Picture this: Your son is playing with his bunny, and before you can stop him, he has rabbit poop in his mouth. Could you blame him, though? You have to admit; those poop balls do look a lot like chocolate-covered peanuts. Would they taste as good, though?
Can you eat rabbit poop in a survival situation, and is it harmful?
Eating rabbit poop wouldn’t guarantee your survival. Poop pellets are basically just dry hay, as the rabbit has absorbed all the nutrients already. Eating cecotropes (nutrient-rich droppings) would provide more nutrition, but the rabbit is likely to eat these before you can collect the droppings.
If you have been wondering if rabbit poop could prevent you from starving in a survival situation, you’ll learn everything you need to know about rabbit poop and its safety in this guide.
How to Identify Rabbit Poop
In the wilderness, deer poop is often mistaken for rabbit poop.
Let’s take a closer look at how to identify rabbit droppings:
Rabbit Poop Size
Bunny poop is always more or less the same size, which is roughly about the size of a pea or a chickpea (deer droppings are smaller than rabbit poop).
Cecotropes (nutrient-rich poop balls that rabbits eat) are much smaller than normal rabbit poop. However, they tend to get stuck together and form a cluster because of their stickiness.
Rabbit Poop Shape
Rabbit droppings look like little round balls and generally have the same shape. The shape changes during the shedding season and becomes more of an oval shape.
Cecotropes have more of a blackberry-like shape than normal rabbit droppings. They can be found in clusters or just one cecotrope here and there. You rarely see cecotropes lying around, as rabbits usually eat them straight from their anus (it’s for digestive purposes).
Rabbit Poop Color
Rabbit poop (fecal pellets) varies in color from dark green to medium green and golden brown to a very dark, almost black color.
Cecotropes are dark brown in color and have glossy mucus covering them, which gives them a shiny appearance.
Rabbit Poop Texture
Bunny poop generally has a hard texture and shouldn’t be squishy. If you were to break a poop pellet apart, you would see dusty, sawdust-like fibers inside.
Cecotropes, on the other hand, have a sticky and slimy texture. If you squeeze them, they can lose their shape easily, and they often have bunny fur stuck to them.
Rabbit Poop Smell
Normal rabbit droppings are odorless to humans.
Cecotropes do have an unpleasant smell, and they can be very smelly if they are squished.
Can You Get Sick From Eating Rabbit Poop?
Eating your bunny’s poop can make you sick if your bun has a fungus, such as ringworm, that passes through their poop. You may experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
If your bun doesn’t have any parasites or fungus, its poop should be relatively harmless if you were to eat it. (But would you want to risk it?)
Is Rabbit Poop Harmful to Humans?
E.cuniculi is a microscopic brain and kidney parasite that can be passed from rabbits (through their poop) to humans. This parasite is harmful to severely immune-compromised humans who have HIV/AIDs, are on chemotherapy, or take long-term steroids.
People who catch E.cuniculi should consult with a medical professional for treatment. If you are not immune-compromised, this parasite will not affect you and should not be a cause for concern.
What Bacterias and Parasites Are in Rabbit Poop?
Rabbit poop does contain several different bacteria and parasites. However, not all of them are harmful to humans.
Let’s take a closer look at some of these bacterias and parasites:
When you think of a ringworm infection, you may assume that some kind of parasite causes it, but this is not the case. Ringworm refers to the shape that this fungal infection causes on human skin.
Ringworm can be transmitted from rabbits to humans and the other way around. Your bunny will need treatment if they are infected, as will you.
A few symptoms of a ringworm infection include:
- Itchy skin
- Raised, red and scaly rash in the shape of a circle
Salmonella is a sceptimic disease (a disease that affects the bloodstream), which can be transmitted to humans and other animals through eating contaminated food and feces.
Here is a list of symptoms caused by salmonella:
- Death (in severe cases)
Listeriosis is a severe bacterial blood infection that can cause death in unborn rabbits. The symptoms of listeriosis are serious, and you will need to take your floppy-eared friend to the vet as soon as possible for treatment.
This bacteria can be passed to humans and other rabbits through contaminated feces, water, and mud.
A few symptoms of listeriosis are:
- Weight loss
- Respiratory symptoms such as coughing and shallow breathing
Rabbit pseudotuberculosis is a disease caused by a parasite that can be transmitted from rabbits to humans through fecal contamination.
A human that eats rabbit poop can contract pseudotuberculosis, which shows signs very similar to appendicitis, such as:
- Lack of appetite
- High temperature
Humans and rabbits can be affected by a generalized infection or the more severe septicemia. If the parasite causes septicemia, it can be fatal for both humans and rabbits.
What Would Happen If I Ate Rabbit Poop?
Eating rabbit poop won’t be a satisfying experience, as the poop is dry and tasteless. Ultimately, it’s the waste products from the food your bun has eaten. It will not provide you with energy or any form of nutrients.
Eating the cecal pellets would be a very unpleasant experience, as these poop pellets have a horrible smell, and they are gooey. To get any kind of nutritional value from them, you would need to consume quite a lot of them.
Besides the taste and smell of rabbit poop (which isn’t great), you also risk catching various bacteria and parasites if you consume rabbit droppings.
My Last Bunny Thoughts
Even though it’s a fact that rabbits can eat their own poop, that really shouldn’t be a sign that you should follow suit (even if it was for your survival). Eating rabbit droppings has no nutritional value for humans.
Instead, collect your bun’s droppings and make bunny honey (rabbit poop fertilizer), which is a fantastic fertilizer for your garden. Plant some healthy vegetables that are guaranteed to provide you with the nutrition you would need to survive.