Rabbits poop pellets because the excess waste they do not need must be removed, which takes the form of a pellet. Rabbits are naturally herbivores, which means they feed on a diet of hay, greens, and other vegetation. They absorb the nutrients from these foods, then get rid of what their body does not need in the form of a pellet.
Why Do Rabbits Poop in the Form of Pellets, and What Does this Pellet Mean? Rabbits Have a Digestive System that is Different than a Dog or a Cat. While a Dog or a Cat May Eat, then Poop Once to Remove the Excess Waste, A Rabbit Has a More Complicated Digestive Process. The Majority of Pellets You See are Just Excess Waste that Must be Expelled from the Rabbit’s Body, However There is Another Kind of Pellet a Rabbit Produces. A Rabbit Also Produces What is Known as a “Cecal Pellet.” This Pellet is Re-ingested to Gain Necessary Bacteria Not Absorbed the First Time a Food Was Consumed.
When a rabbit eats hay, leafy greens, or the pellet food they are provided, their body takes the nutrients from these substances that it needs to survive. Once all the necessary nutrients are taken from the substances, the unnecessary waste is expelled in the form of poop, or a pellet. This type of pellet is large, round, and light-colored to signify healthy absorption of nutrients.
While this type of pellet is the equivalent to “poop” in most animals, a rabbit produces another type of pellet after eating known as the cecal pellet. This pellet can be characterized by a small shape. They will usually be located in clusters as well. While the rabbit does absorb nutrients the first time that they consume a food, their body digests so quickly that they may not receive all the bacteria they need the first time. This is why their body creates the cecal pellet. The cecal pellet contains excess materials not able to be digested the first time.
Rather than leaving the pellet inside of the cage to be cleaned out by their owner and waste precious materials, the rabbit will actually re-ingest their cecal pellets. Re-ingesting cecal pellets helps the rabbit to gain healthy bacteria back into their body which is essential to their health. These pellets are often called “night droppings” because rabbits are often not seen re-ingesting the pellets.
If these pellets are not being re-ingested and are being left at the bottom of the cage, this means their diet may be too rich. It may be time to consider cutting back on treats, hay that is high in fat, or sweet plants. If you have a rabbit who is at-risk of being overweight, there is a chance these pellets may become smeared on their backside, which is unsanitary and uncomfortable for them.
How Can You Tell if a Rabbit’s Poop Pellets are Healthy?
You Can Tell a Lot About Your Rabbit’s Health by Taking a Look in Their Cage or Litter Pan at Their Poop Pellets. By Examining the Shape, Consistency, and Texture of the Pellets Your Rabbit is Producing, You May be Able to Catch a Very Uncomfortable, or Even Dangerous Condition. Ideally, Rabbit Pellets Will Have A Round and Light Appearance. They Will Not be too Dry or too Moist Either. Any Abnormalities in the Pellets of Your Rabbit May Mean They Need a Change in Their Diet.
We discussed what a rabbit pellet looks like that is healthy, but what does unhealthy rabbit poop look like? If your rabbit has pellets that are hard, small, and dark in color, this may mean they are not getting enough hay in their diet. A proper action to take would be to offer more grass hay, such as Timothy hay to your rabbit, as well as increase the water available to your rabbit. In addition to this change, you may need to lower the amount of pellet food you are giving your rabbit.
If the droppings are strung together by what appears to be fur or hair, this means they ingested fur. This is often called “string of pearls,” but despite the silly name, this type of pellet can lead to a serious blockage. If fur is present in your rabbit’s poop means your rabbit is ingesting a lot of fur while they are feeding. This may happen during times of heavy shedding, or if a rabbit is not being properly groomed. Ways to prevent this is to stay on top of grooming your pet to ensure their fur is not in the way as they eat. As well as grooming, make sure to provide plenty of hay and water to rid the rabbit of the fur it has ingested.
Rabbit poop that is moist and soft can signify that a rabbit’s diet is too heavy in protein or sugar. This can be a result of being fed too many treats or sweets. If you are feeding your rabbit sweet vegetables like carrots, fruits, or nuts and seeds, refrain from doing so. Replace with an abundance of fresh grass hay and leafy greens. If evaluating your pet’s diet and making necessary changes still does not fix the problem, you may need to take them into your veterinarian’s office. This type of stool may be a sign of a parasitic infection.
What Foods Lead to Rabbits Pooping Healthy Pellets?
When Talking About a Rabbit’s Digestive Health, Food is Usually the First Factor We Evaluate. Everything the Rabbit Eats Affects What Type of Pellets They Produce Directly, So Ensuring Healthy Pellets Means Feeding the Right Foods to Your Rabbit. Feeding a Diet that is Heavy in Fresh Grass Hay, Leafy Greens, and Some Pellet Food is a Healthy, Well-Balanced Diet for an Adult Rabbit. When We Begin to Stray by Feeding too Many Treats and Foods With too Much Sugar or Fat, the Rabbit’s Digestive Health May Suffer.
A rabbit can eat some pellet food as long as it is in moderation, but it should most definitely not be eating pellets as the majority of its diet. Also, these pellets should be uniform in color and hay-based. Many companies have made pellets to fit this, however, some have not. Some pellets contain pieces of nuts, fruit, and seeds, all of which are not beneficial to your rabbit’s health. Pelleted diets were originally formed for the production of rabbits for meat as it led to mass growth and fur production. A heavy diet in pellets was not made for a healthy rabbit, it was designed for laboratory rabbits, or rabbits being specially raised for consumption. These rabbits were not meant to live out their full life span.
Pellets work great in these situations, however, when you want your pet to live a long, healthy life, a diet heavy in pellets is less than ideal. Too many pellets can lead to rabbit poop which is chronically soft, as well as anorexia in a rabbit, obesity, or bladder and kidney stones. While pellets can be supplemented for some nutrients in moderation, the pet rabbit’s diet should be heavier in hay and leafy greens.
The reason rabbits poop pellets is due to their need to rid their body of waste. They have two kinds of pellet; one that is solely waste, and one containing important bacteria to be re-ingested that passed too quickly originally. Paying attention to a rabbit’s poop and the structure of their pellets is very important to understanding their digestive health.