Do Rabbits and Chickens Get Along?

Anianna

Songster
9 Years
Feb 28, 2010
959
15
143
N/E of Richmond, VA
I would like to raise both rabbits and chickens and provide both ample opportunity to be outside. I want to build a large run or a couple of large runs. I plan to house the rabbits and chickens separately, but can they be in the run together during the day?
 

Teach97

Bantam Addict
11 Years
Nov 12, 2008
5,603
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Hooker, OK
Howdy!....Welcome....but this isn't gonna go good...

I keep rabbits and birds in the same area...the rabbits are in pens and the chicken get to run around...
 

allanimals21

Songster
10 Years
Aug 27, 2009
684
2
141
MN
and here we go again.....

I've heard of plenty of people doing it. I am sure you will get plenty of info here though...give it time
 

redhen

Kiss My Grits...
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
May 19, 2008
35,106
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Western MA
Plenty of people do it with no problems...
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Anianna

Songster
9 Years
Feb 28, 2010
959
15
143
N/E of Richmond, VA
Quote:
Heh, sorry. I must have made a typo when I tried to search for other threads of the same topic as I didn't get any relevant results. I tried it again and now I see it's been discussed a few times.


Quote:
Why do you keep them separate? Have you had specific problems with them?



Before anybody brings up the "rabbit that ate the chicken" topic, I do plan to keep male rabbits away from the chickens because they can be aggressive. My plan is to let the hens and does run together and I plan on the run being at least 7x12. I may also plan on limited free range of the chickens, but I am concerned about some toxic plants that grow in our area, though I don't know if they are toxic to chickens. Two I have on my property are Pokeberries and Jimson Weed. Besides that, I have a dog I don't think I can trust with chickens. She doesn't mean any harm, but she does think the cats are toys. A chicken wouldn't have as much opportunity to let her know otherwise.

Does anybody have experience training a dog not to give chase? I've been surprised how little information there is on this topic in training books and in training classes. It seems like a big deal to me.
 

Teach97

Bantam Addict
11 Years
Nov 12, 2008
5,603
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Hooker, OK
the only reason I keep them seperate is cuz i do't want them digging out. I don't want to go through the hassel of making it dig proof. I know lazy but that is me!

Can't help on the dog issue...I got rid of mine...well...I got rid of one and the other two left
 

Cindiloohoo

Quiet as a Church Mouse
11 Years
Dec 19, 2009
7,471
56
326
Southwest TN
My solution to the dog issue would be to introduce them and let the dog know under no circumstances is he/she to touch the birds. Usually a newspaper or a tug of the leash works wonders for a smart dog. I have 2 Pit Bulls that help me herd the girls back into the coop from free ranging if we need to put them up to leave and never have touched the chickens. Same dogs, chase horses, other dogs, squirrels, occasional armadillos, UPS guys, etc. etc. The key is initial introductions and insuring the pet knows they belong to you. Then never let them out without supervision
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The chicken/rabbit thing....I am actually thinking about doing this too. No real reason not to IMO. But.....that's just my opinion.
 

Harmony

In the Brooder
10 Years
Apr 17, 2009
51
0
29
Though I really don't encourage it,... I know people who do it.

It's a good idea to keep all your rabbits separate to prevent fighting and breeding (some does will get along okay, if you must keep them together sisters that were raised from the same litter would be your best choice).

I do plan to keep male rabbits away from the chickens because they can be aggressive. My plan is to let the hens and does run together and I plan on the run being at least 7x12.

I do know people who run their bucks and does together also,.. but they never know the breeding dates and a doe can breed again as soon as she's kindled, bucks may also kill the kits (so will chickens). Does will need to be separated from the chickens and other rabbits at least a week before they kindle (so they can get used to their new cage/pen and won't stress out during kindling). So I agree, house the buck in another pen.

If you do let them run together - You'll have to keep your coop really clean, rabbits seam to be much more susceptible to disease than chickens and have very fluffy little feet that will get caked with manure if left in a dirty pen (the dry round dropping a rabbit produces won't normally stick to the feet but chicken droppings will). You can prevent the rabbits from eating (as much) of the chicken feed by hanging the chicken feeder up high.

Providing the rabbits with clean water the chickens haven't soiled and pellets the chikens can't get to would also pose a problem. Watch to be certain the chickens won't peck at the rabbits' eyes.

I'm sure the experts will post soon,...
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SilverPhoenix

Bantam Fanatic
10 Years
Dec 15, 2009
3,105
31
201
Penn Valley, CA
From the sound of it, it's possible and people do it, but when I tried to put my rabbits in with my chickens in their run years ago, the chickens followed the rabbits around pecking at them!
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Just thought I'd share my experience, even if it's a bit different than most. But I didn't have them in there for an extended time, and the chickens didn't cause any damage--just took off little bits of fur and scared the heck out of the rabbits.
 

Anianna

Songster
9 Years
Feb 28, 2010
959
15
143
N/E of Richmond, VA
Quote:
I don't plan on keeping them in the same coop/hutch. Is the manure issue a problem in a large outdoor run?

My thoughts are that access to the chicken coop will be via a higher cut door with a perch the chickens can hop up to, but the rabbits wouldn't be able to get purchase to get in. If I cannot come up with a way to keep the chickens out of the rabbit hutch, I will simply take the rabbits outs and place them in the pen instead of giving them open access to go back and forth.

Quote:
All accounts are welcome. An educated decision will be the best decision. What kind of chickens and rabbits did you have? I'm curious if various breeds make a difference.
 

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