You might have seen a couple of pictures showing a little cute bunny with a chick and supposed that they could be a perfect couple.
So, are they similar to what people are thinking about or just symbolic pictures?
Can rabbits and chickens live together?
Rabbits and chickens can live together but it seems not to be a good idea for them to be neighbors.
In fact, there are a lot of different characteristics that are hard to match rabbits with chickens.
The reasons why we should not keep rabbits and chickens together
- Basically, rabbits are totally unrelated to chickens since they belong to two types of species. Rabbits are small mammals and have babies while chickens lay eggs.
- Rabbits are quite mild and calm, they are not too hyperactive. But chickens are the opposite, they move continuously such as looking for food or just taking a walk under the sun.
- Rabbits love digging so you need to have to build a strong floor to avoid the escape. However, chickens’ feet will be uncomfortable.
- Rabbits require more elevated cleanliness than chickens so you need to tidy up their coop daily. It can be considered as both a pro and con since it helps to reduce the appearance of parasites and diseases but it also takes lots of time to work everyday.
Baby chickens need more heat than rabbits in winter. They are weaker and require a warm living environment in cooler weather.
Otherwise, rabbits have a higher ability to thrive well in case of decreased temperature. They can be upset when we provide them with high heat.
Rabbits and chickens are vastly different in nutritional needs. Grass hay is the main food of rabbits’ diet and up to 70% or 80% in total. The extant percentage includes vegetables and herbs.
Chickens are known as omnivores, apart from grains, their food is distinctly formulated to make sure they are sufficiently provided with essential nutrition. Chickens’ feed needs a higher calcium and protein content since it will be necessary and beneficial for hens to lay and produce sturdy eggs.
Animals are curious, so without a doubt, they will eat other species’ food. However, since rabbits and chickens have considerably different dietary needs as well as digestive systems, it can be harmful.
Rabbits cannot digest chickens’ pellets. Besides, when consuming chicken’s feed, rabbits can be overweight and suffer some detrimental health problems. Likewise, chickens also are able to have health conditions as the diet of rabbits does not provide enough carbohydrates and fiber for them, which can enhance harmful bacteria
We all know that disease can spread between animals easily so that is the important reason why we should keep rabbits and chickens in separate spaces.
Chickens are able to carry pasteurella, salmonella, and streptococcusis diseases which can endanger your rabbits. (Source)
On the other hand, chickens can accidentally consume rabbits’ droppings and have a cholera epidemic. So it has a high possibility that rabbits and chickens are infected while they live together.
You may also like: 21 Best Chicken Keeping eBooks
Is there any way for rabbits and chickens to live together?
If you have a strong desire of raising rabbits and chickens together, it still can work when you have the right solutions to tackle this tough task.
Here is some knowledge that you need to take into account before pairing rabbits and chickens up:
Firstly, the younger you introduce them with each other, the more harmonious they are. It takes quite a long time to help two different types of species get along, so you need to let rabbits and chickens make friends step by step.
It would be better if you introduce them while having a fence in between. They will start with smelling as well as get used to their partner’s gestures and this way can prevent both of them from getting into a fight.
Secondly, do not let a baby bunny live with adult hens. Once chickens adapt to the quick movements well, they can attempt to peck the rabbits. It is not a big problem with mature rabbits but it can lead to danger for your baby bunnies.
Thirdly, rabbits are social animals so it is never a great idea to let one rabbit live with a chicken flock. Your rabbits can feel stressed and isolated when having no companies that are similar to them.
Fourth, since we know rabbits are especially clean, you should keep their living environment away from chickens’ mess. You also need to muck out their coop, clean up feces, etc to create a neat and fresh area for them.
And the last one, you can raise rabbits and chickens together as soon as you give them their private living spaces. When they have their own areas, it is less likely to have conflicts and you can be relieved since you are not able to watch them all day.
In a nutshell, it is still feasible to let rabbits and chickens live together. Since it exists more inconveniences than benefits when complementing this difficult task, some people will suppose that it is never a good idea to combine rabbits and chickens.
However, there are also some people who would like to try doing that. Therefore, it depends on each person’s opinion to decide to raise them together.