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Rabbit manure - how much is too much?

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Topic by Cindy posted 1145 days ago 2351 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Cindy

346 posts in 1283 days
hardiness zone 6

1145 days ago

Have a question for all of you…I have a source of free rabbit manure mixed with hay. I may go out tomorrow morning to get my first batch. Found a local lady on Craig’slist, and she says she’s running over with it – I can have all I want for free, perpetually! lol I was thinking about getting quite a lot (I’m putting it in batches of compost). I can store quite a bit here to use all year long in compost batches. How much would you stock up on?

-- ~ Cindy, Virginia Appalachians, UDSA Hardiness Zone 6 ~



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jroot

5047 posts in 2202 days
hardiness zone 5a

1145 days ago

.... ”mixed with hay ”... You can expect weeds as a result. If it was straw, that would be another story. Personally, I wouldn’t stock up on any.

Pure rabbit dung is good, however.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

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NavyCop68

262 posts in 1863 days
hardiness zone 8

1144 days ago

Interesting you should say that jroot. My dad raised rabbits for years (20+) and we scraped all of the rabbit trays, which included generous amounts of wood shavings, some hay as well as grass clippings into his compost and that is what he put in the garden in the spring. Of course, I was not as interested as I am now so didn’t really notice the weeds or lack thereof. I do know the garden was extremely fertile.

-- Steve, Vancouver, WA

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jroot

5047 posts in 2202 days
hardiness zone 5a

1144 days ago

Into the compost would be okay, I think, as it would have time to cook out the weed seeds. I was not sure if it was going to be composted, and more importantly, for how long, based on the message above.

-- jroot ....... Southern Ontario .......... grow zone 5A ...................."Gardening is an exercise in optimism." ....... . . Author Unknown

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Cindy

346 posts in 1283 days
hardiness zone 6

1144 days ago

Well, I went out & got as much as I could handle digging out, considering the heat wave. Turns out this lady has 84 rabbits – I think she called them Flemish? She raises them to sell. Meat, show, and pets. The pile of doo-doo was about 6 feet tall, 4 feet wide, and 9 feet deep. She brought me a bunch of big feed bags & left me to dig. I scraped off the top 14” or so, and beneath that the hay was undiscernable from the poo to my eye. It was all medium/dark “mud”. Kinda reminded me in texture of clay, but crumbly. Very, very faint odor, but not much at all. My composter is the tumbler type, and I’ll add some to the compost I’m making there – but I’ve decided to make a regular compost bin just to break down the rabbit droppings and the huge piles of oak leaves I get from a friend along with the shed white pine needles from my own yard. Plus veggie scraps of course. I eat very little meat these days, but I do love those root veggies! I will top dress with this compost next spring. Wish me luck! Any tips are very welome – lol I came away with 6, 1/2 full feed bags (they are 50lb bags) and she said “is that all you’re taking?” lol I told her it was too hot (98+ degrees) but I would be back. Yeah, the rabbit doo was in full sun…

PS – If I heard her correctly (I was having heat stroke!) she said she goes through 500 lbs of feed a month! For bunnies!

-- ~ Cindy, Virginia Appalachians, UDSA Hardiness Zone 6 ~

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NavyCop68

262 posts in 1863 days
hardiness zone 8

1144 days ago

My dad raised New Zealand Whites, which are pretty large rabbits but not the biggest! He had 25 at the most and raised them for breeding, selling the babies to other breeders… Was also a hobby from his teens. If you complete the compost cycle with that stuff, you will have some very good material to till into your soil, that is for sure!

Jroot – I think I didn’t notice the hay and such because whenever dad went temporary duty out of the area (Air Force) I had to scrape the pans and I ended up with hay fever so bad I really couldn’t see anything!!

