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A question about gut bacteria

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A question about gut bacteria

Post Number:#1  Unread postby GBov » Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:32 pm


As many of you know, I have been feeding fermented whole grains to my rabbits for the last few months and they all did really well on it. Now however, all but one are gone.

They tasted GREAT!!!

When I switched them onto the grain it took some of them much longer to adapt and I am trying to figure out if I can shortcut the adjusting period.

Today I picked up 9 big meat rabbits for $5 each - SCORE!!! - and would like to get them onto the grain as easily on them as poss. so I can get them into freezer camp in 6 to 8 weeks, instead of the 4 months it took last time.

When people need a gut boost they eat yogurt and other things high in probiotics but that isn't going to help here as its rabbits and grain so I was wondering........

Would it get the proper gut bugs into the rabbits if I take dried rabbit poo - proper poop, not the tar-like stuff - from the one remaining grain eating bunny and crumble it up over the feed before giving it to the new guys? Or even add some of it to the ferment bucket?

The idea comes from watching my best does and their kits. All my best does in the past have, right around 3 weeks, starting pooing in the nest boxes. Not a lot and never pee but I noticed that the kits from nests with does that did that always did better than the ones that didn't and, having seen the kits sucking on the "berries" when very young and eating them when they got a bit older, it looked to me like they were not only getting a meal but also inoculated with all the mothers gut flora/fauna.

The grain experiment rabbits had a hard time of it but their kits? Never a problem, they could eat like champs anything it took their mothers weeks, or even months, to learn how to digest properly.

What do you think?

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Re: A question about gut bacteria

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Shea » Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:08 pm


My best guess would be that dried poo probably would be too old? That the bacteria has died off. Did you try anything like Bene-bac?

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Re: A question about gut bacteria

Post Number:#3  Unread postby MaggieJ » Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:39 pm


GBov, your point about the kits and momma's poop is, I believe, relevant. I'd try adding some from the remaining rabbit, but as freshly pooped as possible, rather than old and dried. I can't see it would hurt them and if it helps, it would be an excellent thing to know.

Even though I no longer raise rabbits myself, I'm still interested in all the variations on natural feeding and I'm following your experiments with interest. 8-)

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Re: A question about gut bacteria

Post Number:#4  Unread postby GBov » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:23 am


It's nice and easy now that the pet bun lives on the porch, I just had to sweep up a few fresh ones from near his food dish.

So the new rabbits have had their first introduction to fermented feed with its sprinkle of "spice". :lol: I don't think many of them will eat much tonight as its such a different thing to normal pellets so they all got lots of hay as well. Will keep the hay up over the next weeks as well.

__________ Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:23 am __________

It worked a treat! They adjusted to the feed without any signs of diarrhea or any weight loss. Fat happy rabbits, result! :D

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Re: A question about gut bacteria

Post Number:#5  Unread postby MaggieJ » Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:00 pm


GBov wrote: __________ Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:23 am __________
It worked a treat! They adjusted to the feed without any signs of diarrhea or any weight loss. Fat happy rabbits, result! :D


Don't you love it when a hunch pays off! :D

I'd really like it if you'd post about this when you've transitioned several groups of rabbits this way. It could be very helpful to other members when bringing new rabbits into their herds, especially where a significant change of diet is part of the process.

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Re: A question about gut bacteria

Post Number:#6  Unread postby GBov » Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:44 pm


I do love it when a hunch pays off MaggieJ!!! :D

Will do an update when butchering as well, after I have a look inside. Realized yesterday that three had lost some weight but then figured out that my daughter was only filling up the MINI sized feed cups, instead of giving the girls the proper food bowls. Kids eh? :roll:

__________ Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:44 pm __________

Butchered two of the NZ does yesterday. Guts were beautiful! Fried the livers, hearts and kidneys for last nights dinner - flippin fantastic - and slow roasted both does today.

OMG the flavor is just the best!

