rabbits eating poop

Rabbits are herbivores animals, their diet mainly consist of grass and weeds. They are eating a lot of fibers and cellulose, and it very difficult to digest them. You might have seen them eating their own poop, but this is normal they usually eat some of their feces either in the early morning or late night.

Rabbits are also very fastidious groomers and like to maintain themselves clean. So you will see them most of the time cleaning their fur, ear, and even their bottoms. There is a very good reason why your rabbit eats its own poop.

What Is Coprophagia?

Coprophagia takes place when feces are eaten. For us humans thinking about eating our own feces is disgusting, but for some other animals like rabbits and hares, it’s quite normal. Coprophagia is a healthy behavior for rabbits and it helps rabbits to digest their fiber and cellulose-rich food.

Why dose rabbits eat poop?

Since the rabbit diet consists of mostly grass and weeds, they are rich in fibers and cellulose. And it is not easy for rabbits to digest them. And by the time their food reaches the intestine it still has many nutrients that the rabbit needs.

To overcome this problem rabbits use a special kind of digestion known as hindgut fermentation. In basic terms, it means they eat their own poop and digest the food for the second time.

What kind of poop does a rabbit eat?

Rabbit normally produces feces on regular basis, like any other animals. But there are two kinds of poop that rabbits produce.

The first one is the dry hard round waste pellets. Which they produce throughout the day while moving around. But these are not the poop which they eat.

In addition to normal hard stool, rabbits produce a special kind of feces called cecotropes, or “night feces”. They are softer and stickier and usually, we won’t be able to see it, because it is consumed as soon as it is produced.  Their special feces are only produced at night, do the rabbit will eat them late at night or early in the morning.

Should rabbits be prevented from eating their own poop?

The answer is NO! For a rabbit’s digestive system to work fluidly, they need cecotropes. Because it contains a lot of nutrients. So if you see a rabbit eating its own poop are cleaning its behind just do not disturb it.

Your rabbit not eating its own poop?

If your rabbit is not eating its own poop then there may be something wrong. It could be that your rabbit is too obese and cannot reach its cecotropes. Or maybe your rabbit has some medical or digestive concern. It is best to visit a vet in these cases.

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About the Author

I have been raising farm animals for the past 15 years. I will be sharing my knowledge and what I have learned all these years.

Farm Animals Guide

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