What Is: Cecotrophy

In Rabbitry, Cecotrophy, also known as “cecophagy“, “pseudorumination“, “refection“, coprophagia, or “coprophagy“ is a unique behavior rabbit exhibit in consuming a specific type of droppings they produce, known as cecotropes.

These special pellets are packed with vital nutrients and are essential for maintaining a rabbit’s health. By ingesting these soft and moist fecal pellets, rabbits can effectively recycle nutrients and make the most of their diet.

How To Encourage Cecotrope

To encourage cecotrophy in rabbits, it is essential to create an environment that supports this their natural habits and provides a diet that encourages the production of cecotropes.

Here are some tips to help you achieve this:

  1. Balanced diet: Feed your rabbit a well-balanced diet that consists of high-quality hay, fresh vegetables, a small amount of rabbit pellets, and an occasional treat. Hay should be the primary component of their diet, as it promotes healthy digestion and the formation of cecotropes.
  2. Freshwater: Provide your rabbit with constant access to clean, fresh water. Adequate hydration is vital for their overall health and the proper functioning of their digestive system.
  3. Clean habitat: Maintain a clean and hygienic living space for your rabbit, as they may avoid consuming cecotropes if their environment is dirty or if the droppings are mixed with regular feces.
  4. Observe behavior: Pay attention to your rabbit’s behavior and watch for signs of cecotrophy, such as reaching towards their anus to consume cecotropes directly. This behavior typically occurs during the early morning or late evening hours.
  5. Monitor health: If your rabbit is not engaging in cecotrophy, it could be due to an underlying health issue. Consult with a veterinarian if you have concerns about your rabbit’s behavior or overall health.

By providing a suitable diet and environment, you can encourage the natural process of cecotrophy in rabbits, ensuring they receive the vital nutrients needed for their well-being.

« Back to Rabbit Glossary