Rabbit that Lives with Chickens

Patch6713

Chirping
May 15, 2019
50
82
93
Upstate NY
Anybody have a rabbit that lives with their chickens? I have one that, at night, lives in the chicken coup however has her own section that she can go to where the chickens can't get to. She has her own water and food in her area. She can at night get to where the chickens are however she usually hangs out in her section to sleep.
During the day she hangs out in the run with the chickens and the ducks, usually digging some holes that I need to fill in on a regular basis. She also enjoys eating the chicken food. Haven't caught her in the duck pond yet, or even really in splashing distance. She periodically likes to sneak up on the chickens and chase them around but not really cause too much harm.
So who else has a Butterscotch running around with their chickens? We are over a year in and everything seems to be going well. Anything to do to get her to stop eating the chicken food?

IMG_20190516_113635325_HDR~2.jpg
 

ChocolateMouse

Free Ranging
7 Years
Jul 29, 2013
5,603
17,949
707
Cleveland OH
Can you place the chicken food on a platform that she can't jump up onto easy but the chickens can? Say with like a ladder to get up to it? The chicken food is going to be very bad for her especially long term.

She's cute. Mind you keep a close eye on her for parasites and stuff. Rabbits don't handle those as well as chickens do.
 

Cyprus

Master of the 'never give up' attitude
Jan 19, 2018
16,113
55,603
1,207
My Coop
My Coop
This is not a good idea. Rabbits can and have killed chickens. Chicken food over time can kill rabbits. Rabbit food is toxic to chickens.

Do not recommend.
 

Patch6713

Chirping
May 15, 2019
50
82
93
Upstate NY
Can you place the chicken food on a platform that she can't jump up onto easy but the chickens can? Say with like a ladder to get up to it? The chicken food is going to be very bad for her especially long term.

She's cute. Mind you keep a close eye on her for parasites and stuff. Rabbits don't handle those as well as chickens do.

I could try that. However the issue being the ducks getting up on the platform to eat it. But maybe they have enough "lift" to get up to something just out of reach of the rabbit.
And the chickens have absolutely no way of getting down to get the rabbit food so that isn't an issue.
 

Mvan42

Crowing
Mar 15, 2019
2,272
4,762
356
Garrett County, Maryland
I had four rabbits living with my chickens. Food never harmed them.. and never any or any problems between chickens and rabbits. My daughter sold them, she didn’t want to have to care for them through the winter.
 

Wolfefarmyard

Crowing
Aug 18, 2017
1,724
3,187
342
Gansevoort, NY
This is not a good idea. Rabbits can and have killed chickens. Chicken food over time can kill rabbits. Rabbit food is toxic to chickens.

Do not recommend.

I agree, I’ve heard lots of stories about this.

I own 2 rabbits. It’s very important that they get the right nutrition. The majority if their diet should be Timothy hay and only a little pellets, they should also have leafy greens daily.
 

Patch6713

Chirping
May 15, 2019
50
82
93
Upstate NY
I agree, I’ve heard lots of stories about this.

I own 2 rabbits. It’s very important that they get the right nutrition. The majority if their diet should be Timothy hay and only a little pellets, they should also have leafy greens daily.
She gets a regular regiment of hay and the daily recommended amount of rabbit food. Regularly I give a variety of leafy greens including lettuce and spinach, herbs from the garden, an occasional carrot and apple slices.
 

ChocolateMouse

Free Ranging
7 Years
Jul 29, 2013
5,603
17,949
707
Cleveland OH
Wolfe, for an outside rabbit a timothy based diet might not be enough calories. That diet you listed is the standard for house rabbits with little exercise, not an outdoor animal with hundreds of square feet to dig in... So I'd worry less about that personally.

I also think it's a bad idea to house the two together for a host of reasons. But given that you've been doing it for a year I don't think you're gonna stop so I'd rather you do what you can to mitigate the damage and keep your bunny safe.

Chicken food has too much calcium and unhealthy protein sources for rabbits and not nearly enough fiber. Duck food often has meat or insect based protein sources. Long term that will rip up their kidneys. I'm not personally aware of anything in rabbit food chickens can't have but it's not formulated to meet their needs, especially for egg laying.
And chickens (And especially ducks!) also handle parasites and produce moisture far more than a rabbits ideal environment which is dry and parasite free. Rabbits handle GI issues including parasites much worse than chickens. A bug that causes stasis in a rabbit might do nothing in a chicken.
Always monitor them for behavior changes. Sometimes chickens attack rabbits and vice versa - have a backup plan/cage in case of problems.
Monitor that digging. Rabbits can easily dig tunnels 8' long and 3' deep. It might be easy for the bunny to slip out.
Mind any scraps the chickens eat. Many things chickens can handle with ease will upset bunny tummies.
Just keep an eye on everything and make sure you have plans for problems.
 

Wolfefarmyard

Crowing
Aug 18, 2017
1,724
3,187
342
Gansevoort, NY
Wolfe, for an outside rabbit a timothy based diet might not be enough calories. That diet you listed is the standard for house rabbits with little exercise, not an outdoor animal with hundreds of square feet to dig in... So I'd worry less about that personally.

I also think it's a bad idea to house the two together for a host of reasons. But given that you've been doing it for a year I don't think you're gonna stop so I'd rather you do what you can to mitigate the damage and keep your bunny safe.

Chicken food has too much calcium and unhealthy protein sources for rabbits and not nearly enough fiber. Duck food often has meat or insect based protein sources. Long term that will rip up their kidneys. I'm not personally aware of anything in rabbit food chickens can't have but it's not formulated to meet their needs, especially for egg laying.
And chickens (And especially ducks!) also handle parasites and produce moisture far more than a rabbits ideal environment which is dry and parasite free. Rabbits handle GI issues including parasites much worse than chickens. A bug that causes stasis in a rabbit might do nothing in a chicken.
Always monitor them for behavior changes. Sometimes chickens attack rabbits and vice versa - have a backup plan/cage in case of problems.
Monitor that digging. Rabbits can easily dig tunnels 8' long and 3' deep. It might be easy for the bunny to slip out.
Mind any scraps the chickens eat. Many things chickens can handle with ease will upset bunny tummies.
Just keep an eye on everything and make sure you have plans for problems.

I do keep my rabbits indoors, but they have a whole room to themselves with lots of toys. I have talked about my setup with their vet as well, and this is the diet that they recommend for rabbits, including ones that have lots of space and enrichment.

The major reason I wanted to mention the diet, is because most people do not know what rabbits should actually have and tend to feed them almost strictly pellets.
 

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