Rabbit Poop Vs Deer Poop: What Are the Differences?

Checkered giant rabbit
Lukasz Pawel Szczepanski/Shutterstock.com

Written by Kyle Glatz

Updated: November 14, 2022

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Deer and wild rabbits can make a mess of your backyard area. Not only will they eat most plants in sight, but they will leave behind quite a mess for you to step in after they eat your favorite vegetables. If you’re trying to ward off animals that are wreaking havoc in your yard, you have to know what you’re dealing with. That’s why we’re going to explore rabbit poop vs deer poop. We’ll show you how to tell them apart so you can get a better idea of what animals are hanging out in your yard when you can’t see them. Although a lot of animal scat looks the same, the vast differences between these animals’ leavings make them easy to identify.  

Comparing a Rabbit Poop and a Deer Poop

Rabbit Poop vs Deer Poop
Rabbit PoopDeer Poop
Size0.5cm to 0.8cm2cm – 3cm
ShapeAlmost entirely roundOval with a point on one side where the deer’s sphincter pinches it
Appearance– Rough texture
– No shine
– Smooth
– Shiny
Amount– Roughly 12 to 50 pellets per bowel movement
– Can produce over 100 pellets per day
– 60-100 pellets per bowel movement
– Produce several hundred pellets per day
– Will have up to 10 bowel movements each day
ColorLight brown, tanDark brown

The 5 Key Differences Between Rabbit Poop vs Deer Poop

Largest deer - mule deer

Deer poop is bigger than rabbit poop, and it’s also shiny as opposed to rough in texture.

The main differences between rabbit poop and deer poop are size, shape, and appearance. Rabbit poop is smaller than deer poop, with each pellet measuring less than a centimeter in diameter. Deer poop can measure between 2cm and 3cm for each pellet, and they excrete larger piles that contain more pellets per bowel movement.

Rabbit poop is almost completely round, but deer poop is more of an oval shape with an obvious point on one side. Each pellet of rabbit poop is about the same size and shape as a pea. Deer poop is larger, about the size of large dog kibble.

Rabbit poop is also rough and possesses a matte quality, but deer poop is smooth and shiny. These are the most significant differences between these types of animal scat.

Rabbit Poop vs Deer Poop: Size

Rabbit vs Deer Poop - Deer Poop

Deer poop is larger than rabbit poop. Deer pellets measure between 2cm and 3cm. Rabbit poop is broken down into pellets that each measure between 0.5 and 0.8cm. Thus, deer pellets are larger than those excreted by rabbits.

Although deer poop pellets are four times as large as rabbit poop, the fact is that they might be hard to tell apart from each other at first glance.

Rabbit Poop vs Deer Poop: Shape

Rabbit poop is rounder than deer poop. In fact, rabbit pellets are almost entirely round, so it’s easy to tell if it comes from this animal. Deer pellets have a very distinct shape. They are oval-shaped, but one side of them has a very small point. The point is developed when the deer’s anal sphincter closes on the pellet.

Thus, if you see pellets that are fully round without an indentation or points, they’re more likely from a rabbit than a deer. Of course, scat identification requires a few more pieces of information to make certain you are set to identify the right poop.  

Rabbit Poop vs Deer Poop: Appearance

Miniature Cashmere Lop

Rabbits consume a lot of their own fur while grooming, and that affects the color of their feces

For the most part, rabbit poop is rough-looking and textured, but deer poop is smooth. Rabbit poop is interesting because it has a rough texture to it, and it does not have a shiny surface.

The reason for rabbits’ textured poop is that rabbits do not always digest their food properly and they are frequently grooming themselves. Thus, the poop they produce can have quite a bit of fibrous material in it. Sometimes, it binds the individual pellets together. If pellets are not digested well enough, the rabbit might infest the pellet again for another round.

Deer also eat a high-fiber diet, but their pellets are far different. Since deer are ruminants, the food that passes through their system is highly digested. Their diet leads to several bowel movements each day, but they are shiny and smooth-looking.

Rabbit Poop vs Deer Poop: Amount

Rabbit Poop vs Deer Poop - Rabbit Droppings

Deer poop more than rabbits. Rabbits will often produce over 100 pellets per day, and they can have anywhere between 5-15 bowel movements each day. Generally, rabbits produce between 12 and 50 pellets per bowel movement. While that is a lot of feces, one must consider that these animals are always eating and have a lot of fiber in their diet.  

Deer can have upwards of 10 bowel movements each day. Interestingly, they produce between 60 and 100 pellets during each evacuation. Thus, a single deer can produce several hundred pellets on a normal day.

By now, it should be clear that it would take numerous rabbits to produce as many pellets as deer. Not only do deer produce a greater number of poop pellets, but the quantity of feces that they produce far exceeds that of a rabbit.

Rabbit Poop vs Deer Poop: Color

Rabbit poop is tan or light brown, but deer poop is almost exclusively dark brown. The color of the animal poop is the last piece of the puzzle that is needed to tell which animal is making a mess of your yard. If the scat is any other color than dark brown, then it’s probably not coming from a deer.

Rabbit poop can run the gamut of colors. Part of that stems from their unique digestive process and their diet. However, you must also consider that a fair amount of their fur ends up in their poop, and that can have an impact on the colors present in their feces.

Rabbit scat can include various shades of brown, tan, gray-white, and more. Yet, the size, shape, and amount of poop in a pile from a rabbit will help you connect the dots on their origin.

Rabbit poop and deer poop don’t have a lot in common. Each animal’s poop is different in color, size, and shape. Still, with this guide, you have all the information you need to determine which animal is using your yard as its personal bathroom. Simply look at the scats’ size, color, and shape, and you should know which mammal visited your yard.  

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About the Author

Kyle Glatz is a writer at A-Z-Animals where his primary focus is on geography and mammals. Kyle has been writing for researching and writing about animals and numerous other topics for 10 years, and he holds a Bachelor's Degree in English and Education from Rowan University. A resident of New Jersey, Kyle enjoys reading, writing, and playing video games.

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