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. This bunny poop is not round and soft, but very lean and hard as a rock. The color or rabbit poop can vary from a light to dark brown. These special kind of poop allows rabbits to absorb nutrient out of their normal daily diet. The soft feces are produced in the cecum (a pouch located between the small and large intestines) and are consumed by the rabbit directly from its anus as they are excreted. Do Rabbits Eat Their Own Poop? The lack of fiber in your rabbit’s diet forces their gut to slow down since the indigestible fiber is essential for keeping their digestion moving. These have a lot of nutrients that are important for keeping rabbits healthy, but they also have a lot of fiber in their structure. Pellet size isn’t always relative to the size of the rabbit itself. Some mammals will eat feces on rare occasions, such as dogs. When stool is hard and pebble-like, it can be difficult to pass because the hard, dry edges make it feel sharp. However you may notice a cluster of cecotropes that your rabbit has missed on occasion. If your diet is the culprit, eating more fiber-rich foods and staying hydrated can often help you get back on track, although it may take a few days before you notice an improvement. Rabbit waste is similar to white-tailed deer scat despite the pests’ size difference. This is when cecotropes from a healthy rabbit are fed to a sick rabbit in order to reestablish a healthy intestinal tract. Not all rabbit droppings will be infected with harmful parasites, but it’s impossible to know until the dog displays symptoms. Reasons why rabbits eat their own poop The term for eating feces is known as coprophagia or coprophagy. Choose pellets such as: Timothy pellets for adults You might need to change the brand of pellets. A rabbit’s digestive system is complex, and instead of eating a few meals a day, they ideally will snack all day long, but not pellets or treats but on hay. Adrienne Kruzer, RVT, has worked with a variety of animals for over 15 years, including birds of prey, reptiles, and small mammals. You want to see: You shouldn’t see cecotropes very often because rabbits usually eat these directly out of their anus. If the rabbit is fed every morning, it’s natural that they wouldn’t show up in large numbers until evening. Coprophagia occurs when feces is consumed. You might have heard that rabbits poop in pellets because it’s an easier shape for them to ingest. Avoid feeding your pet rabbit pellets at this time. Cecotrophs contain around 28-30% crude protein and up to 30% of the total nitrogen intake of rabbits. If your rabbit is still eating a little bit, offer greens with higher water content, such as lettuce and celery, as well as lots of hay. A healthy rabbit produces two types of fecal pellets: a hard pellet made of indigestible fiber, and a soft pellet (‘cecotrope’). 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. They double over and appear to be cleaning their bum, but come up chewing on something that can only be their own poop. that we use to grow our vegetable garden. The digestible content, however, takes a different route through the rabbit’s digestive system. Rabbits and hares must be able to eat their soft pellets in order to be properly nurtured. Check your rabbit’s poop-Your rabbit’s poop can tell you a lot about your rabbit’s health. Maximum 30% Pellets. This can happen when your dog eats rabbit poop, as well as if your dog eats rabbit meat. Consider reducing your pet’s food pellets and increasing her hay. Your vet can guide you to get your rabbit onto a healthy diet or give you medication to manage the symptoms of arthritis. They will add a rich boost of nitrogen to your compost pile and I have found they break down pretty quickly. 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. The only real issue is whether or not the rabbit is eating the right type of poop. It may seem gross, but rabbits normally eat some of their feces once a day, either early in the morning or late at night. Otherwise, rabbit poop is distinguishable from other garden pest scat. Fecal pellets are made up of tiny indigestible particles, looking like sawdust inside. This rabbit poop is smaller than usual. 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. How Do I Get My Rabbit To Eat Her Cecotropes? Your rabbits quality of poop can be thrown out of whack by simply giving too many treats, not having the right quality or quantity of hay and even over-feeding them pellets. The exact size and color will vary a little bit, depending on the rabbit. If your rabbit steps on a cluster, they will squish together into a smear. Caged rabbits aren't likely to have worms. 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. My first piece of advice is always to go to an animal shelter... Caring For a Rabbit Before and After Neuter or Spay Surgery. 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. It’s a sickening situation for humans, so it’s time to learn how to stop your dog… They’ll have a strong odor if the thin outer membrane is broken. Since they won’t be getting any nutrients from these poops, you don’t want them to replace the foods that are actually healthy. Rabbits often develop arthritis in old age that makes it difficult or painful to bend over. As we have mentioned, rabbit constipation is caused by intestinal blockage or GI stasis. Not only is it no big deal when rabbits eat their own poop, it’s actually very important to their health. Your rabbit needs to eat these droppings in order to get all of the nutrients they can from their diet. 