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JC's Garden
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Bunny Berries in Compost Pile

A friend gave me about 6 gallons of rabbit droppings with a little straw mixed in. I screened it to get the straw out and threw the straw (with some berries) in my compost pile. The droppings are just a little to fresh to add directly to my garden. I'll add them to the compost pile, a little at a time.
I noticed my pile heated up more than normal for the amount of browns I had in it. This past Monday, after about 2 weeks, it was still running 130 degrees. By Wednesday it had turned off and I flipped it. It had broken down better than expected.
Yesterday, Thursday, I topped it off with more browns and about 2 gallons of berries were layered in. I watered as I added to the pile but not enough to wet the black plastic the pile is on.
I just want to see how this goes. I'll take photos and make note of additions to the pile.
IMG_0388.JPG
The wire cage is 2" x 4" x 4' wire. The pile is 4' in diameter.
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I finished adding my browns yesterday as the sun was going down. It's 45 degrees now at 7:00 AM. The pile is at 85 degrees. I use a thermometer with a 12" probe.

tomc
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Re: Bunny Berries in Compost Pile

Bunny bullets are great ammunition for your compost pile. As we near the winter solstice, the solar driver of composting isn't helping much. If things don't heat up now, they will in the spring.
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JC's Garden
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Re: Bunny Berries in Compost Pile

Thanks Tom. It seems to be off to a good start. 95 degrees at 8:45 PM tonight, 50 degrees outside.
Did not water today. It has already settled down a couple of inches. I'll water the pile on Sunday when I water my raised beds. I did throw a half gallon of green pepper leaves on top.
I take my pile temperature from the same spot every time. Top dead center.

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JC's Garden
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Re: Bunny Berries in Compost Pile

11-08-14, 9:00 AM, 50 degrees ambient. Compost 105 degrees.
IMG_0398.JPG
Looking at the top of the wire cage, the reduction in size is noticeable.

tomc
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Re: Bunny Berries in Compost Pile

For what its worth (in zone 4-B NH) I used to add a 30 gallon barrel of goat bullets to my covered bin to keep them warm-ish in the winter monthly. I had composting worms in them and I didn't want the piles to freeze.
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JC's Garden
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Re: Bunny Berries in Compost Pile

Temp 68. Time 5:30 PM. Compost temp 115. Time for this little experiment to come to an end. I need to add greens to this pile. With rabbit droppings and browns only, the temp made it up to 115. I'm sure I can use them this winter to keep my temperatures up and break down my pile quicker than without.
I might have done a dumb thing with the rest of the rabbit droppings. I added water, bakers yeast and sugar to break it down quicker for use this winter. I guess we'll see how that goes. :)
tomc, I can see where those goat bullets would do you a lot of good.
Happy gardening guys.
photo.JPG
It keeps going down. That's 2"x 4" wire fencing.

tomc
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Re: Bunny Berries in Compost Pile

Just know that part of what drives any compost pile is that big bright thing up in the sky. As we near solstice it doesn't lift its end of the cart. If your pile slows down nothing bad has happened.
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JC's Garden
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Re: Bunny Berries in Compost Pile

Know what you mean about the sun. My pile has been in full shade for over a month now. In zone 8 we'll be bouncing back and forth from coats to short sleeves until Christmas. I'll get results until January and then back in business the end of March.
After adding the greens, my pile is now up to 135. Time 2:15 Ambient 73. We're cooking. 8)

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JC's Garden
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Re: Bunny Berries in Compost Pile

Sunday my temperature was down to 110 so I tossed it Monday morning.
Temperature Tuesday 4:00 PM. Ambient 47.
2014-11-18 15.44.13.jpg
Temperature Wednesday 7:00 AM. Ambient 28.
2014-11-19 07.10.28.jpg
I'm still adding bunny berry tea and this thing just keeps on cooking. If I get warm enough today, I'll collect some browns and add a few more gallons of kitchen greens. :)
2014-11-18 15.40.00.jpg
I have the room so I might as well pile it on. :()

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JC's Garden
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Re: Bunny Berries in Compost Pile

I topped it off with browns and added 3 gallons of kitchen greens, 2 gallons of wood ashes and 2 gallons of bunny berry tea. Then I wet it down real good. We'll check it in the morning.
2014-11-19 17.34.30.jpg

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JC's Garden
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Re: Bunny Berries in Compost Pile

2014-11-20 07.29.40.jpg
Can you see the frost on the leaves? 7:30 AM, ambient 30.

toxcrusadr
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Re: Bunny Berries in Compost Pile

Nice pics and description, this will be good for beginner composters to see.

2 gallons of ash seems like a lot, but I guess if it keeps cooking, you didn't throw the pH too awful high.

I don't think I'd spend $ on sugar and yeast, bunny pellets will break down just fine in that pile as evidenced by the temps. But that's just how I roll, it's your pile. 8)
Tox

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Re: Bunny Berries in Compost Pile

If you want your pile to finish composting at some point you should not add anymore fuel to it. If you got up to the temperature in 48 hours then your pile was built right. Start at new pile with your extra stuff and keep turning the pile you have. Each time you put the outside in, it should help to heat is up again, but the pile shrinking and cooling is what it is supposed to do for a hot pile.
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JC's Garden
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Re: Bunny Berries in Compost Pile

This past weekend the heat dropped off. I tossed it and the heat has only come up to 100. That along with another sure sign that it needs to set and finish was observed. Adult and baby earthworms were present throughout the pile. I was a bit surprised to see them in the hotter, steamy parts of the pile but they were there as well.
I have a new pile going already. We'll see how it does in the lower temps that are coming in January and February. I'll use the bunny berries after I get it almost full and I know how the temperature has been running without them. I want to see how much difference it makes in the dead of winter.

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Re: Bunny Berries in Compost Pile

Great thread, thanks. :()

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GardeningCook
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Re: Bunny Berries in Compost Pile

I know this is an older thread, but as someone who raised rabbits for several years, "Bunny Berries" (or "Bunny Snacks", as my dogs used to call them - lol), were the only animal manure that I safely applied "as is" to my garden plants without composting first. I even added them safely to houseplants! Key is to be sure you are using dry "berries" only, & not including ANY used rabbit bedding or anything else that may contain rabbit urine. Items like that do have to be composted before use.
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