Rabbits have a unique digestive system that is specially designed to have a fibre rich diet, the majority of their diet depends on a high amount of hay and grass, with a small proportion of nutritious nuggets to provide the minerals and vitamins their bodies need to grow. Rabbits diet is made up of digestible and indigestible fibre which are processed in slightly different ways by the digestive system.
Indigestible fibre passes straight through small intesting and colon and is excreted as separate, round, hard droppings whereas digestible fibre moves up into an organ called the caecum. Good bacteria in the caecum ferment the fibre which then emerges in the form of clumps of sticky droppings called caecotrophs. Rabbits then re-eat the caecotrophs directly from their bottoms and their systems extract essential nutrition as the digestible fibre passes through the stomach and intestines for the second time. Rabbits will eat the caecotrophs directly as they pass from the body, generally at quiet times of the day/ night, so in a healthy rabbit caecotrophs should never be seen. Finding caecotrophs in the hutch or stuck to your rabbit can be a sign of poor gut health, and you should seek advice from your vet.