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. If you ever stepped on one or squashed it to see what’s inside, you’ll know it basically looks like sawdust. To prevent this, you want to make sure your rabbit has a healthy and balanced diet. No! Rabbit fecal pellets, the cocoa puff poops, are basically just condensed balls of fiber that have had the nutrients stripped away. Cecotropes are softer, stickier, and are usually not even seen by a rabbit owner because a rabbit often consumes them almost as they are exiting the body. Some feces contain a mucus coating and are excreted in a cluster rather than as single pellets… 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). Office For Science And Society, 2020, Oglesbee, Barbara L., and Brigitte Lord. Sometimes there are a lot of cecotropes scattered around because the rabbit is unable to reach their butt to eat their cecotropes. Should You Prevent Your Rabbit From Eating Its Poop? Fecal matter is produced throughout the day as a rabbit is hopping around or visiting the litter box, but these constantly produced fecal pellets are not what a rabbit consumes. A good bunny owner checks their rabbit’s poop every single day. Free ranging chickens on a farm will pick through cow and horse manure for bugs and worms. Problems with poop Identifying Rabbit Scat. It is estimated that B12is synthesized 100x the daily requirement. These are different than the dry fecal pellets that a rabbit more commonly produced and left in litter boxes and around their area. Rabbits need to re-ingest one of these, called cecotropes, to gain the maximum amount of nutrients from their diet and keep their digestive system healthy. A normal cecotrope resembles a dark brown mulberry, or tightly bunched grapes. A rabbit that is eating exclusively grass, will produce about half the volume of manure. Eating a small amount of rabbit poop is generally not harmful to dogs. Pungent or notably odorous pellets are a sign that there is an underlying health issue. She helps to socialize the rabbits and educate volunteers on the care and behavior of these small mammals. Parasites are common in rabbit feces and can be passed onto dogs through the consumption of infected pellets. The rabbit will usually only eat cecotropes in their hutch or cage since these areas are quiet. Besides limiting the amount of pellets you give your rabbit… Rabbits are naturally herbivores, which means they feed on a diet of hay, greens, and other vegetation. Also known as fecal pellets, these normal rabbit poops should look very much like cocoa puffs. These together can lead to illnesses in rabbits, such as GI Stasis. Pebble poop, or pellet-like stool, may occur when very hard stool breaks apart into smaller pieces. 2 days ago I was given a BIG french lop to ‘foster’ (my sister intends to keep him long term). A rabbit may eat its droppings if it does not have access to enough fiber from other sources. They are high in nitrogen, short-chain fatty acids, microbial protein, B vitamins, sodium, potassium, water, lysine, the sulfur amino acids, and threonine. 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. Dogs have a peculiar attraction to eating rabbit poop and a great finesse at discovering the tiny, dark, pebble-like droppings. You’ll also want to give your rabbit a few cups of fresh leafy greens per day. 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. The reduced amount of food leads to tiny, angular, and stiff poop. What if Your Rabbit Isn't Eating Its Poop? The cecotropes are produced in the cecum, a part of the intestinal tract of a rabbit, by fermentation of the food a rabbit eats. Learn how to create a happy, healthy home for your pet. Chickens eat their own feces so I don't see a problem. I’m sure you’ve noticed that little habit of your rabbit’s by now. Sometimes your rabbit stops eating her pellets because he doesn’t like the flavor. While it’s healthy and normal for rabbits to eat their cecotropes, most rabbits will not eat their own fecal pellets. Rabbits poop pellets because the excess waste they do not need must be removed, which takes the form of a pellet. If your rabbit is unable to eat their cecotropes for any of these reasons, then you’ll need to make a visit to your vet so you can diagnose the problem and help your rabbit recover. rabbit pellet / hard lumpy stool is in stage of disease 1 - affecting digestion If you have symptoms in this category, your body is sending you a warning sign. You shouldn't be too concerned if your rabbit eats his poop. The high sugar can also create an imbalance in the amount of bacteria in the rabbit’s gut, making them more likely to develop cecotropes that are mushy and not fully formed. The Scoop on Poop. Most rabbits don’t eat their own fecal pellets, though it’s normal for them to have a nibble on them once in a while. Pellets should also be a part of your rabbits diet, but they should only be given in small amounts. Rabbit not eating cecotropes Whereas it is normal for rabbits to eat the cecotropes, there is an instance when they do not eat them. First, check your rabbit's hind end. You’ll see your rabbit bend over and lick their but, to come up chewing on something a moment later. If your rabbit isn't eating its cecotropes, then there is most likely an underlying reason why. If you roll it between your fingers, though, the poop should easily grind into a fine powder. Occasionally, however, you might notice a bundle of cecotropes that your rabbit has missed. Second, the amount of poop produced varies greatly based upon what they are eating? They are often seen licking their paws, smoothing the fur on their ears, and even cleaning their bottoms. The numbers shared above, are based upon a standard diet of pellets and hay. There are two types of rabbit poop you will need to stop your dog eating. 