Those who are just starting to breed rabbits sometimes wonder why rabbits eat their litter. Is it normal? Or they lack the nutrients in the feed. Or maybe they are sick and need to be shown to a doctor and treated. Coprophagy, or the consumption of your feces, is completely normal behavior for rabbits. About why animals do it, what it is connected with and how the owner should behave, read our article.
Why do rabbits have two types of litter
In rabbits, food quickly reaches the stomach, does not have time to be digested completely, and comes out as a first litter. Due to such features as coprophagy, animals can re-eat it and then fully assimilate.
That is, this type of animal produces two types of excrement:
Solid "peas" are produced only in the afternoon and are common waste. Rabbits do not eat them. The second type is soft feces, a kind of food "semi-finished product", which again goes into food.
Semidigested food comes out in a specific kind of poop. They are called cecotrophs and look like clusters of small soft balls covered with a shiny shell. This litter is allocated in the first half of the day. In fact, it is a fermented food processed by bacteria. That’s what your pets eat.
Causes of the phenomenon
Let’s see why the rabbit eats his litter. The first reason is that it contains many vitamins and other nutrients. The second – double digestion helps the animal to better assimilate coarse plant fibers and get maximum energy.
Do not consider coprophagy something terrible and rush to remove cecotrophs. If the rabbit eats its night shit – this is normal and even necessary. Depriving children of the opportunity to eat soft feces, you risk depriving them of the necessary trace elements. This can lead to a deterioration of their health and even death.
Sometimes breeders are proud that their pets get all the necessary substances from the diet, which is why they stop eating calories. In any case, the owners do not observe this.
For the most part, cecotrophs are eaten by the rabbit at the time of isolation. From the outside, this may resemble ordinary body care.
Cause for concern
But if the animal begins to eat hard "peas", then this is a cause for concern to the breeder. Perhaps the animal has avitaminosis, or it lacks food. Pay attention to the diet, its composition and quantity, the content of vitamins.
When uneaten “bunches” are found in the cage in the afternoon, this may indicate that there is too much green in the feed, which does not have time to be digested.
It may also indicate the presence in the body of the animal worms. Change the composition of the feed and pass the tests. Treat your pet if necessary. All the details in the article "On the worms in rabbits."
The sharp smell of tsekotrof is one of the signs of dysbacteriosis, which interferes with the fermentation of the feed during the formation of soft feces. It can also be a sign of internal inflammation. Consult your veterinarian and follow his recommendations.
And remember, coprophagy is a natural feature of rabbit digestion.