Owing to their large size, there are some elements of Flemish giant rabbit care that will be called for a lot more attention than would be the case with other rabbits. One of these is how to deal with the Flemish giant bunny poop.
As you would expect, Flemish giants eat a lot and therefore poop a lot more often and in greater quantities than smaller breeds.
The Size of a Flemish Rabbit
To appreciate why Flemish giants poop so much, it is important to take into account their relative size. A typical pet rabbit weighs between two and four founds (roughly one and two kilograms).
The average weight of a Flemish giant rabbit is in the range of fifteen pounds (some seven kilograms). In other words, Flemish giants outweigh average-sized bunnies by a factor of six!
Flemish giants can get so big that people unfamiliar with the breed often mistake the bunnies for dogs at first glance.
How Often Does a Flemish Rabbit Poop?
A Flemish giant rabbit poops about 300 poops over a day. This is about twice as many as what average-sized bunnies drop in a day. The poop droppings of Flemish giants are small, oval to round in shape, and harden considerably when left in the open. The pellets range in size from that of a pea to that of a garbanzo-sized seed.
The shape and hardness of rabbit poop make cleaning a lot easier than pets which drop poop that is a lot more liquid. Also, being exclusive herbivores, rabbit poop is not as bad smelling as that of animals that feed mainly on a protein-rich diet, including cats and dogs.
Because Flemish giants poop a lot more often, it is important to clear the litter box a lot more regularly than is the case for a regular-sized rabbit. You will also need a bigger litter box to keep in your Flemish giant rabbit’s enclosure.
Can You Train Your Flemish Rabbit to Use the Litter Box?
Flemish giants are among the most socially intelligent family pets you can raise. It is easy to train them to use a litter box to drop poop and pee.
How to Do Litter Box Training?
To make a success of litter box training, start it as early as possible when the rabbit is still adjusting to fit in the family.
To ensure easy time in the process of potty training your Flemish giant, begin by filling the litter box about an inch deep with litter pellets. Place this box in a conspicuous corner of the rabbit’s cage or hutch. Keep the rabbit consistently in the cage until it has adequately adjusted to using the litter box whenever it poops.
It is important to make a good choice of the litter pellets with which to line the litter box. Paper-based pallets are effective as they absorb pee smell well. But avoid litter pellets made of mineral crystals as these can injure the sensitive feet and hocks.
Why Would a Litter-trained Bunny Still Poop and Spray Pee Around the House?
Sometimes, you may notice that even a properly potty-trained rabbit poops around the house almost indiscriminately. This does not mean that the rabbit has forgotten all your instilled potty training behavior. Instead, it almost certainly comes from the rabbit’s instincts to mark territory. While this behavior is essential for survival and breeding success in the wild, a rabbit that poops in reckless abandon at home is a nuisance.
The Solution: Neutering/spaying
You can stop the habit of your potty-trained Flemish giant pooping and spraying pee everywhere in the home by having it neutered or spayed. This will inhibit the pooping urge to leave their smell around so other rabbits can find it.
Use Rabbit Poop to Keep Track of the Health and Wellness of Your Flemish Rabbit
It is important to keep track of your Flemish giant rabbit’s health and wellbeing. One of the most telling indicators of how well your giant bunny is doing is the quality and consistency of its poops. A healthy rabbit’s poop is made of uniformly shaped and sized drops that harden soon after being dropped.
Rabbit Poop Should Be Friable
Your Flemish giant rabbit’s poop should be friable. This means the poop pellets will be firm and of stable form. However, if you apply gentle pressure as you roll one between two fingers, it should fall apart into something like sawdust.
Once rabbit poop has been out in the open for some time, it dries and can develop a hard crust. This may make it harder for you to test if it is friable. The best recommendation is to test the poop pellets within minutes of the rabbit dropping them.
Rabbit Poop Appearance
After you ascertain that your rabbit’s poop is friable, check the appearance of the crumpled-up pellets. They should be made of chewed-up hay and any other vegetative material the bunny has been feeding on.
By regularly checking out the droppings of your Flemish giant, you will get a proper sense of what is normal and what is not.
Some Health Indicators on the Appearance of Your Rabbit’s Poop
If your bunny’s poop appears darker than usual and does not dry as quickly, this may indicate that she is getting a lot more protein on the diet than usual. In addition, this can be an indicator of the suitability of the hay grass your Flemish giant rabbits have been feeding on.
How Different Hays Affect the Size and Appearance of Your Rabbit’s Poop
If you are feeding your Flemish giant rabbits the correct kind of hay, the poop droppings will be of normal appearance. Normal poop usually means rounded droppings of a certain appearance and consistency.
Timothy hay, which is the staple hay feed recommended for pet rabbits, results in larger droppings that are more straw-colored on the surface than they are dark. However, if the same rabbit is fed a richer hay variety, such as orchard grass or alfalfa hay, the droppings will be significantly darker in appearance.
The Difference Between Flemish Rabbit Poop Droppings and Cecotropes
Cecotropes are a form of rabbit fecal matter that is different from normal poop droppings. Cecotropes are dark, squishy, sticky, and they normally come out stuck together as blackberries. They look shiny because they are usually covered by a coat of mucus.
The first thing to understand is that cecotropes are perfectly normal. So there is nothing wrong with your rabbit just because she has dropped cecotropes.
