Around one week ago, I made a post about Saving my Orchard ( https://permies.com/t/118156/Saving-orchard#957369 ), and after receiving great advice from you (I want to thank Meg Mitchell, Tyler Ludens, Artie Scott, Dale Hodgins, wayne fajkus, Chris Kott, Bryant RedHawk, Marco Banks, Phil Swindler, Purity Lopez, Robert Joseph, Helen Butt, Brigitte Picart, David Widman, and Scott Foster for their lovely ideas) I decided to divide my orchard into several plots, and do different experiments in each plot (and lose all my money in the process).
For every plot experiment I will make a post to show my progress, and ask for your advice and ideas.
This post as you can tell from the title is about integrating rabbits and fruittrees, basically I want place 4 rabbit cages under every tree, one on each side, all within the drip line of the tree.
I can think of a lot of issues with this setup, but still I want to give it a go.
The plot I chose for this experiment will be a guava plot, and here are the stats:
Size of plot: 1 acre Number of Trees: 100 mature guava tree (6 meters inter row, and 6 meters intra row)
Number of rabbits: 400 rabbits
A 3 meter wide row strip between the tree rows will be planted a cover crop, a mix of alfalfa and a grass, which part of it will be cut and fed to the rabbits, and the rest dried and stored for hay.
According to this paper (http://agrienvarchive.ca/bioenergy/download/barker_ncsu_manure_02.pdf), an adult rabbit will produce on average 50 kg of manure annualy, approximate npk per rabbit per year (500g, 500g, 250g)
Rabbit manure is considered cold, so it can be used directly on plants without the need to compost it.
Today I started making 4 cages to be placed under one tree as a concept (Cage dimentions are 1 meter long, .6 m wide, .4 meter deep).
I will post pictures soon.
I don't want to make this post long so I will stop here, and I welcome all your inputs.
I love a good experiment, Hisham, and this looks like a great one! And I really like the idea of running different experiments on various areas of the orchard - hopefully you won’t lose all your money!
I think I would put only 3 cages at each tree, designed in such a way that you deal with feed and water from one side. This way you only need to approach one spot per tree each feeding time.. over time with a large number of trees a few steps saved per tree will add up.
Maybe you go down one lane and deal with the trees on both sides, having oriented the cages appropriately, and then skip the next lane.. or maybe it is faster to hug one side of each lane dealing with only one row per pass...
Are you concerned about excessive salt from the rabbit urine?
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