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Used pet rodent bedding as compost? Good or bad?

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Used pet rodent bedding as compost? Good or bad?

Post  fancypet on 1/19/2013, 2:39 pm

We have a rodent farm. Yes, mice, rats, hamsters, gerbils and a few others. These are raised as pets or feeders. We raise them with great care for their health. The protein in their food is from beet pulp, no animal by product. Their bedding is shaved pine straight from the mill. So my question? Is this safe compost for human food gardens? It's great for acid loving plants (the pine). We produce tons of it. What should I add to it for my garden?
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Re: Used pet rodent bedding as compost? Good or bad?

Post  camprn on 1/19/2013, 4:55 pm

I'm curious and would be cautious about the mice droppings and hantavirus.... But I'm not sure, I don't know that kept rodents harbor the virus and I have never heard of rabbits, guinea pig or gerbil to carry it......... My knowledge is limited.

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Re: Used pet rodent bedding as compost? Good or bad?

Post  TexasTracy on 1/19/2013, 7:06 pm

Everything I am finding says it's no problem, as long as they are herbivores and they aren't ill. Lucky you for having a good supply of nitrogen (pet waste) and carbon (bedding) readily available!
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Re: Used pet rodent bedding as compost? Good or bad?

Post  cindre2000 on 1/20/2013, 11:24 am

I work at a pet store. Since we change much of the bedding daily, I have taken to using it in the garden. I use only the aspen bedding from the guinea pigs and rabbits. However, I don't compost this bedding, I use it as a mulch layer.

As long as you are 100% sure that your mice and rats are not carriers of any contagious diseases, I don't see an issue with composting, their bedding for use on acid loving plants.
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Re: Used pet rodent bedding as compost? Good or bad?

Post  plantoid on 1/20/2013, 7:31 pm

@fancypet wrote:We have a rodent farm. Yes, mice, rats, hamsters, gerbils and a few others. These are raised as pets or feeders. We raise them with great care for their health. The protein in their food is from beet pulp, no animal by product. Their bedding is shaved pine straight from the mill. So my question? Is this safe compost for human food gardens? It's great for acid loving plants (the pine). We produce tons of it. What should I add to it for my garden?

I too ran a small mammal farm with 600 breeding female syrian hamsters , 50 pairs of guinea pigs 100 trios of bat eared mice , 200 gerbils , 96 mini dwarf rabbits etc.etc etc.
I used clean de nature de dusted steamed wood chip shavings for bedding just like you .
The first years cleaning out was laid four inches deep over my wet sticky earth beds and rototilled in every week . it produced a fantastic veg bed in the end .

I see no reason why you cannot use the soiled bedding as the browns in your compost plus plenty of other animal droppings & beddings from farm type animals along with chicken & turkey stuff and greens. It does make a good compost so long as you keep it damp and well turned , cover it with a tarp to keep it sweating & decaying into compost ...don't let it dry out or not turn it over for it will not make a good compost .

Keeping it well turned and damp will soon see any harmful bacteria pasteurized for the internal temps of a good pile will reach around 150 oF and that is good for killing off most harmful things as well as most seeds.

I no longer have the farm , i had to move on in life to here in South Wales UK , Last spring I made up 33 cubic feet of rabbit, rat , mouse , hamster guinea pigs , chicken and turkey droppings & associated bedding plus several budgie cage cleanings , it is good stuff and went to top out most of my new never grown in beds as part of my MM .
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Re: Used pet rodent bedding as compost? Good or bad?

Post  CindiLou on 1/20/2013, 10:54 pm

I know I have used my gp and gerbil bedding. I NEVER use my ferret's because he is a carnivore. That is how I was always taught anyway. Herbivore yes, carnivore no.
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Re: Used pet rodent bedding as compost? Good or bad?

Post  plantoid on 1/21/2013, 7:57 pm

@CindiLou wrote:I know I have used my gp and gerbil bedding. I NEVER use my ferret's because he is a carnivore. That is how I was always taught anyway. Herbivore yes, carnivore no.

+ 2 stars. Cool
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Re: Used pet rodent bedding as compost? Good or bad?

Post  GWN on 1/21/2013, 8:39 pm

Interesting thought, carnivore VS herbivore poop...?
Bats are carnivores and bat poop "guano" is supposed to be about the very best poop of all, and I have often thought that perhaps it had something to do with them being carnivores???

I must admit I know nothing about this that would make me an authority, I just get to thinking some days... blush study
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Re: Used pet rodent bedding as compost? Good or bad?

Post  camprn on 1/21/2013, 8:47 pm

I think most bats are insect or nectar eaters. Or rather, not all bats are carnivores, but have species specific diet.


Last edited by camprn on 1/21/2013, 8:59 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Used pet rodent bedding as compost? Good or bad?

Post  GWN on 1/21/2013, 8:56 pm

doesnt that make them carnivores, they eat animals rather than vegetables?
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Re: Used pet rodent bedding as compost? Good or bad?

Post  camprn on 1/21/2013, 9:01 pm

@GWN wrote:doesnt that make them carnivores, they eat animals rather than vegetables?
Carnivore means meat water. Insects are not meat I guess.

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Re: Used pet rodent bedding as compost? Good or bad?

Post  GWN on 1/21/2013, 9:55 pm

I found the answer, there is a group called insectivorous
Most bats are insectivorous
...
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Re: Used pet rodent bedding as compost? Good or bad?

Post  plantoid on 1/22/2013, 8:57 am

There is also omnivors ( Sp) who eat meat, flies and veg matter etc , such as pigs so long as their droppings are fully hot compostedt there is little chance of humans injesting the eggs of any of their internal parasites & the species are not know for being deadly disease carrier of the likes of anthrax .

We say no dog or cat muck / litter tray contents even if raked clear of the big stuff ( mainly meat eaters droppings ) in the compost heap for we can get their worms from touching them and handling their fresh or partialy composted fecal matter & used litter trays .
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Carefresh bedding from hamsters

Post  cismith54 on 4/5/2014, 5:40 pm

After reading these posts, I am wondering if the used bedding that I change out every couple of weeks for my hamsters is usable in my composted.  Is there something on the bag that I should be looking for that will tell me whether or not it would be a good source?  They eat only various types of seeds, nut and other dried fruits & vegetables.  In the past I have just thrown in the garbage can which seems very wasteful.  Any suggestions on this would be great as I am about to revisit the composting level and hopefully get some good results.
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Re: Used pet rodent bedding as compost? Good or bad?

Post  yolos on 4/5/2014, 7:27 pm

Yes you can according to this article:
http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/compost-ingredients

I googled hamster compost and got loads of articles and comments on google.
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Re: Used pet rodent bedding as compost? Good or bad?

Post  Goosegirl on 4/5/2014, 7:39 pm

When we had rats I always used their litter box leavings.  We used rabbit food alfalfa pellets in their litter boxes and so I always had the hot green alfalfa, rat urine, and rat raisins (poops) to throw in my compost bin.  Our rats were always checked regularly at the vet, so no disease, worm, or other issues.  My garden seemed to like the additions!

GG
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