Using Guinea Pig Manure As Fertilizer In The Garden
As a gardener, you want only the best for your plants and the soil they grow in. That said, options for fertilizer are wide ranging with manure being quite popular for many gardening needs. There are numerous types of manure that can be used in the garden, but one that comes to mind less frequently, though just as beneficial, is the use of guinea pig manure on gardens.
Can You Use Guinea Pig Manure?
So can you use guinea pig manure as fertilizer in the garden? Yes, you can. These small rodents, along with other common household pets such as gerbils and hamsters, are omnivores, eating both plants and animal proteins (mainly from insects). That being said, those kept as pets are typically fed a plant-based diet with much of their proteins and minerals obtained from specialized food, often in the form of pellets. So, unlike meat-eating animals (including your cat or dog), their manure is perfectly safe for use in the garden and suitable for home composting too.
Using Guinea Pig Manure as Fertilizer
Now that you know it’s possible to use guinea pig manure on gardens, where do you start? When using guinea pig manure as fertilizer, you have a variety of options. Their droppings are made up of pellets, just like rabbits. Therefore, they are used much the same way in the garden.
Guinea pig waste can be added directly to the garden without the worry of burning your tender plantings. This manure breaks down quickly and shares all the same nutrients as rabbit dung — like nitrogen and phosphorus. There’s no need to compost beforehand. However, this is not to say that you cannot put it in the compost pile. In fact, many people actually prefer to toss it in the compost heap.
Tips for Composting Guinea Pig Waste
Pelletized manure from house pets like guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters or gerbils can be safely composted, along with the wood or paper shavings used in their cages. Simply place the droppings on your compost heap, add some straw and mix it in.
Allow this to sit with other compostable items for several months, turning the compost every so often as needed. You can place guinea pig manure on gardens once the compost has been sitting for at least six months.
Guinea Pig Manure Tea
You can also make guinea pig manure tea for your garden plants. When cleaning out the pet cage, just add the guinea pig manure into a large container with a lid. Keep in mind that it may take a few weeks before you have enough for entire bucket full, so stick with a container that you can work with easily, like a large coffee can, or simply fill a 5-gallon (19 L.) bucket only half full instead.
Add about 2 cups (0.5 L.) of water to this container for every 1 cup (0.25 L.) of guinea pig pellets. Allow the manure tea to sit overnight, stirring thoroughly. Some people even let it sit for a day or two so the pellets have time to soak in the water and fall apart easier. Whatever method works best for you is fine.
Strain the liquid into another container for pouring onto your garden soil or add the strained mixture to a spray bottle for fertilizing smaller plant areas.
Now that you see how easy it is to use guinea pig waste for the garden, you can take advantage of the many benefits of using guinea pig manure as fertilizer.
Safety Tips for Using Manure in Your Vegetable Garden
Animal manure has been used in vegetable gardens for centuries. It adds nutrients and organic matter, aiding in the development of healthy, living soil. However, there have been many health scares linking the use of manure as a fertilizer to breakouts of E. coli (Escherichia coli), which may make you wonder: Is it safe to add manure to a vegetable garden?
According to University of Illinois Plant Pathologist Nancy Pataky, the bacteria that is already on plant roots, as well as bacteria and fungi in the soil, would compete with E. coli and keep it in check, perhaps even feed on it. "Additionally, no research has indicated that the E. coli bacterium is anything more than a surface contaminant."
That said, it's quite possible for manure to spread disease to human beings, although there have not been many long-term studies involving manure and home gardens. According to Van Bobbitt and Dr. Val Hillers of Washington State University Extension, "Pathogens can be transferred from animal manures to humans. The pathogens salmonella, listeria, and E.coli 0157:H7, as well as parasites, such as roundworms and tapeworms, have been linked to applications of manure to gardens." As for E. coli, contamination can occur when any type of food comes in contact with animal feces.
Why You Should Choose an Animal Poo Over Synthetic Fertilizer
There are loads of options out there when considering a fertilizer but animal manure (we call it poo at our place!) is my number one go-to. Like most things, there are commercially-produced fertilisers available but these are usually mass-produced, often include lots of chemicals and additives, and can be very expensive.
By comparison, animal poo is a much more natural option that is better for your soil and the environment and in most cases, just as easily available as its commercial counterparts.
Adding a good dose of animal poo to your veggie garden gives it a vital nutrient boost, with the poo of animals fed on grass and veggie scraps containing high levels of nitrogen which your veggie garden will love. Animal manure also increases microbial activity in the soil and improves drainage and moisture retention in sandy soils.
Do You Have to Compost Rabbit Poop?
No, but it does make a wonderfully rich compost.
Cow, horse, and chicken manures are considered “hot” manures. That is, they can burn plants’ roots if don’t compost them first.
Rabbit manure is considered a “cold” manure. So you can spread it directly on top of your garden.
You can utilize rabbit manure as top dressing for your trees, garden beds or houseplants. Alternatively, you can work it into soil as a soil treatment.
Guinea Pig Aspen Bedding as Mulch?
Our family has a couple of Guinea Pigs. We clean their cage out aleast twice a week, dumping the used Aspen bedding and replacing it with clean bedding. My question is, can the used bedding from the Guinea Pigs' cage be used in my flower beds as mulch? It seems such a waste to just be throwing it away.
Comments for Guinea Pig Aspen Bedding as Mulch?
Adorable little pets. I think guinea pigs are so much fun to watch and listen toвЂ¦ lots of squeals and chatter!
Their droppings are pellets, and like rabbit droppings they can be used straight on the garden вЂ“ this is called cold manure and it means it won't burn plants or need to go in the compost first. You can of course put it in the compost, but if used on the garden, it will break down quickly and activate good microbes, especially if you mix it with the top layer of soil.
Thank you for the feed back. I hated tossing it out if I could reuse it. I have been testing it around my roses to see how they would respond. So far, they seem to like the used aspen shavings & are blooming nonstop. I may try it in my vegetable garden next year if my flowers continue to thrive.
I googled the same question and found the answer here, thanks!
I have a large condo for 2 piggies plus 3 litterboxes for my 4 houserabbits so each week I have a large amount of aspen shreddings infused with miracle fertilizer. lol.
Once my flowerbeds are full, I may start offering it to my gardening neighbors.