When stool is hard and pebble-like, it can be difficult to pass because the hard, dry edges make it feel sharp. When rabbits chew and swallow their food (hay, leafy greens, fruits, vegetables, water, and some high-quality pellets), they go down to their stomach, then small intestine for nutrients absorption. Since only cecotropes contain nutritional value for the rabbit, if they are eating their hard droppings, it implies there is an issue. Cecotropes, also known as cecotrophs, caecotrophes, caecotrophs, cecal pellets, cecals, caecels or night feces, are a second type of rabbit poop produced by the cecum. Both animals leave pellets of the same size in mounds, although rabbit droppings usually only pile up when they are eating or hiding from a threat. First, check your rabbit's hind end. To prevent this, you want to make sure your rabbit has a healthy and balanced diet. If a rabbit does not get to eat its cecotropes, then it may be lacking some nutrients necessary for its special digestive tract to work properly. If you see your rabbit cleaning its hind end, do not disturb it. Choose pellets such as: Timothy pellets for adults How Much Does a Pet Rabbit Cost To Care For? Your rabbit needs to eat these droppings in order to get all of the nutrients they can from their diet. However, if your rabbits eating more actual fresh grass, the volume of manure produced will drop. Most of the time the problem is the amount of dry food pellets and treats rabbits are eating. The vet says that he looks healthy, he is not overweight, his diet is excellent, plenty of hay, a measured amount of daily pellets, fresh veg and water always available. This is known to cause dietary insufficiencies and it can be due to giving your bunny diets rich in proteins such as alfalfa. If you ever stepped on one or squashed it to see what’s inside, you’ll know it basically looks like sawdust. Should You Prevent Your Rabbit From Eating Its Poop? It’s very important for your rabbit to eat this type of dropping, so don’t try to prevent your rabbit from doing so, even if you think it’s gross. Most likely those little balls of poop you are finding on the ground are coming from wild rabbits roaming around your neighborhood. If you find that your rabbit is forgoing their healthy food and eating their poop instead then make a habit of scooping out their litter box frequently throughout the day. This can happen because the rabbit is too obese to reach around their folds of fat, but it can also happen with rabbits who are elderly and disabled with limited mobility. Occasionally, however, you might notice a bundle of cecotropes that your rabbit has missed. A normal cecotrope resembles a dark brown mulberry, or tightly bunched grapes. This is sent to the rabbit’s caecum where it’s fermented by the important bacteria that live there and formed into cecotrope droppings. The digestible content, however, takes a different route through the rabbit’s digestive system. Ash Tree Veterinary Centre, 2020, Why Do Rabbits Eat Their Feces?. But most pellets are left behind where dogs and other animals can find them. The most important part of a rabbit’s diet is grass-based hay (such as timothy hay). But when cleaning their bottoms, they may also consume a special type of poop. The only time I would worry about this behavior is if your rabbit chooses to eat their fecal pellets instead of their hay, leafy greens and pellets. She helps to socialize the rabbits and educate volunteers on the care and behavior of these small mammals. Rich in nutrients, cecotropes are usually eaten by rabbits directly, according to Northwood Animal Hospital. Not all rabbit droppings will be infected with harmful parasites, but it’s impossible to know until the dog displays symptoms. A rabbit that is eating exclusively grass, will produce about half the volume of manure. Some animals such as flies and other insects will eat feces as a means of sustenance, but it is not as common a practice in vertebrates. Follow the Bunny Lady and her bunny partner Elusive and they seek to educate rabbit caretakers and make sure everyone is able to have a happy and healthy bunny in their home. Coprophagia occurs when feces is consumed. It usually indicates a low food intake, which must be treated or treated through veterinary treatment and dietary changes (causes in the diet). Rabbits eliminate waste material on a regular basis just like other animals and humans. The appearance of this type of poop will vary a little bit depending on your rabbit. Rabbits, much like cats, are fastidious groomers and practice very good hygiene. The exact size and color will vary a little bit, depending on the rabbit. You want to give your rabbit an unlimited supply of this hay so that they can munch on it frequently throughout the day. Rabbits poop A LOT. Besides limiting the amount of pellets you give your rabbit… Rabbits eliminate waste material on a regular basis just like other animals and humans Cecotropes are not feces, but bunny-made doses of nutrients, so don’t be surprised to find your rabbit eating them. For more information on a healthy rabbit diet, visit my article on Rabbit Diet 101. Identifying and Treating Rabbit Ileus, a Common GI Disorder. my rabbit is not eating his cecotropes We have taken our lop eared castrated male rabbit, mischief, to the vet for a check up, as he doesn't eat his cecotropes. The mere thought of this type of behavior is rather unsettling to most people, but some animals, such as rabbits, actually eat their own feces for a very good reason. Parasites are common in rabbit feces and can be passed onto dogs through the consumption of infected pellets. Geggel, Laura. Caecotrophs look like sticky pellets all gathered together in a grape-like cluster – so they are much larger than the pellet-poo you commonly see. Second, check the litter box and cage floor where your rabbit sleeps. In fact, eating rabbit meat infested with certain parasites can be much more harmful to your dog than eating rabbit poop. “Rabbits Eat Their Own Poop.”