Most housebunny owners are somewhat obsessive about bunny-poop. We pay a lot of attention to how much a bunny is *producing* and what the pooties look like. This isn't because we have too much time on our hands (well, not entirely) but because pooties are an indicator of the health of a rabbit's digestive system. A rabbit who isn't making nice pooties has a problem and it's up to the owner to figure out why.
Unless a rabbit has a physical problem, oftentimes the cause of less-than-perfect-pooties is a lack of fiber in the diet or too much starch. Rabbits need huge amounts of hay and very little of the other stuff that people like to feed bunnies. If there is a problem, you'll notice your bunnies' pooties getting smaller and smaller. It's all about knowing what's *normal* for a particular bunny. The photo at left shows a sample from each of the five bunnies that live here. The pooties on the right are from the Flemmies and are marble-sized. All the way on the left are Dora's pooties - she is not the smallest bunny here, but she is not a good hay eater and it shows in her poops. A rabbit that eats a lot of very high-fiber hay, like oat hay, will have beautiful, light-colored flakey pooties. (Oh gosh, listen to me! - I am not obsessive!)
Many people who haven't encountered a rabbit, outside of a backyard hutch rabbit, are surprised to learn that they can be litter-trained. In fact, most rabbits will train themselves to use a box, so long as you put the box where they want it. My newest bunny Dora has been somewhat difficult in this regard, because she refuses to use the litterboxes that are in her cage. She "holds it" overnight and will dart out of her cage to the corner litterbox first thing in the morning. She does the same thing when I'm at work. Why she has this peculiar habit I don't know, but she is proof positive that rabbits are "clean" animals. It's the way that most people keep them that makes many think otherwise.
An important part of training a rabbit to use a litterbox is to set up the box in such a way that a bunny will like to go there. It has to be cleaned regularly. I set mine up with a pelleted-wood product for litter and fill it to the brim with hay. The bunnies will munch hay and poop at the same time. Most bunnies here also seem to find their box to be a convenient place for a nap or a snuggle-session. You can see Boomer and Cricket in one of their boxes with barely an inch to spare!
If you're really interested in learning more about bunny poop, a good article (with photos!) is available here.
a return Visit
7 months ago