My 1yo French Lop is sort of having trouble eating her cecotropes

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CalmingTea

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Hi everyone, our French Lop Clover is a very clean little bunny as most bunnies are, and is litter trained house rabbit with all the love you can imagine, proper vet care, and a healthy diet of mostly Timothy hay and some pellets and the occasional plain cardboard with no dyes or inks, she also enjoys rose leaves and the occasional lemon leaf, and very tiny treats of banana, apple, blackberries etc.. She is a tad overweight and we just cut back her pellets and treats recently. :)

Just a few days ago she started this thing where she seems surprised by her cecotropes, drops them and then spins around to lick them off the floor. They are a little wet but not extremely so, and she is not acting sick. Her bum is clean (we just had her shaved at the vet last week)...it's more like she's just having trouble bending over and eating them all neat and clean like she used to do.

Any thoughts or advice?
 

zuppa

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Hi, can you post what pellets you feed her with all ingredients and fibre/protein etc, also how much she gets daily, full list of her foods with quantities for one day. Also I've never heard of French lops being shaved is she fluffy or why you decided to shave her? Could yu post some pics of her and what is her weight?
 

CalmingTea

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Hi, she is 13.5 lbs
She gets shaved every spring because she is very very hairy due to being bred for a show bunny
She gets 3/4 cup of Purina Show
unlimited Timothy hay
3 1/4 inch banana pieces (we use these to get her into the house or into her cage)
probably about 3 or 4 small pieces of pear or apple (very small like the size of a quarter)
Usually she gets 1 cup of (always organic) parsley, cilantro, mint, basil, ....right now we are unable to leave to go the grocery store due to being very sick and quarantined (aka really quarantined not even allowed to leave the house) and our neighbors have been getting food for us and dint' go to the store that has fresh greens. She's getting a little Spring mix as her "breakfast" now but she began to get the SPring Mix after this interesting thing with her cecotropes started.
She also likes to eat rose leaves in our courtyard as well as the occasional Lemon leaf that falls.

I do think she's a little stressed right now as, even though she is EXTREMELY personable and a member of the family, cuddling and snuggling in the living room, she isn't getting her usual 4 hour afternoon nap, since we are all home and in quarantine. When she is napping we always leave her alone and we ALWAYS respect that, when she is in her cage, she is really wanting personal time. However, with all the hustle and bustle and the entire family of four home all day long in a very small house, there is a lot more noise than usual. I noticed that she even gets a little fussy and grumpy in the afternoon, sort of shaking her head and even growled at my husband the other day, even though he is one of her favorites. (Usually we are out and about in the afternoon and she gets a nice long nap!)

So I wonder if it's just stress. I thought of maybe draping a blanket over her cage during the day so she'd have a place more quiet and feeling dark and alone.
 

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zuppa

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It could be stress as well, changes in your lifestyle and she can miss some cecotropes.
From your food I would say that protein 16% is a bit too high for an adult and overweight rabbit, your pellets are alfalfa based and I wouldn't recommend them for a girl as you said she's already overweight. I would suggest changing (gradually) her pellets to ones with max 13% protein and min 19% fibre, I would try to avoid alfalfa.

It happens quite often that when their diet is too rich they don't want to eat their cecotropes so you will see them around

Nutrients
Crude Protein MIN 16.00 %
Crude Fa tMIN 3.50 %
Crude Fiber MIN 18.50 %
Crude Fiber MAX 23.00 %
Calcium (Ca) MIN 0.50 %
Calcium (Ca) MAX 1.00 %
Phosphorus (P) MIN 0.50 %
Vitamin A MIN 4,800 IU/LB
Salt (NaCl) MIN 0.25 %
Salt (NaCl) MAX 0.75 %

 
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CalmingTea

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Yes, thank you so much for taking the time! I will check with my vet and then see what I can do. I think I might get a blanket right now and see if she likes it as she is hiding in her cage while people watch TV
 

zuppa

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If you want her to drop some weight you should definitely lower protein level 16% would only suit babies/juniors under 4-6 months or pregnant/nursing doe. Or an underweight rabbit after sickness or rescued from bad living conditions.
 
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CalmingTea

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Makes total sense. Do you have a recommendation? We typically buy 50lb bags from Tractor Supply or online pet stores. Right now I have a brand new unopened Purina Show but I could always give it away to some friends who breed.
 

CalmingTea

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We used to have a horse, so I know that I'll need to change the feed over very slowly over the course of ten days.
 

CalmingTea

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UPDATE: We figured it out

The diarrhea continued off and on the past three weeks, so we did multiple elimination diets of her supplements and treats....we thought for a while it was the rose petals because we definitely realized eventually, that it was something she was eating in our courtyard.... (which is a small area that only has rabbit safe edibles, mulch and cement)

It was the Lemon Tree PETALS!

She often eats fallen lemon leaves, and will take a bite out of our beautiful meyer lemons after they have fallen and never had issues.

But we finally realized she was **hoovering** up the massive amount of PETALS that were falling as the bees finished their job and the lemons began to bud. :) So, I just have to go out every evening after the bees and yellow jackets go to sleep and sweep them up for the next few nights (There are so many petals it fills three or four large dustpans full each day.)
 

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