It might appear gross, however rabbits generally eat some of their feces when a day, either early in the early morning or late during the night.
Why Do Rabbits Eat Their Poop?
These unique feces are called cecotropes, or “night feces.” They are produced through fermentation of food in the part of the rabbit’s gastrointestinal tract called the cecum. Cecotropes are soft feces that are nutrient-rich and are passed out of the body like normal stool but then are re-ingested later on by the bunny so that important nutrients can be reabsorbed. These feces have more protein, less fiber and higher levels of certain vitamins, such as B vitamins, than the typical tough bunny fecal pellets you may see in the litterbox or around your bunny’s cage.
Rabbits eat pellets which have actually travelled through their gastrointestinal system when in order to benefit from the work of their gut bacteria in creating important vitamins, and in order to extract the optimum quantity of nutrition from the reasonably low-nutrient foods they eat. On the first pass, their digestive tract bacteria break down and transform numerous chemicals in their food, which they can then absorb correctly when they re-chew and send the food through their system a second time. These pellets are soft and poorly formed – a different consistency from the end product.
While owners are frequently interrupted when they see their pets consuming their own feces, understand that cecotrope ingestion is a normal and fundamental part of rabbit habits that will help keep your pet healthy. Owners should not try to prevent their bunnies from consuming these feces and, because cecotropes are just passed once a day, there is long shot that an extreme amount could be taken in.
Also read: Rabbit As Pet: Why It Is Good Idea