Rabbits and chickens can get along well together, but only as long as they get adequately introduced and there is enough space for both animals. However, there are a few things to keep in mind before you decide to keep these animals together. This living arrangement won’t suit all rabbits and chickens.
There are a few things you need to take into account before you put your rabbits and chickens together. The coop needs to be a minimum of eight square feet to have enough space, and it’ll need to be bigger for larger breeds. You should also have one chicken for every four rabbits living in the coop.
But although putting your rabbits and chickens in the same coop can work out, it’s not something we’d do if it can be avoided. Read on to find out why before you make your decision.
What Are the Benefits of a Rabbit/Chickens Living Area?
Chickens will eat up any insects that may harm your rabbits, such as slugs and snails. Rabbits are less likely to get sick from these insects if they have some chickens around.
Chickens can also warn the rabbits of potential danger. If they see a predator or other animal approaching, the chickens will make a lot of noise, and the rabbits will be able to hide in time.
Both animals can benefit from the heat that the chickens generate too.
What Are the Drawbacks of Chickens and Rabbits Living in the Same Space?
You should only consider keeping chickens and rabbits together if you have a vast area and want to keep predators at bay. There are a few risks you should consider before you decide to put your animals together.
- Chickens carry bacteria that can harm your rabbits. These bacteria can transfer onto the rabbit’s fur or even its food bowl. Chickens are known to carry diseases such as Salmonella and E. coli.
- Their living space will get dirty much quicker – meaning more frequent cleaning.
- The chicken coop is not designed for the rabbit’s safety. When chickens are in an enclosed area, they are more likely to attack any other animal that comes into their space. They will even attack small chickens as they establish a pecking order. To put it mildly, a stressful environment or sudden change can make chickens bullies.
- It’s normal for chickens to peck at other animals. This includes trying to peck the rabbit’s fur or picking through its food bowl. An interaction like this can harm the rabbit and cause injury (e.g. the chicken may try to peck out an eye).
- The rabbit also needs its own space and food bowl to eat in peace. If you allow chickens to pick through the rabbit’s food, or if they wander into its living area, the rabbit will be stressed out and not eat properly.
- Rabbits are herbivores (they eat plant-based foods) whereas chickens are omnivores (they eat both plants and small animals). This difference in diet can lead to problems if the two species stay together, as rabbits may become malnourished and even starve to death if they are not receiving the right amount of nutrients.
- Rabbits and chickens can also cause problems for each other if they don’t get properly introduced. Chickens can be quite territorial and may attack or even kill rabbits if they feel threatened. Rabbits are also capable of putting up a fight.
Size of a Rabbit and Chicken Coop Combo
The size of your rabbits should determine the size of your chicken coop living area. If you have medium or large-sized rabbits, they will need their own coop. For dwarf or small-sized rabbits, they can get by with a small section of an existing coop. You may need to isolate the rabbits from the chickens to prevent the chickens from pecking them.
You can place your chickens and rabbits together in a large coop if you have enough space. The minimum size for this would be around 8 square feet. This allows the animals plenty of room to move around and prevents them from feeling cramped.
A rabbit and chicken coop combo can be made from various materials, such as wood, metal, or PVC pipes:
- Wood (the most common material), and it is easy to build a DIY coop using this material. If you choose to go with wood, make sure to use untreated lumber and paint or seal the coop to protect it from the elements.
- Metal is a good choice if you live in an area with predators, as it is tough for them to chew through. It is also easy to clean and disinfect.
- PVC pipes are a good option if you want to move your coop around often. They are lightweight and easy to assemble. As a bonus, they are not very expensive.
Follow these steps if you’re wondering how to go about building a coop:
- Plan the coop: The best way to get the correct measurements is by using graph paper. Draw your existing coop on each sheet of paper, making sure the walls are two to three inches thick (four to five for storm enclosures).
- Choose the material: You can use plywood to make the walls – but this is a more expensive option.
- Choose the size: You can make your coop as large or small as you need it to be. If you have a big rabbit, you will want to give it plenty of room. You may also want extra space if you plan on letting your chickens free-range often.
- The roof: It should be at least two feet high to protect your animals from the elements.
- The door: It should also be large enough for the animals to get in and out.
