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Rabbit living with flock?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by blondie34, Jul 16, 2015.

  1. blondie34

    blondie34 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi there! I’ve seen pictures on blogs of rabbits living with chickens.. I just got a rabbit and am working on socializing him with our flock before putting him in with them full time. We have a 12x12 coop with 8 ft ceiling and a 40x50 backyard enclosed run area..

    I've seen people with sand floors in their coop and wanted to know if a rabbit would be okay with that and what the clean up routine would look like since rabbits tend to go to the bathroom wherever and whenever they please

    .... Ideally I’d like to switch to a sand floor in our coop (we use straw now) but am still doing some additional research. Also, I know rabbits tend to be prone to a lot of respiratory issues which makes me wonder about the dust from the sand and dust that the chickens create.. how do you combat this? I know this is a loaded post so I appreciate any input/advice you can give me!
     
  2. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I do not think this is a healthy set up for either the rabbit or the chickens. You write of the problems for the rabbit. Rodent droppings are also toxic to chickens. I'm sure that as you research this you will come to the same conclusion as me.
     
  3. blondie34

    blondie34 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with your points.. I'm wondering how so many people successfully do it though.. Would a rabbit hutch inside of the run be a more appropriate solution? Then maybe letting the rabbit out to socialize in the run with the birds when it's nice out?
     
  4. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Anytime you have rodents and birds sharing living space you take the chance of disease. Rabbit hutch or not the risk is still there.
     
  5. HeritageGoose13

    HeritageGoose13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Rabbits are not rodents. I don't know where people get that idea from.

    Tons of people raise rabbits and chickens together. Rabbit droppings are perfectly safe, and chickens love digging in them to peck out the insects. Try searching old threads on BYC, you'll see.
     
  6. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

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    After some research, I stand corrected; rabbits are not considered rodents and it would seem, from what I have read, the droppings are safe for chickens.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2015
  7. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    What I'm not clear on is why the OP thinks it is somehow to the rabbit's advantage to be running around with chickens. Rabbits are mammals, chickens are birds; even they know the difference. I really think that people who do keep them together will tell you that "cohabit" is usually the best description of the way they live. Some people have chickens that pick on the rabbit, some have rabbits that pick on the chickens, some pretty much ignore each other, but if you are thinking that the chickens will meet some social need that the rabbit may have, I don't think the rabbit and the chickens will ever interact in the ways that most think of when they use the word "friends." A rabbit that appears to deliberately hang out with chickens is most likely instinctively using them as "cover;" a rabbit is clever enough to read other animals' signals about the approach of danger.

    People love the idea of keeping rabbits on the ground, deeming it more "natural" (which is certainly is) than keeping them in hutches or cages. Unfortunately, there are (naturally occurring) parasites that a rabbit can pick up from being on the ground that those in cages never get exposed to, and predators which the rabbit instinctively fears, but which its larger size and other burdens of domestication make it ill suited to escape. In other words, your rabbit may be more at risk than your chickens are from such an arrangement.
     
  8. HeritageGoose13

    HeritageGoose13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree rabbits and chickens should not be on the ground together. What if the chicken pecks the rabbits eye, or the rabbit charges a chick? But they can be housed together, its a great way to save space.

    I do like seeing rabbits on the ground as it gives them more space typically, but that is not plausible in all areas, because of natural parasites like you said, and because of the chicken droppings. Some people do pasture rabbits in rabbit tractors but it is not popular, probably because of the threat of wild rabbits bringing in disease.
     
  9. SVCostanzo

    SVCostanzo Just Hatched

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    I have seen this on the internet a lot lately and wondered about setting up some sort of run where I could raise rabbits with my chickens, since I would like to pasture both, at least part of the year. This would require a lot of pasture (or rotating pastures) and multiple cover areas for both animals if there is any danger of aerial predators. I think I posted a question on here or another forum that was never answered and I had to do some other research.

    The sand would be a problem for the rabbits, as I know from experience. When I lived in Florida and had rabbits on the ground, the sand (and the mites that live in it) created problems for their ears. I had to constantly clean and treat them and it is no fun for you or the rabbit. We had to raise them off the ground after that, since all of the land was sandy.

    Do you just have the one rabbit as a pet? Or are you planning on raising multiple rabbits? I honestly do not see any harm in raising one rabbit among chickens and it would not require any additional land for grazing. The rabbit could help control the taller, tougher grasses that the chickens avoid, and other than that a single rabbit shouldn't have too much effect on the chickens at all.
     
  10. HeritageGoose13

    HeritageGoose13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would love to talk about pastured rabbits because I think it is a great way of farming, though not for everyone. Here is how it is done on farms:

    [​IMG]

    They are in a tractor that protects them from predators. Note how the tractor has a "floor"- otherwise they would tunnel and escape.
     

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