can do it, rabbits also are a good source of food, although this was not our cup of tea.  I think I would rather be a vegetarian than eat one of my rabbits.  Too much personality there to be thinking about eating.  Neither way is wrong.  It’s merely a personal choice.  If you get rabbits, get two, or raise them with other animals so they have company.  Never keep a rabbit by itself.   Let them run loose whenever possible.  Keeping an animal caged its entire life is wrong no matter what your end purpose for it is.  Always treat rabbits and any other animals you keep with respect and if they become a source of food for you, respect and honor the gift of their life they gave to you.  True permaculture practitioners respect and honor the lives of their animals.

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