Naturally, guinea pigs feed on hay, fruits, vegetables, and pellets. But you may be surprised to find your cavies eating their poop.
So you’ll possibly be thinking, why do guinea pigs eat their own poop?
Surprisingly, guinea pigs eat their poop (aka cecotropes) to get specific vitamins like Vitamins C, and K. They also do this to get fiber, which allows easy digestion of food.
The process of guinea pigs eating their own poop is called coprophagy and is a very common practice among rabbits, hares, and even guinea pigs.
Now, I believe you understand that your cavies’ gross behavior is beneficial to their health.
But did you know that it is not all poop that these small pets eat? So you’ll likely want to know the types of guinea pigs’ poop.
Read further to find out!
Table of Contents
Types of Poop
Usually, guinea pigs produce 2 types of poop – the regular poop & the cecotropes.
While the first is considered to be the normal waste product, the second has lots of benefits!
If you’re a first-time guinea pig parent, differentiating the two types of poop can be difficult. But if you observe the animals closely, you’ll notice they don’t eat all types.
That said, here are simple ways to identify a normal guinea pig poop and cecotropes.
|Mostly black||Mostly yellowish or green|
|Doesn’t smell||Smells badly|
|Inedible for guinea pigs||Edible for guinea pigs|
Benefits of Eating Poop (Cecotropes)
As mentioned earlier, guinea pigs’ cecotropes are a rich source of fiber, which allows easy digestion of food. Apart from this, their poop provides other health benefits.
Here are some of them:
1. Builds up the Nerve and Skin Tissues
Vitamin B complex and protein are some of the nutrients in cecal poop. When absorbed in the body of guinea pigs, they help to improve their overall health.
With time, these nutrients build up the skin tissues, nerves and allow easy bowel movement in cavies.
2. Helps a Sick Cavy to Recover Quickly
Based on the experiences of some guinea pig parents, the poop of a healthy cavy heals a sick one. Although it sounds strange, it is highly recommended.
Being smart, little creatures, your guinea pigs know the health benefits of others’ poop. So whenever they are sick, they move around the cage to eat the cecotropes of others.
Within a few days, the sick cavy will recover from sickness.
But bear in mind that some sicknesses will need the help of your vet. In the case of your guinea pigs’ health, never leave anything to chance.
3. Improves Blood Function
Another nutrient found in guinea pigs’ poop is vitamin K. It is useful for regulating calcium in the blood and also builds strong bones.
When there is a moderate amount of calcium in the blood, your cavies’ chances of having urinary problems will be small.
Moreover, your guinea pigs will hardly fall sick if their blood is healthy.
Is It Normal For Guinea Pigs To Eat Their Poop?
Yes, it is perfectly normal for guinea pigs to eat their poop. Although this behavior may look irritating and unhealthy to us as humans, it is safe for cavies.
It is important to note that other small animals like rabbits and hamsters also eat their poop. This act is beneficial to their general health.
Therefore, never stop your guinea pig from eating poop, no matter the situation.
When Do Guinea Pigs Eat Their Own Poop?
Guinea pigs eat their poop almost all the time. They love chewing to keep their teeth‘ growth in check. And as they keep eating, they’ll continue to defecate.
Even if you feed them hay and other diets, your guinea pigs will still eat their cecotropes. So it is impossible to determine the exact time of the day they eat poop.
Once you notice your cavy is facing backward, he is likely chewing poop.
Guinea pigs eat their poop to get important nutrients like vitamins C, K, and Fiber.
There are two main types of guinea pigs’ poop; normal poop, which they don’t eat, and cecotropes, which are edible and beneficial.
Since guinea pigs love chewing food, they eat their poop all the time.
Finally, it is completely normal for your cavies to eat cecotropes as other small pets like rabbits do the same.
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