. Don’t have a vet? Rabbits do not ordinarily re-ingest fecal pellets, though a few bunnies seem to enjoy an occasional fecal pellet hors d’ouevre with no harm. Gastrointestinal Diseases Of Rabbits. I am a lifelong rabbit lover and have been specializing with rabbits at my local animal shelter. This is when cecotropes from a healthy rabbit are fed to a sick rabbit in order to reestablish a healthy intestinal tract. Eating a small amount of rabbit poop is generally not harmful to dogs. Normal Rabbit Poop Size. My first piece of advice is always to go to an animal shelter... Caring For a Rabbit Before and After Neuter or Spay Surgery. A good bunny owner checks their rabbit’s poop every single day. This can happen when your dog eats rabbit poop, as well as if your dog eats rabbit meat. Constipation can be total or partial, so pay attention to any changes in your rabbit's feces. Identifying Rabbit Scat. Yes rabbits eat poop but it is a special kind of poop called a Cecotrope. A healthy rabbit produces two types of fecal pellets: a hard pellet made of indigestible fiber, and a soft pellet (‘cecotrope’). Poo consistency ranges from runny - normally a sign of an upset tummy - to hard, cracked, pellets like rabbit droppings. If you roll it between your fingers, though, the poop should easily grind into a fine powder. These have a lot of nutrients that are important for keeping rabbits healthy, but they also have a lot of fiber in their structure. In which case, you can resolve it by reducing the amount of pellets and increasing the amount of hay or feeding higher fibre/lower protein pellets (View Food Comparison Chart). Feed your rabbit fewer pellets, around 1/8 to 1/4 cup of pellets per every 4 pounds of rabbit is enough. Rabbits are herbivores and are considered grazers. Cecotropes are full of nutrients that a rabbit needs. These special feces contain more protein and vitamins than normal poops have, so by consuming its cecotropes (and a healthy diet), a rabbit is getting all of the important nutrients that it needs to stay healthy. The Spruce Pets uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Rabbits are naturally herbivores, which means they feed on a diet of hay, greens, and other vegetation. Your bunny’s poop is one of the best indicators of their well-being and general health. Rabbit fecal pellets, the cocoa puff poops, are basically just condensed balls of fiber that have had the nutrients stripped away. However, it’s not unhealthy for rabbits to behave this way. Unlike the majority of other mammals, lagomorphs (consisting of domestic bunnies) produce two types of droppings, fecal pellets (the round, dry ones you typically see in the litterbox) and cecotropes. Too many pellets can lead to rabbit poop which is chronically soft, as well as anorexia in a rabbit, obesity, or bladder and kidney stones. You’ll also want to give your rabbit a few cups of fresh leafy greens per day. A rabbit normally has a clean rear end because, even though cecotropes are soft and sticky, it is consuming these poops as they are exiting the body. Hay is the most important part of a rabbit's daily intake. Because of the way their digestion works, rabbits produce two different types of fecal pellets. It may seem gross, but rabbits normally eat some of their feces once a day, either early in the morning or late at night. Hard texture. It is estimated that B12is synthesized 100x the daily requirement. Monitor your rabbit’s production of fecal pellets. You might have heard that rabbits poop in pellets because it’s an easier shape for them to ingest. These are the normal ‘cocoa puff’ rabbit poops that you will see in your rabbit’s litter box and scattered around. Treats, such as carrots and bananas, should only be given in small quantities. Compost Rabbit Poop Rabbit droppings are wonderful additions to your compost. • A medium-sized or large adult bunny requires just 0.25 cups of pellets per day. If your rabbit steps on a cluster, they will squish together into a smear. If you aren't sure if your rabbit eats its poop, there are a few key indicators you can look for. However, it’s not unhealthy for rabbits to behave this way. A rabbit may eat its droppings if it does not have access to enough fiber from other sources. “Why Do Some Animals Eat Their Own Poop?”, McVean, Ada. Problems with poop You might need to change the brand of pellets. I’m sure you’ve noticed that little habit of your rabbit’s by now. Sometimes there are a lot of cecotropes scattered around because the rabbit is unable to reach their butt to eat their cecotropes. Rabbits are unique in that they produce two types of fecal material: a hard, dry fecal pellet and a soft or “night” feces known as cecotropes. They are high in nitrogen, short-chain fatty acids, microbial protein, B vitamins, sodium, potassium, water, lysine, the sulfur amino acids, and threonine. However, certain parasites can be passed on to dogs from rabbits. However, this is likely just because it takes a longer time for these to run through a rabbit’s digestive system. Rabbit fecal pellets offer little in terms of nutrition. There are two types of rabbit poop you will need to stop your dog eating. Rabbits and hares beat this problem with a special kind of digestion called hindgut fermentation. It’s important to make the differentiation between the two types of poop your rabbit produces. Companion Animals Extension, 2020, Rabbits Eat Their Own Poop. Small rabbit poop. Poop Watching Rabbits are foraging herbivores, eating mostly grass and weeds. This could be as simple as your rabbit is too obese or arthritic to reach its cecotropes, or as serious as a digestive or other medical concern. Some rabbits that have not received appropriate nutrients from its cecotropes may benefit from transfaunation. Rabbit owners will generally become very familiar with rabbit poop and droppings in their course of bunny ownership. 2 days ago I was given a BIG french lop to ‘foster’ (my sister intends to keep him long term). No! In fact, it's a normal and healthy rabbit behavior. 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