Rabbits and chickens together

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by earlhider, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. earlhider

    earlhider New Egg

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    My wife wants to get a couple of rabbits for the grandkids. What's the chance they would peacefully co-exist with the chickens in the same run or free ranging?? Or will the birds be aggressive towards the rabitts?
     
  2. amnich

    amnich Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine are fine together, if anything the rabbits are more aggressive towards the chickens. Sometimes the rabbits chase the chickens around, but there are never any real fights. I have pretty small rabbits (lion head/mini rex mixes) and pretty big chickens (my barred rock roosters are turkey-sized, for real). Both my rabbits and my chickens are pretty docile, so that helps. Mine are free-ranging, which can also make a pretty big difference. I house them separately at night just in case. Hope this helps!
     
  3. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

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    Frankly, I wouldn't give you much for the life expectancy of a free-ranging rabbit. Most areas have lots of predators that can easily tackle a rabbit, and even the "wildest" domestic rabbit still hasn't the survival skills to make it where there is real predator pressure. The places where rabbits "take over" are generally places where the predators have been eliminated.

    But even if there aren't serious predators to deal with, rabbits are small herbivores, and when that's your place in the food chain, it seems like everything eats you. A rabbit has a certain amount of instinctive fear when out in the open where death could come at them from any direction, including above. Rabbits that are kept outside, particularly on the ground, tend to be skittish if not downright unapproachable. If you are OK with rabbits that can be seen but not touched, keeping them in a run might work for you. If you want pettable pets, it would be better to keep them in cages where they will feel more secure and it will be easier to give them the handling that encourages them to be friendlier.
     
  4. AnimalCrazed

    AnimalCrazed Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have always heard that chickens would hen peck the rabbits, but I think it entirely depends on the stress level and personalities of the animals involved. I agree that they could live peacefully like amnich said but also you have to weigh the good and bad outcomes. I had plenty of rabbits as a kid and some were calm and some skiddish, the more skiddish ones were always the smaller breeds. Choose wisely!
     
  5. Henlee

    Henlee New Egg

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    FWIW, I have a small, dutch buck who lives happily with our 13 year-old Indian Runner duck.They are not free range (too many cats, hawks and wildlife here). They are housed in a shed with enclosed, covered pen area and they've been together since the rabbit came to us as a baby about 7 years ago. They seem to really like one another. The rabbit is quite calm, and easy to handle; I looked for that when we chose him from a group at the local fair. Also, over the years I've found our Dutch rabbits to be exceptionally good pets. We had one who lived to be 18 years old... he lived with ducks as well. The duck lays eggs constantly.

    Obviously, a duck is not a chicken, but I thought you might be interested to know that with the right personalities, mixing it up a bit can work out just fine. If you try it with chickens, I'd keep a real close eye at first though, especially if there are several birds, and I'd make sure the rabbits have a safe place to escape and "hide." Don't think I'd try free ranging the rabbit under any circumstances... he/she would be a "sitting duck" for predators, so to speak.
     
  6. chickflick

    chickflick Overrun With Chickens

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    My two rabbits share the run with the chickens. I would first keep them in a smaller hutch until you make friends with the bunnies first. Get to the point that they are not afraid of you and you can handle them with ease.
    I have the rabbit hutch in the chicken run. The rabbits share the run. I don't let the rabbits free range tho. When the chickens go out to free range, I close the pop door and the run door and keep the rabbits in the run. I open the people door for the chickens to be able to go into the coop.
     
  7. denisemb

    denisemb New Egg

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    I have 3 turkeys,6 chickens and 5 bunnies. They share the fenced in pen during the day. The birds can get out of the pen but the bunnies cant. They are housed separate at night. They get along just fine. They all just mind their own business. I would not leave my bunnies out during the day unattended, though. There's too many predators that can get over the fence to eat the bunnies that would not necessarily eat the chickens.
     

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