Why Do Rabbits Poop So Much?

If you are a new rabbit owner, you can expect to learn a large number of different things because they are quite different than the average dog and cat.

Rabbits enjoy a variety of foods, just as humans do and it seems they are constantly eating and foraging for food instead of eating a few meals a day like other pets.

You will also notice that a rabbit will poop and it seems to be a lot for one pet too.

The pellets of food go in and then they manufacture poop pellets.

The good news is that this is totally normal and there are different ways to do poop management as well.

Why Do Rabbits Poop So Much?

Wild rabbits have a unique digestive system to keep them on the go constantly.

Their digestive system recycles energy very quickly so they can eat more and use the energy from the food they eat right away to make room for more food and more energy and survive better in the wild.

As with all domesticated pets, these attributes from your rabbit’s ancestors are still at work today with your little poop machine.

There are quite a few different reasons why your bunny poops a lot.

Young Rabbit’s Poop More

Very young rabbits have a digestive system much like a newborn baby. They do poop very often because they can’t control their muscles to stop it from just happening.

Some young rabbits will make one ball of poop with every hop they take, but this is totally normal and healthy.

Some young rabbits have a very high amount of energy and playfulness, so because they are more active, they need more energy to be so.

This means the cycle continues of eating more, digesting more, and pooping more.

Senior rabbits can also poop more than normal due to being older and they can lose control of some of their bodily functions, just as elderly humans can.

Old rabbits are around 4 to 9 years old when this may happen.

It’s a sign that their bodies are growing weaker and it can make your rabbit be under great stress as well.

Rabbits Poop and Eat it for Nutrition

In the wild, bunnies ate fast and kept on the move to lessen the fact that they could be prey for predators.

Their little bodies evolved in a different manner in order to protect them and make digestion easier for them.

The energy from any food that a rabbit eats is converted immediately into energy and then the cecotrope poops will be made from the other food.

Cecotrope poop is a long poop that is glossy coated and sticks together rather than the other poop you usually see, which looks like Cocoa Puffs cereal in small round balls that are more firm.

You will rarely ever see a cecotrope because as soon as it exits the body, the rabbit will eat that poop.

Then it is re-digested in the ceco where it will exit your rabbit after he gets more nutrition out of it.

This time the poop will be round balls that look like what you are used to seeing and it will not have any usable nutrition left in it.

Rabbit’s Mark their Territory with Poop

Rabbits will mark their territory just as dogs and cats do.

Felines and canines usually do their marking with urine. However, rabbits use the good old poop method.

This usually only happens in rabbits that are sexually intact and who haven’t been spayed or neutered.

If your rabbit is scattering the poop trail and it’s kinda lined up, then he’s marked the space as if making a boundary line.

Rabbits do sometimes mark territory with urine as well and this usually happens around the age of 3 months, when they have hormones that kick in.

This behavior may subside when your rabbit reaches adulthood, which can be anywhere from 2 months to 6 months old, depending on the breed and size.

Larger rabbits mature more slowly than smaller rabbits.

The Diarrhea Poops

Bunnies can have diarrhea, just like humans can.

It’s most often seen in younger rabbits and is caused mostly by having parasites that need to be taken care of, by eating too many foods with sugar, such as carrots, apples, and bananas, or from eating too many rabbit pellets as food.

It’s important to monitor all the food your rabbit eats and cut back on veggies and maybe limit the food pellets if your rabbit has diarrhea from time to time.

This condition, while seen as not so important, can actually be deadly to a rabbit because of his unique digestive system and he should be taken to the vet right away.

Sensitivity in the Digestive System

Young rabbits have very sensitive digestive systems and you should only introduce new foods in small portions to them.

If they get fruits and veggies at too young of an age, it may cause extra poops.

They shouldn’t really be introduced to foods other than pellets and hay until they are at least 12 to 20 weeks of age.

If the diet of a rabbit is too high in fiber, this can also cause it to poop excessively over the normal amount.

If the poop has a really bad smell, your bunny may have stomach problems and have bacteria in the ceco. The waste may be watery and off-color, and have a strong smell.

Gastrointestinal stasis can also affect your rabbit’s poop output.

Rabbits need a diet that is steady in the amounts they eat and the types of food to have good digestive health.

Too many carbohydrates break down into sugar from fruits and it can cause diarrhea.

In this case, the poop pellets look abnormal and may stick together, which in turn will also stress your rabbit out.

Obesity Can be a Reason

If your rabbit is overweight, he may not be able to move to redigest the cecotropes and he won’t get all of the nutrients from his food.

This will make them poop out more cecotropes, but it remains a challenge to digest them.

A sign of an overweight rabbit is when the fur around its rear end is dirty and stained in appearance.

This is caused by them sitting on the cecotropes and it sticking to their fur instead of being redigested.

The average weight of rabbits should be about 6 pounds, although it does depend on the breed as well.

Stress and Slowing Organs

When a rabbit is stressed out, the organs will begin to move more slowly and this can create imbalances in the ceco for their digestion.

They may produce many more cecotropes than they normally would and some will even poop all over their play area just to let you know they are irritated.

