Soil and Compost forum: Rabbit droppings and pine shavings etc., compost???

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Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
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ShadyGreenThumb
Nov 11, 2013 2:08 PM CST
This might sound funny but I am serious. The Manure thread made me think of this question. Can I safely compost my pet rabbit's potty box? She is supplied with pine pellets and uses the potty pretty much exclusively. Can I compost something that includes her urine? How about the pine shavings below. Often there are rabbit droppings there, but also alfalfa pellets, and other rabbit food delights. Could I be possibly tossing out valuable yard material in our trash each week??
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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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dave
Nov 11, 2013 2:18 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Lots of people treasure rabbit manure as among the most highly prizes of manures for the garden. Yes, definitely use that stuff!! @Trish wants rabbits and I'm keen to get them solely for the manure they'll produce.
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Nov 11, 2013 2:20 PM CST
Yay for rabbit poop! And so the potty with the pine and urine mixed in is OK? I will feed my bunny more food. Thumbs up She eats better than most of us.
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Ginger
Fountain, Florida (Zone 8b)
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gingin
Nov 11, 2013 2:22 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing
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Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Nov 11, 2013 2:33 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

The potty will be high nitrogen. This is urea and plenty of gardeners use it as a nitrogen source. Pine needles are used in many gardens and although some suggest that they will acidify your soil, I think the effect is no greater than using oak leaves. We use pine needles as much as possible.
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Nov 11, 2013 2:43 PM CST
Awesome news! Thanks Dave! I will look at this pet chore in a whole new light! We have a lot of pine trees and use the needles. And when the Oaks drop, I will be mulching them up and used as leaf mulch as much as I can.
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
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Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Nov 11, 2013 6:58 PM CST
@Dave and @Trish, if you are considering raising rabbits for food, I'd do it now while your kids are young. The fun part is you always have baby bunnies to play with (the turn around time is pretty short as I recall). You will also enjoy a lot of beautiful rabbit pelts to mess with. I used to make little hand muffs out of them.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
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Trish
Nov 11, 2013 7:28 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Rabbits are currently #3 on the TODO list Green Grin!

#1 and #2 (the chicken palace and the greehouse) should be completed this fall/winter.
It does look like we will be having a very very busy spring, so we'll see when the rabbits actually get done. It will happen sometime soon, though!
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Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Nov 11, 2013 7:38 PM CST
Back in Connecticut we raised (way too many) rabbits (with stealth, cunning and superior fly control in a suburban back yard) and added all the manure, urine and bedding to our compost bins and from there to the gardens. Our rabbit cages were not on legs, we had them all hanging to make it easier to clean underneath.

We had the biggest, baddest veggies in the neighborhood.

We did have one little guy that was our house bunny; his name was Fred.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
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Trish
Nov 11, 2013 7:40 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Very Cool! Thumbs up
NGA COO, Wife, Mom, and caretaker of 90 acres and all that dwell there.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Nov 11, 2013 7:47 PM CST
@Bonehead
It's time for me to make one of my dyslexia reports:
When I read what I thought were your words:"You will also enjoy a lot of beautiful rabbit pellets to mess with. I used to make little hand muffs out of them."

See, I thought you were making the hand muffs of the little bunny droppings - 'pellets' not pelts - nice, warm hand muffs, but messy.
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
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Leftwood
Nov 11, 2013 10:01 PM CST
There is a Yahoo group dedicated to bringing bunny poop producers and bunny poop users (gardeners) together:

http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/Bunnypowerforgardens/info
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Nov 11, 2013 10:40 PM CST
Dave and Trish, when you do get the rabbits we defiantly want to hear about your adventures in rabbit keeping. Thumbs up
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
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RoseBlush1
Nov 12, 2013 1:31 AM CST
I have a friend who has willingly taken on the task of cleaning her neighbor's rabbit hutches. She brings home trailer fulls of rabbit poo for her garden. Although she generally does not share as she has four acres of gardens, she gave me a couple of bags to experiment with this year, with the warning that I have to find my own source next year. Smiling

She generally lays down a fairly heavy layer of poo at this time of year in her vegetable garden and then covers it with her mulching materials. Her vegetable garden is the most productive garden in the area. Her results have made me a believer.

I won't see the results in my garden until next spring, but I have no doubt that the rabbit poo will enrich the soil.

Smiles,
Lyn
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Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
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gardengus
Nov 12, 2013 7:46 AM CST
Growing up we raised rabbits (300-1,000) , mostly for food and some show. Great compost for the garden. We had a very large garden and used every bit .also grew the largest rhubarb just behind the rabbit lot .
If killing and eating rabbits isn't appealing to the kids, consider angora rabbits They take more work but reward you with ''wool'' fiber that has a lot of uses for the homecrafter.

edited for spelling
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all else is just existing.
[Last edited by gardengus - Nov 12, 2013 9:17 PM (+)]
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Name: Jan Matherly
Brooksville, FL (Zone 9a)
Region: Florida Container Gardener Dog Lover
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meadowyck
Nov 12, 2013 4:09 PM CST
another vote for rabbit manure. They are so much like goats and very easy (well easier than horse manure which I love) to deal with. yes by all means recycle that wonderful gold, and your flower/veggie garden will be to die for by your neighbors....

Had a friend that use to raise meat rabbits for those of us who fed raw diet to our dogs. I love it, would pick up once a week, and she didn't use anything that I didn't want in my dogs... very safe and the dogs (and DH loves rabbit) were crazy about them.

Looking forward to hearing about your adventures next year with the rabbits.

My aunt and uncle tried to raise them to sell to a local butcher but when it came time to do you know what it made my uncle so sick he couldn't so they only lasted a year in the rabbit business.

Blessings to you,
Jan
Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
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Horseshoe
Nov 13, 2013 10:26 AM CST
Rabbit raiser here! And ditto what everyone else said, use the poop!

I spent years raising meat rabbits (I recommend New Zealand Whites for good meat production, Dave/Trish) and they provided meat, fur, and manure. I never made any mittens or muffs like you did, bonehead, but just salt-cured the pelts and used them as "doilies" (anyone else remember what those are?) or would give/sell them to friends to do with as they wished. Now I have some cross New Zealand/San Juan rabbits I'm working with.

All in all, shadygreenthumb, jump on that excrement (well, not literally)! It's great to have a pet that pays its rent in some form or fashion, eh?

Shoe
Thumb of 2013-11-13/Horseshoe/03e046

Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Nov 13, 2013 5:06 PM CST
Thanks for all the hints from rabbit lovers! Mine is a pet and definitely off limits for eating! nodding I am going to empty Pepper's potty into the garden, then turn it over along with the new leaf mulch that will go down starting this month. One question, there is no odor, right? I would hate to disappoint my neighbors. They are already so patient with all our critters.
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Nov 13, 2013 5:11 PM CST
Well it IS poo. That said, if you don't let it build up too thickly before spreading it, I think you won't be overwhelmed by it. If you only have one rabbit, that should be very manageable.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Nov 13, 2013 5:22 PM CST
I am going to safely assume since the pine pellets absorb the odor while in the house, it will help with odor in the flower beds, too. :thumbsup:
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.

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