Can chickens live with rabbits?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by jkl79, Apr 5, 2008.

  1. jkl79

    jkl79 In the Brooder

    Apr 5, 2008
    Central TX
    Hi there,
    I currently have 8, 1 week old chicks (buff orps and silkies) and am looking at get 2 rabbits. I have heard that rabbits might contract a disease (cocci?) from chickens. Does anyone have any experience keeping rabbits with chickens? We have a 12 x 4ft mobile coop, so both chickens and rabbits will have fresh grass all of the time.

    Please let me know what your experiences have been!
  2. airmom1c05

    airmom1c05 Songster

    Feb 3, 2008
    Raymond, Mississippi
    I haven't had any experience with this personally, but I have seen a cute video on YouTube that showed chickens and rabbits free ranging in a back yard together. The chickens would break up rabbit fights! I think it was called Chicken Police or something like that.
  3. professor-yellow

    professor-yellow Songster

    Mar 23, 2008
    We have has together for a couple years now without incident. healthey nd they get along great.
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Working on article on the subject right now [​IMG]

    (BTW, does anyone out there have any decently-focussed photos of rabbits+chickens that they'd be willing to let me use? I =need= to find something to illustrate the article and am becoming desperate. Will consider paying for it, although let's please remember I myself am not being paid much for this -- and definitely I would send you a copy of the magazine when it comes out. Doesn't ANYONE want to see their bunnies and chickens [together in same photo] in print? Please please please???? PM me!)

    Anyhow: Coccidia are NOT a concern, straight from the mouth of a U of Guelph parasitologist who specializes in coccidia. They are almost totally species-specific, and rabbits cannot be infected with chicken cocci or vice versa.

    Biggest health concern would be salmonella; to a much lesser extent, pasteurella, listeriosis and e coli. I would not personally consider putting rabbits in with chickens that have had a salmonella problem (paratyphoid) in the past as they can remain carriers. The others mainly cause clinical disease in rabbits when the rabbits are already stressed by poor diet, cold, heat, social stress, etc or if everybody is just plain wallowing in feces from poor sanitation. Plenty of people do seem to mix rabbits and chickens without problems, mainly by keeping everything clean and everyone healthy to begin with. Putting hutch (raised above floor) in coop, or letting the buns and chickens live separately but share an exercise yard, is probably safer than living together 100% of the time if you are worried.

    Word is to use straw NOT shavings if rabbits can get into coop w/chickens; and make sure they can't be eatin' at each others' foods. Chickens eating lots of rabbit food = malnutrition and poor laying; rabbits eating lots of chicken food = likelihood of serious, possibly fatal, intestinal or urinary-tract disease.

    Disclaimer: I do not have rabbits myself, this is all info scavenged from others [​IMG]

    Seriously, I am REALLY REALLY looking for photos, can anyone help?

  5. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

    Mar 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Would the rabbits free range with the chickens, or would you have to keep them locked up in the coop the whole time? I always wanted to try rabbits, but I think my coops just stay too muddy for the poor things to stay on the ground. The birds get to free range almost every day, but I'd be afraid the rabbits would run off.
  6. DTchickens

    DTchickens Crowing

    Mar 23, 2008
    Bailey, Mississippi.
    Many people let rabbits live with chickens. then some wont. i've heard of cases where a rabbit chewed a Chickens leg off (heard of that about 2-3 times from different people) then theres the maybe the chickens wont like the rabbits. and they happen to beat them up. and there are the cases. Where they get along fine. my guess would be its like housing all animals together in a house. dogs. get along with some dogs. but not with others. some dogs like cats. others dont,. etc etc
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Then I noticed your dimensions.... 48 sq ft is not much space for 8 adult chickens *alone*, I personally REALLY REALLY would not consider trying to cram any rabbits in there as well. Seems to me that's just *asking* for someone to get chewed on or someone else to get pecked in the eye. Sorry.

  8. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    I also think you need more space before you add any bunnies to the mix. Crowding causes ugly problems with chickens and if you add another poor animal to the mix it might be even uglier.
  9. User48

    User48 Songster

    Aug 1, 2007
    We have 2 Lionhead rabbits that sleep in a separate coop at night, but during the day I typically let them out to play in the same area that my buff Silkies free range. It's a space of approximately 30' X 30x & is nicely shaded. Had you considerd sectioning off a portion of your yard to give the chickens some free ranging time during the day - the bunnies could then join them. I have 4 partridge silkies in a mobile coop that's about the size of the one you have now, and will eventually be using it just for breeding purposes - especially when my partridge flock gets bigger, and more room is needed.

    If you have a Tractor Supply store near you, I noticed yesterday when I was there that they have a REALLY nice hutch that's a very nice size for 99.00 on sale. It is made of good quality wire - seems comparable to hardware cloth, a nice wood frame, and had a peaked roof with shingle-like material. I was tempted, but know DH would kill me if I brought home anything else. The rabbit hutch we have was located on FreeCycle and was totally free. It was also totally ugly when we acquired it, and is not much to look at now, but we replaced the chicken wire with Hardware cloth, gave it a fresh coat of paint, and re-shingled it - all with items already hanging around. You'd be surprised what's available on Craig's List & Freecycle if you check regularly...

    I keep a separate waterer and food dispenser for the bunnies in the 30x X 30x area so that it's easy just to pop them out of their smallish (Freecycle) coop and into the yard for some fun. I have seen the chickens peck at the bunnies on occasion, but the bunnies are VERY fast - they always surprise me - and could easily get away if they really wanted to. As a friend of mine once said, there's nothing cute then bunnies and chickens free ranging together. I heartily agree.

  10. speedabug

    speedabug Songster

    Apr 5, 2008
    I have had rabbits with 20 bannys for about 8 months. They did not fight one another. My rabbits were small so I would be careful doing it if you have large chickens.

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