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Thursday, August 2, 2007

Bunny Poop

We spend an amazing amount of time around poop. Dog poop, chinchilla poop, hamster and rat poop, turtle poop- you name it we see it. But I'm pretty sure we spend most of our time hauling rabbit poop! That's pretty amazing, considering how I got grossed out just hearing about someone having to go change a baby diaper!

As you can guess, we cleaned a few cages today- that's what got me to thinking about poops.

In rabbits, we love to see the normal poop. The nice, medium sized little balls in their pan that indicate everything is going well! We're currently dumping these trays on a compost heap, and as soon as we finish digging out potatoes, pulling beans and harvesting corn, squash, zucchini , peppers and 'maters, we'll have a much shorter journey to a dumping ground! Yep, the bunnies are going to be put to work fertilizing our garden plot. Nothing better than bunny manure to revitalize plants and soil!

Then there is not so helpful poop- diarrhea. I'll admit, my heart stops every time I see it. Usually there is no reason- a new rabbit is stressed from the move, weanlings are a little creeped out without mama- there are a 101 reasons for normal rabbits to have diarrhea. Most of the time, there are no problems, a little hay and some time to calm down- maybe a butt-washing or two, and everything is peachy-keen. However, sometimes it's so much more serious.

Then, we get the cecotrophes, the little slightly mushy "poop" that appears to be a clump of tiny brown grapes. These usually get eaten, but occasionally my rabbits prefer to step on them, creating a huge mess that is nearly impossible to scrape off- mostly because they hide the evidence for a few days, pooping on top of the mess and creating their own little compost heap right in the cage. Add to it a bit of hair from whoever is molting at the moment and BAM! you've got a nasty cage that isn't going to be easy to clean. We have a few like this at the moment- we'll have to torch them if it EVER stops raining!

We've also got the no-poops stage. I'm so lucky we've not encountered this yet *knock on wood*. Like diarrhea, no-poops can signal some very bad problems for your bunny! Hopefully, lots of hay and some papaya will get everything flowing again.

Poops are an amazingly helpful insight to the secret health of your rabbit. Because rabbits are prey, lots of time they don't exhibit signs of illness the way we do- or when they start exhibiting them, they are almost always too far gone to help, unless you're particularly observant. It may not be the best view in the world, but try to pay attention to your rabbit's poop. It might just save their life!

Thanks for Reading!
Keep's Rabbitry

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