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keeping rabbits and chickens together...how?!

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I have done lots of research and have found out that it IS possible and safe to keep chickens and rabbits together in the same run, just that they need separate sleeping ares where they can get away from each other.
But what else has to be done? I have my mind set on keeping them together, and i know there are things to consider, so I needed some advice!
What should be done to keep the disease spreading factor down? I only have 9 hens in a large enough coop/run for about 20 chickens.

Is there a breed of rabbit that would/won't be able to live with chickens?  What should I do about eating each others feed?-should I make sure that both the rabbit's food and chicken's food is safe for the other? I've seen hencam and that is what inspired me to keep them both!
I hate seeing rabbits in small little cages, so the coop will be great! It is also fully protected from intruders, and buried fencing on the sides to deter digging predators and rabbits.

Any help/advice/warnings on keeping chickens and rabbits together would be GREATLY appreciated!  Thanks!!

stand for something or you'll fall for anything

defend animal rights!!
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stand for something or you'll fall for anything

defend animal rights!!
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post #2 of 15

try it with only 9 birds and a very small number of rabbits not much can happen. you would be noticeing any out of the ordnary and could seperate them in you saw anything you did not like
minnesota birds

post #3 of 15

While it is possible, I wouldn't say it's 100% safe. Chickens can peck at the rabbits eyes. Larger rabbits could potentially kill a chicken. Rabbits with wool would get dirty and matted. Are you thinking of keeping bucks and does together? The chickens or male rabbit may eat or kill the kits (baby rabbits).

What are you planning to keep the rabbits for (meat, wool, pets)? How big is your coop?

I can understand not wanting to keep them in tiny cages, this isn't intended to come across rudely. smile

post #4 of 15

This gets asked at least every other week. My answer will always be no. There is disease risk factors involved. Coccidia is one of them. Plus rabbits do not eat the same thing as chcickens. Chicken is high in protien, low in fiber. Rabbits need a high fiber diet that is low in protien. Plus its not very sanitary at all for them to run around where they can get into chicken poop. Or their own feces for that matter. Rabbits do much better when they are given their own space in cages. They will also fight with each other since they are very territorial animals. They can also bite and kick at the chickens too. As someone else pointed out, the chickens can also do bodily harm to the rabbits as well. Not a safe setup. And not one I would recommend using. If you want to keep rabbits in the chicken barn, give their own cages where the chickens can't roost on them. The birds will enjoy eating up the extra spilled pellets and picking the rabbit poop.

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

No it's ok--better safe than sorry!
I forgot to mention that the rabbits with the chickens would be all just for pets and enjoyment.
I am planning on have just does, hopefully fixed. If i get a buck, would you think it would be fine if he's neutered? and would rabbits from a local animal shelter be fine, or would those no be 'hardy' enough for outdoors? The coop is 6 by 8 and the run is 11 by 17..but I plan on adding a small rabbit hutch on the side for the rabbits.
Thanks for your honest help!

stand for something or you'll fall for anything

defend animal rights!!
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stand for something or you'll fall for anything

defend animal rights!!
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post #6 of 15

ther00ster'scr0w :

No it's ok--better safe than sorry!
I forgot to mention that the rabbits with the chickens would be all just for pets and enjoyment.
I am planning on have just does, hopefully fixed. If i get a buck, would you think it would be fine if he's neutered? and would rabbits from a local animal shelter be fine, or would those no be 'hardy' enough for outdoors? The coop is 6 by 8 and the run is 11 by 17..but I plan on adding a small rabbit hutch on the side for the rabbits.
Thanks for your honest help!


If you got them from an animal shelter they may not adopt to you if they found out where you plan to keep them. It depends ontheir policies. Some are pretty strict about it. If you are going to spay and neuter them its probably best to keep them in their own space. Or even in your house. Altered rabbits make pretty good house pets. Most rabbit rescue groups, and some shelters are against keeping the rabbits they are selling outdoors.

If you want to keep them outdoors, then try going to breeder. However, they may not sell to you either, again, if they found out where the rabbits were being kept. Not saying it to be mean, but its just that  alot of us spend a lot of time and money when breeding and keeping these animals. And we don't want them to go a situation where something might happen to them. There was one kid I quit selling rabbits when i found out through someone else that she turned them all loose inside a shed. They fought. They bred. They had babies. ETC. Even rabbits of the same sex may fight with and injure each other. Altered ones tend to get a long better.

post #7 of 15

Since you plan on keeping the rabbits outside, get them from someone who already keeps them outside.If you get a house bunny and then put it outside, it may not be abe to handle the change very well.
Any rabbit breed will work. I have small 4 pound rabbits outside as well as large 10 pound rabbits and all do fine.
I have rabbits in a colony(loose in a shed) and they do fine even though every where says to keep them in cages(beside house bunny people)

~*~MaryBeth~*~

*Owns a small Rattery* Starting over with poultry*

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~*~MaryBeth~*~

*Owns a small Rattery* Starting over with poultry*

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post #8 of 15

We had a bunny that was once an inside bunny until he ate all the leather shoes and such ... so we built him a nice hutch and well....  My kids now call me the Ima murderer because he died during a thunderstorm because he was used to being inside the big safe house during those. So then we got only outside bunnies...never mix bunnies and chickens because the can leave the disease germs some of which can  live in wood or the ground for a long time. Sadly we learned this the hard way. So I say now Never keep bunnies were chickens have lived or visa versa ...and bunnies will dig their way out if you have them on the ground with soil. Knew a lady who kept them with her horses and they would dig out all the time

It's the little things in life that can make you smile Stop and smell the roses, pet the dog, kiss the children and hug the husband Remember to look as through a child's eye and you will see things a great deal differently and will remember to appreciate things more
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It's the little things in life that can make you smile Stop and smell the roses, pet the dog, kiss the children and hug the husband Remember to look as through a child's eye and you will see things a great deal differently and will remember to appreciate things more
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post #9 of 15

i have had a total of 3 rabits. one inside, he was troublesome. he ate everthing he should not. took him to a salesbarn and did not get enough to cover the minimun commission, this was with a nice cage.
the other 2 were outside in seperate hutches. they lived a long time. rabits are poor pets as they don't do anything, they just eat.
minnesota birds

post #10 of 15

There are indeed diseases transmissible between chickens and rabbits.

Coccidiosis is NOT one of them however.

There are, what, like 9 or so species of Eimeria (the organism responsible for coccidiosis in chickens). None of them infects mammals. And rabbit coccidia species do not infect chickens. So sayeth the U of Guelph parasitologist I consulted for a magazine article on the subject. He points out that you can find coccidial cysts of any ol' species of coccidia in the feces of any ol' critter, but they have just "passed on through" and do not reflect an actual INFECTION of the animal by those other species.

But there are still the other issues to consider. Yes, some people keep rabbits and chickens together (in one way or another, there are a whole variety of approaches different people use) without having had problems. OTOH a number of others have tried it and HAD serious problems. I am not at all trying to discourage you from researching it and doing it if that seems reasonable but I am just concerned by your statement that "it IS possible and safe". Safer than keeping your rabbit in an aquarium with your goldfish, yes; as safe for the rabbit as NOT keeping it with chickens, no.

Good luck, have fun,

Pat


Edited by patandchickens - 1/25/10 at 11:11am
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