Deer Poop Vs Rabbit Poop

Deer Poop Vs Rabbit Poop

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Poop is not something that people generally talk about unless they have a very good reason to.

After all, you don’t really want to go around announcing about different kinds of poop to a room full of people, and if you do then it is considered an obscene thing to do.

Deer Poop (also called scat) and Rabbit Poop look a lot alike! See Below for excellent side by side comparison photos. We will also explain why the scat of these two animals looks so similar.

However, sometimes discussions about poop just have to happen, and sometimes they are completely necessary, like in the instance of when you are at the doctor’s – if you want to get better, it’s got to be talked about.

Is That Deer Poop Or Rabbit Poop?

But one discussion that has been making the rounds is the discussion about deer poop and rabbit poop.

Both of these creatures can leave leavings in your back garden or in your yard, and the question is: whose poop is it? Is it a deers? Or a rabbits?

Today, we are going to look at the differences between these two scats and show you how to notice which one is which.

Side By Side Photos Of Deer Scat And Rabbit Scat

Why Do Deer And Rabbits Poops Look Similar?

Although there are key differences – which we will get to later – many people are struggling to understand why they look so similar.

While we can understand why different owls pellets look similar since they use the same mechanism for creating them, or why cow dung looks the same – because they are all very similar species, it is a bit harder to pinpoint why rabbit and deer poop look similar due to them being vastly different species.

It’s Their Diet

The main reason is generally diet. This may seem odd, due to deer having different diets to rabbits, but hear us out.

Deer are a mix of grazers and browsers, who will eat leaves, grass, berries, nuts, bark, and any other plant material they can find to munch on, while rabbits are almost exclusively grazers whose diet is 80% grass with some flowers and vegetation thrown into the mix, maybe even root vegetables if they are lucky.

Different Vegetation, But It’s Still Vegetation

However, one thing to note is that everything in these two animal’s diets – excluding potential fruit and vegetables – is tough, fibrous material. It is all material that is made up of a huge amount of cellulose that takes lots of effort to break down in the gut.

With most of the food they are eating being different but made of the same material, it is only natural that their poops would look somewhat similar to each other – as long as they were consistently eating these materials.

The Main Differences Between Deer And Rabbit Poop

The Main Differences Between Deer And Rabbit Poop

With all that said, there are quite a few differences between rabbit and deer poop. The biggest differences are size, the general shape, and the appearance of the poop on close inspection.

Deer and rabbits are vastly different in size, with deer being almost as tall as a human and being up to 3 times as heavy, whereas rabbits less than a foot in size and weighing almost 50 times less than an average person.

As such, the size of the poops between rabbits and deer is vastly different, with each rabbit pellet being less than a centimeter in total diameter and a deer pellet being between 2 cm and 3 cm in total diameter.

This size difference means that they also excrete different amounts, with rabbits generally excreting between 10 and 50 pellets in one go and deer generally excreting 60 to 100 pellets in one go.

Another factor to consider is the shape of the poop itself. You see, rabbit poop is rounder than deer poop, being almost completely spherical in shape. Yet, deer poop has a different shape that is quite distinctive.

They are oval-shaped, with one side of the oval being far more pointed. This point comes into being when the deer closes its sphincter when excreting the pellet.

Color is also another important thing to consider. Rabbit poop tends to be tanned or light brown in color, but it can also range in color, which you don’t see in deer poop.

This is because rabbits are obsessive groomers, and so they tend to consume a fair amount of their own hair while doing their grooming, which can cause their poop to look different.

This hair consumption also gives their poop a very rough texture and much of the fibrous material they consumed may still be in the poop, still not digested.

In fact, rabbits will often eat their own poop to re-digest this material, as it is easier to get nutrients from it on the second time.

On the other hand, deer poop is almost always a dark brown color, with very few exceptions.

This is because unlike rabbits, deer are ruminants which are a family of mammals who have developed a digestive tract with four chambered stomachs, meaning that they digest their food four times for the maximum amount of nutrients.

This means that they squeeze every last drop of nutritional material from their food before pooping out the waste.

As such, the poop is not only dark brown, but also extremely smooth due to the long digestive process that it goes through.

As you can see, both animal’s poop may appear on the surface as being similar, but they are very different from one another.

Should I Worry About Deer Or Rabbits Being In My Yard?

If you find deer or rabbit poop in your yard, there isn’t necessarily a need to worry too much. It is quite possible they are infrequent visitors and as long as you have nothing there you want to protect then it should be fine.

However, if you like gardening or have flowerbeds, then you might want to find a way to stop them from coming in, as they will eat all those lovely plants.

Also, rabbits love digging holes and if they decide to make a home in your garden, you may find a huge warren network on your property.

Dartmouth Video On Identifying Scat (poop)

The Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust (DNRT) produced this video to help with differentiating between scat from various animals.

Deer scat is reviewed at the 0:15 mark in the video. Leah Howard, the DNRT Land Steward, is your guide in the video.

You can check out the outstanding work of the Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust at their website here:

Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust video


Deer and rabbit poop may look similar at first glance, but when you look more closely, you will see that they are vastly different poops from two very different animals.

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