Rabbits usually pass cecotropes at the same time of day. In wild rabbits, the time for passing cecotropes is late at night. This is dependent on the rabbit’s routine and feeding time. This routine may not follow the same pattern as those in the wild in pet rabbits. That is how come it is not unusual for domesticated rabbits to drop cecotropes in broad daylight.
If you haven’t seen your pet rabbits dropping cecotropes, this needs not to be a reason for concern. Cecotropes are an important source of proteins for rabbits, and they usually eat them as soon as they are dropped. Most often, they take them right off the anus. So the only clue would be if you see the rabbit duck its head beneath its hind legs and then munch away.
My Bunny Is Passing Mushy Poops; What Is the Matter?
If your Flemish giant poop droppings are mushy or covered with mucous, this is an indication the rabbit is suffering some digestive system issues. Mushy Flemish giant poop often comes as a result of a low fiber diet leading to a low bacterial population in the rabbit’s digestive tract.
Other issues in your rabbit’s guts can result from Ph imbalance in the rabbit’s diet. If your Flemish giant rabbit is fed too much sugar and starch, the acidity of the guts will rise beyond normal levels. Food digested in a low pH environment of a rabbit’s gut will result in mushy poop.
My Rabbit Is Passing Runny or Sticky Feces; What Could Be the Matter?
Runny or sticky feces is often the most common digestive tract issue you can diagnose when your bunny poops. Often the runny poops are made of unformed cecotropes, which can stick to the rabbit’s anal area in one smelly, sticky mess.
There could be several explanations if your Flemish giant poops in a runny or sticky fashion. Here are the most likely ones:
A rabbit who is too obese is unable to reach behind to lick off cecotropes properly. These then stick to her anal hair causing the problem.
Arthritis and Other Skeletal Disorders
A rabbit suffering from skeletal conditions such as arthritis will not be able to clear off cecotropes, and this could lead to feces sticking to anal parts. You can help clean up the bunny so that she poops without trouble.
If you notice that your bunny poops with trouble and that the fecal matter is sticky and smelly, the reason could be what she is feeding on.
Rabbits are strict herbivores. Offering them treats such as bread or too many fruits and sugary foods will upset their digestion.
Internal parasites interfere with the delicate balance in the rabbit’s digestive system.
Flemish rabbit’s young ones should breastfeed until they are at least eight weeks old. Transitioning to adult rabbit foods exclusively before this age can cause digestive issues.
My Bunny Is Not Pooping at All; What Should I Do?
If your Flemish giant rabbit is not pooping at all, the most likely explanation is that it is constipated. Begin by taking away all the dry food from the hutch. Next, take your rabbit out into the open and encourage her to exercise. This may be the inducement needed for her bowel movement to start again.
It is also possible to induce a constipated rabbit’s bowel movement by giving her a teaspoonful of olive oil. If this remedy doesn’t work, call your vet’s clinic and get the rabbit a proper diagnosis of her condition. Only give your rabbit a medical laxative or enema at the express direction of a qualified veterinary doctor.
Other Questions on Flemish Rabbits Answered
Besides the fascinating topic of Flemish giants poop, as an owner, you are likely to have a lot more questions on the nature of these rabbits and their upkeep. So here we have answered the most important other questions concerning these adorable bunnies.
What Kind of Temperament and Personality Do Flemish Rabbits Have?
Flemish giant rabbits have a very amiable temperament and adjust well to a family environment. They are not as prone to throwing tantrums as smaller rabbits do when inconvenienced. They have a high preference for human interaction.
Can I Keep Flemish Rabbits Indoors?
Flemish rabbits live indoors as comfortably as they do outdoors. The Flemish giant is a well-known member of bunnies who make good pets, and therefore many actually thrives when integrated with family life in indoor spaces. Just keep in mind that you will need more space than a regular-sized bunny would demand.
It is, however, important to potty train your Flemish giant before integrating her to live indoors. Check our guidelines on properly potty training these giant bunnies as detailed above.
Just as well, if you want to keep your rabbit in a spare room in the house, ensure there is plenty of interaction with other pets or children as these bunnies are very social beings. They have been known to establish very strong social bonds with other animals, such as cats.
Should I Feed Fruits to Flemish Rabbits?
Flemish giant rabbits mainly subsist on a diet of fresh hay or grass. They should also be fed rabbit pellets. The diet should be supplemented with a daily measure of green vegetables. Fruits should only be offered once or twice a week.
Varying the Diet as Your Flemish Rabbit Grows
Both vegetables should be given sparingly. During the first year of their life, Flemish giants should have free access to grass hays and pellets. After they are older than one year, you can restrict the bunnies from unlimited pellets as too much consumption may lead to some health problems.
Can Flemish rabbits pass rabbit disease to humans?
With all the buzz and hysteria caused by COVID-19 as a disease that jumped from animals to humans, it is understandable that some have worried if Flemish giant rabbits pose a similar danger.
The answer is that it is very unlikely that your giant bunny poses any such danger. Indeed, you should be more worried that pathogens could pass from you to the rabbit rather than the other way round.
The Final Word
As a giant breed, Flemish rabbits poop a lot and often. The good news is that rabbit fecal matter does not smell unless the rabbit has some digestive tract issues. You can also train your bunny to use a litter box, so it doesn’t drop its poops everywhere in the house. Regularly inspecting your rabbit’s poops and pee will help diagnose many conditions which may afflict the bunny.