-- Steve, Vancouver, WA

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Cindy

346 posts in 1283 days
hardiness zone 6

1144 days ago

When I was a kid, my Dad would bring home God-knows-what. He spread the illness of wanting a hobby farm to me ; ) I don’t have a strong enough work ethic to be part of a REAL farm! lol One of the many critters he brought home were albino rabbits. Then one day in the summer, a huge (and I mean HUGE) rabbit wandered into our yard. It was a doe, and she obviously was lost & wanted to be with our other rabbits. She was twice their size. She had the most magnificent silky silver/pewter fur, and was ultra tame. It was like having a little silver dog, lol. We had her for a whole year, then when summer rolled around again an older teenage girl (I was only 9 or so, so all teenagers seemed old to me) was walking down our dead-end road, saw me & my parents with the rabbit in the front yard, and ran off shrieking. She came running back with her parents. It turns out the rabbit was hers and she lost it the previous summer. I should mention I grew up in a coastal area, and the peninsula community I lived in had 600 homes, but only 15 of us had wells and lived there year-round. It turns out the rabbit was called a Chinchilla, and the girl had been totally heartbroken when she lost it. It was raised to live indoors with them – but we had kept it outside in a 10×25 run with the others. You could tell they were shocked that it had to live ouside for a year! lol My parents gently explained why we had to give it back, using my love for our dog as an example. They thought I handled it so very well, that they treated me to some kind of toy – in reality I never bonded with the rabbits and only was sad to see her go because she was so beautiful. LOL I think that’s the day I learned I could con my parents…

Now it seems Chinchillas are critically endangered – such a pity, because that was a most beautiful, docile, and people-bonded rabbit. (no doubt from being raised indoors) I think it thought it was one of us, and followed us everywhere in the yard when we let it out of the pen. I would love to go to a rabbit show and see many types of rabbits, but there has never been one around here. The lady I got the manure from said she’s going to a show next month in N.Carolina, and I think I’ll ask her how to find out where the shows are.

btw, that family, and especially that girl, were the happiest people I think I’ve ever seen. She scooped that huge bunny up & was hugging it close until we lost sight of them. They lavished us with endless thanks. It made us all feel good. (Thank God we never ate our rabbits) ; )

I visited the ARBA site (American Rabbit Breeders Association) and I believe what we “fostered” was a Giant Chinchilla. I clearly remember my father weighing the rabbit because she was so much bigger than our albinos, and she was 14 lbs. I also remember waiting every year for the albinos to “grow up” & get that size too. lol

-- ~ Cindy, Virginia Appalachians, UDSA Hardiness Zone 6 ~

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NavyCop68

262 posts in 1863 days
hardiness zone 8

1144 days ago

Nice story! Chinchillas are definitely an extraordinary little beastie!

-- Steve, Vancouver, WA

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Cindy

346 posts in 1283 days
hardiness zone 6

1144 days ago

So Steve, do you think you’ll ever get any rabbits? Since your Dad raised them, I imagine it would be a breeze for you to have a few. The older I get, the more interesting I find my parent’s hobbies to be. It’s hard for me to not build a small 2 or 3 chicken coop, or get a rabbit or two. Forget the geese, though. I’m still scared of those things! lol

-- ~ Cindy, Virginia Appalachians, UDSA Hardiness Zone 6 ~

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nate22

87 posts in 1159 days

1144 days ago

I agree with Jroot. If hay is mixed in it you will get weeds growing in with it. But if it was straw then weeds don’t grow. It’s the same way with strawberries if you plant them you want to cover them with straw not hay because if you cover them with hay you will have weeds amongst you strawberry plants the next year. Where straw doesn’t do that. And for how much I don’t think that matters. I put cow manure on my garden every year and my plants grow like crazy. So the amount is up to you.

-- Nathan, Middlebury, In. www.knfurniture.blogspot.com

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NavyCop68

262 posts in 1863 days
hardiness zone 8

1144 days ago

Nate, jroot – Maybe it was straw? I know dad got bales from a local ranch and we would load them into the hayloft of the barn we had… Am I obsessing on this too much?

Cindy – Yeah, not happening! I am a city/techno nerd type and like cats because they are almost self sufficient! I would say hanging with dads rabbits is a lot like being with other peoples kids: they are fun for a while but always nice to be able to give back!!

(Just don’t let my wife see if this post!)

-- Steve, Vancouver, WA

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MsDebbieP

14672 posts in 2572 days
hardiness zone 5b

1143 days ago

what a wonderful story re: Chinchilla

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Bon's profile

Bon

7374 posts in 2352 days
hardiness zone 5a

1141 days ago

Good luck with your rabbit manure Cindy.If you do find hay growing up in it just put it into heavy black garbage bags and leave it in the sun to kill off the seeds.

-- Bon,Hastings,Ont.....zone 5a....Always room for one more

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