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Horse or Rabbit?

Posted by nancyjane_gardener USDA 8ish No CA (My Page) on
Thu, Sep 5, 13 at 21:22

I have a choice of horse or rabbit manure to add to my compost
Pro's and Con's ?
Rabbit- I would have to shovel it myself (Iffy back) It IS just a couple of houses away! Less weed seed? Can add it straight to the garden beds.
Horse- I would have to pay a whole whopping $5 for her to load my truck, weed seed, it would have to be covered over the winter to age and be put in the garden in the spring, or be added slowly to the compost.
Does anyone have an opinion as to which one is better for the garden/compost?
I'm leaning more towards the rabbit manure (IF I can get it!)
I have used HM many times when starting a new raised bed, but I'm not sure about using it as a top dressing, due to the weed seed!
Nancy


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Horse or Rabbit?

Rabbit wins in the majority of consideraations except your back and that could be questionable. Who will unload the HM? Who will manage compost ect? Since it's in your neighborhood,hire a kid or offer a neighbor some bed and pot material in exchange for thier help moving rabbit poop. Horses get more kinds of serums and wormers that pass in thier waste.


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RE: Horse or Rabbit?

Thanks! I agree! I can probably just get a couple of buckets at a time and save my back. Nancy


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RE: Horse or Rabbit?

  • Posted by pt03 2b Southern Manitob (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 7, 13 at 16:19

"Horse or Rabbit?"

Either is fine with a good gravy.

;-)

Lloyd


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RE: Horse or Rabbit?

MMmmmmmm! LOLO Nancy


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RE: Horse or Rabbit?

Go Bunny, More good elements, and , YES, Less weed seeds.


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RE: Horse or Rabbit?

  • Posted by corrine1 7b Pacific Northwest (My Page) on
    Thu, Sep 12, 13 at 23:25

My experience with cleaning out from under our rabbit hutches is easy scooping rather than much digging especially this time of year it's dry and quite loose. I just cleaned out the area built up since mid-June. I used some feed bags laid on the ground & scooped it inside. After a bag was 1/2 full from the 1st scoop used the shovel and my gloved hands to finish. Not messy at all. The hay absorbs the urine. If your neighbor doesn't feed hay you might have wetter droppings to scoop.

Depending on how many rabbits kept the volume might be a 5 gallon bucket a month or less.

When I've scooped an area at another farm with large rabbits that had accumulated over winter it was wet, slippery, & strong smelling. Not at all what I imagined as compared to our home rabbits. The buckets became heavy quickly.

Another time I collected already bagged rabbit manure that had accumulated over winter in a barn. Those bags were unmovable by me, but fortunately the rabbit keeper loaded. Partially aged inside the bags and quite strong when I opened them at home they were a great green to go with mostly bedding of another barnyard manure source for a new garden.

Since spring we have another hutch that has a lower shelf under the wire. I put our worm bin there to catch the droppings & urine. No scooping involved yet. Perhaps, your neighbor wants a similar set up. It will be heavy it you let it gather a long time.

We're currently keeping 4 small (4-6#) rabbits & it's not too much manure for us to use in our gardens.

I still get outside sources of manure, but have family members to help me haul it. Keep looking around for a good source of horse manure if the rabbit isn't enough. I have a good source now that keeps it covered year round away from other weeds. She also feeds alfalfa, beet pulp, & oats. The occasional oat that sprouts isn't a problem at all!

Corrine


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RE: Horse or Rabbit?

An analysis of manures says horse is about 0.7-0.3-0.6 while rabbit manure is 2.4-1.4-0.6. The Nitrogen in horse manure is supposed to be more readily available than the N on the rabbit manure and can cause "burning" of plants if too much is applied to the soil. Any manure is best composted, 1 part manure to 3 parts vegetative waste. before being used in the garden.
Which is better depends on what the soil needs and your ability to handle it.


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RE: Horse or Rabbit?

I hope you dont find rabbit bones in it.
I have seen a lot of chicken bones in chicken manure. That is why I stay away from that stuff. I like horse and cow manures best.

I get these steer manure compost (not manure), for $1.36 per i cu.ft bag. It is ideal for amendment during planting time. It is cheaper than topsoil.


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RE: Horse or Rabbit?

The only possible way bones could ever end up in manure is if someone were to add them, for some unknown reason. Some do compost some meat bones, many crushing them first or they may stay around for a very long time, but there should not be bones in a manure pile.


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RE: Horse or Rabbit?

I'm asking about horse VS rabbit cause both are free!
Now is the time I concentrate on my compost, cause the leaves are falling and we have fairly mild winters.
What I will do the next couple of weeks is to spread what compost is ready on the beds I'm not using during the winter + the asparagus bed and cover with cardboard for the winter to keep the weeds out (I'm in a very windy area with horse fields right next to my garden!) I poke many holes in the cardboard so that the rain can seep in.
I have a leaf grinder that a wonderful woman GAVE me at a yard sale, and I go suck up all of my neighbors' leaves. Not many grass clippings available, cause we all have horse field type yards, and the only one who has a real lawn composts himself! The others I don't know what the previous people used on the lawn, so I'm not confident using those clippings (there's another post about that!)
SO it's ground up leaves, kitchen scraps and one or the other manure and garden leavings (I still have stuff growing, probably for another month or 2)
That's my story and I'm sticking to it! Nancy


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RE: Horse or Rabbit?

  • Posted by TXEB 9a (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 14, 13 at 20:37

nj - sounds like you have a variation of Interbay mulching going on. Very cool.

Here is a link that might be useful: Interbay Mulch


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RE: Horse or Rabbit?

