We’ve all seen the adorable pictures of chickens and rabbits at Easter time snuggled up together. A cut fuzzy baby bunny and a bright yellow chick. It’s enough to make you squeal with joy. These photographs make you wonder, can rabbits and chickens live together?
Can Rabbits and Chickens Live Together?
The short answer is no, rabbits and chickens cannot live together (more about this soon).
They can live together in the same household, but we’ll take the time in this article to explain exactly why rabbits and chickens cannot live together in the same hutch.
Why Rabbits and Chickens Cannot Live Together?
It’s important to note from the start that these animals require different care, especially if you’re hoping to breed.
Baby rabbits require a nest while hens have nests. Hens can also show aggression to baby rabbits if they accidentally encroach too much into their space. Similarly, rabbits can be a bit clumsy and harm chicks just simply due to their much bigger and denser size.
Chickens also require much more heat than rabbits do. Rabbits can actually thrive quite well in cooler weather. All in all, they’re very different breeds of animals with different basic needs.
See also: Best Outdoor Rabbit and Chicken hutch.
Consider first and foremost, rabbits and chickens have different dietary needs.
Feeding them the incorrect food can cause big issues. You might think just separating their food would be enough, but animals are animals and will undoubtedly be curious and venture over to each other’s bowls.
If you are planning to breed your rabbits, its of the utmost importance that you monitor the amount of food and the type of food that your rabbit eats. Failure to do so can cause shorter life expectancy and infertility in your rabbits.
Chickens’ droppings also look quite similar to rabbit food pellets. It would be a simple mistake for the chicken’s fecal matter to wind up in your rabbit’s food. Chickens are known for carrying disease, that’s why the FDA is so serious about cleaning up after cooking raw chicken and making sure your chicken is fully cooked before consuming.
Similarly, consuming chicken droppings can spread disease to your rabbits.
As mentioned above, disease runs rampant between both species of animals. Allowing them to live in close quarters could prove deadly for all animals involved.
Chickens have the potential to carry salmonella, streptococcosis, and pasteurella just to name a few. All of these diseases could provide serious complications for your rabbits.
On the other hand, did you know if your chickens mistakenly consume rabbit fecal matter that they have a chance of contracting cholera? Cholera comes from pasteurellosis. All in all, the potential for spreading disease is a major reason to keep your animals in separate living spaces.
Can Rabbits and Chickens Share the Same Hutch?
Countless farmers tend to make only one hutch or coop for both animals to save place.
While it’s important to note that your animals should not live in the same hutch or coop, they can interact in much larger spaces. Do you have a nice enclosed space for your animals to roam and play?
By all means let them interact with one another while supervised. There have been instances where rabbits grow quite attached to chickens.
Let them play and have fun, but be sure everyone is fed separately and put to bed with their respective species at the end of the day. Taking care to meet both your chickens’ and rabbits’ needs will ensure happy healthy lives for all.
You might want to read more in-depth about backyard chickens care.