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. They don't, however, eat their hard pellets. Your bunny’s poop is one of the best indicators of their well-being and general health. If you see it cleaning its hind end and spending more time licking below its tail, then it is eating its cecotropes. To know if they are healthy you just need to look for consistency among the little poop balls. She helps out on a farm and the neighbouring farm had some rabbits and Guineapigs all shaked up together in filthy conditions. While this may sound like quite the opposite of a good hygiene practice, there is actually a good reason why rabbits do this. There is little correlation between the size of the rabbit and the size of their poop. One type being the hard, odorless dry pellets that we often come across and then secondly, cecotropes. However, certain parasites can be passed on to dogs from rabbits. Rabbit poop is different than the droppings of other animals. Where cecotropes contain valuable protein, feces contain only indigestible fiber and no water. 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. About ¼ cup to ½ cup per day is enough for rabbits to get the vitamins and nutrients that the pellets provide while also keeping a mostly hay-based diet. A rabbit produces two types of excrement: regular fecal pellets and cecotropes. Whenever your back is turned during outdoor adventures, your dog might keep eating bunny feces. Since digestion is so metabolically intensive and sensitive to stress and emotions, the earliest warning signs of imbalance usually appear in … Rabbit fecal pellets offer little in terms of nutrition. Small rabbit poop. If your rabbit stops eating her cecotropes, try reducing her pellet intake. How Much Does a Pet Rabbit Cost To Care For? While fresh, a rabbit poop should be firm and stable. Normal Fecal Pellets. Do not mistake normal pellets with cecotropes though, which do have a stronger odor but are a healthy bowel movement. If you’re looking into getting a new rabbit as a pet, there are many questions you’ll have about how to find the right bunny for you. Learn about the components of a balenced diet. People used to think that cecotropes were only produced in the evenings, rather than all day long like normal rabbit poops. However, if you are reading this because your rabbit has stopped pooping, I’ve got some good advice for you. The Spruce Pets uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Treats, such as carrots and bananas, should only be given in small quantities. If all of the poops that are present appear round and normal, then your rabbit is probably eating its cecotropes. You want to give your rabbit an unlimited supply of this hay so that they can munch on it frequently throughout the day. “Why Do Some Animals Eat Their Own Poop?”, McVean, Ada. 174-187. ... than the typical hard bunny fecal pellets you might see in the litterbox or around your rabbit’s cage. A squishy and sticky texture. - Answered by a verified Dog Specialist ... My small dog was at the dog park eating rabbit droppings. A rabbit that stops eating is always ill, now we just need to find out what is causing this. This is what all that fiber in a rabbit’s diet is used for and it forms those familiar cocoa puff poop balls. Gastrointestinal Diseases Of Rabbits. Identifying and Treating Rabbit Ileus, a Common GI Disorder. This can be painful. The appearance of this type of poop will vary a little bit depending on your rabbit. They eat their own poop so they can digest their food the second time and remain healthy. Dogs will eat anything they can sink their teeth into, but rabbit poop seems to be their favorite delicacy. Usually if you offer it to your rabbit as a treat, they will gladly eat it. These kinds of materials have a high amount of fiber that most animals can’t extract any nutrients from. Rabbits should be fed and provided with fresh water daily; hay should be available at all times. Second, check the litter box and cage floor where your rabbit sleeps. The indigestible content is responsible for keeping the rabbit’s digestion moving and it’s important for preventing GI Stasis. A rabbit's pellets are similar to a cow's cud, except that they pass through before they are eaten again; they are essentially undigested pellets of food, and differentiated from feces. Cecotropes are not feces, but bunny-made doses of nutrients, so don’t be surprised to find your rabbit eating them. Yes rabbits eat poop but it is a special kind of poop called a Cecotrope. Both groups eating hay plus either Muesli or Pellets maintained a good body condition, but unsurprisingly those fed Muesli only didn’t fair so well and became obese. I have two daschunds and a scottie. It is completely normal behavior for rabbits to eat cecotropes at night or early in the morning, but it is not normal for them to eat their normal stools during the day. Rabbit owners will generally become very familiar with rabbit poop and droppings in their course of bunny ownership. 