Anyone use rabbit or guinea pig manure with success?

makk2May 13, 2008

I have two rabbits and a guinea pig (house pets) which produce a lot of waste. I am a new composter and am wary of using the litter box waste, as rabbit urine has A LOT of ammonia in it. From reading on this site, it appears that ammonia is fine in compost.

Anyone use rabbit or guinea pig waste with success? If so, do I need to make adjustments, or just consider the waste to be a "green" addition?

In the litter is hay, newspaper, and cedar chips, in addition to the manure/urine.

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the_virginian(Zone 7 NoVA)

Yes, use it in your compost pile and it will heat it up nicely adding a decent amount of nitrogen in the process. Treat it as a green and the litter too since it sounds like it is saturated.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 10:50AM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

I have used rabbit poo in my garden quite successfully. Several years ago my twin neices got a pair of rabbits. After listening to them complain about poo disposal, I offered to take over the problem. I had a set up a rubbermaid container under the rabbit pens... and periodically I would go switch out the full bin with empty bin. I spread it on my garden, on my lawn or in my compost pile.

Eventually my BIL figured out what I was doing and saw the benefits, and then he started using rabbit poo on his garden. After that, when I went to collect the bin, it would barely be full. He was stealing my turds... really there were his turds, but they were my turds first....

Anyway the rabbits have since died, so we have put our turd wars behind us...

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 11:00AM
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jmsimpson9(CA 8/9)

Oh my, thanks for the laugh. The visual of someone stealing turds struck me as funny!

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 11:54AM
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makk2

Fantastic. I'm going to give it a try as a green. The litter is saturated-- rabbit urine is quite pungent.

Joeypyeweed-- I have a feeling I won't be having a "turd war" with my husband (though I smile at the thought). He'll be thrilled that I'll be cleaning out the litter boxes (normally we split the smelly task).

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 12:06PM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

IME, the rabbit poo wasn't that strong of a green, not as smelly or strong as other manure, relatively speaking.

Though my BIL always claimed the rabbits excreted more than they were fed. Which of course would defy the law of physics, but he would swear to it.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 12:11PM
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makk2

Joepyeweed-- it may just seem strong and green to me because I haven't dealt with other manures (like chicken). What I may do as an experiment is see how it does without adding anything else. The cedar chips, hay, newspaper may offset the ammonia from the urine. I'll give it a shot and see.

My rabbits (and the guinea pig) produce A LOT of waste. One of our rabbits is 15 pounds, I think his litter box alone will keep my garden happy.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 1:01PM
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joepyeweed(5b IL)

I agree if it smells strongly of ammonia, then you definitely should add some extra carbon sources...its better to be conservative and err on the side of too much carbon, rather than too much nitrogen....

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 1:06PM
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careyj(7 Southern Maryland)

I use it all the time. But I rarely compost it. I like to spread it out in the gardens. I even put it in the planting holes when I plant my annuals. Impatiens love it.

Carey

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 6:45PM
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kay____h(5a)

If there is a lot of fresh urine in it you can just let it dry out before you use it. I never bothered. Plop it right into the garden and the urine amonia is gone in a day or so. It is pretty low in N and composting it will just make you lose more of it. My plants have always been very appreciative of fresh rabbit turds. kay.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 9:48PM
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jer213(5/6 IL)

Rabbits usually have to eat their poo to get all of the nutrient out of their food (according to my veterinarian wife). That could account for the varying "greeness" one observes with rabbit poo.

The great news is that even "first run" poo is great because rabbits generally eat alfalfa, a wonderful green anyway. Second run poo is probably closer to "typical poo," also good!

Go crazy!

-Jeremy

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 5:10PM
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girlndocs(8 WA)

If you don't have a rabbit (or your BIL steals their turds) you can see a lot of the same befits using alfalfa pellets the exact same way.

Kristin

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 8:53PM
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lily_gmail_com

if you try the gini pig poop it is great! trust me i have a gini pig and i grow so many plants

    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 5:19PM
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saralock_gmail_com

if you dont have a gini pig use a rabbit there good to and they make great stuf for yore plants but i recur mend thre gini pigs there the best injoy yore poo

yore going to go crazy og how good the gini pigs poo is fo plants enjoy!!

lily

    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 5:30PM
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pshoe(6 MA)

We use soft wood chips in our piggy cage and add our vacuumed poops and used bedding to the compost pile weekly. I tun ample amounts of the compost into my beds in the spring along with espoma plant tone to help offset the N needed to breakdown the lignin in the chips. My garden has never been more bountiful! Nigh & day differences between where I use it and not usd it, I only hope a top dressing will make up for not digging in in my new beds.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 9:53AM
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peppertim

Hi new to the forums... I see that you guys use guinea pig waste in your gardens. Does anyone use critter care bedding? if so do you put that in your garden also? That's what I use and it seems to be a waste to throw it away.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 4:00AM
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groomie2(6)

When we had guinea pigs I used to line the bottom of the cage with newspaper, then used shredded paper as bedding. Every other day I would roll up the newspaper and shredded paper, then lay it out in the garden. It was great as a layer of mulch, and broke down pretty quickly.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 8:43PM
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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

I think the year I had unlimited rabbit poo/cedar chips added to my compost was my best garden ever! (could have been the weather and other things too, but....)
I'm going to hit up the pound and see if I can get a steady supply.
The rabbit poo can go directly into the garden. It's not hot like chicken/cow/horse poo. Same with goat/llama/sheep pretty much any pellet type. Nancy

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 8:59PM
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compogardenermn(4- Twin Cities, MN)

We have a guinea pig and I add the litter to the pile everytime- works quite nicely. We use a base layer of newspaper then we use this paper pulp bedding, it all gets composted.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 10:18AM
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tropical_thought(San Francisco)

It would work, but I would mix with a lot of bagged browns. I buy wooden mulch that is finely ground up and use it balance my bins. If you don't mix it, it would kind of smelly and annoying to deal with.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2013 at 7:27PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Joepyeweed, your turd war post was very funny!

Groomie, same here, when my son had a guinea pig I also used shredded office paper as bedding. The guinea pig was fine with it, SO easy to clean the cage. Once it's soiled, the shredded paper comes out in a big lump, straight onto the compost pile!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 3:05AM
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lomodor(6)

i started using rabbit poo several yrs ago..
now i have contacts that save it bagged up for me
i pick up every couple weeks..
i use in in my composting,and just spading in the vegy
garden in fall with shredded leaves..it breaks down
by spring
i find in my compost to make a slurry (fill buckets 1/2 full
with poo and top off with water) let stand for couple days..
softens up the poo..then mix into my compost..
i do add some rock phosphate.. rabbit poo is a semi hot
manure..so i find less ammonia given off ..the phosphate helps stabilize the nitrogen..
its a super manure for gardening..
i also make a rabbit manure tea.. fill 40 gal plastic
garbage can with 5 gal of poo..fill up the container..
let sit for a couple weeks.. then use 1/2 strength on everything in my gardens.. veggies,tropicals..even my lawn

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 12:08AM
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