Rabbit Poop/Fertilizer Question...

mommaval(9)July 11, 2009

OK, I raise rabbits and they generate lots of waste...I know this is a great fertilizer, but my question is this:

Can I take it straight from the rabbit shed and put in my garden? My neighbor said no, because it is so strong, I need to throw it in the compost pile and let it sit for a month or two. But, my compost pile is in my chicken yard, I just throw all my cuttings, veggies, peels, etc in the corner of the chicken pen. The chickens play around pecking and do a good job of stirring the layers up and don't seem to make a big mess by dragging it around. So I really don't know if it's OK to throw the rabbit waste there. I'd rathar just haul it once, to the garden, but give me some advice if it needs a period of time before I throw it in the garden!!!! Thanks a million!!!

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jonas302(central mn 4)

Well rabbit manure is not considered strong at all very very good though I have a friend that supplys me the the poop of 40 bunnies it goes strait in when I have room otherwise composted

    Bookmark   July 11, 2009 at 1:10PM
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leira(6 MA)

Jonas302 is right. Rabbit manure, unlike most other manures, isn't too "hot" to use straight. This is one of the qualities that people love about it.

It's really great for the garden, too, so if you've got it readily available, I think you should definitely use it.

I recently got myself hooked up with a 25-rabbit foster home (connected with a local shelter), and I haul in manure from there. This is my first year using it, but I've had some really incredible results.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2009 at 2:17PM
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Thanks so much for the input...I always get such great advice here. The reason I asked and didn't just go with the neighbor's advice is because he isn't a gardener, so I wasn't sure if he just based his opinion on heresay. I'm in the middle of pulling up tomato plants and reworking the ground for new crops, I'll add it in!!!! Thanks so much!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2009 at 3:32PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Do you know for a fact that these are very healthy rabbits and aren't on any medications? It is for that reason - possible pathogen and medication contamination of plants - rather than the N burning plants threat that the standard recommendation is to compost all manures prior to use around food crops.

Further, browsing AG university websites where manure research is done as well as FDA info sites will show that the standard recommendation is that no animal manures should be applied to the food garden later than 90-120 days prior to harvest.

Just some thoughts to consider as this issues comes up often on the Soil & Compost forum so you may want to browse through the many discussions on it there.


    Bookmark   July 11, 2009 at 5:49PM
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Hey Dave, thanks so much for your info. My rabbits are very healthy, onhigh quality diets and not medicated...they are in great shape. I do wonder about one thing though......the manure is also full of rabbit urine, they do it all in the same spot. By th etime I shovel out, it is definitely not "wet" but still pretty dry, but would the urine mixed in make a difference??? Just wondering. Although they really drink A LOT, their urine still smells pretty strong.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2009 at 8:46PM
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yardenman(z7 MD)

You might consider composting it separately with some straw or shredded newspaper...

    Bookmark   July 11, 2009 at 11:39PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

would the urine mixed in make a difference?

Well it returns the possibility of nitrogen burn to the equation. Composting it first resolves that potential problem as well. ;)


    Bookmark   July 11, 2009 at 11:56PM
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My neighbor has a pet rabbit and has offered me the poop and I had some of the same questions, so thanks everyone for the useful information. I have one more question, my neighbor uses kitty litter, is there any issues with the kitty litter?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2009 at 11:43AM
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depends on the kitty litter--if she uses a newspaper-based litter, or a sawdust-based litter, all is well. The clay-based stuff will NOT be good for your veggies. If the litter is paper-based or sawdust-based, I would compost it first, to allow the litter to decompose, and to avoid the risk of nitrogen burn from the urine.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2009 at 2:46PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Agree that the clay-based litters are not something you want to add to your garden soil. Results in a slimy mess when wet and a brick-hard chunk when dry.

Search 'cat litter' on the Composting forum for some pictures of the end result. ;)


    Bookmark   July 12, 2009 at 3:02PM
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I use litter from my guinea pigs in my compost pile! I havent had any problems with it yet!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2009 at 7:49AM
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thanks for the advice! To be on the safe side, I bought my neighbor some all natural stuff for the rabbit "litter box".

    Bookmark   July 13, 2009 at 12:07PM
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One of my son's friends from school raises rabbits to show competitively. She lines their trays with peat moss so the poop begins to compost immediately. Friends and neighbors put it straight into their gardens with good success.

Just a note... yesterday saw an archived Bill Nye show (Stuff Matters) about the importance of using peat moss that has been sustainably harvested.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 12:10AM
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kitty litter is not a good idea for rabbit usage as it can cause respiratory issues due to the dust. You might want to mention that to your neighbor. Paper based beddings or hard wood bedding like aspen is much safer.

The benefit of the paper litter is that it too can be used in your compost pile or worm farm.

When my bunny Riley is running and poops, I just pick it up and drop it in my houseplants. Because of this, I have a basil plant that is slightly taller than three feet.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 2:47PM
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I don't raise rabbits I used to but when you slaughter them they scream and this breaks my heart. Rabbit poops is a very good fertilizer especially to the water melons and okra. It is a must in my garden I buy it from EBay. If you have lots of it you can sell it there.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 7:01PM
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If you live in the U.S. contact your local House Rabbit Society chapter. They may be able to tell you who is local to you that fosters rabbits. If you contact them, they may give you the bunny poop for free.


    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 7:25PM
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