So, you’re wondering whether rabbits and chickens can live together? Well, it’s a common question among pet owners and homesteaders alike. Some might think that because both creatures are small enough to co-exist, they can live harmoniously in the same space.
Well, technically, they can, but you can’t simply put them together, and that’s it. They’re different animals, after all, so they have different needs, habits, and temperaments. As such, you’ll have to make some adjustments to avoid potential problems.
Let’s dive into the topic and explore what it takes for rabbits and chickens to live together peacefully and safely, shall we?
Can Rabbits and Chickens Live Together?
It can be tricky to put rabbits and chickens together. They can share living space without any troubles, yes. But don’t expect that to happen on its own. Because they’re different from each other, they won’t automatically be best pals just because you put them in the same hutch or coop.
However, they’re both social animals that crave companionship, and it doesn’t matter if their companion is of another species. If you take the necessary precautions and address the specific needs of each one, they can stay under one roof without any issues.
How to Keep Rabbits and Chickens Together
If you plan to get rabbits and chickens, you’ll be glad to know these two can live in harmony. Of course, some work goes into creating a safe and peaceful living arrangement for two animals with different needs.
Here are six tips on how to help your furry and feathered pets stay safe, healthy, and happy under your loving care:
1. Introduce Your Rabbits and Chickens to Each Other When They’re Young
Rabbits can live with other animals, such as cats or dogs, and even become pals with them. The key is to introduce both creatures when they’re young. The same technique will work with chickens.
At an early age, both species aren’t yet set in their ways. As such, it’s easier for each one to tolerate the other. Also, the longer they stay together, the more they learn to get along. So the best way to create a harmonious relationship between your chickens and rabbits is to expose them to one another early in their lives.
2. Provide a Separate Hutch
We mentioned that bunnies and chickens are different animals with different needs. Although they can be happy living in one cage or coop, having their own space can do wonders in helping them get along.
Chickens and rabbits are both prey animals. As such, they’re both easily frightened. Providing them with their own hutch to hide in when they feel overwhelmed can be highly beneficial for their well-being.
3. Make Sure They Have Plenty of Room
Both rabbits and chicks need enough space to exercise and explore. Being cooped up in a cramped area can make them bored and restless, which can lead to behavioral problems like aggression or feather pecking. Giving them plenty of room to roam will help them stay active and engaged.
Also, these animals have different needs regarding their living space. Rabbits love to burrow and dig while chickens perch and roost. They could become stressed and unhappy if they don’t have enough room to do those things.
A cramped hutch can also lead to the spread of diseases, as overcrowding makes it easier for infections to break out. Thus, providing separate areas for each animal is still the best option.
4. Give the Correct Type of Food
Rabbits and chickens have different nutritional needs. Hence, what you feed them is an important factor in ensuring they stay healthy and happy. Chickens eat insects and lizards besides fruits, veggies, and grains. That makes them omnivores.
5. Provide Enough Opportunities for Exercise
Rabbits and chickens may have different nutritional needs, but they have one thing in common. Both love to forage. Buns enjoy chewing on plants, flowers, and bushes, while chickens relish digging and scratching the ground, looking for insects and worms. That means they should have opportunities to explore.
Even if you provide a separate hutch for each one, they’ll still need time to wander outdoors. Chickens who get some free-range time tend to maintain a healthy weight and good muscle tone. They’re also more likely to have lower stress levels.
Meanwhile, exercise can help lessen a rabbit’s boredom. It also reduces the risk of obesity, promotes digestive health, and aids in retarding the development of various ailments.
6. Clean the Coop or Cage Daily
Rabbits are known for being fastidious creatures and have a reputation for keeping themselves well-groomed, so cleaning the cage they share with chickens is super important.
Both animals can produce a lot of waste, and if left uncleaned, their pen can quickly become dirty and smelly. Bunnies could find this stressful. So try to keep the hutch or coop in shipshape condition, more than you need to do when keeping only chickens.
The Advantages of Keeping Rabbits and Chickens Together
Keeping rabbits and chickens together has some awesome benefits. Let’s take a closer look at why this animal combo is a win-win situation.
- Companionship: Both buns and chicks are social animals. Rabbits show affection to their humans in many ways, such as licking and nibbling, lying by their sides, sitting on their human’s lap, and the like. Meanwhile, chickens will follow their owner around. This shows that chickens and buns love having companions. Putting the two species together can create a lifelong friendship between them.
- Security: Because they’re prey animals, chickens and rabbits tend to be anxious or nervous creatures. Having a pal will give them a greater sense of security.
- Space saver: Putting your rabbits and chickens in one large coop or cage is a more efficient way of using space than providing a separate hutch for each one.
The Disadvantages of Making Your Rabbits and Chickens Live Together
It might seem like a good idea to make your rabbits and chickens stay under one roof, but there may be some disadvantages you didn’t think of. Here’s the scoop on why this might not be the best arrangement for your feathered and furry friends.
- Faster spread of disease: Both buns and chicks are susceptible to zoonotic diseases. They’re also prone to parasites. If each doesn’t live in a separate hutch, the spread of disease is much more likely. One severe outbreak could wipe out the whole clan.
- Mating: If you place an intact male bun with your chickens, he could repeatedly attempt to mount them, causing distress and discomfort to their feathered companions. The best way to reduce this possibility is by neutering your rabbit. However, there’s no guarantee that desexing will eliminate the behavior altogether.
- Temperament: Being different animals, rabbits and chickens have different temperaments. Chickens get nervous around agile and fast-moving creatures, which could cause them to peck or claw their rabbit companion.
Can rabbits and chickens safely live together? They can. With careful planning and some patience, the two can make great roommates. So go ahead and give it a try. You might be surprised at how well they get along.
More on Rabbit Care
- How Long Do Flemish Rabbits Live: Giant Breed Facts
- Complete Guide to the Best Hay For Rabbits: Reviews & More
- Are Rabbits Rodents? Find Out More About These Small Mammals
- Is Oat Hay Good for Rabbits? Complete Guide to the Best Hay
- Why Do Rabbits Lick You? 11 Reasons for This Common Behavior
We hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, will you give it a share or two 🙂 Thank you! ~from Every Bunny Welcome