You might have heard how horse, cow, goat, and even chicken poop can work wonders for soil quality.
Now, you might be wondering if you can get more than just meat from your rabbitry, but is rabbit poop good fertilizer in the first place?
Yes, rabbit manure can be an excellent fertilizer. You can either use it fresh, compost it, turn it into a manure tea mixture, or use it in vermicomposting setups.
What makes the droppings beneficial for the soil, and how can you make the most out of them in your home garden? Let’s find out!
Animal manure, in general, can help boost soil quality. However, you still need to consider things like NPK value, ease of use, versatility, availability, and safety.
Well, without further ado, let’s take a closer look at how well rabbit poop performs in each of these aspects.
The main reason why rabbit poop is an efficient fertilizer is that it’s rich in potassium (K) and phosphorus (P), with values of 0.6% and 1.4%, respectively.
However, the star of the show here is nitrogen (N). In fact, you can expect 2.4% nitrogen content in fresh rabbit manure.
For reference, cow poop has a mere 0.4% nitrogen. Meanwhile, goat manure stands at 0.6% nitrogen, and chicken poop is slightly richer at 1%.
Keep in mind that nitrogen is a key component of the production of chlorophyll. So, don’t let the rabbits’ tiny size fool you; their poop has quite the NPK value!
Of course, the manure also has a bit of calcium, magnesium, zinc, sulfur, boron, manganese, cobalt, and copper, but those are just trace elements in the composition.
One of the best parts about rabbit poop is that it’s a cold manure (also called dry manure). That means it doesn’t release its nutrients as fast as horse or chicken poop.
Why is this low nutrient availability a good thing?
Well, it lets you use fresh poop (no curing needed!) right into the soil without worrying about burning your plants. It’s a lot like llama manure in that aspect.
Of course, you can still choose to compost it — rabbit droppings are highly versatile, but we’ll get to the details in a minute!
As an added bonus, handling the poop is not half as revolting as it sounds.
For one, the droppings’ odor isn’t terribly offensive. Plus, diarrhea is relatively rare, and for the most part, the poop will be small, rounded balls that are easy to scoop out.
People who use chicken poop as fertilizer usually have to watch out for the risk of zoonotic diseases. After all, there are plenty of pathogens that could be transmitted through poultry feces, like salmonella.
Generally speaking, rabbit poop isn’t particularly dangerous for humans.
That said, there are still a few safety precautions to keep in mind. For one, washing your hands thoroughly after handling the manure is a no-brainer.
Additionally, you’ll want to avoid letting the poop sit too long in the rabbitry. Otherwise, it’ll start attracting flies.
Yet another perk of using bunny manure is that it’s widely available.
If you raise rabbits, you’ll know that those little rascals poop a lot — you can expect more than 100 pellets per day from each!
Even if you don’t raise rabbits yourself, you might be able to get some from a neighbor with a large rabbitry. It’s also possible to purchase pre-packaged rabbit manure in some places.
However, some people believe that old rabbits make better manure.
The logic behind this is that they don’t consume as much of the nutrients in their feed. Meanwhile, young bunnies going through growth phases might not leave a ton of nutrients in their droppings.
Organic fertilizers, in general, are better for the environment than chemical ones. After all, chemical ones can pollute waterways and affect marine life.
So, using rabbit poop as fertilizer can be good for your garden, your pocket, and the planet!
Now that we know all the perks of using rabbit manure as fertilizer, let’s see how you can actually put it into action and reap the benefits.
We’ve already covered that rabbit poop is a cold manure. So, the most straightforward way would be direct tilling.
You can scoop up the droppings from the hutch with a shovel and gather them in a large bucket. Then, you can just disperse them around your garden by working them into the topsoil.
You don’t have to worry too much about picking up hay, leftover feed, or even fur with the poop. Those will just decompose into organic matter in the soil.
Although the odor isn’t pungent, some people don’t really like the idea of throwing fresh poop around their garden.
In this case, it’s possible to compost it in a pile with any other grass clippings, table scraps, or shavings.
This can be a good option if you don’t have a lot of rabbits and want to fill up the compost pile with other organic items. However, it could take a few months to cure properly.
If you want to take your fertilizing game to the next level, you can make a manure tea or a “bunny brew.”
Creating “tea” out of animal poop might sound a bit weird, but the mixture is fast acting and makes the application process a breeze. So, trust the process!
Here’s what you’ll need to do:
- Shovel the droppings into a bucket.
- Gather kitchen scraps (egg shells, greens, coffee grounds, etc.) or straw.
- Chop down large scraps to speed up the composting process.
- Mix all the compost constituents in a burlap sack and put the sack in a 5-gallon bucket.
- Fill ¾ of the bucket with water and shake or mix everything with a piece of wood.
- Keep the mixture in a warm spot for 5-7 days and stir daily.
- Lift the burlap sack up to strain the mixture into the bucket.
- Fill up spray bottles with the liquid and use them around the garden.
You are free to customize the type and ratio of organic additives as long as you don’t use any diseased plant parts. It might also be better to avoid using meat scraps or bones in the tea mixture since these won’t decompose as quickly as you’d like.
Either way, the mixture should end up looking like tea. If your manure tea is darker than usual, you can dilute it first.
If you’re not a fan of the spray bottle idea, you can just pour the tea directly into the soil from the bucket. You can even use it as a dip treatment before transplanting.
It’s also possible to use rabbits to produce fertilizer through vermicomposting.
All you need to do is set up a worm bin with cardboard bedding and place the droppings in the bin. Next, you’ll need to mist the poop down with a spray water bottle.
Then, the worms will feed on the moist manure. Soon, you’ll be able to harvest the castings later to use as fertilizer around your garden.
That said, rabbit urine can sometimes be too acidic for the worms. So, you might want to scoop the poop only and avoid wet spots in the rabbits’ cages.
Overall, rabbit poop can be a lifesaver if you need an organic fertilizer that you can use as-is without curing. It’s fairly easy to use and won’t burn your plants.
If you set up the right recycling system in your home, the poop can also be an integral part of manure teas or vermicomposting.
Either way, make sure you provide your rabbits with a balanced diet and watch out for any signs of illness to keep these magic droppings coming!
I have a bachelor’s degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I’m home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard. I also like photographing wild birds, especially birds of prey.