Is it normal for rabbits to eat their own poop?
My rabbit jellybean does the strangest thing, he like many other rabbits has a certain area in his cage where he goes to the bathroom and usually he only goes to that corner to do his business, but lately I have noticed him over there munching on stuff and I finally figured it out, he is eating his own poop pellets!! He has more then enough to eat and he is very picky. I buy him the food that has the reg pellets along with corner kernals and pieces of hay and celery etc. and he will pick through it and eat everything but the pellets. On top of that I give him those veggies sticks to chew on and I also feed him fresh carrots and celery and he eats all of it so why do I catch him eating his own poop pellets?
- Anonymous8 years agoFavorite Answer
The other posters who mentioned caecotrophs are 100% correct.
These are a very important part of a rabbit diet, containing nutrients which their body couldn't process the first time around. They're very different to the dry, crumbly poops that we find in their litter trays.
Aside from this I just wanted to mention your bunnies diet. What your rabbit is doing when he picks certain bits and leaves others is selective feeding, this is a common problem with mixed foods and also when you're feeding too much commercial food. Ideally switch bunny to a pellet only food to make sure he's getting all the nutrients he needs and gradually cut the amount down until he's on about 1/2 a small cup of pellets every day.
He also needs an unlimited supply of hay - this is the most important part of a rabbits diet and should make up about 80% of what he eats. Try to get him eating a pile at least the size of himself every day.
Getting diet right in rabbits is the best way to avoid dental and digestive problems so worth making the effort for :)
- LadybugLv 78 years ago
Rabbits produce two types of droppings and they are very different. The one most often seen is the fecal dropping. These are the hard round ones that are seen in the dropping trays. The rabbits do not eat these.
The other type of dropping is known as a cecotrope. Sometimes it is referred to as the night droppings. They actually resemble a small cluster of grapes. Unlike fecal droppings these droppings are soft.
Cecotropes are produced in the cecum which is a part of the rabbits digestive system. Inside the cecum are bacterias that are essential nutrients to the rabbit. It is believed that the cecotropes can protect the rabbit from harmful pathogens.
The rabbit will eat them as they are leaving their body. Generally they do this late at night or in the early morning hours. That is why they are sometimes called night droppings. Since they are usually eaten, it is rare to see them in the dropping tray.
So the next time you see your rabbit eating its poop, although it sounds gross, is actually a very important part of the rabbits health. Maybe they eat it at night, because they understand how gross we think it is? LOL..Source(s): Rabbit owner..
- 8 years ago
first of all, this is COMPLETELY NORMAL! In fact, if your rabbit did NOT do this, then it wouldn't be normal. You see, they produce two types of poop. One is half way digested, and one is fully digested. They don't have as good of digestive systems as us, so they first produce one type of poop that is soft and mushy and has a fowl odor. They then eat it and redigest it because it still contains valuable nutrients that they need to survive. Their body then separates all the waste and the waste product is sent out in their poop that you see, harder and big, round droppings. If you ever find these small smelly poops in your rabbits cage, imediately be sure it is getting enough water and food. My rabbit had this happen and I found out that it wasn't getting enough water, so I switched from a water bottle to a water bowl and haven't had any problems since, but if you don't see progress within a week, take your rabbit to a vet IMMEDIATELY.
hope I helped! :)Source(s): me, owning a rabbit
- iloveanimalsLv 48 years ago
Rabbits produce two kinds of poops. Fecal pellets and cecotrops. The fecal pellets are the large, round, dry poops that you see in the litter box. The cecdtropes are soft and shiny and the bunny eats them. If a bunny is eating a healthy, balanced diet, you will rarely see these as the bunny eats them right as they come out of his body.
For a more indepth explanation of the rabbit's digestive system, check out here:Source(s): Experience http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/poop.html
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- SusannaLv 44 years ago
Diet and eating habits Rabbits are herbivores who feed by grazing on grass, forbs, and leafy weeds. In addition, their diet contains large amounts of cellulose, which is hard to digest. Rabbits solve this problem by passing two distinctive types of feces: hard droppings and soft black viscous pellets, the latter of which are immediately eaten. Rabbits reingest their own droppings (rather than chewing the cud as do cows and many other herbivores) in order to fully digest their food and extract sufficient nutrients. Rabbits graze heavily and rapidly for roughly the first half hour of a grazing period (usually in the late afternoon), followed by about half an hour of more selective feeding. In this time, the rabbit will also excrete many hard faecal pellets, being waste pellets that will not be reingested. If the environment is relatively non-threatening, the rabbit will remain outdoors for many hours, grazing at intervals. While out of the burrow, the rabbit will occasionally reingest its soft, partially digested pellets; this is rarely observed, since the pellets are reingested as they are produced. Reingestion is most common within the burrow between 8 o'clock in the morning and 5 o'clock in the evening, being carried out intermittently within that period. Hard pellets are made up of hay-like fragments of plant cuticle and stalk, being the final waste product after redigestion of soft pellets. These are only released outside the burrow and are not reingested. Soft pellets are usually produced several hours after grazing, after the hard pellets have all been excreted. They are made up of micro-organisms and undigested plant cell walls. The chewed plant material collects in the large cecum, a secondary chamber between the large and small intestine containing large quantities of symbiotic bacteria that aid in the digestion of cellulose and also produce certain B vitamins. The pellets are about 56% bacteria by dry weight, largely accounting for the pellets being 24.4% protein on average. These pellets remain intact for up to six hours in the stomach, the bacteria within continuing to digest the plant carbohydrates. The soft feces form here and contain up to five times the vitamins of hard feces. After being excreted, they are eaten whole by the rabbit and redigested in a special part of the stomach. This double-digestion process enables rabbits to utilize nutrients that they may have missed during the first passage through the gut and thus ensures that maximum nutrition is derived from the food they eat. This process serves the same purpose within the rabbit as rumination does in cattle and sheep. Rabbits are incapable of vomiting due to the physiology of their digestive system.
- The ThinkerLv 58 years ago
It is natural for animals to consume their own excrement. They will absorb additional nutrients that may have been missed the first time they ingested it.
- 8 years ago
They also like to poop in their food dish as well. I tried to teach mine to use the litter box. She chose her food bowl as her litter box.Source(s): Pet Sales/Pet Owner
- GurenLv 48 years ago
I only hear about guinea pigs doing it,but yeah they can,it has vitamins from food they ate in it so they can be healthy,it's gross but ok for them
- BlahLv 68 years ago
After seeing the first answer, I'm scared... o-o
- 8 years ago
I second the first answer