yuppupcs
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Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 11:55 pm
Location: Mansfield, Missouri

yet another green or brown question?

I searched and found several different answers to my question. Is rabbit poo considered green or not?? I've seen where someone said it was brown then someone else said it's green? Which is it! I'm hoping for green because I'm having probs finding green stuff. I work in a small nursing home and I have them collecting egg shell, coffee grounds, and green food scraps everyday, but usually only get a five gal bucket every two days. I was wanting to start a lasagna garden, but I'm only gonna be able to do part of it this spring, then I will keep adding to it as I go, but I have plenty of browns, (leaves everywhere here in the country especially oak leaves!!), plus we shred all our excess paper so I have all that, just having trouble findin greens. Any suggestions? Back to the orig question. I have a few rabbits that I raise for daughters pets and mainly for the poo. Is it green or not? I feed them alfalfa pellets and hay mixed in with the poo. I've also heard that hay is green and heard that it's brown too can someone PLEASE clear all this up for me?

cynthia_h
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Location: El Cerrito, CA

There is a rather detailed discussion on the use of manure from different animals (herbivores vs. omnivores vs. carnivores) at

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=61021

The "brown / green" sticky at the top of the Compost Forum also contains very good information on why a particular constituent is considered "brown" or "green," as well as a link to Cornell University's excellent compost reference site.

I wandered blindly through lists of compost ingredients for some time (two? three? years) myself before I learned the distinguishing characteristics of Greens vs. Browns. The Internet has made some things vastly easier, and others vastly more confusing. I think making compost probably falls into both categories.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

yuppupcs
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Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 11:55 pm
Location: Mansfield, Missouri

yes confused is where I am. I have looked through all the places you mentioned, and that's why I'm askin about my "Rabbit" poo. The stuff in those list is other animal poo, and conflicting opinions on it. the cornell university website you mentioned is just a bunch of jibberish to me. I don't have a PHD in chemicals so I couldn't make heads or tails of the info in there. But thanks for replying.

Charlie MV
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I'm probably wrong here but my rule of thumb for manure is to avoid the poop of meat eaters. I think the poop of plant eaters is ok for composting. I've eaten some rabbits but never fed one. I believe they are exclusively plant eaters and therefore their poop is ok for compost. I would call them herbavores but I didn't want to embarrass myself misspelling the plant eater word. :)

cynthia_h
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Location: El Cerrito, CA

Yes, rabbits are herbivores. (And the "No Meat-Eater Poo" rule is a good one.)

I've "baby-sat" pet rabbits for a couple of friends in the past, but unfortunately it was during the gardening hiatus, so I learned about rabbits but didn't get any "good stuff." :wink:

I sometimes donate off-the-wall supplies to the local rabbit rescue whose "waste" I tried to compost last year. They LOVED the organic carrot tops last week! (Well, the people said the bunnies would love the carrot tops....) "Rabbit food" as a synonym for "salad" makes sense if you see the fresh foods the bunnies have: leafy greens, carrots with tops, etc. They also eat prepared rabbit "kibble" whose make-up I don't know.

The difficulty I had with the rabbit waste last year--and the reason I'm not going to pick up any more of it from either rabbit rescue group--is because, even though the poo itself degraded quickly and completely, the timothy hay and the litter absolutely did NOT compost.

I began picking up rabbit waste last March and stopped in June. In August, I could still discern the litter. It was white, fluffy stuff, perhaps based on cotton fiber or newspapers? The timothy hay was completely intact, too.

In December, the litter had begun to disintegrate, but it was still distinct from neighboring ingredients in my compost pile (kitchen peelings, leaves, what-not), even after I turning the BioStack in August and December. The hay was still completely intact. :x

A week ago, DH and I turned the BioStack. The rabbit litter was--after a minimum of 9 months and, for some of it, a year--at last :!: decomposed. The hay was *mostly* decomposed, although there's still a good deal of recognizable hay. :roll:

So my take on it is:

1) 100% "pure" rabbit poo = a compost "green" (nitrogen source). Unless you have your own rabbits, I can't imagine how you would lay hands on such 100% stuff, but it would be terrific!

2) Rabbit litter = a very slow compost ingredient, so slow that it won't help for anything but aeration, so its green vs. brown status is irrelevant.

3) Rabbit hay = almost as bad as peach pits, i.e., it *may* work *if* you have a nice, hot compost pile. I don't; I have a cool to cold pile, for a number of reasons. I would classify timothy hay as a very s-l-o-w brown (not a scientific term, but it's definitely acting like wood in my pile).

Cynthia

rot
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Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2008 5:15 am
Location: Ventura County, CA, Sunset 23

rabbit raisons

..
I hear rabbit droppings are good to go directly on the ground as is no treatment necessary. So they've gotta be a mild greed.

It's the litter that comes with the droppings that will be dry and brown for the most part. As cynthia_h indicated, it's no solution for greens.

Grass clippings are probably the best for greens. You can mix them and they break down rapidly. Coffee grounds are more green than brown but smother things - mix really well. Horse manure works but then there's the litter problem again.

Manures from herbivores in general are strong greens so you'll want your browns to mix and cover if you go down that path.

Hay should be green while straw is brown. For the most part.

two cents
..

PSW1980
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Joined: Fri Apr 08, 2016 3:12 pm

Re: yet another green or brown question?

I may be Necro-posting, But here is my answer. Pure Rabbit poop is a green compost material. the solution I use for the "Brown" Litter issue is to use well composted material as my rabbits litter Saving enough to last me through a year, that way im only basically only adding green when adding Poop

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