Help me figure out why my rabbits are STILL producing excess cecotropes

Discussion in 'Health & Wellness' started by button+banjo, Jul 30, 2018.

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  1. Jul 30, 2018 #1

    button+banjo

    button+banjo

    button+banjo

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    I have two bonded Holland Lop brothers that live on my front porch, and have been having problems with them leaving cecotropes around. I addressed this last month (see this thread): https://www.rabbitsonline.net/threa...opes-could-it-be-a-cage-flooring-issue.92199/, and ended up reducing their pellet amount (oxbow adult) to 1/3 cup to share (every evening). However, they are still leaving cecotropes on the porch/in their cage every day.

    Here is a list of info/my observations on them for reference:
    They are both 2 years old
    They are both about 4 lbs
    They use a litter box for pee and most of poop
    They literally RUN to their feed (1/3 cup to share) every evening and start gulping it down
    They eat SPS 2nd cut timothy hay. They have a hay feeder of it available at night (when they have to be locked in their cage), and during the day they get a pile as big as both of them on the porch. In the morning they are always hungry and ready to run out of their cage to their hay. They usually leave a ton of cecotropes about an hour after they run to their hay in the morning, but rarely if ever leave them when they have to be in their cage at night.
    They do like the seed heads and soft pieces better than the hard strands though (they waste a lot of those)
    They have been eating less hay since summer started (they spend more time laying by their ice block/in front of their fan)
    They LOVE Oxbow timothy meadow hay (more than their regular hay) and get it sometimes as a treat (it is soft, strong smelling, and cut short with a lot of dust). It is very expensive though so they don't get it all the time.
    They get no other food, no treats, no nothing, so I am confused as to what could be causing them to leave cecotropes everywhere.
    They have been in a continuous molt for months.
    I am really tired of going out and cleaning cecotropes up multiple times a day, and the bunnies also like to sit in them and get their paws wet/dirty. o_O

    Anyone have any advice as to what could be causing this and how I could resolve it?
     
  2. Jul 30, 2018 #2

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    Could you clarify this? I'm not understanding why they are hungry and running to their hay if they have hay already in their cage.
     
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  3. Jul 30, 2018 #3

    button+banjo

    button+banjo

    button+banjo

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    It's because by morning they have finished the hay in their hay feeder. (It is attached to the outside of the cage, they pull hay through the bars)
     
  4. Jul 30, 2018 #4

    Popsicles

    Popsicles

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    I feel like you probably need to give them more hay at night if they are finishing it by morning, they should have access to it at all times. I know my rabbit eats most of her hay at night time too, so I wouldn’t ever want it to run out over night.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2018
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  5. Jul 31, 2018 #5

    maiyaeh

    maiyaeh

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    I think the 2nd cut hay may be the problem. Maybe you could try 1st cut since 2nd cut is more nutritious? And reduce the amount of pellets? each of my buns eats 2 tablespoons of pellets per day. don't you give veggies to your buns?
     
  6. Jul 31, 2018 #6

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    Oh! They should never run out of hay! That can mess with their digestive system. They need to have plenty of hay available 24/7 -- never run out. They are being deprived of food (hay) in the early morning (when rabbits normally would be eating) and then gorge once they finally have access to hay when the cage door is open. That could be messing with their system.

    Put whole big piles of hay in their cage at night (in addition to the feeder). The feeder isn't big enough to hold what they need. See if several nights of that doesn't clear up the problem.
     
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  7. Jul 31, 2018 #7

    button+banjo

    button+banjo

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    Good idea. Do you think that splitting up their feed into morning and evening feedings may help too?
     
  8. Jul 31, 2018 #8

    CathyO

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    Have a pile of hay available all the time. If you are "splitting" the amount, you still may not be giving them enough hay. When I clean my buns bungalow, there is always a fair amount of hay that goes into either the compost or the greens bin (our city collect yard trimmings). They really should have a decent handful in their bin all the time. Also, hang in there with the cecotrophes. It's just a fact of owning bunnies. If you do decide to introduce fresh veggies, read up on it. Some fruits and veg are not ok for buns. The most important thing to consider when feeding your buns is that they have VERY sensitive digestive tracts and can get fatally ill fairly quickly.
     
  9. Jul 31, 2018 #9

    Maria Hansen

    Maria Hansen

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    Thank you for your thread and the replies as I have a new Holland Lop ( not sure how old she is given her past history, which is sketchy, but I suspect she is at least 4 mo. , but still young, likely under a year). I have had the SAME issue her her, sometimes she poops regular poops, sometimes it is cecotrophes, often in the early morning and late afternoon, which could coincide with about 6-8 hours after I feed her pellets, which she gets in limited supply, but is SUPER anxious to have them, as if she is just starving. I am hesistant to cut them out entirely as she may still be on the young side. SHe also gets unlimited timothy and other hays, though has never eaten all the supply she is given. As I don't really know just how old she is, I also cut out all fresh veggies. I did start giving her doses of benebac, which I found cheaply at Petco to see if it helps. WE have only done 2 doses so far with no much change, but hopefully it will still help????
    Does anyone recommend that we get our bunnies poop analyzed to see if anything else may be going on ? I am pretty sure there is nothing amiss in her poop, it is just a lot of cecotrophes.
    Thank you!
     
  10. Aug 1, 2018 #10

    BerkleeAjax

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    I agree with many here. Bunnies should get unlimited hay. They eat almost continually to keep their digestive tracks moving.
     
  11. Aug 1, 2018 #11

    squidpop

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    I suggest giving them benebac probiotics. Because it might increase the good bacteria for digestion. Also I agree with more hay.
     
  12. Aug 2, 2018 #12

    Sophia

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    I would get a bigger hay feeder and attach it to the outside of the cage and if you have a hutch drill holes in the hutch
     
  13. Aug 2, 2018 #13

    ChrissieK

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    I would go the opposite way- lots of food and lots of options. It sounds like your bunnies can run around a lot, as can mine. They live in a grassy, shady, 15X40ft pen and are locked in 4x4ft at night. So, your bunnies can run around a porch all day and get plenty of exercise. My 2 buns get unlimited hay and more deluxe pellets than they can eat in a day. Easily a cup. They pick out their favorite bits, and the next morning I top it off , working my way through the week so they don’t skimp on the pellets over the tastier parts. They also get about 2 cups of mixed greens. Always Romaine, and 2 or 3 other greens, like dandelion, lemon thyme or balm, basil, clover, strawberry leaves, etc. Usually a baby carrot to share, or a little chopped apple. They absolutely pick out what they want, and sometimes leave it almost untouched. Their poop is perfect, neither is fat, and in fact in 4 months one obese, “I can barely hop” rescue has turned into a little sprinter. BTW, I use a rubber cat brush on my buns and a cooling pad for dogs for them to sleep on - how hot is it getting that wind-hating bunnies like a fan?
     
  14. Aug 2, 2018 #14

    Sophia

    Sophia

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    Yeah it depends on the rabbit
     
  15. Aug 2, 2018 #15

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    chrissie, you may not be aware, but any "gourmet" mixes are not recommended. Rabbit care organizations warn against feeding such mixes. ;) The healthiest pellet types for rabbits are plain and have no colorful add-ins -- no seeds, no dried fruit or corn, and no colorful 'bits.'



     
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