Pet rodent litter waste as compost material?

sqftgarden_in_wncFebruary 11, 2007

I am a home gardener. I have two pet Degus (looks like a small version of a chincilla). Can I safely use the soiled litter without "burning" the plants, especially young seedlings? Shouldn't it be aged first in a compost pile? I use pine shavings, if that is important.

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julianna_il(z6 IL)

I'd be very careful with young seedlings.

To be safe, I would age it first, perhaps try some on a test plant if you like. But litter is going to have the urine, which is loaded with nitrogen and that could burn the plants right up.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 4:06PM
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That's what I was afraid of. Thanks for the advice.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 8:05PM
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You should be able to use the litter without issue as long as it is aged in the outdoor elements for awhile first. A compost pile would be terriffic, but the urine/poop/wood shavings themselves should compost readily. The risk of burning from salts in the urine is very real, but eliminated after a rain or two.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2007 at 8:22PM
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pablo_nh(z4/5 NH)

I throw rabbit poop, litter, and hay directly on my garden beds without issue. My litter is wood pellets for a pellet stove (cheap, and absorbent)- it expands and holds urine.

I would anticipate that my 3 rabbits produce a lot more N thn your critters do, and it's never been an issue. I sometimes put it all in a 5 gal. bucket with a crack in it, put that bucket into another 5 gal bucket, and pour water in to extract N- I then just fling the liquid onto the lawn with a milk jug with the top cut out.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2007 at 1:31PM
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Dibbit(z7b SC)

I would think that established plants would have no problem. Using it as mulch on freshly seeded beds might be a different story. If that's where you want to use it, I would spread it at least 2-3 weeks before planting seeds, and if you don't get a good rain between then and planting, I would water it well a week before.

Of course, you CAN make the whole question moot, and just add it to your compost pile....

    Bookmark   February 12, 2007 at 3:32PM
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triple_b(BC 5b)

Someone I know swears by her 'rabbit tea'. They are also fortunate to have two llamas, one of the few animals whose droppings (called 'beans' haha) CAN be put on fresh and seem to do even better that way.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2007 at 8:23PM
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