Everything Manure: Bunny Balls
In the world of garden manures Rabbit Manure (Bunny Balls) is one of the most fondly regarded. Using livestock manures to help build your soil or compost means not having to spread synthetic fertilizers on your plants. It is a consistent slow release way to improve soil so that plants can develop an interdependence with the soil and feed themselves.
Rabbit manure is a pelleted manure. Livestock manures that come pelleted tend not to burn. Amongst the pelleted non burning manures Bunny Balls are my favorite. They are dry to the touch, nearly odorless, and once on the soil they break down very quickly, and yet they never burn the plants. Rabbit manure is the one manure I am comfortable using as a side dressing directly on the garden while growing. I also use rabbit manure in potted plants. I put it on the soil surface of the potted plant. Rabbit manure tends to break down more slowly on the surface of a potted plant than on the surface of the garden. I don’t have an explanation for that. I also feed Bunny Balls to my garbage eating worms, putting a layer of rabbit manure in each time I put in a layer of garbage. The worms seem to love the Bunny Balls.
My rabbits eat Timothy hay and garden weeds. To see what garden weeds I feed my rabbits you can read my post: Weeds, Food For Rabbits, and the follow up article: More Weeds For Rabbits. I also feed my rabbits radish tops, carrot tops, and an occasional apple, or banana slice, and alfalfa pellets now and then for a treat. They are pretty amazing hay grinders, and once their manure begins to break down you can clearly see the finely ground hay. Rabbits are composters. Hay takes months to break down in my compost pile while the hay the rabbits eat will be composted in their guts in a day or so.
I bring Bunny Balls to the Downtown Fort Pierce Farmer’s Market Saturday mornings. You can find me and my Bunny Balls there every Saturday morning at the Compost Gardener’s Worm Booth. I package the Bunny Balls in repurposed paper boxes for various prices. Cereal boxes, flour bags, pasta boxes and popsicle boxes make great packaging for Bunny Balls. The paper bags and boxes breath so the manure never molds or changes while in the package. They are currently priced at $1, $3, $4, and $5, for various sized boxes.
Another rabbit waste product that I really like using in my garden is the litter from the Bunny Bunker. It is a mixture of hay, pine flakes, and rabbit manure. In the winter it is much heavier on hay because I put a lot of hay in the bunker so that the rabbits can stay warm. In the summer there is more pine flake than hay. Either way it makes an excellent compost additive, and a really good fruit tree mulch. I use it on every fruiting plant and tree I grow. I put it down every few months mulching heavily at the plants’ drip line and a few feet beyond. It keeps weeds out while it is breaking down, and the trees and plants mulched with it do beautifully.