Asked January 21, 2017, 5:00 PM EST

My grandson has a pet rabbit can I use the stuff when he cleans the cage for compost in my garden?

Baltimore County Maryland

1 Response

All manure is best utilized after being composted in a compost heap. Water, microbes, and the composting process will make the nutrients in rabbit droppings more available to plants.

Here is a fact sheet Cornell University that has helpful information about using animal manures in gardens:

Manures differ from each other because of their source, their age, how they were stored (piled, spread, turned over or not), and the animal bedding material, which may be mixed in. For that reason it is difficult to provide precise guidance about how long manure should be aged before use, or how much to use.

For direct use in the garden, first aging manure for 6 months is a good rule of thumb. Many farmers and gardeners spread fresh manure in the fall or winter, and till or turn it in at spring planting time.

When manure is spread in the spring, even if aged, it is safest to wait for at least one month before planting crops, since the microbial activity it stimulates may interfere with seed germination or plant growth before that time.