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. A rabbit may eat its droppings if it does not have access to enough fiber from other sources. Constipation can be total or partial, so pay attention to any changes in your rabbit's feces. Poo consistency ranges from runny - normally a sign of an upset tummy - to hard, cracked, pellets like rabbit droppings. That means your rabbit is eating a lot and making a lot of good round hard poops. Usually rabbits will not eat these poops (but they might occasionally). All rabbits form two types of droppings: round dry fecal pellets (referred to in this article) and wet smelly cecotropes that are usually unseen by owners as rabbits normally eat them directly as they are produced.. Since only cecotropes contain nutritional value for the rabbit, if they are eating their hard droppings, it implies there is an issue. No smell. They are not going to provide any benefit to your rabbit, like cecotropes do, but they aren’t going to be harmful for rabbits to eat either. If there are small, soft, sticky poops stuck to your rabbit's fur, then your rabbit isn't eating its cecotropes. If there aren't any of these soft poops, then your rabbit is consuming them as it should be. This is a common misconception people have when they first see their bunnies chowing down on something coming out of their behinds. If rabbits don’t eat a certain type of poop that they produce, called cecotropes, then they run the risk of becoming nutrient deficient. Rabbits. 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. 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. We encourage you to observe your rabbit’s behavior, activity level and droppings daily. A normal cecotrope resembles a dark brown mulberry, or tightly bunched grapes. Rabbits produce two types of pellets: fecal pellets (left in the litterbox) and cecotropes (soft, pungent, normally shaped like a cluster of grapes and reingested by … Companion Animals Extension, 2020, Rabbits Eat Their Own Poop. Healthy fecal pellets should have no strong or lasting smell. If you are sure that your rabbit his eating poop (not cecotropes), it’s time to assess its diet. “Rabbits Eat Their Own 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. If you aren't sure if your rabbit eats its poop, there are a few key indicators you can look for. Unlike other animals, rabbit poop is not so unpleasant. In fact, it's a normal and healthy rabbit behavior. Otherwise, rabbit poop is distinguishable from other garden pest scat. Wild rabbit would not have been able to extract the nutrients they need from the available food in their surroundings. Rabbits eliminate waste material on a regular basis just like other animals and humans. I think my rabbit might be sick, she is not eating her pellets, and her poop is small and dry. However, if your rabbits eating more actual fresh grass, the volume of manure produced will drop. Pellets work great in these situations, however, when you want your pet to live a long, healthy life, a diet heavy in pellets is less than ideal. The way a rabbit digestion works is essentially by splitting everything they eat into digestible and indigestible categories. They will naturally be softer when they are first dropped by the rabbit, but the fecal pellets should harden with time. This is usually the result of an unhealthy or unbalanced diet that is rich in sugary foods and low in fiber. Over-feeding pellets or mix will cause a runny bum. Each rabbit is different and knowing what is normal behavior for your rabbit could save his life. I am a lifelong rabbit lover and have been specializing with rabbits at my local animal shelter. The latter are produced in a region of the rabbit’s digestive tract called the cecum, a blind-end pouch situated at the junction of the small and big intestines. Rabbits eat the cecotropes for additional nutrients. A rabbit's pellets are similar to a cow's cud, except that they pass through before they are eaten again; they are essentially undigested pellets of food, and differentiated from feces. Different Types of Rabbit Poop. Several conditions can cause a physical impediment to eating cecotropes, including arthritis, an injury, or obesity. The short-chain fatty acids in their cecals provide an additional source of energy, and the B vitamins provided can be in excess of the rabbit's needs. Most of the time rabbits will eat their cecotropes directly from their anus. Rabbit. Often a caecotroph is black and shiny. Most likely those little balls of poop you are finding on the ground are coming from wild rabbits roaming around your neighborhood. It’s not a problem if your rabbit stops eating pellets. I am here to make sure all of you rabbit lovers have everything you need to care for your fluffy little bundle of joy. In fact, eating rabbit meat infested with certain parasites can be much more harmful to your dog than eating rabbit poop. In most cases, a lot of poop is a good thing. 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. Wild rabbits who were the ancestors of our pets, evolved to have this unique type of digestive system so that they could survive on a rough diet of foliage and bark. 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