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Use of rat droppings

 
Kim Sleuwaegen
Posts: 7
Location: Belgium
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Hi all
I would like to ask a question about the usage of rat droppings.
We have several birds of prey and their main food source currently is frozen chicks, these come from big breeding facilities where the males are plucked out and blast frozen.
I want to switch our birds over to a more sustainable foodsource, so I started breeding rats.
The rats are basically getting the same food as rabbits, so my question is could I use their droppings in the same way as those from rabbits, or should I use them differently (vermicompost them?)
Will this change if I start feeding them animal proteins (mealworms).
 
mongo silverwolf
Posts: 13
Location: Oklahoma usa
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WOW there is an idea!i know rabbit droppengs are usefull right away because the way they digest foods they dont have the acids to ''gas''there foods with nitros and although it stands to reason all wastes will compost and make teas once you start adding meat proteins it will change the rate at which it ''cools down''or gases off.you could use it in time,but not sure how long.i know the falconers here breed rabbits for this reason,if you look into starting your own fodder systems the rabbits are pretty cheap,and your birds will have less pest to deal with,and the poop pellets would be ready to go
 
Kim Sleuwaegen
Posts: 7
Location: Belgium
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Thanks, i did consider rabbits  but  rats are more bitesize for the birds. They are a natural prey for them and bred healthy too, so I don't really have any worries about  diseases there.
A lot of people who breed rats use dog food, I did some research and am feeding them rabbit food.
Since rabbit  droppings are nearly gold around the yard and dog''s seem to ben one of the worst things around, I wonder where on the scale my rat''s are?

 
William Bronson
Posts: 1128
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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Dog and cat poo is bad due to diseases that can affect humans.
On that basis, rat poop probably should be treated similarly,but your rats are in fact probably cleaner and more parasite free than most dogs or cats.
 
Liz Hoxie
Posts: 50
Location: Ellisforde, WA
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I'd try an experiment. Plant an annual in fresh droppings, another in droppings aged a month, 2 months, etc... that should tell you. Try using cheap flower seeds and plant the survivors.
 
C. Hunter
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I'd be concerned about nutritional deficiencies in your rats, honestly- depending on the age you feed them, that may or mya not matter, but biomagnification and all, I'd be somewhat concerned. If you're just feeling pelleted alfafa, yes, you can probably use it similarly but still...


Rats' digestive systems aren't nearly as long as rabbits, so they're not as able to digest grasses. Seeds, nuts, fruits, and insects are more their wild diet. That would be my concern. (I'd also suspect you are seeing losses from them eating weaker babies to supplement their own protein needs, which is something that shows up early on with rats who have deficiencies. Discovered this the hard way myself using a home-blended pet rat diet that is no longer recommended.)
 
Dan Boone
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I don't have an opinion about the possible concerns raised in this thread but I do have a suggestion about using the rat droppings if you do decide you're not just going to top-dress them onto your vegetables as many people do with rabbit pellets. 

I flipped a stack of some old tin a year or two ago and found an unbelievable wild rat habitat, with many many gallons of pellets and bedding material and soft worked soil.  I was building a raised bed at the time, so I just buried all that litter deep in the bed.  My thinking was that the roots of my plants would *eventually* find that organic material but any pathogens would have passed their sell-by date or would not be transported by the plant into my groceries.  I can't prove it worked but my tomatoes were very happy in the bed and I suffered no ill effects.

I was rather careful with the digging and transport, since we are theoretically in a low-incidence Hanta-virus state.
 
Kim Sleuwaegen
Posts: 7
Location: Belgium
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Thank you all for the advice,
Mr. Bronson
Actually disease and parasites are my main concern, my rats seem healthy and are well fed but theyre in a barn and might come in contact with wild ones.
Miss Hoxie
I will try with some annual flowers next spring to see the benefits, up until now I have mainly been using it for a mulch underneath fruit trees and bushes (seemed pretty safe for that)
Mr Hunter
Nutritional deficiencies really had not crossed my mind, up until now..., the food I have been giving them is (according to my research) nearly perfect in nurition and I quite often supplement with things like nuts, fruit, pumpkin from around the yard, I also havent seen any signs of deficiencies in the rats, can I assume I'll see it in the rats long before I see it in the soil or plants?
Mr Boone
To hear it did not have any negative effects even from a wild nest sooths some of my concerns. Any idea how much time between the burying end the planting into it?

 
Ronnie Ugulano
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We used to keep pet rats, and we vermicomposted all of their rat litter which contained both urine and poop. Very easy.
 
Dan Boone
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Kim Sleuwaegen wrote:
To hear it did not have any negative effects even from a wild nest sooths some of my concerns. Any idea how much time between the burying end the planting into it?


A few months -- but it would have been a couple more before the tomato roots got down that deep, if indeed they ever did in that first season.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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