Rabbit Poop – Everything you need to know


By Link the Bun
Published on: December 29th, 2020

Rabbit poop is important! – This guide will tackle everything related to rabbit poop. Poop is at a core the perfect way of telling if your rabbit is not only healthy but if they have any internal issues.

If you’re concerned about your rabbit’s poop or hanging their diet, you should always contact your local veterinarian first.

Rabbits are herbivores which means they eat grass, weeds and hay as a primary of their diet, due to this, their digestive system is extremely sensitive when it comes to processing their diet and this is easily spotted in their poop!

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.

If you’re looking for a single sign of how well your rabbits digestive system is functioning and if their diet is as healthy as possible you can find it directly in rabbit poop. If you notice a change in your rabbit droppings that means there’s either a digestive disruption or progression.

How many poops will my rabbit do?

Rabbit outside pooping
Photo by Chan Swan on Unsplash

A typical rabbit will poop around 200-350 times a day, this changes in volume based on how big your rabbit is and how much they eat and how their mood is. For example, a rabbit that has recently been scared may produce smaller poops for a few hours after.

How can I tell if they’re healthy rabbit poops?

Rabbit poo that is fresh should be soft and brittle, a little bit of pressure should result in your rabbits poop falling apart into a small dusty like substance. The longer you leave a rabbit poo the harder they’ll get, so if possible try checking with a fresh poop!

The inside of your rabbits fresh poop should look almost golden, leaning towards a very greenish/yellow tint and lots of smaller bits.

The types of droppings

Rabbits produce two types of droppings.

Hard Round balls: Also called faecal pellets, it contains the waste indigestible fiber.

Soft Dark Colored Droppings: Also called cecotropes, rabbits re-ingest cecotropes to obtain extra nutrients.

Faecal Pellets

Normal rabbit poo is small in size and it’s usually black, dark brown and green in color filled with plant and grass pieces. They are slightly moist but dry out quickly. If you examine and break one apart, you will see the undigested plant fibre that it’s formed from and it crumbles easily.

Droppings that are too small, dark and irregular in shape show that your rabbit isn’t processing food well. The reason may be a diet that has less fibre or a problem that may have slowed down the digestion of food.

If your rabbit stops pooping suddenly and hasn’t pooped for around 24hours it means the processing of food has completely stopped and it’s a life threatening condition and should be treated by your vet immediately.

Cecotropes

Cecotropes look squishy in appearance as the droppings are stuck together. It is dark brown almost black in color and the mucus covering gives it a glossy appearance.

The rabbits consume the cecotropes to obtain extra nutrients, rabbits produce these at the same time every day and mostly at night time hence it’s also called “night droppings”.

But pet rabbits produce them at different times as it depends on their feeding routine. Rabbits eat cecotropes straight from their butt; you may notice your rabbit ducking itshead underneath and then sit up chewing.

The production of too many cecotropes iscaused by a diet that is rich in carbohydrates, sugar and protein which disturbs the balance of the bacteria present in the caecum.

Rabbits do not eat these extra droppings as it does not contain important nutrients and rabbit poop stuck tobottom also gets squished on the floor.

You can resolve this issue by reducing the amount of pellets and increasing the amount of hay or feeding high in fibre and low protein pellets to your rabbits.

Science Time: Coprophagia and Cecotropes!

Cecotropes or “soft feces” is a certain type of material that results from the fermentation of food within the digestive system. This is packed with nutrient-rich vitamins, passing out of the body for consumption the second time.

Side Facts Regarding Your Bunny’s Diet

Rabbits consume high-fiber pellets, grass, and special treats that’s organic and high in fiber. Feeding your bunny grass hay prevents hair balls in their digestive system.

Because they are herbivores, rabbits and certain small animals must consume huge amounts of fiber each day to maintain the cecotropes process in their digestive system. However, too much fiber triggers constipation.

If your rabbit eats too little then they’ll experience enterotoxemia, intestinal problems like blood poisoning due to enterotoxin.

What about Coprophagia?

Coprophagia means the consumption of one’s poop. It’s normal in most animals and highly gross for humans. While rabbits consume their own feces for nutrients, people who also consume their own poop (which contains no nutrients at all) are considered insane and in need of immediate medical attention.

What Do Cecotropes Look Like?

After catching your rabbit eating his/her own poop, you’re probably wanting to avoid kissing their cute noses now. Don’t worry, a regular bathing session should fix the issue.

However, pay close attention to their stool. Again, it’s normal for rabbits and other animals to consume their own feces. Cecotropes have a distinctive look and texture.

Imagine a dark mulberry or a clumpy chocolate covered raisin, coated with a shiny finish. This is what a cecotrope looks like. Within this particular nutrient-rich waste, it is coated with a layer of rubbery mucus and a large mass of cecal bacteria. Don’t worry, there’s no smell to it, so you should feel relieved at some point.

Sticky Rabbit Poo

Why is my rabbit’s butt covered with sticky poo? – one cause is that you may be feeding them too many sugary treats and not feeding your rabbit with enough hay. Some foods may also contain hidden sugar in the form of syrups and molasses that bind the pallets together.

As such, we suggest avoiding seed based treats, not only as they are a choking hazard but are typically very unhealthy for your rabbits gut.

You should opt for foods that containno sugars and should be high in fibre; you can make these changes slowly so your rabbit’s digestive system has a chance to adapt to the new food.

Sugary treats should be restricted for your rabbits as it may cause an upset stomach. If your rabbit does not like eating hay it may be that they haven’t had a hay they like, we suggest trying out different varieties.

You can make eating hay more rewarding for your rabbits by stuffing it intocardboard tubes and folding the ends!

