By entering your email address you agree to receive emails from Cottontailclub. We'll respect your privacy and you can unsubscribe at any time.
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.
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, which is easily spotted in their poop!
Your rabbit’s 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 their pellets.
First, let’s talk about why rabbit poo is so important. Unlike other animals, rabbits produce two types of poop – hard, dry, and soft, moist pellets, also known as cecotropes. These cecotropes are essential to a rabbit’s diet, as they contain important nutrients, such as vitamins B and K, necessary for a rabbit’s health.
So, when your bunny eats these soft poops, don’t worry – it’s completely normal and healthy! If your bunny is not eating its cecotropes, it could indicate an underlying health issue.
If you’re looking for a single sign of how well your rabbit’s 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, this can indicate a potential issue.
Fresh rabbit poo should be soft and brittle, and if you apply a little bit of pressure, this should result in your rabbit poop falling apart into a small dusty-like substance. The longer you leave a rabbit poo, the harder it’ll get, so if possible, try checking with a fresh poop!
The inside of your rabbit’s fresh poop should look almost golden, leaning towards a very greenish/yellow tint and many smaller bits.
Healthy rabbit poop should be roughly the size of a pea. If your bunny’s poop is significantly larger or smaller than this, it could be a sign of an underlying health issue.
Healthy rabbit poop should be round and uniform in shape. If your bunny’s poop is misshapen or irregular, it could be a sign of a digestive problem.
Healthy rabbit poop should be a medium to dark brown color. If your bunny’s poop is a different color, such as black, red, or green, it could indicate an underlying health issue.
Healthy rabbit poop should have a firm and dry texture, with a slight sheen to the surface. It should not be too hard or soft, as both can be signs of digestive problems. If the poop is too hard, it can be difficult for the rabbit to pass, leading to straining and other health issues. If the poop is too soft or runny, it can be a sign of diarrhea. Alternatively, you may be handling cecotropes!
Healthy rabbit poop should not have a strong odor. If your bunny’s poop is particularly smelly, it could indicate an underlying health issue.
A typical rabbit will poop around 200-350 times a day. The quantity of rabbit poop changes in volume based on how big your rabbit is, how much they eat, and its mood. For example, a rabbit recently scared may produce smaller poops for a few hours.
Normal rabbit poo is small, usually black & dark brown in color, and 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 fiber that it’s formed from, and it crumbles easily.
Droppings that are too small, dark, and irregular shape show that your rabbit isn’t processing food well. The reason may be a diet with less fiber or a problem that may have slowed down the digestion of food.
If your rabbit stops pooping suddenly and hasn’t pooped for around 24 hours, it means the processing of food has completely stopped, and it’s a life-threatening condition and should be treated by your vet immediately.
Rabbit droppings are usually round and firm, but sometimes they can become stringy or mucus-covered. Stringy rabbit poo looks like a strand of spaghetti, and it can be difficult to clean up. This type of poo is often called cecotropes or “night feces” because rabbits produce them at night.
Eating carpet or fabrics: This is the most common we’ve seen for indoor rabbits. If your rabbit gets bored or wants to leave a room, it will often dig and bite the flooring, which in some cases is a carpet. This can lead to stringy feces.
Poor Diet: One of the leading causes of stringy rabbit poo is a diet lacking fiber, high protein, and starch. Rabbits need a high-fiber diet to maintain healthy digestion and produce normal droppings. If a rabbit’s diet does not include enough fiber, their digestive system may not function correctly, leading to stringy droppings.
Overfeeding: Overfeeding rabbits can also lead to stringy droppings. Giving them too many treats or not controlling their food portions can cause digestive problems. Rabbits have sensitive digestive systems, and overfeeding can easily lead to gastrointestinal upset, resulting in abnormal droppings.
Dehydration: Dehydration is another factor that can cause stringy rabbit poo. Rabbits need access to clean, fresh water at all times. If rabbits become dehydrated, their droppings can become dry and stringy, leading to digestive problems.
Stress: Stress can cause digestive problems in rabbits, leading to stringy droppings. Stressful situations for rabbits can include changes in their environment, loud noises, and overcrowding. Rabbits are sensitive animals, and stress can significantly impact their digestive system.
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 simultaneously every day and mostly at night; hence, they are called “night droppings”.
But pet rabbits produce them at different times depending on their feeding routine. Rabbits eat cecotropes straight from their butt; you may notice your rabbit ducking its head underneath and then sitting up chewing.
The production of too many cecotropes is caused by a diet rich in carbohydrates, sugar, and protein which disturbs the balance of the bacteria in the caecum.
Rabbits do not eat these extra droppings as it does not contain important nutrients, and rabbit poop stuck to the bottom also gets squished on the floor.
You can resolve this issue by reducing the number of pellets and increasing the amount of hay or feeding high-fiber and low-protein pellets to your rabbits.
Cecotropes, or “soft feces,” result from food fermentation within the digestive system. This is packed with nutrient-rich vitamins, passing out of the body for consumption the second time.
Rabbits consume high-fiber pellets, grass, and special treats that are organic and high in fiber. Feeding your bunny grass hay prevents hairballs in their digestive system.
Because they are herbivores, rabbits and certain small animals must consume vast 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, it’ll experience enterotoxemia, intestinal problems like blood poisoning due to enterotoxin.
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.
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. This nutrient-rich waste is coated with a layer of rubbery mucus and a large mass of cecal bacteria. Don’t worry, and there’s no smell to it, so you should feel relieved at some point.
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 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, as they are a choking hazard and are typically very unhealthy for your rabbit’s gut.
You should opt for foods that contain no sugars and should be high in fiber; you can make these changes slowly so your rabbit’s digestive system can adapt to the new food.
Sugary treats should be restricted for your rabbits as they may cause an upset stomach. If your rabbit does not like eating hay, it may be that they haven’t had hay they like. We suggest trying out different varieties.
You can make eating hay more rewarding for your rabbits by stuffing it in cardboard tubes and folding the ends!
Rabbits can carry parasites like tapeworms and roundworms, but their waste does not transmit 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, which can damage the grass.
Theoretically, you can catch various diseases from your rabbit, including Pasteurella, Tetanus, Ringworm, and even E. cuniculi. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean they will come from your rabbit’s poop.
Unfortunately, Tapeworms can be acquired from vegetation, fox droppings, dogs & cats, and even wild rabbits, which means this is easily transferred to yourself.
Golden poops or nuggets are known as mean your rabbit has an extremely good diet and their gut is digesting food well. Golden rabbit poop can be seen as a way of viewing your rabbit’s nutritional balance.
Golden poop is even brighter than healthier-looking poop, and the inside is, as it says, golden! It will have a nice yellow tint and look like a golden nugget! Perfect.
You can help your rabbit produce good poo by feeding them with lots of hay that help produce 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 your rabbit needs to have at a minimum every day.
Soft or sticky poo gets stuck to the rabbit’s butt, which attracts the flies to a 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’s butt with warm water and dry it. If you find maggots on their poopy butt, always consult the vet as soon as possible.
You can grab a handful of rabbit pellets and spread it all over your garden. As they break down, they improve and build the structure of the soil, add stability, and hold nutrients for plants and other organisms in the soil as well.
Facts about Rabbit Manure
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 consume a lot of fiber in their diets would consume certain types 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.
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 a potential blockage, gastrointestinal stasis, or death.
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 notice 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.
The first sign is when he/she makes a deposit late in the morning, afternoon, or night. Rabbits don’t enjoy an audience when they’re pooping, so they 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, they’re eating 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 are 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!
If you notice 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 rabbit’s 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 his system has a buildup of yeast or other harmful bacteria.
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.
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.