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Ducks, Chickens, and Rabbits Oh My!

Discussion in 'Where am I? Where are you!' started by DavisCraig94, Nov 30, 2014.

  1. DavisCraig94

    DavisCraig94 Hatching

    Apr 7, 2014
    Being the winter time, I like to stew in many ideas of what I want to do during the next year starting off in the spring time. Well I've come across the idea of raising rabbits. How I came across this is that working at a pet store we rarely get any good quality reliable rabbits for selling through the year. So I wondered, with the land I'm blessed with and the job to aid me in doing so, should I raise rabbits and can I raise rabbits? Now what Im needing feed back from you guys is some quality advice and personal experiences with raising rabbits along side ducks and/or chickens. Now Ive heard some interesting opinions already about chickens having a pecking order and killing off the rabbits; that's fine I'm not much for the chickens I have anyways and someone would be very thankful for a chicken on their table during this season. I have a fully weather proof coop of 10x7x6ft; a small kiddy pool/duck pond and a consistently cleaned indoor and outdoor enclosure for the birds. What preparations with my indoor and outdoor living spaces should I adjust to prepair for keeping the furry friends? What feeding routines or foods should and change? I live in West Texas so extreme winters are not in our forecast but hot summers are, what should I keep in mind for keeping the rabbits cool in the summers?

  2. cityfarmer12

    cityfarmer12 Songster

    Oct 18, 2014
    Well, i raise 3 breeds of rabbits (New Zealand whites, Dutches, and Harlequins) and will be expanding my rabbitry this spring. I've let rabbit run with the chickens, and have never had a problem with chickens hurting the rabbits, though the top chicken will always come and peck them a couple times when i put them out in the yard. The worst problem with ducks is they are messy, and that means the rabbits will get dirty. Oh, chickens will also happily eat the baby rabbits.

    So, i'm assuming that you will be raising the rabbits all together? Or are you keeping them in cages? If you are keeping them in cages,you will be totally fine, just make sure the chickens can't roost on top of the cages and poop on them. Also make sure that newborn babies cannot slip through the wire on the sides or bottom. If you are raising them all together (colony style) then there are more problems that can arise. First, if your coop a dirt floor? If so, they may dig out. I promise you, they are excellent diggers. Second, not all rabbit s get along with each other. I have had some rabbits that get along just fine, and others that will start fighting the second i put them with another rabbit. The boys will fight if you have more than 1. You will need 1 nest box for each rabbit, and 1 or 2 extras just in case.

    If possible, i would make a simple stall off to one side of the coop so that the chickens or the ducks can not get into the nests.
    I would also keep the buck in his own cage, or he will breed your does so much, they will never get a break and their bodies will not last as long. Also, you could be easily swamped with way to many babies. With the boy in a cage, you can control when each doe gets bred, and which one gets bred.

    Rabbits can't eat the same food as chickens or ducks, and will need their own place to feed. The will need rabbit pellets and must also have hay to keep their digestive tract moving.

    How many does your pet store need? Are you going to just raise them for the pet store, or are you raising them for meat too??
    Keep in mind that 1 large doe (like 6+ pounds) can have over 12 babies per littler. That is a lot of babies to find homes for. Smaller rabbits (2-5 pounds) will have 2-6 babies, which is still a lot to find homes for. 1 does can be bred 3 times a year (they CAN be bred more, but it is hard on them). 1 buck will service 3-4 does as well.

    Keeping rabbits cool is fairly hard. Rabbits have a lot of fur, and the only way to cool themselves is through their ears. I fill up 2 liter soda bottles with water and freeze them to keep them cool. They are fine in winter, but it is the heat that can kill them. Replace the waters at least 2 times a day (Have 2 soda bottles per rabbit so you can swap them out). If you have room and not a lot of rabbits, being in texas, you may want to find space in your house where they will benefit from the AC.

    well, sorry that was so long :) Good luck. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask :)

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