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Rabbit Manure Info

RABBIT MANURE ; the manure of choice for Master Gardeners.

In the Master Gardener circle, over and over you will hear gardens powered by rabbits are the very best gardens.  Rabbit manure is referred to as the super fertilizer, Bunny Gold, Bunny B B’s, garden gold, garden nuggets and many other great names.

There are two basic categories of fertilizers, chemical and organic. Fertilizers supplement a soil’s native nutrient supply. They are essential to good plant growth when the soil nutrient supply is not adequate.  Rapidly growing plants, such as vegetables, generally need more nutrients than slower growing plants such as perennials.  What each fertilizer type does for the plants is essentially the same but the difference is in how it is available to the plants, duration of availability and the soil structure benefits.

Chemical fertilizers are manufactured by man or are man made from natural ingredients, concentrated to make the nutrients more available to plants. You don’t have to wait for them to break down to go to work. The nutrients they have are made available as soon as it’s applied. Chemical fertilizers supply nutrients for the plants only and do nothing for the structure or composition of the soil.

The nitrogen in chemical fertilizers is vulnerable to leaching loss from heavy rain or irrigation. Once the nitrogen moves below the root zone, it is no longer available to the plants and may leach into the groundwater.

Chemical fertilizers are not available long term and require more frequent applications.  More recently the chemical companies have gotten better about encapsulating their fertilizers for “timed released” applications but it’s still not comparable to the time release properties of manure sources.

Organic fertilizers  are natural products that have undergone little or no processing and come in a variety of forms.  They include both biological (plant and animal) and mineral materials.  Some of the most common forms of manure are rabbit manure, blood meal, alfalfa, bat guano, chicken manure, fish emulsion, bone meal, horse manure, kelp meal, steer manure… the list is actually quite extensive.

Each has its own unique nutrient properties.  Typically organic fertilizers are slow release because their nutrients become available to plants over the course of the growing season.  They are in a less concentrated form than chemical fertilizers.

One of the major benefits to organic fertilizers is it adds to the composition of the soil (a very big perk to gardeners). It helps to hold in moisture and promotes healthier root growth. It naturally helps to maintain the ph balance in your soil. Side by side, organic fertilizers will outperform chemical fertilizers in the long term.

In our opinion………. Bunny Gold or rabbit manure is the king of fertilizers.  It is nitrogen on steroids.

There’s just no manure that works as well for the garden as rabbit manure. It contains more nitrogen and phosphorus than many other manures and more potash than most. It has all the uber-benefits of horse and steer manure but with a distinct advantage.

Because it’s considered a “cold” manure, you don’t have to let rabbit poop age or compost before you use it. Other manures that come from chickens, sheep, horse, cows, and pigs or “hot” manures, need to be composted for months before you can safely use them.

Even when applied fresh, rabbit manure will not burn plants. Gardens with rabbit fertilizer consistently applied most often yield much better results! Because of this, gardeners may be willing to pay for manure or composed manure for a higher cost.  Because of the complimentary nature, many rabbit raisers also raise earthworms (or Red Wigglers).

The worms will break down and clean the bed just under the rabbit cages, turning the manure into black potting soil. Several species of worms, most notably night crawlers and red worms, can be grown in the manure. The worms also help keep the manure from smelling bad and could be sold to gardeners for vermicomposting or fishermen for bait.

So, scoop a wheel barrow full from under the rabbit cage and spread it all over the garden. I like to think of them as time release capsules, as the pellets don’t completely break down right away. It’s a slow-release thing. If the pellets are urine-soaked,  you can let them dry out a bit or just fold them into a couple inches of soil. As they do break down, they build your soil’s structure, improve the porosity, add stability, and hold nutrients for plants as well as other organisms in the soil.

In conclusion, all fertilizers are rated on its primary nutrients.  On the side of commercial bags and containers, you will notice a tree number system. This is standard throughout the fertilizer industry. The first number indicates the percentage of Nitrogen (N).

The second number indicates the percentage of Phosphorous (P) and the third is Potassium (K).  A “complete” fertilizer is one with a nutrient value in each category. All organic fertilizers are complete fertilizers. The only incomplete fertilizer you will find are chemical/man-made compositions.

NUTRIENT VALUE OF SOME ORGANIC FERTILIZER MATERIALS

N = Nitrogen %          P = Phosphorus  %          K = Potassium%

Material                          N                P               K       

Rabbit Manure             2.4           1.4             0.6  

Chicken Manure          1.6            1.5             0.9

Cow Manure                 0.6            0.2             0.5

Horse Manure              0.7            0.2             0.6

Pig Manure                    0.5            0.3             0.5

Sheep Manure              0.7            0.3             0.9

Duck Manure                 0.6            1.4             0.5

Worm Castings             0.5            0.5             0.3

PLEASE NOTE:  In order for us to provide healthy and disease free New Zealand White rabbits, we maintain a CLOSED RABBITRY.  Potential buyers will, however, be able to view enough of the building’s interior to observe the rabbits and the conditions they live under.  We’re sorry, but no outside rabbits, dogs or cats may be brought onto the property.   Thank you for understanding.

THANK YOU for visiting the Crossroads Rabbitry web site; home of Quality New Zealand White Rabbits.


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