Eww! Do Rabbits Really Eat Their Own Poop?!



Picture this…you are heading out to visit your new bunny and you catch your furry friend doing something so seemingly disgusting that you want to scold him away from doing such an awful thing. He’s eating his poop!

Eww-Do-rabbits-really-eat-their-own-poop-Natural-Rabbit-Care

Don’t worry–this is a normal thing for your rabbit. What he is eating is not poop, however, it is a special food that rabbits make for themselves, called cecotropes.

First, the difference.

There are two types of droppings that your rabbit will create on a daily basis, fecal pellets and cecotropes, or cecal pellets. Fecal pellets are their normal droppings, what we would call poop, and they are spherical and dry. Cecal pellets, however, are much different in shape and consistency. They resemble a small, black cluster of grapes, are quite shiny, and unlike fecal pellets, a bit gooey if broken apart.

12485414233_bc00838a54_o

What are cecotropes?

Cecotropes are a nutrient-dense, vital part of your rabbit’s nutrition. They contain all of the nutrients and vitamins that were not absorbed by your rabbit’s body in the first pass-through, which makes them an important component to your rabbit’s diet. They are highly necessary to your rabbit’s nutrition because they have essential nutrients (like fatty acids and vitamins) that a rabbit’s body cannot produce on its own. They pass through the system and out the anus, which is what makes it appear that our furry friends are eating their own droppings.

12485414413_238231f81d_o

Ensuring your rabbit eats his cecotropes

Now that you know what you are looking at when you discover those funny little “poops” in your rabbit’s hutch tray, you might wonder if your rabbit is eating them at all. Finding multiple clusters of cecotropes in the tray is normal, as their bodies seem to manufacture much more than they need. It is in your rabbits genes to eat them, and they will do it on their own without our intervention.

Having said that, there are a couple of ways that we can make the process much easier for our bunnies.

  1. Feed them properly. Make sure that you are only giving your rabbit the recommended amounts of feed for her size and weight. Feeding too much or continuously will result in an overweight rabbit that cannot groom herself, let alone reach her cecal pellets to consume them.
  2. Add hay to his hutch. Adding a thin layer of hay will give your bunny a better chance to consume his cecal pellets by creating a situation where the pellets cannot easily fall through the wire flooring.

So as you can see, there is nothing to be alarmed about when your rabbit appears to be dining on his own droppings. It is the natural way of things and is actually a reason to feel encouraged–your rabbit is doing everything right!

Source and for further reading:
The Scoop on Poop – San Diego HRS

Shared at Homesteading Blog Hop, Wildcrafting Wednesday, Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop, Weekend Blog Hop, Awesome Life Friday, From the Farm, Front Porch Friday, Good Morning Mondays, Make Your Home Sing Monday, The Art of Homemaking Monday, MisAdventures Monday, Maple Hill Hop, Tuesdays with a Twist, Tuesday Garden Party



 
Print Friendly
Kristi Stone

Kristi Stone

Honestly? I'm the author of this blog...sometimes. My family and I live in Sunny Southern California on a one acre hobby farm where we are working diligently to one day produce our dairy, eggs, and produce. That takes A LOT of work, so if you don't hear from me as soon as you'd like, give me a shout out in the comments and I'll chat back as soon as I can between the garden, goat kids, chickens, husband, human kids, and playing with my grandboy, Kieran. And in the mean time, if you'd like to see more frequently what goes on at our farm, please feel free to join my Facebook group (see the right column) where I am more active. I'd love to get to know you! 🙂
Kristi Stone

Latest posts by Kristi Stone (see all)

Comments

  1. Great post, Kristi. I didn’t know that about rabbits! But, if we ever getting any, I’ll be prepared! ~Sally

  2. What a coincidence that I saw this post today! I have a free range house rabbit that uses the cat litter boxes. (He thinks he is a cat.) Just this morning, my daughter saw him in the litter box and he was eating his poop, which I told her about. If she was a bit older, I would share this post with her. (She is only almost 3 years old.)

    • Aw, what a great thing to be able to teach her about bunnies now–and not to worry when they are doing weird things like eating their “poop”! Happy rabbit raising!

      • Congratulations on having one of probably the most innovative blogs Ive come across in some time! Its just incredible just how much you can take away from something simply because of how visually beautiful it is. Youve put together an excellent blog space -great graphics, videos, layout. This is certainly a must-see weblog! .

  3. I did wonder why they ate their own poop when we recently got some bunnies, now I know.

  4. I have just promised my daughter a pet rabbit when we move houses next year so I was happy to find your post! Great info! #heymomma

  5. Thanks for sharing this with us on the Homestead Blog Hop.

  6. Hey Kristi! Your post got the most clicks this week and you’re going to be featured on Thursday. Stop on by! (myflagstaffhome.com).

    Jennifer

Speak Your Mind

*

X

Subscribe to Stone Family Farmstead by Email to get new blog updates, RIGHT to your inbox, and stay tuned for breeding and kidding dates!

¤