When caring for pets, you need to know their essential characteristics, including their behavior, physical cues, personality, and many more.
Having a rabbit may make you wonder, “Why do rabbits poop so much?” Everything about them has a reason, and so is their pooping cycle and behavior. It’s good to know so you can become a better pet owner.
What Is Up With All The Poops?
Rabbits poop a lot, and as a pet owner, you should have experienced and encountered them a lot. Yes, this is partly because of their diet, which mainly consists of high levels of fiber, but there are other reasons for this.
Another reason why they are such “active” poopers is because their digestive system is unique and different from most pets familiar to you.
Rabbits digest their food twice. Their digestive system’s unique characteristics give rabbits the ability to digest their food intake and absorb nutrients from their high-fiber diet.
Fibrous diets are usually indigestible and just impossible for most other animals. So, in rabbits’ particular case, they accomplish this by digesting their meal twice.
The first digestion process is where the sorting starts. The colon sorts the feed into digestible components and indigestible fiber. The indigestible type of components are those that get excreted as regular poops.
These are the poop that gets the rabbit’s digestive system moving. The other components, which are the digestible ones, get into the caecum and are formed into cecotropes.
Your rabbit’s health is pretty much equal to how much their digestive tract moves or functions. In other words, they need to be pooping so much because it’s how you know they are in good condition.
Consequently, they also need to be eating pretty much every minute they’re awake. This is how they keep their digestive system and, in turn, their whole body in good condition.
A typical rabbit will excrete feces in the range of 200 – 300 poops each day. Even though they require a steady food stock to eat, they would still discharge these after a short period.
This is because their system is designed to work fast. So, any intake would not be kept in their stomach, unlike humans and other animals do. Consequently, more giant rabbits will excrete more poop.
Types of Rabbit Poop
Yes, rabbit poop may vary depending on several factors discussed within the article. Just like how human feces tell about their health and eating habits, so are rabbits. Rabbits excrete two types of poop, namely, fecal pellets and cecotropes.
In terms of rabbit poop, this type is the supposedly normal ones you see in their litter box or scattered around the house (if they’re still not fully potty-trained). These poops are dry, small, and usually round and brown.
They are pretty much noticeable because they come in a bunch, and they are, in a way, well-organized and well-formed because the shapes and sizes of these bunch are very similar.
You should expect this type of poop to be firm but not too hard, and they should be squeezable with minimal force.
If you happen to observe that their feces are pretty different from usual, for example, they may be too hard, quite deformed and poorly built, and too small than expected, then you might want to pay attention to their fiber and water intake.
This type of poop is also called cecals or night feces. Cecotropes are usually smelly, moist, mushy, and held together by their texture and a thin layer of mucus.
Believe it or not, when you spot your rabbit munching on some poop, then it must be these types of poop, and it’s completely normal. You won’t have to worry about your pets intaking this poop.
Perhaps you don’t see your pets enjoying these nutritious snacks too often as they usually prefer eating them in private. Thus, the term “night feces” usually consumes them at night.
Your rabbits, in fact, actually need to eat these types of poop. This way, they can digest the nutrients in those components this poop offers.
Perhaps your rabbit is producing these necessary cecotropes but can’t have access to them because their human parents tend to throw all the poops away.
In this case, you would need to know the basics about their poop types and know which ones to gather and throw from those you want to keep for them to consume.
Alarming Poop Forms For Rabbits
Poops can indicate your pet’s condition, whether they are okay or are experiencing something that’s bothering their health. Here are tell-tale poop types that may mean underlying issues for your rabbit’s health.
- This is already an emergency when your rabbit does not excrete any poop at all for the past 10-12 hours. When these hours have passed, it’s best to call your trusted vet as their digestive system could have shut down, and this situation is deadly for your rabbits.
- Seeing deformed feces from your pet rabbit is also a warning indicator that they may be experiencing some issues in terms of their health. There is a typical shape to your rabbit’s poop, as discussed earlier. This specific shape is very noticeable, as you may see it every time they poop during the day. This being said, it can be undeniable when their poop is deformed. Having deformed poop shows that the rabbit isn’t eating enough. Their current diet may lack its droppings to develop into the regular ball-shaped poop they usually excrete. If a rabbit is recovering from surgery, on the other hand, this can be a good indication. This means their digestive tract is on the mend and slowly regaining its usual function.
- Smaller poop can indicate stress or pain in your rabbit. When you observe your rabbits and notice that they have smaller poops than usual, it’s wise to check them if they have any injury or wound that may be causing the pain and, consequently, stress. Perhaps there’s something in their environment that is causing them stress, and it’s good to scan and make sure they feel safe in their environment.
More Poop Variations To Keep An Eye On
- Double poop can mean that your rabbit’s digestive tract is functioning slower than usual. As a result, two or more poops collide and become conjoined while being created. This type of poop should not be a big deal as it can happen now and then, but if you notice many of them laying around the house or in your rabbit’s litter box, it could be an early sign of illness. If you see these types of poop more than seldom, you might need to talk with your vet.
- Poop covered with mucus can tell about an underlying issue in your rabbit’s health. Though you might sometimes find clear and slimy substances in their poops, mucus is different. Slime is not commonly found in rabbit feces. Mucus may indicate that your rabbit is infected with a parasite in its digestive tract if it is present.
- Mushy poop is pretty much a sign of diarrhea, and you must take action about it immediately.
Healthy Foods To Feed Your Rabbit For Healthier Poops
It must be pretty evident that a rabbit’s digestion is paramount for their health by this time. Thus, you need to take good care and be mindful of the food you let them eat. Here are some of the things essential to keep a balanced diet for your rabbits.
- Hay is the staple food for your rabbits. As their digestive tract should continue functioning, they need an ample supply of hay to munch on and later on excrete. Grass-based hay, for example, timothy hay, has a high fiber content, which is beneficial to a rabbit’s digestion. You must make sure they have enough, which means a lot of hay at their disposal.
- It’s essential to incorporate leafy greens in their diet as well. You can count on leafy greens to provide your rabbits with fiber. These fresh veggies will aid in your rabbit’s digestion. Give your rabbit one to two cups of leafy greens each day.
- Pellets can be skipped as they are not in the lineup for “most important food.” However, these things provide extra vitamins and nutrients to your rabbit. Just limit their pellet intake from ¼ to ½ cup a day.
- Treats like fruits and other fruits are also okay but in moderation. If you want to give them treats, limit it to one tablespoon a day, even less as recommended.
- Water is also paramount in your rabbit’s diet, so make sure you give them enough water for their everyday life.
Taking care of rabbits can be overwhelming sometimes, especially if it’s your first time. You might have many questions like “Why do rabbits poop so much?” and many more.
Now that you have the answer, you are more capable of taking even better care of them. An informed pet owner is capable of making good decisions for their pets.