3 Ways To Use Rabbit Manure To Improve Your Garden!

3 Ways To Use Rabbit Manure To Improve Your Garden!

As you probably know, we raise rabbits on our homestead, which means we have a LOT of rabbit manure.

 

What you may not know is that rabbit manure is one of the easiest to use, yet super healthy, fertilizers for your garden. In this article, I’m going to show you how to use rabbit poop to improve your harvest.

 

Garden compost made from animal manure does two amazing things for your garden. First, it’s a free byproduct of your animals, so it’ll save money on topsoil and fertilizer. Second, it is a nutrient rich way to help your garden grow and thrive.

 

Why Rabbit Manure?

 

Great question! Unlike other manures which have to be well composted before you can even think of using it in your garden, rabbit poop can be immediately applied to your soil. It won’t burn crops, and can be used as a stand-alone planting medium or mixed with topsoil (although your best bet is to mix it with soil.)

 

As rabbit manure decomposes, it helps build up the structure of the soil, and injects valuable nutrients and organisms into your garden that will promote strong, speedy plant growth.

 

Rabbit manure, in particular, is rich in potassium, nitrogen, zinc, and calcium, and it’s one of the most nitrogen-rich manures out there – so you’ll get lush, green, well-fertilized growth. The potassium will also improve the quality of the fruit your vegetable plant sets.

 

Finally, unlike cow, horse, or pig poop, rabbit manure is odorless – so as you collect it and incorporate it into your garden, your nose (and your neighbors!) will thank you.


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How to Use Rabbit Manure In Your Garden

 

First decide on the source of your rabbit manure. If your kids have pet rabbits, have them collect the rabbit’s waste each day. If you already raise bunnies on your homestead, then what are you waiting for? Go start collecting rabbit manure for the garden!

 

Collecting it is relatively easy, and everyone has their own “system.” One of the simplest methods is to place plastic tubs under your rabbits’ cages and dump them out every day (don’t wait on this – flies WILL lay eggs which will hatch into maggots – GROSS.)

 

You can dump them into a compost pile, or directly into your garden. If you haven’t planted anything in your garden yet, then till the rabbit manure to a 2-inch depth.

 

If your garden is already established, then side dress your plants with the manure – it’s usually best to do this as your plants are flowering and setting fruit. They’ll need all the nutrients they can get during that time!

 

If you just got your rabbits, or don’t want to raise any but definitely want to use bunny poop in your garden, then you might also be able to find rabbit manure to buy. Check with neighbors or even Craigslist in your area.

 

How to Make Rabbit Manure Compost

Not everyone is enchanted with the idea of directly applying manure to their garden. That’s ok – you can compost the rabbit poop.

 

To make rabbit manure compost, mix the poop with other compost ingredients that will decompose, such as fruit peelings (like bananas), bits of leftover food, coffee grounds, and grass clippings, and leaves.

 

Add equal parts of wood shavings and straw, then blend all these things (and other kitchen waste) thoroughly, then add enough water to moisten. Be very careful not to completely saturate the compost pile.

 

Cover with a protective tarp and turn every two weeks. If you’re hot composting (which is unlikely with rabbit poop but, hey, stranger things have happened!), then water regularly to maintain heat and humidity levels. Keep adding to the pile and turning and blending it until it fully composts.

 

If you’re cold composting, then simply turn the pile until the manure and other ingredients have turned to sweet-smelling soil.

 

Making Rabbit Manure Tea for A Larger Garden Harvest

 

A third option, other than putting rabbit manure on your garden directly or composting it, is to make a tea fertilizer. Luckily, this is pretty simple.

 

In a 5 gallon bucket, place a burlap bag. Fill the bag about half way with rabbit manure (or however much manure you have on hand), and close it tight with string.

 

Add water to the bucket until the burlap bag is full submerged. Allow your tea to “brew” for 5-7 days, stirring daily. Once the allotted time has passed, simply remove the bag of manure from the bucket.

 

You can use the tea directly on your garden, and compost the rabbit manure, or use it on your garden as well.

 

I’d like to hear from you!

Do you use rabbit manure in your garden? Leave a comment below!

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Use Chicken Manure Tea In Your Garden Like Your Grandparents Did

Use Chicken Manure Tea In Your Garden Like Your Grandparents Did

Is chicken manure good fertilizer? Chicken manure tea is one of the best plant fertilizers out there, and believe me when I say that your garden is craving it.

 

Heavy nitrogen feeders like tomatoes require a lot of nutrients, and this year, we’re planning on planting a ton of them.

