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How to Compost Rabbit Manure on a Large Scale

2012-06-18   Views:6

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Keeping rabbits can be rewarding, but they do leave you with a problem: what to do with all the waste? Manure from 1 or 2 rabbits is not a big problem, but what if you keep rabbits on a large scale? Composting rabbit manure is a viable, environmental

Keeping rabbits can be rewarding, but they do leave you with a problem: what to do with all the waste? Manure from 1 or 2 rabbits is not a big problem, but what if you keep rabbits on a large scale? Composting rabbit manure is a viable, environmentally responsible way to safely dispose of rabbit manure on a large scale. In return for your work in managing the composting process, you will have a nutrient-rich soil amendment for your garden or fields.

Skill level:Moderately Easy

Things you need

Compost bin measuring 4 x 4 x 4 feetPVC pipe 5 feet long and 3 inches widePower drill with half-inch bitShovel or pitchforkLarge plastic tarpRabbit manureUsed or soiled beddingWood chips, hay or strawHose and water source4 large stones or bricks

Instructions

Compost Rabbit Manure

1 Choose a location for the compost bin and assemble it. Look for solid, level ground near the rabbit hutches or the garden.

2 Use the power drill to drill half-inch holes along the length of the PVC pipe. Leave 4 to 6 inches between the holes. Turn the pipe 45 degrees and drill another line of holes. Repeat until you have aeration holes evenly spaced around the entire pipe. Set the pipe aside.

3 Spread the tarp on the ground near the compost bin. Shovel the rabbit manure and used bedding onto the tarp. Use the shovel or pitchfork to mix the materials evenly. You should have about 50 per cent manure and 50 per cent bedding material. Add straw, hay or wood chips as needed to balance the mixture.

4 Shovel about half the material into the back of the compost bin, making an inclined pile.

5 Put the PVC pipe into the compost bin, resting vertically on the pile of manure and bedding material. Try to put it in the centre of the pile. It should stick out above the rim of the compost bin.

6 Shovel the rest of the compost material into the bin, burying the PVC pipe.

7 Use the hose to spray the compost in the bin. Pour water down the PVC pipe to moisten the inside of the compost pile as well. Do not overwater. You want the compost material to be about as moist as a damp sponge.

8 Cover the compost bin with the tarp. Allow the PVC pipe to stick out of the edge of the tarp to permit air circulation. Weigh down the corners with stones or bricks.

9 Every two weeks, remove the tarp and spread it on the ground near the compost bin. Shovel the compost materials onto the tarp and mix them thoroughly. Return the compost materials to the bin, burying the PVC pipe in the centre of the pile. This aerates and mixes the compost material, speeding decomposition. Check the moisture level and add water if necessary.

10 When the compost is uniform in colour and texture and looks like rich potting soil, it is ready to use on the garden or field. This process can take from a month to a year, depending on how often you turn the pile and the heat and humidity in the pile. Use the compost immediately or transfer it to a holding bin.

Tips and warnings

The more often you turn the pile, the faster it will decompose into useful compost.

Do not add manure from dogs or cats to the rabbit compost. Manure from carnivorous animals can carry pathogens that survive the decomposition process.

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