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Gen B.
Gen B., Retired Veterinary Technician
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 2227
Experience:  Dog, Guinea Pig, Hamster, Gerbil breeder / Reptile Keeper / Bunny-Ferret-Exotic Specialist
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How come my rabbits poop doesnt always come out as pellets

Customer Question

How come my rabbits poop doesnt always come out as pellets?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Gen B. replied 7 years ago.
I am sorry that no one online earlier felt able to discuss this with you...please tell me:

How old is he?

What food(s) does he eat?

Are you seeing large round pellets (dry, hard) and small clumps of soft moist pellets (look like raspberries)? Or something else (please describe)?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Information no longer needed. It was found elsewhere on the web. Thanks.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

We adopted him. I think he is around two. He eats rabbit pellets and hay. The poop is sometimes pasty and stuck to his bottom.


Expert:  Gen B. replied 7 years ago.
Hello and thanks for researching this very important question!

Rabbits eliminate two types of stool pellets...the usual "hard, round" type that are finished being digested and are ready to be discarded, and a softer type that are re-eaten and digested a second time.

The softer stool pellet clumps can easily stick to a bunny's back side or under side, but if all your pet's stool is soft and sticky, there may be a medical situation, like intestinal parasites or inefficient digestion, taking place.

Rabbits that have become overweight (from eating too much Alfalfa hay or plain pellet food) can have a lot of trouble grooming themselves and catching the recycling stool clumps as they pass from the rectum.

To maximize his nutritional intake--and hopefully solve this problem at home--you can add a probiotic supplement to his daily routine (Benebac or Probiocin are brand names commonly available at pet stores) and review the information in this link:
Rabbit Diet and Nutrition link here.

If you don't get significant improvement in his hygiene within the next few weeks, do have him examined for medical problems.

If you need additional support at this time, please "Reply", otherwise I thank you in advance for clicking "Accept" and wish you both well!

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Ebunny has both regular pellets and the occasional pasty stool that makes a mess on his back side. The pasty stool is not constant.


His diet is rabbit food pellets and alfalfa hay. I quit giving him lettuce and carrot peels because I thought maybe this was causing him the soft stool. My thinking was like what fiborous foods do for humans.


I am not sure if he is overweight or not.


Expert:  Gen B. replied 7 years ago.
Chances are on these foods alone that he is somewhat overweight...if you don't see him turning to receive the soft recycle pellets, and you cannot feel his ribs through his sides then he could probably stand to become a bit more slim.

Wet lettuces (like iceberg and boston) can bring too much water into the digestive organs, and carrots are a bit sugar-rich (and can cause obesity if used too much).

I would start to SLOWLY introduce things like Bok Choy , Butternut Squash and Curly Endive...these veggies are very high in nutrients, moderate in water content, and will help fill him up during the day.

Switch from Alfalfa to Timothy Hay (lower calorie content, but very nutritive), and cut back on the dry food as you get some fresh stuff added to his routine...there should never be leftovers from day-to-day, even though he should be nibbling all day long.

People do not digest fiber (we don't have the digestive enzymes to do so), but Rabbits and Cows live off the proteins and nutrients in grasses and plants...his intestines need the increased bulk and balance in order to function normally and easily.

"Rescued" bunnies may have been stray and exposed to intestinal parasites (most of them are microscopic, and you won't see "worms"), so do make sure to have him screened for this if he doesn't get better quickly, or gets worse on fresh foods.

Let me know if you have other great questions about this!

Edited by Gen B. on 11/8/2009 at 11:34 PM EST