- Nesting boxes: You can either make the nesting boxes yourself or buy them premade. Place the boxes on the side of the coop that the chickens like to sleep in. This will keep them close to the food and water. A perch in your coop for the chickens to sleep on will help keep their feathers clean.
- The floor: It should be covered in straw or pine shavings to absorb the droppings. You can also use wire mesh to line the flooring if you want. This is good if your coop sits on top of grass or dirt. You should change the straw or shavings once a week and disinfect the entire coop every month.
Ideal Ratio of Rabbits and Chickens Living Together
You can have one chicken for every four rabbits. Don’t have just one chicken or one rabbit. Have at least two animals from both species for their comfort. This is very important, as living alone can have a huge detrimental effect on rabbits.
How to Get a Bunny and a Chicken Living Together
If you want to introduce a rabbit and a chicken, start by keeping them in cages next to each other. This will give the animals time to get used to each other’s scent before they are let loose. You can use a dog crate inside your coop for added protection.
Once the animals seem comfortable with each other, you can let them explore your yard together. Make sure only to do this if you have a vast fenced-in area or an electric fence. If the animals live in a coop with a run, make sure you cover it at all times.
Some people recommend having the animals separated at night, as this is when predators are most likely to attack. You can do this by building an extra coop for your rabbits or putting them in their own cage during the night.
You should also be mindful of the poop from each of these species. Rabbits and chickens expel two very different types of droppings, and they carry different diseases. Bunnies can get sick from exposure to chicken poop.
Are My Chickens and Rabbits Getting Along?
If you are unsure whether or not your rabbits and chickens are getting along, keep a close eye on them. It is best to separate the animals if you see any fighting. Signs of aggression may include biting, chasing, or hissing.
If your rabbit is bullying the chicken, give the chicken more attention. Try to give the chicken treats every day and spend more time with them. If you have a large breed of rabbit, it may need its own coop.
Rabbits are cute and gentle animals – but will get aggressive if needed. They have charged chickens and injured and killed them. Big and territorial rabbits are capable of killing a chicken,
If you let them live together and a fight starts, separate them immediately. You may need to put up an electric fence if you can’t supervise them constantly.
Chickens will attack a rabbit if they feel threatened. They can peck out a rabbit’s eyes, so it is best to keep them in separate coops if they don’t get along. A rabbit might break a chicken’s eggs if they want to lay in the nesting box, make sure the nesting boxes are far away from each other.
What Are Some Tips for My Chicken/Rabbit Coop?
Check out these tips to learn the basics on chicken and rabbit coops:
- A large rabbit will need their own coop.
- Chickens and rabbits can be together in a large coop if you have enough space.
- Can use a variety of materials for the coop combo.
- The coop door should be large enough for the animals to get in and out.
- Make the nesting boxes yourself, or buy them premade.
- Cover the floor of your coop in straw or pine shavings.
Do Rabbits and Chickens Spread Diseases?
Both chickens and rabbits can carry diseases. Make sure to keep your animals healthy by feeding them well and giving them plenty of space to move around in.
- Pigeon Fancier’s Lungwort
- Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV)
- Salmonellosis in Chickens and Humans
- Mycobacteriosis in Chickens and Humans
- Campylobacteriosis in Chickens and Humans
- Cryptosporidiosis in Chickens and Humans
- Giardiasis in Chickens and Humans
- E. coli Infection
Your rabbits and chickens can also share parasites, such as lice, mites, ticks, and Coccidiosis. Treat your animals for parasites, as they can cause disease and death.
Are Rabbits and Chickens Compatible Pets?
Rabbits and chickens can be great pets together.
But do rabbits and chickens get along immediately?
That is hard to say because you need to give both time to adjust, and signs of stress may not be obvious at first. If they get along, you can keep them in a large coop with a run or in their own cages.
Let the animals free range frequently, so they remain healthy and happy. Both animals share similar predators, so keep a close eye on them and in a safe cage.
Rabbit-chicken combos are possible if you take the proper precautions. Make sure to give your rabbits enough space to roam around without hurting the chickens. Keep an eye on them when outside together, and make sure your coop is predator-proof at nighttime. Never leave them alone when not supervised. Feed them well, and provide plenty of fresh water, etc.