Will turn lots of it into rabbit and mushroom pot pies tomorrow.

I so love it when a plan comes together! 8-)

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Re: A question about gut bacteria

Post Number:#7  Unread postby MaggieJ » Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:22 pm


I miss the rabbit giblets more than the actual meat. Glad to hear yours turned out so well. Those does should make heavenly pot pies . . . especially with mushrooms. :dinner:

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Re: A question about gut bacteria

Post Number:#8  Unread postby GBov » Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:53 am


These two does finally sorted out the Mini V Standard argument. It was the giblets (as youngest son calls them :lol: ) that decided us. They are just so much bigger in the big rabbit and as that is our favorite part of the rabbit, then that is what we shall have.

I wonder if one could breed a four livered rabbit? With perhaps 8 hearts and 16 kidneys? :lol:

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Re: A question about gut bacteria

Post Number:#9  Unread postby akane » Mon Dec 11, 2017 3:28 am


Feeding fresh droppings of healthy animals is considered by many to be a superior way to help ill guinea pigs over purchased products and I've seen it debated for the issue of starting handfed rabbit kits on to solid food. There is a large failure rate with bene-bac. Myself and a few others also found that if you put rabbits with established guinea pigs you can often just start dumping the greens in and they suffer no adjustment issues. It was theorized they are picking up the guinea pig digestive bacteria for those food items. Really a sterile environment is not a normal environment and even animals that don't regularly ingest waste will eat it when young or suffering gut problems temporarily to improve digestion efficiency. If you have something like a dog eating their own and others poop it's quite often a health issue or vitamin/mineral deficiency that when correct will stop the problem. Of course it can on occasion turn into habit but initially it's usually an imbalance or deficiency of the digestive tract they are trying to temporarily correct. There's actually only a small group of omnivores, including humans, that cannot process the bacteria they produce in their own or similar animals' waste. It's when droppings sit damp enough to grow secondary things from the environment or the bacteria enters the body ways other than the digestive tract such as eyes and breaks in the skin that really cause the problems with digestive tract bacteria. As far as simple herbivores go technically if it's from a healthy animal even weak human stomachs could ingest their waste with likely no negative health consequences and maybe even some more benefits than yogurt but a poo diet is not really left as an instinct in humans (very weak stomachs) and then culturally/socially very ingrained how horribly sick you can become so it does not occur to most as a possible solution for digestive issues in anything.
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Re: A question about gut bacteria

Post Number:#10  Unread postby GBov » Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:42 pm


Second lot of rabbits - well, one biting buck given to us - started on fermented grains and again, a few bits of poo from TK the porch bunny into the food for three days and he is eating his head off and new bucks poo is fine, no bloating or pain or runs like starting the original rabbits on the fermented diet.

So result! Not only is TK funny, he is a useful pet rabbit. :D

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Re: A question about gut bacteria

Post Number:#11  Unread postby Zass » Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:55 am


Myself and a few others also found that if you put rabbits with established guinea pigs you can often just start dumping the greens in and they suffer no adjustment issues.


Absolutely this^ I had the two species together for couple years now, and I'm only more convinced that the guinea pigs GI bacteria is great for the rabbits.

I'm going to have to search for more of your fermented grain posts...

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Re: A question about gut bacteria

Post Number:#12  Unread postby GBov » Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:11 am


Zass wrote:
Myself and a few others also found that if you put rabbits with established guinea pigs you can often just start dumping the greens in and they suffer no adjustment issues.


Absolutely this^ I had the two species together for couple years now, and I'm only more convinced that the guinea pigs GI bacteria is great for the rabbits.

I'm going to have to search for more of your fermented grain posts...


So far, its the best I have fed, other than the stink, that is. Stinky cheese only THINKS its stinky! :lol:

But even rabbits that have only ever met pellets are munching away by day 3 (even with other options) so it must taste better than it smells.

We shall see how it does for chicks, picking up hatching eggs today. :D

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