Many things can cause stress in bunnies, including illnesses, other animals and pets, noise, a dirty enclosure or play area, and even loneliness and boredom.

It does help rabbits to keep them in pairs for companionship and it will lessen the stress factors on them.

The Dreaded Head Tilting

Rabbits have long and beautiful ears but they can also get bacterial infections in their ears that can actually spread to their brains.

This is when a rabbit tilts its head to one side all of the time and it’s not because he’s posing for a selfie, but because he is in pain.

If the brain is damaged, it can lead to disorders in the internal organs which may cause more poop pellets than normal because of pain, stress, or lack of nutrients involved.

Also read: Does Rabbit Poop Kill Grass?

Bunny Poop Mitigation Methods

So, if your bunny lives outside in an enclosure, the mounds of poop most likely go out through an elevated cage and onto the ground.

That’s not so bad. But what about rabbits that live in enclosures inside and have a playroom?

Poop all over their room can be a hassle to clean up on a daily basis.

Thank goodness, normal rabbit poop is easier to pick up and clean than most cat or dog poop.

You can take some measures to keep your rabbit’s areas clean on a daily basis. That is very simple.

Litter Box Training

Rabbits are very intelligent and you can teach yours to use the litter box for easy poop removal.

It’s best to start litter box training at a young age, but even if your rabbit is an adult, you should be able to see him catch on to this process very quickly.

Rabbits don’t want to have a messy area to live or play in, so it stands to reason they would want to be potty trained.

The process is quite simple and easy to train your rabbit to use a litter box or pan.

Place a litter box or a litter pan anywhere in their play area where they can easily access it.

Put some rabbit food pellets in the bottom and collect some recent rabbit poop to place in the litter container as well.

The smell of their food and their poop will attract them to the area.

You can also put their food dish near the litter box or pan. Each time you see your rabbit use the litter box, reward him with praise and a tiny bit of carrot or other treats that he likes.

You can expect some accidents along the way. Simply pick up any poop that isn’t in their litter box and put it in there to show them where they should be going to the bathroom.

You can also add a litter box to their enclosure or cage and you will have poop-free floors and easy cleanup in no time.

Just remember to empty the box daily, so your rabbit will continue to use it and put it in an open room or outdoor enclosure where it’s easy to see and get to.

Rabbit Poop Fertilizer

Rabbit poop makes a great fertilizer for any type of garden, whether it may be flowers or veggies.

They eat a healthy diet of leafy greens and hay and their poop is full of nutrients.

Rabbit manure is high in phosphorus and nitrogen to help all sorts of plants grow and flourish and it doesn’t smell like chicken manure.

It’s dry and easy to handle without uric acids and ammonia such as are found in both cow and pig manure.

Use fresh rabbit poop from the litter box and side-dress your plants.

You dig a small furrow next to your plants and fill it with rabbit droppings, then cover it up to reduce the number of flies it would attract otherwise.

You can also add some rabbit poop to the planting hole of any plant or flower to give it a great head start and jump on growing.

Also read: How to Store Rabbit Manure?

Other Measures to Lessen the Amount of Rabbit Poop

There are several things as discussed earlier that can cause an excess of bunny poop.

Taking care of these items may help your bunny to reduce the amount of excrement on a daily basis.

Avoid stress on your rabbit and make certain that he is healthy. If other animals bother him, don’t let them around him. Rabbits flourish in a clean, healthy, and calm environment.

Remember loneliness can cause stress too and you can entertain him or get him a pal to play with like another bunny friend.

If your rabbit is overweight, he should lose weight to maintain his healthy body. You can very slowly reduce the amount of food you give him daily.

Don’t make a sudden change though, or it will do more harm than good to his digestive system.

You can run and play with your bunny in open areas that are secure so he can get more exercise too.

Your vet can help you with a bunny diet that will work well and keep your furry friend happy at the same time.

If your rabbit is sick, take it to the vet. They may need some antibiotics in order to feel better and digest their food better while producing less poop.

Always clean any enclosure, room, hutch, or play area every day to remove any poop. Rabbits really are clean pets and need a clean environment in order to be healthy.

Monitor your pet’s diet. He should have mainly about 85% of his daily food in hay and some fresh veggies or fruits or leafy greens each day to stay healthy.

Rabbit pellets are good for bunnies, but you may need to offer more hay and fewer pellets, as the pellets can lead to obesity if they eat too much.

As with all pets, make certain your bunny has fresh and clean water at all times in his enclosure, cage, hutch, or play areas inside and outside your home.

Since rabbits are smaller pets than cats and dogs, they can get dehydrated very quickly.

If your rabbit is being territorial with his pooping routines, you can have it spayed or neutered to help with the poop boundaries in your home.

This will help with hormone issues and many behavioral issues and it can improve their lifespan by removing the risk of several types of cancers in your bunny.

If all of the above things are being done and you still think there’s just too much poo in your life, take your furry friend to the vet.

There could be some sort of underlying cause that needs to be addressed.

Also read: Why Does My Rabbit Pee on Me?

Final Thoughts

If you notice any changes in bowel movements in your rabbit, you should take him to the vet immediately.

Since they are smaller pets, they can become very ill very quickly and they should have medical attention right away.

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