Chickens eating rabbit poop

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by jeremy, May 26, 2016.

  1. jeremy

    jeremy CA Royal Blues

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    We've moved our rabbit set up into the chicken run. I have a tray underneath my hutch that collects poop that I use in the garden. I've noticed that many of my birds peck at the rabbit poo, what I assume might be out of curiosity, but some have eaten it. Is this harmful? I know rabbits can eat their droppings again in order to better absorb nutrients from any undigested food matter, so does this mean the chickens can/are picking out the parts of the poo that are still edible?

    I'm worried about the possible transmission of bacteria, worms, etc. None of my animals are ill, and they're all healthy. No bugs or worms. But they're eating poop, that made me kind of squeamish and pushed me to seek out other's opinions. Am I overreacting, or should I find some what to cut off their access to the poo poo platter? (I can easily add some wire around the bottom of the hutch if it turns out it is a problem.) [​IMG]
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Yes, it is a squeamish thing. Caged rabbits aren't likely to have worms.
    Free ranging chickens on a farm will pick through cow and horse manure for bugs and worms. They can't avoid eating a little of the waste.
    Chickens eat their own feces so I don't see a problem. It's what they do.
     
  3. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I've never seen my chickens eat their own feces??? My chickens have even left pieces of treat (scratch) that is laying in chicken poop. Maybe I have prissy chickens?? I do have a rabbit in with my birds (although my birds mostly free range, so are generally only in the run with the rabbit from evening through morning), and have never seen the chickens eat the rabbit poop. Maybe contained birds lack certain nutrients/minerals that free range birds have access to...so maybe their behaviors are different.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I don't think they make a habit of it but eating the mother hen's feces is where baby chicks get probiotics to start them off.

    My mother used to have an expression she always used as a demeaning phrase. "Picking s++t with the chickens.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2016

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