Rabbits and chickens

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by miss_thenorth, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Songster

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    Hi guys, I'm new here, I'm the human to 6 red rocks, , two horses (paint/percheron, and morgan/thoroughbred), two dogs ( rottweiler and wirehaired pointing griffon), 3 cats, and one tarantula.

    The next addition I plan making is to add meat rabbits. All I have read online is that it is not recommended that chickens and rabbits share the same space, since they also share some of the same illnesses.

    i plan on --for starters, to get 2 does and a buck. I have six hens right now, and in the spring I plan in getting meat chickens, but also plan on putting them in a tractor. My hens stay in the barn, where I plan on putting my rabbits--unless of course i shouldn't have them near. Everything that I have read on this forum, tells me that having rabbits and chickens in close proximity is a non issue. Mine is a small barn--what do you all think about having them together. My only alternative is to build hutches and put them outside.

    Thanks so much!!
  2. ksacres

    ksacres At Your Service

    Nov 16, 2007
    San Antonio TX
    I have 24 +/- rabbits in a 10 X 20 shed that is shared (in winter) by the chickens. They are healthy as can be. When I was in 4-H, I had 50+ rabbits in a smaller shed along with caged 4-H chickens. Still never had an issue. As long as you keep your cages cleaned, and your original stock is healthy, I don't think you'll have a problem. Traditionally chickens have free ranged right along side all kinds of other livestock. Sanitation is your best friend.
  3. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Songster

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    Thanks! i keep my barn fairly clean--chickens are in and out all day as are the horses. When I first started researching--I read that you shouldn't house together. My hens are healthy, and i figured since i am going to run it small scale (just to support our family--I should be okay. I guess-- I just needed validation and reassurance. Now then--should I build the cages or buy, and any advice is appreciated!!!!
  4. Hi, My bunnies and chickens freerange all day until the chookies go to bed then the bunnies stay out to eat.
    They eat mostly at night/nocturnal to escape heat.
    Ive never had any health issues with having them together. The buunies eat the chook food and the chooks sometimes eat the bunny food.
    My ducks follow the bunnies around to eat their droppings!!
    My avatar says it all.
  5. FarmerDenise

    FarmerDenise Songster

    Apr 21, 2007
    Sonoma County
    We keep our rabbit penned up, because we are afraid he would escape. Otherwise we would love to let him roam with the chickens. We sometimes put a chicken in the pen with him, if the chicken needs to be isolated in a safe place.
    The rabbit pen is quite large, has a concrete floor and chain link fencing.
  6. picklespickles

    picklespickles Songster

    Oct 27, 2007
    what a great question. i have been thinking about this too. i think my rabbits might be in a different area, but i wasn't sure how i was going to handle it. meat rabbits, also. thanks for brining this up and let me know as you go along so i can steal any tips you get. [​IMG]
  7. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    I have 6 rabbits with about 60+ chickens in my backyard(pretty big) chain link fence. All co mingle nicely except for the escape rabbit, but she comes back in when its time to eat!!!! I have never had any problems at all with them being together.
  8. picklespickles

    picklespickles Songster

    Oct 27, 2007

    hi can you talk more about how they commingle? it sounds like your rabbits roam around and aren't caged? would like to hear more. thanks.
  9. Cara

    Cara Songster

    Aug 30, 2007
    We recently moved my rabbit out of his hutch and in with some of my chickens. They have half a fairly large barn sectioned off with welded pipe and chicken wire. Their enclosure is approx 20'x10'. They have hay on a concrete floor.

    At first the chickens were scared of the rabbit, as he does like to herd them. Now they get along so well, he snuggles up with them at night. It doesn't take them long to get accustomed to each other. I'm so glad we put him in there, it didn't occur to me to try it until the enclosure was finished, but he is so much happier. He was a house rabbit when I first got him, but between him spraying everywhere and me getting my first dog, he was relegated to a large hutch most of the time. I now see that the poor guy was miserable, especially being alone. He loves to run and dig in the hay. The few problems we've had are:

    1. He sprays on my chickens and my ankles, although he did that before. One of my Sultans is yellow striped now.

    2. He chews the foot feathers off them.

    3. Keeping rabbit and chicken food separate. His is in a little feeder, and the chickens scratch it out onto the floor and eat some of it, but he does eat it off the floor. I put theirs up high but he does still get into it. Everyone seems to be doing well though.

    4. Potential rattlesnake problems in the spring. We shot 2 from under his hutch last year, and i'm terrified of running into one out there or finding him half eaten. Rabbits are a real snake magnet.
  10. picklespickles

    picklespickles Songster

    Oct 27, 2007
    oh. just saw the part about the ducks eating bunny poo. my duck does that with a goat. she'll even poke the goats rump with her beak like she's sticking change in the candy machine and waiting for her prize. hey, hey, hey, where's my snack. glad mine is not the only, uh, poopivore out there. i figured, well, goats are vegetarian too like ducks, so.....

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: