Rabbit Poop

I heard somewhere that rabbits in the wild eat there own droppings because they contain a nutrient that their digestive system passes. In captivity, this nutrient is contained in rabbit pellets purchased at the pet shop. Can anyone verify this as true or false? Moreover, can anyone tell my why I want to know!? :wink:

Dr. P. “You can’t fake the funk.”

Rabbits droppings, like that of all herbivores, contain a relatively large proportion of undigested matter because cellulose is so darned hard to digest. Cows have four stomachs and chew their cud and cow pies are still full of vegetable matter. So their may be some instances where an animal could derive some nutritional benefit from re-processing, so to speak, yesterday’s dinner.

However – the notion that there is some essential nutrient that doesn’t exist in the rabbit’s food but does exist in its excrement is a little hard to swallow (no pun intended!). If the rabbit’s body goes to all the trouble to manufacture the nutrient it’s certainly not going to just poop it out.

And, as far as I know, rabbit pellets are just compressed vegetable matter. Maybe the best brands add vitamins or something but the “missing essential ingredient”? Nah!

“non sunt multiplicanda entia praeter necessitatem”

I bought rabbit food yesterday. Its almost 100% alfalfa.

Here’s a question! Why does rabbit food look so much like rabbit poop?

I owned several rabbits; and yes, there are dire warnings in the rabbit care books that if you clean out the droppings from their cages too often, their health will suffer. They do eat their own droppings in captivity. I don’t recall hearing about any special nutrients added to bunny chow. I don’t think their are any special nutrients in droppings, it’s just a two-stage digestive process, like cud.

“Eppur, si muove!” - Galileo Galilei

Everbuddies right.I am the rabbit keeping merit badge counselor for the district. Just some nit picking (cause it’s my hobby) and ruminations on the subject. It is difficult to process cellulose, as pluto says,ruminants spend their days cramming there rumin (first stomach) full of grass where it is partially digested and stored, later they bring some back up for a rechew and back it goes. Rabbits don’t have a rumin,it is not that there is a nutrient in the excrement that wasn’t in the food, it is that it didn’t get extracted the first time through.I don’t think Pluto meant to say the rabbit’s body MANUFACTURES a nutrient, animals can’t do that.Some pellets have added vitamins, trace elements etc. it is mostly chopped vegetable matter, alfalfa for example.The chopping helps some but the rabbit is equiped to handle the situation. Papa, there are two stages of rabbit poop, the incomplete is a slimy green paste.A lot of people worry abbout that dropping thru the cage,but the bunny takes it from the source so to speak. A board in a corner is nice, he will go there for his second helping (BTW Rabbits can be house broken to use a litter box) the harder poop is…mostly the compacted chopped cellulose cell walls of alfalfa,rabbit food is mostly compacted chopped alfalfa, the size? easy in easy out. You don’t have to worry about those falling thru,peter doesn’t need to eat them if he is otherwise healthy and well fed. If you don’t have any chemicals or noxious weeds ,let him out to hop around the yard and mow and fertilize your lawn.
DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT let him eat iceburg lettuce,or he will be fertilizing your yard with his body. The droppings are good house plant fertilizer, relativly clean to handle and odorless. But this is way better. Under the 1/4 inch grid of the cage floor hang a 6 to 12 inch deep box the size of the cage floor with a 1/8" screen bottom. Put a layer of leaves or even torn news paper in the bottom , a few inches of soil, and a few earthworms. Worms turn the droppings to very rich compost, as fast as peter can put it out, no clean up for you, and propogate like mad(being hermaphrodites they really get it on “Oh,my god! I think I’ve raped myself!”)
Now go fishing. What i should a been doing rather than waste everyone’s time like this.

“Something inciteful that some one else once said”- Suhm Wonn (1397-1334)

Thanks for the straight dope, MrJohn! Now if I can find a clever way to introduce rabbit poop into the dinner conversation …

“non sunt multiplicanda entia praeter necessitatem”

Yes, very nice. I don’t know about putting the wood in. I did that and my rabbits got mites. Mites love wood, you see, so I guess they were present in the wood. Anyway my rabbits threw there noses up at the wood anyway and refused to have anything to do with it.

NOTE: De-mite medicines [ultracare] for birds is one half the strength of the de-mite stuff for rabbits but costs the same. So, but the rabbit stuff and thin it.

It isn’t the rabbit who’s manufacturing nutrients; it’s the bacteria living in it’s gut. Vitamin K is one nutrient that’s very commonly found in higher concentrations in the feces than in the original food. Plus, as previously stated, rabbits do use eating their own pellets as a substitute for having complex multiple stomachs.

Pluto, serve a nice chef’s salad gradualy work the conversation… or serve some fish you caught with your worms and… which reminds me ,on scheme we never got around to trying was to have a pool under the worm box with a fw catfish in it.Handy, your right about the wood, and if bunny doesn’t chew it up, he’ll piss all over it and that really gets it to rotting. When we made a nesting box we slathered the thing with bleach and then miticides.thanks for the tip on the birdies. We usually have enough guys working on enough stuff to buy concentrates at the farm and ranch supplies and dilute to suit. (has Handy ever made a mistatement of fact or a post that wasn’t helpul? He’s beginning to scare me)

“Pardon me while I have a strange interlude.”-Marx

Yes, I have mr john. usually piss people off too :slight_smile:
oh wait, yes I made a mistake once, 1972 I think it was.