Large Poops

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Mariam+Theo

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Ok, so this is a weird question, but I have to ask it.
In March I got Theo a bale of hay, but when I opened it I realized it smelled really bad (like moldy essential oils, which I don't know what actually smells like, but the hay smelled like what you think moldy essential oils would smell like). The hay was also really brown and dusty, it wasn't full of long strands. Since the hay was so bad I threw it away, and I bought another bale hoping that it would be better, but there wasn't much of an improvement. I was going to get Theo a 3rd bale, but I couldn't afford it because each bale is $25 so I was stuck with the 2nd bale.
Once I started feeding him the 2nd bale, I could tell it made him kinda sick. His poops became smaller than normal and were really dark. After a while, his poops got better, but still not normal. He finished the bale 3 days ago, and I got him a new one (see picture of hay). The new one is AMAZING! It is full of great green long strands, he really loves it! His poops have gone back to normal, and are huge. They are so big, that they are almost the size of a penny. Which is why I'm asking this question: Is it bad that his poops are so big? I don't think it is bad but better safe than sorry, right?
Thanks, Mariam.
 

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Preitler

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No, I don't think it's bad, actually, I think it's rather good, espacially in times when molt comes up. My nursing does have poop like this, that's quite normal. Since that is indicating that he eats a lot I would keep an eye on his weight and if he gets too chubby reduce all other stuff if necessary.
 

Mariam+Theo

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No, I don't think it's bad. My nursing does have poop like this, that's quite normal. Since that is indicating that he eats a lot I would have an eye on his weight and reduce all other stuff if necessary.
Ok, thanks! Do you think I should reduce his pellets and veggies/grass? He only gets 1/4 cup per day of pellets, and a handful of veggies, or grass from his garden.
 

Blue eyes

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Not sure where you are getting your hay, but I typically get mine from a feed store. I always insist that I get to look at the bales before purchasing. I'll even select a specific bale if I see they have a stack of 'old' bales and a stack of new bales.
 

Mariam+Theo

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I get my hay from Tractor Supply Co. All of the bales are in bags so you can't really tell if they are good or not until you buy them. I wanted to get his hay from a local farmer, but my parents didn't want to drive that far.
 

JBun

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No, big poop from lots of fiber in their hay isn't a problem for most rabbits as long as they maintain a healthy weight on it(don't lose too much weight). And in fact he is less likely to gain weight eating it as it is full of indigestible fiber, which means lower protein. But lower protein does mean he could lose weight. His diet sounds good to me though, so I would just monitor his body condition each week to make sure he stays at a good weight and body condition for him.

The only time large fecal poop might be a problem is when there is an abnormally large one associated with a blockage(rabbit would have been sick because of it), or for rabbits with digestive disorders like megacolon who normally have odd shaped poop and problems with their digestive nerves. Though for my rabbit with megacolon, he did best on a coarse hay with lots of indigestible fiber to help move things through his digestive tract. I would have been more concerned with your rabbits small poop and the bad hay that he was eating.

If you buy a bale of hay from tractor supply and it's bad you can return it. That hay, Standlee compressed in the bags(?) is supposed to be horse quality hay, which means it should never be moldy and should be a high quality hay. After all you are paying a premium price to get that good quality hay. If it's moldy then it's dangerous to feed to horses and rabbits, and is and should be returned for refund or exchange. If you get a bad bale of hay that is moldy, full of dirt and dust, full of weeds, isn't good quality, return it and ask for a better bale.

When you buy your hay, if they won't let you take the wrap off or open the bale before you buy it to get a look at the quality, what I have done in the past so I don't get home and find I have a bad bale that needs to be returned, is I'll buy it then take it out to the car where I have a tarp. Then I'll put it on the tarp in my car and take the wrap off, cut the strings/bands, and open up the bale to get a look on the inside. If it's not good then I'm still there at the store and can return and exchange it immediately.

And for everyone that reads this and may not be aware. Never ever feed a rabbit hay that is moldy or you suspect is moldy. Moldy hay or any moldy food, can make them very sick and cause permanent irreversible organ damage, bloating, and/or can be fatal.
 

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