Keep in mind that it can take several years of properly amending that soil to see real benefit. Many people think that by adding a bit of compost once will correct many years of abuse.
The University of California Cooperative Extension Service does not do soil testing but they will recommend labs that do and you want to have your soil tested for pH and major nutrients, periodically, so you can be sure you are creating balance and not more problems. You might also want to use these simple soil tests,
1) Soil test for organic matter. From that soil sample put enough of the rest to make a 4 inch level in a clear 1 quart jar, with a tight fitting lid. Fill that jar with water and replace the lid, tightly. Shake the jar vigorously and then let it stand for 24 hours. Your soil will settle out according to soil particle size and weight. For example, a good loam will have about 1-3/4 inch (about 45%) of sand on the bottom. about 1 inch (about 25%) of silt next, about 1 inch (25%) of clay above that, and about 1/4 inch (about 5%) of organic matter on the top.

2) Drainage. Dig a hole 1 foot square and 1 foot deep and fill that with water. After that water drains away refill the hole with more water and time how long it takes that to drain away. Anything less than 2 hours and your soil drains’ too quickly and needs more organic matter to slow that drainage down. Anything over 6 hours and the soil drains too slowly and needs lots of organic matter to speed it up.

3) Tilth. Take a handful of your slightly damp soil and squeeze it tightly. When the pressure is released the soil should hold together in that clump, but when poked with a finger that clump should fall apart.

4) Smell. What does your soil smell like? A pleasant, rich earthy odor? Putrid, offensive, repugnant odor? The more organic matter in your soil the more active the soil bacteria will be and the nicer your soil will smell.

5) Life. How many earthworms per shovel full were there? 5 or more indicates a pretty healthy soil. Fewer than 5, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service, indicates a soil that is not healthy.

for further guidance.


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RE: Horse or Rabbit?

I usually add compost spring and fall. TXEB I'm not layering it on the bed, but emptying the compost that's finished onto the beds and starting fresh in my bins. Nancy


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RE: Horse or Rabbit?

  • Posted by TXEB 9a (My Page) on
    Sun, Sep 15, 13 at 21:29

nj - the essence of Interbay mulch is piling up the OM then covering it to keep it moist. It can be layers (a la lasagna beds) or just a single material such as leaves or wood chips. The principle is to encourage the decomposing organisms, both microbes and invertebrates to come up higher near the surface to do their beneficial work rather than hide in the soil beneath a mulch layer. I doesn't matter if the cover is burlap or cardboard - it's that the mulch layer over the soil has a cover (kind of like mulching over mulch). It's the fact that the underlying material is covered to maintain an environment conducive for biodegradation (composting) near the surface of the "humps" or sheet, whether layered or not, that makes the difference. Is that not what you're doing?


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RE: Horse or Rabbit?

TXEB yeah, that's pretty much what I'm doing.
Compost or semi-finished compost on the non- winter beds, covered with cardboard with many holes for moisture. I'm thinking rabbit poop this year to add to the mix! Nancy


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RE: Horse or Rabbit?

i have access to both manures as well..ive hauled in
many truck loads of horse manure over the yrs
now i use just rabbit manure..
for me..reason 1 is..no weed seeds in rabbit manure..and
horse manure does..so..adds to my weed pulling
composting doesnt kill off all the weed seeds.
good luck to you...


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RE: Horse or Rabbit?

Thanks all, for all of the info!
I think I'll stick to my old ways of, when starting a new bed, digging as deep as possible, break up a bit further, add HM and get it mixed in as much as I can with the clay clumps, add more of the clay soil along with organic "vege mix" from the dump (yes, ours is certified "organic!") to build a raised bed lined with gopher wire, then add the home made compost spring and fall. I've decided to stick with the rabbit for adding to the compost to top everything, cause I have enough problems with "horsefield" weeds blowing in to start with! I don't need to bring in more! LOL
Looking forward to a great winter garden and a great one come spring! Nancy


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RE: Horse or Rabbit?

Are there parasites in rabbit poo like in there can be in dog poo?
I want to know whether I can add rabbit manure to veggie beds.


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RE: Horse or Rabbit?

Posted by kimmsr 4a/5b-MI (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 14, 13 at 6:13

The only possible way bones could ever end up in manure is if someone were to add them, for some unknown reason.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
I was talking about bagged chicken manure sold in big box stores. It was not just one incident. It happens all the time. I find it disgusting. That is why I prefer steer manure. They just bury dead/sick chicken in the compost.


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RE: Horse or Rabbit?

Seysonn

That is gross, if it's indicative of bad fowl management like neglect or carelessness. Otherwise, if they have a hot active compost pile it is not unusual to successfully compost a carcass.

Still, I'd avoid them because it's probably a bad sign. I don't have rabbit bones in my rabbit manure!


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RE: Horse or Rabbit?

I think that only meat eaters poo, like dogs, cats, even some pigs and I have heard that some cows had feed with meat in it which is how the mad cow disease got spread if I heard right. Bunnies eat only plants, so unless something new has come about, it is safe. I buy boxes on the internet of bunny poo. The owners of some use special breeds of bunnies to make clothes from THEIR FUR. The bunnies aren't killed, they collect the shed fur and make yarn to knit sweaters etc. Some other sources are breeders, I don't know if any are eaten, I never even thought about that. I would think that after the mad cow disease or if I am wrong and it was another condition that arose and exposed the cow feed with meat protein being used, by now it (you would think) is illegal.


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RE: Horse or Rabbit?

I've actually heard somewhere that rabbits have to eat their poop for it to be double digested for the best garden stuff! (don't know where I read that! I'll have to ask the rabbit lady!)
I'm going to go meet the rabbit lady this week and will find out a LOT of stuff (I hope!) Nancy


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