That Bunny Poop Will Help Your Plants Grow: Fertilizing Your Garden With Animal Waste
As we approach the planting season, on top of what to plant, there is also the question of what do we use as a fertilizer? Like any product line in this day and age, the options seem to be endless. Luckily if you’ve decided to feed your garden the old fashioned way, there are only so many animals that you can retrieve poop from right?
One of the most common animal wastes used for fertilizer is cow manure. Cow manure is a great all-purpose fertilizer. Because of their very balanced diets, their manure is rich in a wide variety of nutrients. Cow manure is a waste that you will definitely want to compost. To avoid a smelly compost pile, wait until the cow manure is dried before adding it. If you would pick it up and toss it as cow patty frisbee, it’s ready to be composted.
It can be a great all purpose fertilizer, although it is not the highest in nutrients due to a smaller range of diet. Also many horses on pasture will usually eat lots of weeds, so their manure will most likely be full of weed seeds. So to avoid a complete weed takeover of your garden you must make sure that your compost pile gets to temperatures of around 140 degrees to kill the seeds that could potentially overtake your garden.
Goat or Sheep Droppings
These droppings are generally drier than those from chickens, cows, and horses, so they can be added to the compost almost immediately and are many times less “stinky” than many other animal wastes. These droppings are also usually higher in nitrogen and potassium which can be better for plant growth all around. The only drawback is that goat/sheep droppings can have more weed seeds in them, so be sure to compost them in the same way you would horse manure.
How many people bought their child a rabbit because they are just so cute and cuddly, just to find out, it seems that the amount of droppings they produce a day seems to be double their body weight? Well have no fear, their droppings can be used for fertilizer as well. All that rabbit waste is gold for the garden because it’s high in nitrogen and phosphorus. One of the largest advantages of rabbit waste over waste from other animals is that it is considered a “cold” manure, so it’s not necessary to compost or age it before you use it. Spread a handful of bunny droppings around the base of your plants and you’re done. Because the droppings have not been composted it will take some time for the droppings to break down, so you will now have a fertilizer that keeps on giving.
Another option with rabbit droppings is to create what is called a Rabbit Dropping Tea. Follow the link to find out more about what this is and how it could help in your garden, and no it’s not something you drink.
There are many places to buy bagged compost or waste products, and even some places where you can buy it in bulk, which is a much cheaper route. But the best way to have great quality compost at a great price point is to make it yourself.
“Well, I don’t have a cow, horse, goat or sheep.”
No worries my friend. Try this to almost any farmer in your area. “Hey could I get a bucket full of your manure? And how much would that cost?” I would be willing to bet that the majority of them would give it to you for free and without a bat of an eye. Just don’t go telling everyone that you got your manure from that farmer down the road and that he gives away free manure to anyone who asks. You tell anyone that asks to “find your own farmer”. Of course there may be some farmers who refuse, in which you say thanks for your time, and leave.
Now get out there and collect some poop and watch your plants grow… I know it doesn’t sound right, but I promise you, you won’t be disappointed (I feel like I’ve heard that somewhere before)