How to Compost Rabbit Manure on a Large Scale

Overview

Composted rabbit manure is a superb organic fertilizer. Rabbit manure is particularly high in nitrogen--often higher than many poultry manures. Like other manures, rabbit droppings contain not only nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, but a host of micronutrients as well as organic matter that improves soil tilth, drainage and moisture retention, and friable texture. With proper aeration and watering, and the addition of carbon matter like straw or shavings if your rabbit droppings are not already mixed with bedding material, rabbit manure will break down quickly into a valuable soil addition.

Step 1

Mix rabbit droppings with an equal volume of straw or wood shavings, if the droppings are not already mixed with carbon-based bedding material. If bedding material does not make up 50 percent of the mixture by volume, add straw or shavings to bring the mixture to roughly equal proportions.

Step 2

Fill the back half of compost bin with rabbit dropping mixture, using a shovel or small bucket loader.

Step 3

Stand a 4-foot length of perforated PVC drain pipe vertically in the center of the compost bin, then lean it toward the back, resting it at an angle on the rabbit dropping mixture already in the bin. Maneuver the pipe so that the top end is within easy reaching distance from the rear of the compost bin.

Step 4

Water the rabbit manure with a hose once the bin is filled. Run water into the perforated PVC pipe to soak the interior of the compost pile. Cover pile with tarp after watering, tucking the edges of the tarp between the rabbit manure and the compost bin walls to hold it down.

Step 5

Remove tarp and perforated PVC pipe after two weeks. Turn the pile with a shovel or bucket loader, either by taking off a layer at a time and moving it to an adjacent compost bin--if you are using multiple bins--or by removing it from the bin to an adjacent area of ground then returning it if you are using only one bin. Replace the perforated PVC pipe in the middle as you reload the bin.

Step 6

Water pile again after turning, and cover with the tarp. Repeat turning the pile every 2 weeks until the rabbit manure is fully composted, about 3 months to 1 year depending on temperature and humidity. Store the composted manure in a bin covered with a tarp, or use it as a garden soil addition.

Things You'll Need

  • Rabbit manure
  • Straw or wood shavings (optional)
  • Hose and water source
  • Perforated PVC drain pipe, 4' lengths
  • Compost bin(s), 8' deep x 8' wide x 3' high
  • Tarp for each compost bin, 10' x 10'
  • Spading fork
  • Shovel
  • Small bucket loader (optional)

References

  • Manure Matters
  • Oregon State U. Ext.: Master Composting Program
  • Washington State U. Ext.: Composting Livestock Manure

Who Can Help

  • New Mexico State U. Ext.: Backyard Composting
Keywords: rabbit manure, manure compost, large-scale compost

About this Author

Cindy Hill has practiced law since 1987 and maintained a career in freelance writing since 1978. Hill has won numerous fiction and poetry awards and has published widely in the field of law and politics. She is an adjunct instructor of ethics and communications.