Rabbit/Chicken shed?

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by InHisName, Jun 9, 2006.

  1. InHisName

    InHisName Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,275
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2006
    Location:
    NE WA
    Does anyone here combine their rabbit housing with their chickens? Seems like the chickens would benefit from the body heat of rabbits in the winter. It can get 25 below here in winter. Saw a plan in an animal housing book by Carol Ekarius and wonder if anyone has tried this. My plan is to build a combo shed that has a door for chickens to exit to orchard for scratching around- this shed is to be in the middle of our 1 acre garden for easy access- water near, but no electric. Would appreciate any advice- one problem I forsee is getting the manure out- seems like an open hutch idea is easier to clean out. This is for household meat rabbits- 2, possibly 3 does and one or two bucks and a dozen or so chickens. Thanks!
     
  2. frazzlehead

    frazzlehead AppleJackCreek Supporter

    Messages:
    3,717
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    near Edmonton AB
    I don't know if this would be helpful, but I've seen chicken coop plans that include a door on the outside of the building that opens onto the "droppings pit": basically, the chicken roosts are mounted on 'half walls', and the space beneath them gets filled with straw or shavings, then there's a hatch to the outside so you can shovel all that stuff directly outdoors.

    You could maybe do the same thing with the bunnies ... put the rabbit hutches over a 'droppings pit', which has an access door to outside; then on the other side of the building, give your chickens a roosting pit with a droppings box underneath, also with a hatch to outside.

    I am envisioning a shed with an aisle down the middle, chickens on one side and rabbits on the other. I have chickens living in half of a shed: I walled them off with a chicken wire wall, and have the nestboxes set into that wall so they extend out into the shed, and I can collect eggs by lifting the lids to the nestboxes without going in the chicken place. I do have a human door (actually a salvaged screen door) that lets me into the chicken place so I can shovel straw or add feed or water or whatever. If I were adding rabbits to this shed, I'd just put them along the other side, so I had an aisle down the middle and hatchways to the outdoors for cleaning out the droppings pits.

    Mine doesn't have hatches to outdoors, but the droppings pit has a hatch that opens into the shed, so I can shovel out the yukky stuff into the wheelbarrow and take it directly outdoors. I just didn't want to cut more holes in my shed walls. :)
     

  3. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,058
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2006
    I keep them together. I have trouble with the banties and 'wild' chickens taking the rabbits food, so lids would be handy. Sometimes hens roost on the cage tops which is unsanitary. I'm working on a better scenario tomorrow!
     
  4. busybee870

    busybee870 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,742
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    Location:
    NC Arkansas
    i was told that the rabbits and the chickens shouldnt be together, because of cockadoodledooliosis. ( dont know how to pronounce the real word, and like this one better)
     
  5. TerriA

    TerriA Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    205
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Location:
    Nebraska
    My rabbit barn is a converted cattle loafing shed which we had converted into pens with wood and chicken wire for different poultry (at one time we had ducks, geese, turkeys, chickens and quail). Now it is mostly rabbits in the different pens (with the "litter cages" in totally enclosed pens with chicken wire on top to keep out cats). The 2 back pens have goats in them right now. Last year we didn't have anywhere to put a broody hen... so we put a large dog kennel in one of the totally covered pens, put feed bags on top of the cages so she wouldn't fly up and roost up there for any reason and let her raise her chicks in that pen for several months. All went fine.. since there wasn't anywhere for the chickens to roost (the feed bag/top chicken wire had a clearance of about 6 inches) no one could "poop" into the bunny feed containers.

    A friend of mine had problems in her barn with barn swallows pooping on her cages/bunnies.. she solved the problem with rigid plastic sheathing bought at a home improvement center which she used to cover all the top layer of cages. No more problems then.

    I believe that a good barn plan should allow numerous species to co-habitate without problems... building "stalls" and using chicken wire to keep out our barn cats was all we needed to do. We close the barn doors at night to keep out other "varmits".

    Terri
     
  6. InHisName

    InHisName Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,275
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2006
    Location:
    NE WA
    thanks for the replies- good ideas! What is that saying- necessity is the mother of invention- that seems to be the case in homesteading!
     
  7. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    19,698
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Location:
    Ohio
    I've got ducks in my rabbit shed. Heat from the ducks keeps the rabbits water bottles from freezing so quickly in the winter. I have the tops of all the rabbit cages covered and they are pretty high up so the ducks don't bother them and the ducks eat the flies and skeeters that used to bother the rabbits. I know Muscovies will eat baby bunnies but I don't breed the rabbits. We do have to clean pretty often (every other day now that there are so many ducklings) but the shed is a big vinyl storage shed with double doors on the front. We empty waste into 5 gal buckets then carry it to the garden.
     
  8. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,665
    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2004
    I'm rearranging things and getting ready to get rabbits later this year. The rabbit cages will be hung in the poultry end of a shelter. However, in the past we've had trouble with chickens flying up and roosting on top of the rabbit cages, which is messy. So I will make sure the chickens can't get up there this time.

    The main disadvantage is to the rabbits, since chickens can be very dusty.

    Kathleen
     
  9. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,058
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2006
    A couple other thoughts- make sure there is good air circulation. Good for the dampness that comes with them, and also for the fact they can't tolerate heat. I'm having to leave my chicken house wide open (bunnies in there too)until the colony setup is complete. This Sunday the bunnies will be very happy!