hens and rabbits, can they live together?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by wildflower, Mar 26, 2007.

  1. wildflower

    wildflower In the Brooder

    Mar 26, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    I am wondering if anyone knows if it is safe to have both hens and rabbits in the same inclosure? We have 18 month old egg layers and two one year old rabbits. We have a 8x8 hen house and a 10x10 totally inclosed yard. Would love for them to all have the indoor outdoor life together.

    New chicken Mama
  2. Picco

    Picco Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    I have heard of people doing it but I don't like the sounds of it. I have raised both species since early childhood and my experience tells me its not a good idea for the rabbits' health more than for the chickens'. I'll give some reasons below.

    1. Different feeding requirments... chickens can eat rabbit pellets without any problems but I'm thinking the high calcium content in layer feed would lead to kidney failure in rabbits as well as other nutrition problems.

    2. A dusty environment is no place for a rabbit... as you know chickens are very dusty critters and this probably would be so good for the rabbits' lungs.

    3. A chicken coop is usually dry, with the addition of wet rabbit urine cleaning would have to be done more often.

    4. Bullying can occur on both sides so you could end up with some serous injuries.
  3. wildflower

    wildflower In the Brooder

    Mar 26, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    Thanks for the reply. I sure had difficulity finding any facts. I did speak to the CA Poultry extention and got the go ahead. We have a hutch we are keeping in the chicken yard, so the bunnies won't be spending time in the dusty coop and so far aren't interested in the chicken's food. We put them in at night and keep their food separated in the hutch. I will say I have never seen happier bunnies. I have felt so bad at keeping them penned up. Now they are leaping around and playing and digging (we are wired underground) and generally having a joyous life. Sounds like the main concern is not letting them consume a bunch of chicken food. Thanks for the info! by the way, the chick's and rabbits generally ignore each other.
  4. This is a subject close to my heart, I have 5 bunnies, the 2 males are desexed and the rest are girls.
    I have a different situation that mine are all free range so have plenty of space to run.
    My bunnies and chooks get on very very well together and my male "anekin" plays with the rooster by running around him in circles, i call it ring a ring a rosie. Can you put in a box that your bunnies could jump up onto to get off the wire.
    They love to get up on things!! though they can jump very high if they want to.
    My bunnies only eat the chook pellets/mix if I let their bunny food bowl go empty for too long.
    I might add that my 2 mallard ducks follow the bunnies around the garden as they like the taste of their poo. Must be high in nitrates!!/protein!!
  5. wildflower

    wildflower In the Brooder

    Mar 26, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    I am glad to hear of others keeping the two together, seems life is so much better for the rabbits. Lilly keeps burrowing inside the chicken house, but the wire under the dirt keeps her from escaping. I figure this just helps the composting floor stirred up. She is having a great time acting like a rabbit should, not cooped up in a cage!

    Yeah!! Thanks for the reply
  6. livestock101

    livestock101 In the Brooder

    Mar 13, 2007
    We've had chickens and rabbits in the same coop for 2 years now without problems. The rabbits are not confined to cages, they come and go in and out through the chicken door into the run as they please. I have had NO problems with any fighting or anything. Yes, the rabbits do urinate on the floor and that causes a bad odor. Funny thing is, our rabbits always "go" in the same spot which makes cleaning it easier. Only real problem we've had is the digging out in the run. You've got to keep up on that or the rabbits will escape.
  7. Kelly FG

    Kelly FG Songster

    Jan 13, 2007
    this is a great website, the owner keeps her hens & bunny together. she even has a hen cam & you can see them hanging out together.

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