Chickens And Rabbits: Ideal Roomies?

Photo of Kassandra Smith

Kassandra Smith

Senior Editor • Backyard Chicken Coops

02 October 2014

Chickens and rabbits- they don’t sound like they would make the most ideal pairing, but raising and keeping these two animals together can make for a harmonious household.

While a rabbit may not lay eggs, and chickens definitely don’t have long floppy ears, they do share some similarities that can make keeping them together as fun and adorable as it sounds.

Of course, there is some work that goes into creating this living arrangement- it’s not quite as easy as placing billy the bunny in with henny penny and her flock and letting them live happily ever after! So below we have put together some tips and tricks for housing your flock and fuzzy butt together, and what you can do to keep everyone happy and healthy under the same roof!

Although chickens, chicks, and rabbits are quite different, they can learn to get along

1. Introduce them slowly

You can’t expect these two animals to be chummy straight away- just like when introducing different pets to one another, it will take some time before they get use to each other. If possible, it is best to introduce them while they’re still young so they are raised together, however they can still live together as long as the bunny isn’t a baby going into a flock of fully grown chickens- this is sure to spell disaster! Because chickens aren’t exactly fond of fast moving animals, they may initially try to peck the rabbit, however this doesn’t hurt the rabbit, and they will soon learn to tolerate its movements. To begin with, keep the rabbit in a sectioned off area in the run while the chickens forage about, and vice versa- this will allow them to become familiar with one another.

2. Make sure there is ample room

It is important that there is plenty of room for both the rabbits and chickens to wander, flap, bound and flop about without getting in each others’ way. If it is too cramped, it will cause them to become stressed- leading to furthered health ailments, or conflict between the two.

3. Give each their own separate safe space

Both chickens and rabbits are quite vulnerable creatures, so they cherish having their own little safe and private space to retreat to. While its great for the two to share a run area, it is best if they have their own separate hutch area where they can eat, sleep, and get some time out from one another should they need it.

4. Keep their living area clean

Rabbits are notoriously clean animals, so to keep them happy with their living arrangement, take a little extra time to keep it spick and span- a little more than you would for just chickens. Muck out the run, clean up droppings, and refresh and clean their sleeping area regularly and you are sure to have some pleased bunnies and chickens on your hands!

5. Neuter your rabbit

It’s well known that rabbits like to get down to business- if you know what we mean! Male rabbits have a tendency to ‘mount’ most things in sight if they aren’t neutered, and this includes your innocent chickens! So to help maintain both your rabbits and chickens dignity, it is best to get little Peter Rabbit neutered.

6. If they aren’t happy- don’t force it

If after some time your two beloved pets still aren’t getting along- this can be made evident by hens pecking the bunny, or if either pet is visibly stressed or acting aggressively towards one another, it may be best to home them separately. Like with an friendship, nothing should be forced, and it will be best in the long run to keep both animals happy and healthy!

Sources and further reading

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