Considering hanging wire rabbit cages in chicken run

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by CourageousChic, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. CourageousChic

    CourageousChic Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 19, 2008
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    Hi all,

    We're venturing into the land of rabbit keeping and researching the various types of housing arrangements. I've read through some of the posts concerning the two species sharing space, and can definitely see the disadvantages of them all being on the ground together. At the same time, our space is limited, so we wondered if there would be any issues with hanging the cages in the chicken run? It's quite spacious, about 8 feet tall, 12'x16', and the girls (we have 8) would still have their space underneath. My primary concern would be a disease or parasite transmission from the rabbit to the chickens via droppings, but I'm not sure how likely that is. It seems to me that it would probably be quite possible to use trays to contain most of the droppings if necessary. Thoughts or insights?

    TIA!

    ~Kate
     
  2. tinychicky

    tinychicky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    the chickens will eat stray droppings but i'm not sure there are too many diseases that are transmittable between the two. my main concern would be the dust and ammonia created by chickens. rabbits are very prone to respritory diseases if they are kept somewhere that isn't clean and well ventilated. also, if your birds are bedded down on pine shavings, pine can create a lot of health problems for rabbits. on the other hand, i've heard of people keeping rabbits as companion animals for lone chickens [​IMG]
     
  3. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    Many, many people stack these two livestock~Joel Salatin for one~and it is a very successful arrangement. I've done it myself and it creates a symbiotic relationship with the chickens cleaning up spilled rabbit feed, mixing the droppings into the bedding and sharing the body warmth. If your deep litter is done correctly there won't be any more dust in the air than there is with just the rabbits occupying the space.

    The rabbit poop is a "cool" manure and chicken poop is a "hot" manure, so they compliment one another for composting needs as well. You won't have shavings in your rabbit cages as they will be suspended above the litter below. For the record, rabbits create WAY more ammonia smell than do chickens and the deep litter will help with that as well.

    Keep in mind that rabbits pee OUT of the cage more than in, so you might want to have urine splash guards next to your walls to deflect this effluence.

    Good ventilation is required in a rabbitry anyway, so just follow suit in your coop to allow for good air flow for both species.
     
  4. CourageousChic

    CourageousChic Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 19, 2008
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    Further information might clarify some of those concerns - the run is wood lattice roof, covered with grape and passionfruit vines, and the entire front is 1x2 wire, so there is certainly adequate ventilation. We use a deep litter method, based on what's seasonally available here, so presently a bunch of straw, later oak leaves and then pine straw. It's raided for compost/garden needs on a regular basis, and is rarely dusty or odorous. Keep in mind this is the run - not the coop. In the coop tinkychicky's concerns are certainly valid.

    Thanks Beekissed! I'll look into how Salatin has done his, and will definitely consider those splash guards.
     
  5. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    Sound lovely! What a cool place for your chooks and rabbits! When you get it complete, it would be nice if you could sort of journal your project with pics and all so that others who are thinking of trying it could maybe copy your setup and learn from what you do.
     
  6. tinychicky

    tinychicky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 24, 2010
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    oh in the run? yes that would work quite nicely i think, provided you don't have any predator problems at night. i would love to see some pictures of your set-up if you decide to go forward with this idea [​IMG]
     
  7. yellowirenut

    yellowirenut Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have been thinking about this also...hanging the rabbit cages in the run.
    I need to read a bit about how well they do outside. Wait till spring to start then fill the freezer in the fall
     
  8. CourageousChic

    CourageousChic Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 19, 2008
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  9. coonhoundmama87

    coonhoundmama87 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My free range chickens are constantly under my rabbit cages scratching, esspecially when they have chicks! I see no problems with it! Best of luck!
     
  10. bossynbella

    bossynbella Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One thing to think about is that chickens (some chickens anyway) like to perch high up. We have had to chase them off our rabbit cages outside many times, especially the ones with flat wooden tops (or boards laid on top of wire cages) nothing like chicken poop all over everything. I love my chickens, but lately, its all about the bunnies! They are quiet, cuddly, and unless you walk under their cages you don't have to worry about stepping in their poop. Good luck, I think as long as you can keep them off the tops of the cages they will all do well. Rabbits flurish outdoors as long as they have protection from wind and heat. Rabbits tolerate cold very well, Heat not so much.
     

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