Cecotropes also called caecotrophs, caecal pellets, or night feces are a type of feces (fecal pellets) that are produced by rabbits.
These pellets are soft and moist, unlike regular fecal pellets, and they are usually eaten by the rabbit for added nutrients in a process known as “cecotrophy“, “cecophagy“, “pseudorumination“, “refection“, coprophagia or “coprophagy“.
Function of Cecotropes
Rabbits are hindgut fermenters, meaning that their digestive systems are efficient at fermenting and breaking down high-fibre diets. This allows them to extract more nutrients from their food than other animals.
However, some of the nutrients that are found in plant material are not easily broken down and absorbed in the small intestine.
As a result, rabbits produce Cecotropes, which are soft and moist, and contain some of these nutrients that were not digested in the small intestine. Rabbits then eat these cecotropes, which allows them to absorb the nutrients from them.
Nutritional Benefits of Cecotropes
The nutrients that are found in cecotropes are important for the health of a rabbit. These include proteins, vitamins, and minerals, which are essential for proper growth and development.
In addition, cecotropes also contain beneficial bacteria, which are important for maintaining a healthy gut-bacteria balance.
This bacteria helps to break down food, and it also helps to ward off potentially harmful bacteria and parasites. Also, cecotropes also contain fiber, which helps to keep the digestive system running smoothly.
Cecotropes are an important part of a rabbit’s digestive system. They are soft, moist pellets that are produced by rabbits, and they are eaten by the rabbit in order to obtain essential nutrients that were not absorbed in the small intestine. Additionally, cecotropes also provide beneficial bacteria and fiber, which are important for maintaining a healthy digestive system.« Back to Rabbit Glossary