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Soil and Composting: Rabbit Droppings

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Forum: Soil and CompostingReplies: 12, Views: 131
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shuggins
Houston, TX
(Zone 9b)

March 21, 2009
12:55 AM

Post #6297105

I am really excited because I found an on-going source for fresh rabbit droppings and they are FREE! I plan to add some to my composter. In the composter, these are a green, right?

I think I can add them directly to my garden, but just want to be sure. Can you have too much of a good thing? I am not talking about having it stacked inches thick, but when I add it to my established beds, how often can/should I add it? I do not use any other fertilizer at this time. I have just started the composter, but it will be awhile before I actually have compost to add. Also, can I just put them under my mulch and they will decompose or do I actually need to dig them into the dirt?

I grow roses, daylilies, mum, some misc shrubs, some ferns, Encore Azaleas and a few bulbs if that makes a difference. Also, can they be added directly to a veggie bed?

TIA
nixa31
Nixa, MO
(Zone 6a)

March 21, 2009
5:20 PM

Post #6299778

My children were in 4H during their 8 to 14 years and amongh the diffrent projects they worked on was their rabbit project. They had around 8 does and a couple of bucks through the years. the manure was always added into the gaden or placed around the shrubs. Rabbit manure is one of the very best that is available. Unlike horse manure there is no weeds or cattle manure that is hard to handle rabbit manure is proccesed by the rabbit into small easly handled pellets. Just shovel them up and put them were you want. I never had to wait any lenght of time befor I could use the rabbit droppings like you must do with chicken manure.. You are a lucky person to get free rabbit manure

Joe

Grow A Row For Those In Need


shuggins
Houston, TX
(Zone 9b)

March 21, 2009
9:03 PM

Post #6300446

I haven't put any in my beds yet, but did put them in the composter today. I covered them with some old mulch to keep the flies and smell down. I have the rest in a container with a lid.

I think I will put them in the beds as I mulch, so that they can be covered up. I have dogs and exposed, they may be a temptation.

Thanks for the info. I am really excited. I have a couple of other friends that I am going to share with as I have surplus.

Sheila

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

March 24, 2009
4:56 PM

Post #6313208

I had rabbits when I lived in Florida. Their droppings were added to the garden immediately - no fear of burning the plants. I would have rabbits here in NC, but the winters are so darn cold, I'm afraid the bunnies would freeze to death!
shuggins
Houston, TX
(Zone 9b)

March 24, 2009
6:37 PM

Post #6313602

Did you ever compost any of the droppings? If so, did you ever find maggots in the compost? I found them yesterday. Seems like that from my reading that it means that it is too moist and not hot, so I added some browns to try to take up some of the moisture. Hopefully that will help. I have some dried molasses and I think I may add that to see if I can help it heat up. It appears that if I can get it hot, then I can get rid of the maggots.
skaz421
Wesley Chapel, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 24, 2009
11:32 PM

Post #6314771

Rabbit manure doesn't need to be composted - it can be used directly on plants, mixed in with soil, straight from the bunny, and it won't burn anything.

nixa31 is right - it's about the best animal fertilizer that can be found, next to bat guano. And where are you going to find bat guano?

shuggins
Houston, TX
(Zone 9b)

March 24, 2009
11:57 PM

Post #6314869

Honey...Somehow I doubt it will be on freecycle where I found the rabbit droppings. You would just have to bring those bunnies in the house for the winter! LOL!

Last weekend I was moving stuff around and threw some in the holes before I put the established bushes in. I am re-doing my front beds this year and plan to order dirt from a dirt yard. I am going to have a decent quantity on hand when it is delivered and mix a healthy amount into the dirt as we go. I figure that way it will have fertilizer already in the dirt and should help jump start the plants I would think. Besides it should help get the microbes working in the soil also. I have compost working now and would love to be able to mix that in, but I doubt it will be ready in time. Oh well, I can always top dress with the compost later.

skaz421
Wesley Chapel, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 25, 2009
12:04 AM

Post #6314901

I put an ad up on freecycle for rabbit manure, and got a response from a woman who owned a goat farm. She had a stall in her barn that she wanted to clean out. It had about a 6" layer of old, hard goat manure.

I did some research on it, turns out it isn't very far behind rabbit droppings. It's N-P-K values are way more than horse or cow manure.

I cleaned out her stall, and took home 13 large grain bags of the stuff, for free. She invited me to take more any time I wanted.

I also bought bags of worm castings, and I'm mixing both into the soil when I plant, along with perlite, for drainage.
shuggins
Houston, TX
(Zone 9b)

March 25, 2009
12:28 AM

Post #6315002

I haven't bought worm castings. I hope that the compost will provide some of that at some point (also hoping that it isn't going to take forever for the compost to finish). Maybe for this first project, I will just have to buy some. May take some doing to find them in a decent sized bag. Where did you find yours?

I am really lucky because I drop off the containers and they empty into them and all I have to do is go pick them up.

I will have to investigate the bat guano. People are not friendly to bats around here these days. A couple of years ago, a teenager died of rabies after a bat flew into his room and bit him. I felt bad for the family, but it really was a pretty freak accident. Then there have been a couple of bats found on school premises that have turned out to have rabies. It is scary to think of a child finding it, but I think for the most part, bats are not a threat to people and do a lot of good, especially when you consider our healthy mosquito population and West Nile virus (which hurts a lot more people around here than bats).
skaz421
Wesley Chapel, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 25, 2009
12:42 AM

Post #6315080

I Googled 'worm farm florida' and basically got a list of worm farms. Some of them had web sites, and, looking at them, I found a worm farm about 30 minutes from me that sold castings.

I pay $5.95 for a 40 lb. bag.
PuddlePirate
North Ridgeville, OH
(Zone 5b)

March 27, 2009
4:36 PM

Post #6327442

shuggins, I've tossed unfinished compost into planting holes before. Never had a problem. It rotted underground just fine, and the formerly sticky clay soil is now much improved.
shuggins
Houston, TX
(Zone 9b)

March 27, 2009
6:00 PM

Post #6327834

Well, I definitely have the formerly sticky clay. Actually, it goes from sticky to hard as a rock. I may end up putting it in early when I put all that dirt in. I would be kind of a Compost/Lasagna Bed thing. I moved my composter and started over due to ants and now in a place that I have never had ants before, I again have ants in the composter. I think it is starting to heat up. Yesterday, there was a little steam again, so hopefully that will convince them to move out. I think the Green Light Ant Killer helped before (I hate to kill enough of them to be able to empty the composter without getting attacked), so if they don't move on their own, then I will likely use that again. If it comes down to it, I will only use the compost on my ornamental beds. The Green Light is packaged for use in gardens, so it should be okay, but I will make that decision as I go. I did add dried molasses to help things move along. We have had quite a bit of rain the last couple of days, so I have some more shredded paper that I am probably going to add to help control the moisture level a little. Tomorrow, I will be picking up the next batch of rabbit pellets.
graceful_garden
Hahira, GA
(Zone 8b)

March 27, 2009
8:38 PM

Post #6328397

skaz - that is an amazing price - the worm farm closest to us in South Ga. charges about $25.00 for a 20 or 25 lb bag (I can't remember which) - highway robbery! Samantha

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