Are Rabbit Droppings Harmful?

Rabbits can carry parasites like tapeworm and roundworm but their waste does not transmit any diseases to humans.

However, a single rabbit can excrete hundreds of droppings in a day which doesn’t directly damage your garden but does indicate that your rabbit will urinate whichcan damage grass.

Can you catch diseases from your rabbits droppings?

In theory, you can catch a variety of diseases from your rabbit from Pasteurella, Tetanus, Ringworm and even E. cuniculi. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean they will come from your rabbits poop, Ringworm is the most likely to cause via rabbit droppings.

Unfortunately, Tapeworms can be acquired from vegetation, fox droppings, dogs & cats and even wild rabbits which means this is easily transferred to yourself as well.

Golden poop!

Golden poops or nuggets as they’re known as mean your rabbit has an extremely good diet and their gut is digesting food well. Basically, golden rabbit poop can be seen as a way of viewing your rabbits nutritional balance.

Golden poop is even brighter than a healthier looking poop and the inside is as it says, golden! It will have a nice yellow tint to it and look like a golden nugget! Perfect.

You can help your rabbit produce good poo by feeding them with lots of hay that help in the production of normal poo and cecotropes. Here’s a tip, you can match the minimum amount of hay you feed your rabbit by their body size! That’s how much hay you rabbit needs to have at a minimum every day.

Keep a clean bottom!

Soft or sticky poo gets stuck to the rabbit butt. Which attract the flies to the poopy butt where they lay eggs that hatch out as maggots which may cause serious health conditions in rabbits like Flystrike also known as ‘myiasis’.

Whenever you find your rabbit dirty, gently clean the rabbit butt with warm water and dry it. If you find maggots on their poopy butt, always consult the vet as soon as possible.

Rabbit Poops as Super Fertilizer

You can grab a handful of rabbit pellets and spread it all over your garden. As they break down, they improve and build the soils structure, add stability and hold nutrients for plants and other organisms in the soil as well.

Facts about Rabbit Manure

  • Rabbit manure is organic, it improves soil structure, drainage and moisture retention.
  • Rabbit manure has more nutrients than cow manure.
  • Rabbit manure is packed with potassium, phosphorous, minerals, nitrogen and micro-nutrients.
  • Rabbit manure also improves the life cycle of microorganisms in the soil.
  • Plants need nitrogen for green growth and rabbit manure is higher in nitrogen than cow or horse manure.
  • Rabbit manure is also high in potassium;it helps with fruit quality and reducing diseases.
  • It also has high phosphorous, it helps in the transformation of solar energy into chemical energy. It’s great for the growth of roots and helps plants withstand stress
  • Worms just love rabbit manure.

Fact or Fiction: Rabbits Eat Their Own Poop

The short answer is “yes”. Rabbits and other animals with high-fiber diets consume their own poop.

While that sounds disturbing, there’s a healthy reason behind it! Animals that consumes a lot of fiber in their diets would consume certain type of feces called cecotropes once it passes through.

On the outside looking in, that’s still extremely gross given that this is waste coming from their rear end. However, most (if not all) animals are built differently from the inside, especially their digestive systems and their customized diets.

What If My Rabbit Doesn’t Eat Poop?

Now is not the time to celebrate if your bunny baby isn’t eating their own poop. They must consume appropriate portions of feces, otherwise they will suffer several digestive problems and blood poisoning.

While our bodies contain good and bad bacteria, it’s imperative to maintain natural order within their diets. If this happens, reach out to your local veterinarian right away. Lack of feces digestion will trigger reduced intestinal functions. This could create potential blockage, gastrointestinal stasis, or death.

Why Do They Do It?

They eat their own poop because it’s part of their diets. This helps your rabbit regulate their digestive system while pooping on time.

If you’re noticing that they’re pooping less, possibly increase the grass hay in their diets to clean their systems. However, too much fiber can also kill them.

Three Signs Your Rabbit Is Devouring Feces.

The first sign is when he/she makes a deposit late in the morning, afternoon, or at night. Rabbits don’t enjoy an audience when they’re pooping, so they would typically wait when nobody’s around or they’re not being watched.However, if you notice that your bunny is licking his/her hind frequently, then they’re eating their own poop!Another sign that your rabbit is consuming feces is if you notice that you’re only seeing circular poopy pellets in the cage.

That means your rabbit consumed its cecotropes and left behind actual waste for you to clean out. Hey, at least they’re helping with the cage clean up.The final sign that your rabbit was eating poop, but now reduced their intake is when the cecotropes is still attached to their fur.

That means possible signs of constipation or a digestive issue needing immediate attention. However, if you don’t see anything sticky on their rear end, then they’re good to go!

What Kind of Poop Do Rabbits Like?

If you noticed that your rabbit’s stool is runny, then he/she is dealing with diarrhea caused by either roundworms, tapeworms, or inflammation in the intestinal lining. You may find your rabbits stool is mushy and/or runny, like Colgate toothpaste (minus the minty fresh smell and taste).

This is a condition he’s dealing with called cecal dysbiosis. That means he’s not producing enough beneficial bacteria and there’s a buildup of yeast or other harmful bacteria in his system.

Rabbits enjoy their well-balanced poop, easy for them to clean off themselves so their diet remains normal each day. Too much fiber or digestible carbs will slow down the pooping process. This also can cause tetanus and botulism for your rabbit if left untreated.

How Can I Prevent My Bunny Baby From Eating Their Own Poop?

Honestly, do not prevent your bunny from consuming their cecotropes. If you do, this will cause health problems, leading to a dead bunny in their cage. It may sound extreme, however, forcing them to stop this natural process will jeopardize their health and well-being.


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