Author Topic: Cecal pellet question  (Read 2420 times)

Offline AnnieB

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Cecal pellet question
« on: July 11, 2007, 09:15:08 AM »
Quoted from wikipedia:

Quote
Cecal pellets
Rabbits are hindgut digesters, this means most of their digestion takes place in their large intestine and caecum. In rabbits, the cecum is approximately ten times bigger than the stomach, and it, along with the large intestine, makes up roughly 40% of the rabbit's digestive tract.[7] Cecotropes, sometimes called "night feces", come from the cecum and are high in minerals, vitamins and proteins that are necessary to the rabbit's health. Rabbits eat these in order to meet their nutritional requirements. This process allows rabbits to extract the necessary nutrients from their food.

Currently our rabbits (english angora and harlequins) are housed in hanging wire cages, with external hopper feeders and automatic watering in place.  We've not noticed any loss of condition in our buns at all, but obviously I would prefer to care for them in the very best manner possible for their lifetimes.

Does anyone have any information about this?  Our bunnies are working animals, but are also pets above and beyond any other function, and are loved and nose-kissed and spoiled rotten.  ^^  I would hate to think we're causing them to miss out on necessary nutrition by having their 'bunny berries' fall down out of their cages (and then be used on the garden =)

Thanks!

Annie

Offline Rose

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Re: Cecal pellet question
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2007, 12:02:45 AM »
I would be more concerned about the effect of the wire cage bottoms on their feet. 

They take the cecal pellets directly from the anus.  Watch them and you can see them do it.  It looks like they are grooming their nether regions, dropping their heads between their back legs, but if you watch them closely you can see that they are coprophaging. 

They may pick them up after they have dropped, too, but I've never seen any of mine do that nor seen it described thus in any literature.  Does it seem like there is an excess of the cecal pellets in the droppings?  Those are the grape-like groups of sacs that look like the contents are much more liquid than the other kind of pellets.  I find some discarded ones around occasionally.  If they have been healthy all this time I wouldn't worry about it.   

This article might help:

http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/poop.html
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Offline bug.dragon

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Re: Cecal pellet question
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2007, 11:42:57 AM »
sorry to interrupt...but what exactly is a "working rabbit"?  :poke:
dumb question probably, i know they aren't pulling plow or anything, :hyper: but what do they do?
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Offline Scubbs

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Re: Cecal pellet question
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2007, 11:37:11 PM »
I second bug.dragon's question... what do you mean by "working" rabbits?
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Offline Rose

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Re: Cecal pellet question
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2007, 04:53:09 PM »
Seriously.  I want to tell my rabbit Henry about this.  If he could get a job to help pay for the chair he destroyed, I'd be so pleased.   

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