Aquaponic Gardening

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Well, this is just a terrific forum.  I've gotten some great thoughts and ideas.  My kid have two rabbits that make plenty of poo.  What would be the best use of the rabbit poo?

I have a compost pile, a 55 gal barrel AP system with tilipia and two 25 gal grow beds, and a small wicking bed.  Just wondering if rabbit poo is any use.  I do have some plain ol vegetables in the ground as well, I suppose I could just put it there.  Currently, it goes in the trash.

Thanks for any thoughts.  I'm a novice gardener, but the whole AP thing is interesting and has me doing all sorts of stuff I normally wouldn't have thought to do.

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Now I also believe some testing is in order and hope some small scale testing will lead to better testing in more controlled environments.

While e. coli H157 is the deadly strain that is of greatest concern, there are other strains that can make us sick if they get in the wrong places in too high a numbers.  Even the e. coli in your own body can cause an infection if you get it in the wrong part of your body.

And there are other food born pathogens that can be shed in fecal matter of warm blooded animals so just because the sample comes back negative for H157 doesn't necessarily mean the aquaponics system contaminated is "safe".  Other strains of e. coli should be watched for as well as salmonella and others.  For the average person, avoiding putting manure other than the fish's in an Aquaponics system is probably the best bet.

Amen again, TC. That's logic I can't and wouldn't argue. There is no reason to risk our lives and our families lives for the sake of a silly hobby garden.

Hehe, it's all good.  I don't mind, anything that sparks an interesting discussion is great!  :)

Jon Parr said:

Sorry Garry, thread hijacking was unintentional. Vlad made me do it:-)

Rabbits have had a lot of study done on them over the years especially when the Texas rabbit research station was open (closed in the late 80's I believe), using their berries, "successfully" for fish food, soldier fly food and worm food.  And I believe it was the University of Ga. that did a lot of testing a few years ago on using rabbit berries for fish food, with great results as well as soldier flys for fish food.  One major discussion that followed were people who was using the pelletized rabbit food as a growing medium.  They just by passed feeding the food to the rabbit and planted their tomatoes, peppers, etc in a container of pure rabbit food with reported great results!  (The risk of e.coli should not be a problem then!)  Hmmm, wonder if this would work in the AP system??? LOL. 

Personal experience with rabbits: I've been raising rabbits for over 20 years now, and 3 years ago we were commercially raising around 2000 at any one given time (now down to 350 give or take); their berries are "the best" fertilizer especially if you feed them pelletized food/fresh deep well water as we do ours. no toxins are used on them or fed to them. The berries are composted (in the raised garden bed) prior to use. We collect ours, having tried different methods,finding the slanted plywood beds catching the droppings, urine running off, to be the most efficient, and labor saving.  And yes, rabbits do eat their own berries,  they are called "night berries"  they are high in protein and "all rabbits do it".  I've been gardening and using berries as my main ingredient in the grow tubs as long as I've been raising rabbits, with "no" ill side affects. I believe caution is always a "good thing"  but as Jon said "Life is dangerous. Live a little".

 

I appreciate the discussion on E-coli.  I do want to make the point that we in the US consume large amounts of food that is grown outside of the country.  I have read that less than 2 percent of this food is grown with the same standards as the food grown in the US. All of the cases of bad E-coli I have heard of have been traced to sources within the US,

This tells me that the fatal strain of E-coli must not be prevalent outside the US.  The first time this happens we in the US will be in trouble.  We are safe because the rest of the world hasn't been infected.

Part of it is because the feed lot operations tend to be more prevalent here in the US.  Outside the US they cut down rainforests to grow our hamburgers instead of using feedlots.

We compost ours directly under our hutches. We use it to amend our garden soil. It is one of the best natural fertilizers around. We also add it to container plantings. I am curious to hear some replies about adding it to an AP system.

TC,

Brazil is a major supplier of beef to the U.S.  They also have hundreds of feedlots; and I will bet, they don't use the same food standards as the beef raised here in the U.S.  The problem is in the processing plants.  We are supposed to have inspectors at the plants but they are few and are overworked; not overworked just under-utilized.  All of the cases of bad meat can probably be traced to dirty processing.  We don't test every beef; just a statistical sample.  So when we cut down on the inspectors, we just change the sampling to fit the number of inspectors.

Paul.

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