Can Rabbits Live With Chickens?

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As a pet owner, I can say that not all animals get along. In the wild, different animal species tend to avoid each other. But what about when humans domesticate these animals and put them together? Do different farm animals get along? Specifically, can rabbits live with chickens? From personal experience, the answer is yes, but there are some things you should know before letting these two animals share a home.

Can Rabbits and Chickens Share a Hutch?

One of the most important things to consider when keeping rabbits and chickens together is whether or not they will be able to share a hutch.

Ideally, each animal should have its own space to avoid any potential conflict. However, if you don’t have the room or resources for two separate hutches, you can try putting a divider between them. In fact, when we had rabbits and chickens, we only had one hutch, and a divider seemed to work well.

This way, they could still be able to see and smell each other, but they had their own space to retreat to if they need it. As long as the animals are fed separately, this is usually fine.

Do Chickens Attack Rabbits?

While it’s true that chickens can be aggressive, they usually only attack other animals if they feel threatened. Also, it’s important to note that chickens are much more likely to attack baby rabbits or ‘kits’ than they are to attack adult rabbits.

For this reason, it’s generally not a good idea to keep chickens and rabbits together if you have young rabbits.

Of course, there is always the possibility that a chicken could attack a rabbit out of nowhere, but this is rare. In my experience, this is more likely to happen if the chicken is young and hasn’t been around rabbits before.

Many people who own both rabbits and chickens report that the chickens actually seem to enjoy the company of the rabbits and will often follow them around.

Can Rabbits Get Sick From Chickens?

Another important thing to consider is the fact that rabbits and chickens can share diseases. While it may not make the chicken sick, chicken poop, in particular, can contain a bacteria called Salmonella. According to “The Laboratory Rabbit“, Salmonella is not common in rabbits, but when it does occur, it can be fatal.

As a general rule, chickens must not be allowed in the rabbits’ sleeping and eating areas to avoid contamination. The rabbits’ hutch should also be cleaned out more often to reduce the risk of bacteria build-up. In addition, make sure all the rabbits’ food and water bowls are cleaned regularly and kept in a separate area from the chickens’ food and water.

Diseases that rabbits and chickens share

There are a few more diseases that rabbits and chickens may share, including coccidiosis, and myxomatosis. While these diseases can be serious, there are ways to prevent and treat them. By working with a veterinarian and taking proper precautions, you can help keep your rabbits and chickens healthy.

Benefits to Keeping Rabbits and Chickens Together

three rabbits resting next to a black chicken

Despite the fact that there are some challenges to keeping rabbits and chickens together, there are also many benefits.

Space-saving: Of course, one of the biggest benefits is that it can save you space. If you have a small backyard, for example, you may not have enough room for two separate hutches. Having them share a hutch can be a great way to make the most of the space you have.

Company: Another benefit is that these two animals can provide company for each other. Chickens can be quite social creatures, and they may enjoy the company of a rabbit. This is especially true if they don’t have any other chicken friends to socialize with.

Rabbits, on the other hand, are generally shy animals. So, having a chicken around may help to make them feel more comfortable and less alone.

Entertainment: Having rabbits and chickens together can also be a great source of entertainment. Chickens are very active creatures, and they can provide a lot of entertainment for rabbits.

Rabbits, on the other hand, are very curious creatures, and they will often spend hours watching the chickens as they go about their day. This can help to keep your rabbits from getting bored and stressed.

Security: Last but not least, having these two animals together can provide a sense of security for both rabbits and chickens. Chickens are very good at spotting predators, and they will often warn the rabbits if they see something suspicious.

How to Introduce Rabbits and Chickens

rabbits hutch next to some chickens

Introduce them early: The best way to help rabbits live with chickens is to introduce them when they are young, as they will be less likely to see each other as a threat.

Keep them in separate areas: When you first introduce your rabbits and chickens, it’s important to keep them in separate areas. This will give them time to get used to each other’s presence without feeling threatened.

You can start by letting them see each other from a distance. This can be done by using a chicken wire fence to divide the hutch. As they get more comfortable with each other, you can slowly start to reduce the distance between them.

Neuter your rabbit: In some cases, it may also be a good idea to neuter your rabbit. Males rabbits, in particular, can be quite aggressive and may try to mount and mate with the chickens. This can be very dangerous for the chickens and for the rabbit.

Don’t force it: Lastly, it’s important to remember that not all rabbits and chickens will get along. If your animals seem to be afraid of each other or are fighting, it’s probably best to separate them. Forcing your rabbits and chickens to live together will only make them more agitated and may even cause injury to your animals.

Conclusion

While they may seem like an unlikely pair, chickens and rabbits can actually live together and get along quite well if given the chance. As long as you take the proper precautions such as providing plenty of space, keeping your rabbit’s house clean, and separating them when necessary, you should have no trouble keeping both animals safe and happy.

About the author

Li-ran B.

Li-ran pretty much grew up in a household that was like a tiny zoo, full of all sorts of animals. However, rabbits and guinea pigs were always his go-to buddies. To this day, that love for these adorable creatures (including Tutti, a sweet and sassy Dutch rabbit) is still going strong.