 

In the past, I’ve grown a lot of different vegetables, but this year, my goal is to scale down on the varieties and concentrate on what we will really use.

 

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That means we’ll need chicken manure tea for tomatoes, eggplants, peas, beans, squash, and corn.

 

Manure tea of any sort is like the super food of gardening champions. But chicken manure tea takes it to the next level because it has a super high nitrogen-phosphorous-potassium ratio – which indicates how ideal any fertilizer is for your growing vegetables.

 

In addition, chicken compost tea is loaded with beneficial bacteria, nutrients, and other stuff your plants need to grow and set fruit.

 

Every other week or so, depending on how the plants are looking, I like to give them a boost with chicken manure tea, which is really, really easy to make.

 

Now, for any vegetable garden, you can always buy fertilizer, but if you want to save some money, use an organic substitute, and reuse something you might otherwise toss, then chicken compost tea is a good alternative.

 

I know our tomatoes will appreciate it!

 

Now here’s the thing about chicken poop:

 

You can’t just dump the chicken poop itself on your garden. Don’t make that mistake!

 

Before brewing a chicken manure tea, you must (repeat, must) compost or otherwise age the manure to reduce the amount of nitrogen in it.

 

Chicken poop has one of the highest nitrogen contents of any animal manure out there, so you’re best bet is to compost it for 6 months or so before making your chicken manure tea.

 

Using fresh chicken manure will burn your plants and possibly ruin all your hard work (which is why I recommend using chickens in your garden in the fall, so their manure has time to decompose before spring planting).

 

Not only that, but the composting process will kill most of the gnarly pathogens in the chicken manure that could otherwise make you sick.

 

So, how do you make chicken manure tea?

 

I’m glad you asked.

 

First off, some advice:

 

Wear gloves when you do this. Chicken manure makes for great fertilizer, but it does contain some pathogens you definitely don’t want to expose yourself or your family to.

 

Even very healthy chickens have a certain amount of Campylobacter, Salmonella, E. coli and other pathogens in their guts, which naturally comes out in their manure.

 

So, wear gloves and wash your hands well after making this chicken manure tea. While the risk of getting sick is fairly minimal, you’ll do yourself a solid by just wearing rubber gloves.

 

Now, here’s how you make it!

 

The bottom line with chicken manure tea is you’re looking to leech the nutrients from the poop.

 

Another benefit to chicken manure tea is that giving those nutrients to your plants is super easy when they’re in a liquid form (and, by removing any particulates or large chunks of manure, you’re reducing your chances of burning the plant inadvertently).

 

To a burlap bag (or other type of bag that can drain) add aged chicken poop along with other dirt from your compost pile.

 

Add enough to the bag to fill up about a 1/3rd of it. Add something heavy, like a rock, into the bag to ensure it will stay submerged.

 

Close the bag by either tying a knot in the top or using baling twine to secure it shut.

 

Next, submerge your bag full of composted chicken poop into a 5-gallon bucket, and fill the bucket with water.

 

This is going to stink (wet manure always smells horrible), so consider covering the bucket. This has the added benefit of keeping curious animals out (and prevents them from trying to drink the manure water.

 

Place your bucket in a sunny location outside to steep for a few days.

 

A couple times each day, briskly stir the tea with a stick to introduce oxygen and to encourage your chicken manure tea to steep more nutrients out of the poop.

 

After about one week, your chicken manure tea should be ready.  

 

Remove the bag and return the manure to your compost pile or incorporate into another area of your garden to enhance that soil.  

 

How to Use Chicken Manure Tea in Your Garden

 

To use your new fertilizer, you first must dilute it a bit.

 

After removing the bag, fill the rest of the bucket up with fresh water. You want to get as close to a 1 to 1 ratio (1 part water to 1 part chicken manure tea) as possible.

 

This is to prevent your plants from getting too much nitrogen and accidentally burning.

 

Give it to your plants every two weeks or so, pouring it gently on to the bottom of the plant so it hits the roots and doesn’t displace the soil (if you pour a lot on at once, you might lose some of your top soil in the process).  

 

Once your plants begin to flower and set fruit, only provide the chicken manure tea if they seem to need extra nutrients (for example, if it’s very hot and the plant is stressed).

 

Too much nitrogen at this point means you’ll get great leaves, but less vegetables than you want.

 

I’d like to hear from you!

Do you think you’ll try to make chicken manure tea? Why or why not? Email me at [email protected] or comment below!

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