It might sound very strange to keep rabbits with chickens, but raising and keeping these animals together can be a joy. Rabbits may not lay eggs, but there are some similarities that can make keeping them together fun.
On the other side of things, this arrangement will require a little more work from you to keep them happy and healthy. To help you out, we’ve put together some tips and tricks for housing your flock and cotton-tailed friends together.
Tip 1: Introduce Them Slowly
It would be unfair of you to expect two completely different animals to just be okay together straight away. It will take some time for them to get used to each other. If possible, introduce them while they are still young for better results.
They can still, however, live together quite peacefully when introduced as adults. The chickens may initially try to peck the rabbits since they aren’t very fond of fast-moving animals, they will eventually learn to tolerate the movement. It is best to start by keeping the rabbits in a sectioned off area of the run while the chickens forage to allow them to become familiar with each other.
Tip 2: Make Sure There Is Enough Room
It is of utmost importance that there is enough room for both rabbits and chickens to wander and forage without getting in each others’ way. If the area is too cramped, you will notice reduced egg production in your flock due to stress which can further lead to conflict and health problems in both species.
Tip 3: Give Each Their Own Separate House
Chickens and rabbits are both prey animals so they cherish a space of their own to hide that is safe and private. While it is great for them to share a run, they should have separate coop and hutch areas where they can eat, sleep and get a well deserved time out from each other.
Tip 4: Keep Their Living Area Clean
You will have to keep the living area clean since rabbits need a cleaner area than chickens to be happy. It will take a little extra time, but it will benefit both your rabbits and your chickens. Muck out the run regularly, clean up droppings in their sleeping areas and you’ll have happy hoppers and cluckers all over the place in no time!
Tip 5: Neuter Your Rabbits
We all have heard the saying breeding like rabbits. Male rabbits have a tendency to mount most things in sight and that includes your chickens. A neutered rabbit will lose this tendency ensuring the safety of your flock. You also won’t have to deal with all the extra bunnies hopping around. Even better, have only female bunnies.
Tip 6: Don’t Force Them Together
If after some time there is still lots of disputes between the rabbits and chooks, it might be time to separate them permanently. You might notice pecking injuries on your bunnies, signs of stress in both species and lots of aggression toward each other.
These signs are a call for help from you. Rather give the rabbits their own run and let the chickens have theirs back. It will solve all your problems.
Keeping your flock with the rabbits work for some but not for others. Ultimately you know your animals best. If you notice any problems, make decisions based on what you have observed and learned. Keep reading to prepare yourself for any and all problems that may arise.