? About Lime On Rabbit Poo That Goes In Worm Bins

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Fla Gal, Jul 7, 2005.

  1. Fla Gal

    Fla Gal Bunny Poo Monger Supporter

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    This past Monday someone told me that we should put lime on rabbit poo to keep the flies down and the lime wouldn't hurt the red worms in our worm bins if we add the limed poo because lime is alkaline and makes the soil sweet. In all my questions to these forums I've not know of one mention of lime being sprinkled to rabbit poo that was to be added to worm bins.

    We're not even having a problem with flies because I'm harvesting the poo for worm bins and the compost pile before it becomes a problem. Maybe the "kind neighbor" is telling us this to avoid a seemingly future problem with flies.

    I'm asking for future reference, when we have more rabbits and the poo and urine might become a problem, is lime a problem or a plus for worm bins or the compost pile?
     
  2. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    FlaGal,
    I'm not an expert, just someone who visited a rabbit farm in Arkansas last month. One THOUSAND bunnies. More flies. :rolleyes:

    I wonder if diatomaceous earth might be better. That should kill the larvae.

    What we need to know is whether rabbit poo and urine are acid. If so, then yes to the lime. If no, then lime is not the answer.

    Hope someone has expertise!

    Rose
     

  3. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    Yes, decomposition of organic poo and urine creates organic acids. The addition of the right kind of lime will help maintain a neutral pH in your compost and soil. The "safest" form of lime is ground limestone or "ag lime." You can add this amendment at any rate you want, even at very high rates, and the pH will never exceed 8.3....which a little high IMHO, but not too high and is close to neutral (ph of 7 is neutral).

    Other forms of lime, such as barn lime, quick lime, wood ashes, can also raise the pH but you have to be more careful about the application rates. These forms of lime, if added at too high a rate, can raise the pH as high as 11 or 12. These high pH's will kill the worms and other microorganisms in your soil or compost pile. Add these forms of lime very judiciously.
     
  4. lacyj

    lacyj Well-Known Member

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    Hey Cabin,
    That's good to know, thanks...
    lacyj
     
  5. Rick

    Rick Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Cabin

    Any suggestions on how to sprinkle wood ash on soil to raise the PH, but not too high? I'm sure we can use a test kit until we get the hang of it.

    Do you know any way to test soil without buying a test kit?

    Rick
     
  6. Fla Gal

    Fla Gal Bunny Poo Monger Supporter

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    Thanks CF for the information. I believe this is one tool we need to keep on hand to stop the problem before it starts, especially when it doesn't harm the worms.

    Rick mentioned a soil testing kit. I'm asking you, before I do a google search, hoping you have a quick answer. Do you have knowledge of this type kit or would it be better to take a sample to the Ag office?

    Edited to add:

    Well DUH..

    Rick, I believe the soil can be tested with "Litmus" strips. Cabin, do you know how to home test the soil using litmus strips?
     
  7. Mid Tn Mama

    Mid Tn Mama Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I believe DE will kill your worms. Why not keep sprinkling something on top every day like grass clippings or leaves so the poop is only exposed for x hours.
     
  8. Fla Gal

    Fla Gal Bunny Poo Monger Supporter

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    I'm sure the DE would do the worms harm if it were swimming pool grade. I don't know about the other grade of DE, I've had no experience with it and don't know what makes it different other than it might be refined and not so abrasive.

    All I know is the swimming pool grade diatomaceous earth is what some call bones because it is composed of the skeletons of diatoms and if inhaled can cause scar tissue in the lungs. I believe that type DE would do us, the rabbits and the worms harm.

    We don't have enough grass clippings or leaves on this postage stamp sized yard to keep covering the poo with them and hay is pretty expensive. In addition to that I don't want to mix the hay with the poo. I'm going for worm castings I can use or market. I don't think the castings would sell well with hay in them.

    I'm hesitant to ask anyone for their grass clippings because of pesticides and herbicides. Other than taking leaves off the pecan trees, which wouldn't last long with only two trees, it sounds to me that ag lime would be our best route at this time. Any other input? All suggestions welcomed.
     
  9. crystalniche

    crystalniche Well-Known Member

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    I have some experience with this. We sprinkle lime under our rabbit cages to prevent odor and flies. We also have tons of worms under there and they don't seem to be effected by the lime. We also make our raised bed gardens using rabbit poo, peat moss, leaves and sprinkle with lime. Plenty of worms there too and no flies. If the ground gets too wet from rain we put down shavings, right over everything else. Still have plenty of worms. Hope this helps.
     
  10. Fla Gal

    Fla Gal Bunny Poo Monger Supporter

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    Crystal,

    You and Cabin have answered my question very well. Thanks to both of you for that. :)
     
  11. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    I have a question,you eating rabbit yet? Yumm! I LOVE rabbit!

    BooBoo
     
  12. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    I hope that none of my collegues are reading this forum...yikes! We would never recommend the use of litmus paper to read soil pH. We would always recommend a soil test....or at least the use of a calibrated pH meter.

    But if you're dead set on using litmus paper, my suggestions is this: mix your soil sample with distilled water at a 1:1 ratio. Stir every 5 minutes for about 1/2 hour. Allow the soil to settle for an additional 1/2 hour. Dip you litmus paper into the soil/water mixture. Read the color on the litmus paper.
     
  13. Fla Gal

    Fla Gal Bunny Poo Monger Supporter

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    It isn't that I'm dead set on using litmus paper, it's the only ph testing that I'm familiar with and that experience was in a nickle plating plant. I think I'd be better of taking a soil sample to the Ag center so I could obtain accurate results.
     
  14. Rick

    Rick Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks Fla Gal, and CF.

    I think CF's commet was tongue in cheek. maybe he'll clarify.

    If not, I may have to travel as a tourist to his part of Meenuhsohtah in my litmus paper outfit, and see if I get my ars kicked.

    Rick