Rabbits Eat Poop – Truly they do…kind of

rabbits eat poop

Photo via Flickr.

Rabbits eat poop.  As gross as this sounds, it is true that rabbits in the Rocky Mountains and throughout the world sometimes do in fact eat their own poop!

Studying and learning about animal scat can help you understand more about the animal.  Some animals put their scat in prominent spots to mark their territory.  Others may have a communal area that they all do their business.  But, rabbits do something quite different and actually eat their poop once a day.  They do this in order to stay healthy.

What Do Rabbits ‘Poop’?

Rabbits actually produce two kinds of droppings or ‘poop’.  One is the kind that you see lying around that are round and dry.  These are mostly made up of fiber and are simply the waste products that the rabbit does not ingest and use.

The other kind of pellet that comes out of a rabbits behind are not in fact waste matter.  They are called ‘cecotropes’.  They are not dry, but are a bit moist, and look like a tiny bunch of grapes.

Why Do Rabbits Eat Poop?

Rabbits will excrete the cecotropes about once a day.  Rabbits need to eat them because they are full of good stuff for the rabbit.  These cecotropes contain lots of proteins, vitamins, and bacteria that rabbits need in order to survive.

What Rocky Mountain Rabbits Eat Poop?

All rabbits eat cecotropes as they need them to survive.  This includes both domestic and wild rabbits.  Here are some of the rabbits in the Rocky Mountain that you may be lucky enough to see.  Maybe if you are really lucky, you will spot one eating its own poop or its cecotrope!

rabbits eat poop

A common mountain cottontail rabbit.

Mountain Cottontail

rabbits eat poop

A snowshoe hare in the summer. Photo via Flickr.

Snowshoe Hare

rabbits eat poop

Photo via Flickr.

White-Tailed Jackrabbit

 

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