• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Dale's kitty litter idea --- Dung beetles.  RSS feed

 
Dale Hodgins
gardener
Posts: 6786
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
263
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Dale's kitty litter idea --- Dung beetles.

As the name suggests, this isn't something that I have done or am even likely to do in the near future. I don't own a cat. My friend owns two cats and spends a few minutes every morning, stirring through their poop and piss clumps. When she's away, I am the person who does this. Not a pleasant experience.

I have stated elsewhere, how I used to manage my dog's poop in a maple tree bog, where I simply incorporated her poop into the soil with a rake. This worked, without any bad smells. I think it's safe to say that most cat owners don't own a maple tree bog. Therefore we need something different.
........
Introducing, the dung beetle, outdoor kitty litter box. This would be inside one of those enclosures that are created to allow indoor cats, to venture outside. I imagine a box of relatively sandy soil, which is protected from heavy rains. We might want it to have sides, similar to a sandbox. It might also need to have some sort of metal edging, bent in a manner that prevents The beetles from escaping.

 I can think of a few things that could happen to these beetles. Predators, including cats, might think that it's fun to hunt them. It should be easy enough to keep birds out. Most snakes don't want to meet a cat, so hopefully we can keep them out.

 Something needs to absorb the large quantity of nutrients. Any number of nutrient hungry plants, could be grown. Cats love to destroy plants, so they would need to be resilient. There are probably concerns with producing edible plants with this sort of scenario. I don't think the problem is absorption through the root systems. Splashing on to leaves would seem the more likely problem. Solution, cook everything that comes out of this area. Or, grow things that are not edible.

I've checked it out, and it turns out there are dung beetles that eat predator poop. Most dung beetles want the waste from grazing animals.

That's about all I have, just an idea that I'm hoping someone has already tried or heard about, and they can enlighten us all. It's possible that we need crickets or roaches, instead of dung beetles.
......
Aquaponics cat litter.

I think this same basic concept, could work, if a bed could be set up where water from the fish system is lightly sprinkled, rather than flooded through the grow bed. We don't want to drown our beetles. This would allow the nutrients to be moved around and if the beetles become overpopulated, they could be fed to the fish.
20170531_073516.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20170531_073516.jpg]
20170319_202217.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20170319_202217.jpg]
Lloyd produces very stinky poop
 
Taryn Hesse
Posts: 58
Location: Rainy Cold Temperate Harz Mountains Germany 450m South Facing River Valley
4
bike food preservation forest garden solar woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi

My daughters kindergarten has a sandbox outside and the neighborhod cats use it. Even though they take the poop out every day, and its completely open to the weather, it is full of dung beetle larvae. I think if its not too dry (the larvae are soft bodied)  it would work like a soldier larvae box. the beetles would also just eat it outside so a closed compost box (to keep kids and other mammals out, theres a parasite risk) and something natural like woodshavings used in the house would be easier. you could just dump the entire box out and not have to dig through the litter. Id be surprised if your neighbors (or anyones) would be open to a dung beetle population in the house. I was considering getting a small bio gas harvestor for the dog waste from my campground but they are a bit expensive and a bit technical to build as methane explodes I might try this out. its a good topic anyway for any containated waste even human sewage as i live near a river so i havent put in a compost toilet yet either. I think there are enough dung beetles that every climate could find one to live through their extremes of summer and winter.  In germany we have blueish black dung beetles that are prolific enough to collect a good few and also eat in my regular plant and meat compost pile.  They could be a cold climate alternative to a worm or soldier fly bin which need heating more than half of the year.
 
Amit Enventres
Posts: 456
Location: Ohio, USA
28
dog fish food preservation forest garden fungi solar trees urban woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm in a cold climate. I have to pick up poop about 12 times a year with 1 large dog in about 30x30ft area. Worms and who knows what gets it pretty fast usually. The rest I throw in the compost and just don't use on fresh veggies. My friends have 4 healthy outdoor cats down the street. I've never seen cat poop from them. In fact, I would assess that I've only seen cat poop once while living here 3 years from normal cats. (My friends were nursing a sick one who had issues).

As for indoors, I'd think that type of poop is similar enough to human doo  to go in the toilet/composting toilet.
 
Taryn Hesse
Posts: 58
Location: Rainy Cold Temperate Harz Mountains Germany 450m South Facing River Valley
4
bike food preservation forest garden solar woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don´t know what type of kitty litter you could flush in a standard toilet i think there would be blockage. I wanted to avoid leaving poop from dogs out for any amount of time because of the parasites transmitted from fox and wild cats and dogs in the forest and its a common dog walking area for locals. we have fox tape worm in the area that is also a concern for people and our dog in particular likes to investigate poop. I think if we had an area or bin to process dog and other animal waste, locals and some tourists would use it. When the nights drop below zero we accumulate plenty of waste along the edges of forest trails that stays there till snowmelt. its kind of gross to go sledding by february. I think that rats might become an issue in an outdoor beetle breeding box but probably no more than any other compost. They don´t seem to be put off by cats much.
 
Rebecca Norman
gardener
Posts: 1273
Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
128
food preservation greening the desert solar trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A permaculture teacher from Taiwan visited my region last year and told us that he has a nice worm bin for disposing dog poop at his house in Taiwan. He just sank a container partly into the ground, a container with a lid, and with holes underneath. He started some compost worms and bedding in there, and just throws the dog poop in it. The worms reduce it to very little and I figure it will either never fill, or if it does, you can dump the contents into a new hole and start over. Also, I'm sure that if you use sawdust or some other compostable kitty litter, you could do the same with that.
 
Dale Hodgins
gardener
Posts: 6786
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
263
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I like the idea of a worm bin litter box. The problem with cats is that if they develop any distaste for the litter you choose, they may choose their own. I know somebody who has a big potted tree in the house. The cat peed there so much, that he nearly killed it.

There are any number of ways to dispose of poop that you gather up by hand. It's a little more complicated to get the cats to do their business in the right spot.

I wonder how a worm bin would do if it received all of the cat pee as well? I think it would need to be larger, and possibly have something very nitrogen hungry, like wood chips added. Then there's the question of whether cats would excavate and hunt the worms. Lloyd hunts every living creature that he encounters. He has greatly reduced the number of silverfish in my friend's townhouse.

I'm going to offer to build an indoor worm bin, litter box. My friend has so much crap heaped into her house that she may not be willing to have anything larger than the existing box.
 
What a show! What atmosphere! What fun! What a tiny ad!
Ernie and Erica Wisner's Rocket Mass Heater Everything Combo
https://permies.com/t/40993/digital-market/digital-market/Ernie-Erica-Wisner-Rocket-Mass
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!