those of you that have chickens & rabbits...question

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Kelly FG, May 25, 2007.

  1. Kelly FG

    Kelly FG Songster

    Jan 13, 2007
    so i was inspired by the site chickenkeeping & the owners hen cam & her chickens & rabbit living together happily. So in the fall we bought a rabbit, it lived inside our house till about a month ago, DH built a beautiful hutch & we put it in the chicken run.
    The chickens don't mind the bunny at all when she is in her hutch, they are happy to eat whatever food she spills.
    Now I thought I'd be able to let the bunny loose in the very large chicken run with the girls when I'm home so she can exercise. The thing is the chickens HATE her, they are TERRIFIED of the rabbit & although the bunny is just randomly hopping around the chickens think she is chasing them & they fly every which way & squwak as if they are being killed.
    how on earth do i get them to live together peacefully?
  2. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    I would use some temporary fencing to section off a bit of the run, just for your rabbit. Then your chickens can get used to seeing your rabbit hopping around on the ground, loose and at their level, but they won't have to worry about being chased. It's a bit like using a baby gate indoors, to allow pets to get used to each other.

    Since it would be within your existing run, it wouldn't have to be very sturdy or fancy. Just any kind of wire or fencing, even cheap chicken wire. You could even just use zip ties to attach it to your existing run at one end and use twist ties or a couple of clips to attach it at the other end, as a "gate."

    When you let the Bunny out, you could also pass out a little treat to your chickens, so they think having the bunny out is a good thing. It would also focus their attention on the food, instead of what the bunny is doing. I would do this while the bunny is behind temporary fencing, or she'll probably just push right into the middle of your chickens, to get her share of the food! [​IMG]

    I just love bunnies! Our last house rabbit lived to be a little old man. He lived to be 13 and had free run in his own bedroom. It's so great to be able to get them out of cages and hutches, so they can stretch their legs and let you see more of their normal behaviors. They have a lot more fun, too.

    Good luck and I hope they all get used to each other soon!
  3. happyhens

    happyhens Songster

    Jan 30, 2007
    If she isn't hurting them, I would just leave her in there with them and give the chickens some time to get used to it. The chickens should eventually realize that the rabbit isn't going to eat them. One note of caution though, rabbits and chickens share a lot of the same diseases. So letting the rabbit run around where the chickens have been makes them more likely to share coccidia and other diseases. Just be careful and very aware of the health of both the chickens and the rabbits.
  4. Julie R

    Julie R In the Brooder

    May 23, 2007
    I also have both rabbits and chickens and when my chickens were still very young and I was wanting to have them outside for some freah air thier pen and coop was not ready yet so I placed them in with the rabbits at first everyone was going every which a ways and finally after about 30 mins of watching each other the rabbits got board of the chicks and the chicks started to chase bugs and after that all was fine in the world. Now the chickens and rabbits are in their own pens but the two pens actually share a common wall and they are able to still see and smell eachother through the wire fencing and everyonce in awhile all the chickens and rabbits are laying next to eachother with only the wire between them. Right now my chickens have to share thier pen with our two ducks and they also dont mind the rabbits, so everyone is one big happy farm yard family.

    Julie R
  5. I just spotted your thread today, yes my bunnies and chickens hang out together freeranging on the grass. I have 3 mini lop bunnies.
    Its quite strange watching the ducks follow the bunnies, they even eat the bunnypoos, I would dread to think of the health aspects of this.
    I hope your chickens get used to the bunny soon and I agree with Julie R about the fencing and treats!! good luck
  6. ChickieDee

    ChickieDee Songster

    Apr 21, 2007
    North Central PA
    My rabbit and chickens seem to like each other. Just give it some time. I think WoodlandWomans idea about using a chicken treat while the bunny is out is right on the money. I had no idea a rabbit could live to 13. I've never had one live even close to that. WOW!
  7. rrrsmom

    rrrsmom In the Brooder

    Jun 2, 2007
    salt lake city, Ut
    I was so happy to see someone keeping a bunny in with their chickens. I have a 3 1/2 year old neutered male- whose name is Lilly, that's why I had him neutered- bunny and I have 8 hens. 6 are 2 months old and 2 are 1 month old. They are a mixed varity of birds. No two are the same. Anyway, I'm new to chickens but not to birds in general. I built a 12' x 12' chicken yard with a nice 4'x4' chicken house in it. It's in a very dry, very sandy almost rocky area of my back yard. I can't even get weeds to grow in the area. I figured all the chicken poop and rabbit poop might make the area prime for planting wheat grass and flax. Not that I want it to grow, I just want the chickens to eat it. Anyway, the bunny seems really happy and other then the couple of diseases mentioned in previous posts, what else should I be watching for? The bunny, just stays away from the birds. One of them tried to taste his ears but found out right away fur didn't taste too good. So far so good but I don't want to make any silly mistakes. What advise do you have?

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