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Composting Rabbit Manure?

 
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Hello all!
I have a few rabbits, just a small warren of about 5, and they produce a TON of manure. It’s certainly very easy to dispose of, since their poo is  basically condensed hay pellets, but I was wondering if anyone had any tips about composting it. Are there any dangers associated with using rabbit poo in a human-food garden? What about a rabbit-food garden? How do I best compost it?
Thanks in advance for any help!
 
gardener
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Sounds like a really nice problem to have. Added this to a couple other forums for more specifics from the bunny poo experts. Hope you don't mind. Welcome to permies.
 
gardener
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I have no concerns using any plant eating animal manure,  directly in the garden or composted.
 
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One of the nice things about rabbits is they're very unlikely to carry zoonotic diseases (ones that can be transmitted to humans). You can put it in the regular compost with food scraps, yard waste, ets. or you can just add it directly to the soil. It also doesn't burn plants like uncomposted manure from some animals can.
 
pollinator
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from my experience I think you could use rabbit pellets as seed starting pellets. Just put it in your garden. I have also seen compost worms love it, so that is probably a good option. I'm sure it would be a wonderful compost pile addition.
 
pollinator
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Luca,

Thanks for bringing this topic up!  My daughter adopted a rabbit last summer.  He is quite the mischievous little trouble maker but we all love him.  And the moment I am trying to compost his litter in a pile on the garden, and I was hoping that I could simply add his pellets/litter straight to the garden.  Thanks for confirming that I can do just this.

Eric
 
pioneer
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Lucca Wade wrote:Are there any dangers associated with using rabbit poo in a human-food garden?


I put my rabbit manure straight onto the garden without worrying about composting.
 
pollinator
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Greg, I'm with you. I apply rabbit manure directly to the garden. No composting necessary. But of course, it could be used in compost too, if someone wanted to do that. I just prefer to keep it simple and dig it right into the soil.
 
gardener
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We half fill the litter pan with bagged topsoil,  the rabbits add poop,pee and wasted orchard grass hay.
I consider a premium amendment , the perfect thing to add to a hole or container,  even better for top dressing plants.
 
gardener
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Lucca Wade wrote:Hello all!
I have a few rabbits, just a small warren of about 5, and they produce a TON of manure. It’s certainly very easy to dispose of, since their poo is  basically condensed hay pellets, but I was wondering if anyone had any tips about composting it. Are there any dangers associated with using rabbit poo in a human-food garden? What about a rabbit-food garden? How do I best compost it?
Thanks in advance for any help!



As others here have mentioned, you do not need to compost rabbit manure prior to using it on your gardens or even your container grown plants.
Rabbit manure doesn't stay in the gut long enough to gather many bacteria and those it does gather as it goes through the digestion process are non harmful.

If you did want to use it as a portion of a compost heap, just lay it on as you build the heap.

Cow, Sheep, Horse, Donkey, Pig, chicken, duck and other "barnyard" animals manures do need to be hot composted to kill pathogenic bacteria and to even out the nitrogen into useable ammonia compounds.

Redhawk
 
Eric Hanson
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Thanks Redhawk,

I have a ton of rabbit litter and I want to put it to good use ASAP.  I may very well apply this to my mushroom compost to add nitrogen and other nutrients.

By the way, do you have an idea of the nutrient contents of freshly composted wine cap mushroom compost (made from autumn olive)?

Eric
 
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If you use woodchips for their bedding material, you can just clear out their used bedding and use it as a mulch directly.
 
Eric Hanson
pollinator
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Tommy,

Doubtless I will use the bedding as mulch.  In fact I have a good sized pile that has built up over winter.  I am curious though about what the initial nutrient levels of the mushroom compost is and what I have to add.  I am especially curious about the NPK levels.

Thanks for the input,

Eric
 
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Thea Olsen wrote:One of the nice things about rabbits is they're very unlikely to carry zoonotic diseases (ones that can be transmitted to humans). You can put it in the regular compost with food scraps, yard waste, ets. or you can just add it directly to the soil. It also doesn't burn plants like uncomposted manure from some animals can.



Thank you for this wisdom. Our lionhead is a manure factory. For years I have composted her litterbox. Time to nix the extra step. That black gold is going directly into the soil.
My first day on Permies, and already a game-changer. Cheers!
 
pollinator
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We have a Flemish Giant. You seriously don't know how much poop a rabbit can produce until you get something along those lines (my previous two bunnies were dwarfs, no comparison).

I was cautioned to not use woodchips as most were unsuitable for rabbits. We use a raw wadded paper bedding that, when spent, is really close to the ratio of shredded paper and organic material that is found, minus kitchen scraps, in a vermicomposter.

Over the winter, I just dumped kitchen scraps, which were mostly coffee grounds, on top of my raised bed, and dumped the full bunny box atop it. The only problem I had was the insulating effect, whereby any snow and ice under spent bunny bedding refused to melt.

I introduced red wigglers to my raised bed and composter last year. As soon as nighttime and soil temperatures are quite convenient to host worm life, I anticipate that their eggs will hatch and unleash hordes of worms on the candy that I have been storing for them. Should the numbers be too few, I know a local organisation that sells them and promotes vermiculture where I can grab a few dozen, or even a gross.

A gross of worms. Mmmmmmmm.

-CK
 
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I used to care for many rabbits at a sanctuary and we had a large garden that we used their poo on. We used to joke it would be easier if we could just take them out the garden, hold them under one arm backwards (rear end pointing forward) and just aim at the garden beds ha!
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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Eric Hanson wrote:Thanks Redhawk,

I have a ton of rabbit litter and I want to put it to good use ASAP.  I may very well apply this to my mushroom compost to add nitrogen and other nutrients.

By the way, do you have an idea of the nutrient contents of freshly composted wine cap mushroom compost (made from autumn olive)?

Eric



That would be a fairly long list Eric, most mushroom compost will have N, P, K, C, Ca, Zn, Cu, S, and other minerals.
If you made the compost then it won't be sterilized as laws require for bagged for sale mushroom composts so you will also get the benefits of a rounded microbiome as a bonus addition.

Redhawk
 
Bud Mino
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Chris Kott wrote:We have a Flemish Giant. You seriously don't know how much poop a rabbit can produce until you get something along those lines (my previous two bunnies were dwarfs, no comparison).



Holy wah. The first time I saw a Flemish Giant in person, I thought I was hallucinating. This 20 pound rabbit in a harness passed me on the sidewalk. Just out for a casual stroll with his human. It was surreal. Needless to say, you have hit the manure jackpot.
 
pollinator
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Bud Mino wrote:Our lionhead is a manure factory. For years I have composted her litterbox. Time to nix the extra step. That black gold is going directly into the soil.
My first day on Permies, and already a game-changer. Cheers!


Unless you're already a fertilizing ninja, you are going to be so pleasantly surprised by what this stuff can do. I've had rabbits now for almost a year and the results are visible and fabulous.
 
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