Rabbits in Colonies with Chickens...

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by farmmaid, Mar 2, 2005.

  1. farmmaid

    farmmaid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Building our retirement home with all our critters. Hope you can picture this: in ground greenhouse, burmed up with tires filled with dirt with 8'x12' shed on the north end that opens right onto the greenhouse. In the shed a 40" high pen that is 4'x8' made out of locust lumber with wire on the bottom. This area will be filled with hay mixed with goat manure, and other hay about 30" deep. In this would place a trio of rabbits, 2 does loose and 1 buck in a cage resting on top of this (let loose to breed). This would be covered with a wire top. Now the part in question, over this (4'x8' area) I want to place the chickens, @ 12. Their droppings would fall on top of the rabbit place. I would cover as needed with some more hay and at the end of the winter would have a mixture of chicken & goat manure mixed with hay. I would feed the rabbits grain and hay, the chickens above with the layer pellets and water. This would only be for the winter as all go into tractors the rest of the year and the chickens would be able to go out during the day. Is this possible, having the chicken manure falling where the rabbits are?...Joan
     
  2. Pat Lamar

    Pat Lamar Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Are you saying that the chicken manure would fall down into the rabbit area? I'm confused, here. You surely don't want the rabbits to have any contact with the chicken manure. Rabbits can contract salmonellosis from chickens, so one bout of that would wipe out both the chickens and the rabbits all at once. How would you keep the chicken manure from contaminating the rabbits feed and water containers?

    Pat Lamar
    President
    Professional Rabbit Meat Association
    http://www.prma.org/
    Chairperson, 2005 ARBA Commercial Department Committee
     

  3. birdie_poo

    birdie_poo Well-Known Member

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    How are you going tokeep the rabbits from burrowing or digging out?

    My rabbits are i hutches, while the ducks free range below them. I used to have chicken doing the same, but it's hard to breed true, unless they are in breed specific pens...however, rabbit poop falling in duck/chicken feed is no where near as bad as the opposite. It's a great idea in theory, however, I can see disaster with your plants being eaten!!
     
  4. rabbitgal

    rabbitgal Ex-homesteader

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    Stay away from chickens pooping on your rabbits or their feed/water. Not good at all. Some folks, like Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm, have put rabbits in hanging cages with poultry UNDERNEATH and lots of bedding, but you still have the big problem of chickens messing in the rabbits' feeders. In theory, chickens and rabbits together *might* work for you if the rabbits' feeders (I'm talking about hopper-style feeders here) were covered, you used water bottles rather than dishes to prevent contamination, and you could keep the chickens from roosting on--and hence pooping on--your cages. Worth experimenting with, but don't put all your eggs in one basket. :)
     
  5. smwon

    smwon Escapee

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    I realize this is an old thread, but…

    I have kept my rabbits with my chickens, except the rabbit manure falls into the chicken pen and the chickens scratch around and mix it with the bedding... I think it wouldn't work very well the other way around.
     
  6. turtlehead

    turtlehead Well-Known Member

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    Hi, smwon,
    Welcome to the forums! I noticed this was your first post. Hope to hear more from you. A chicken-and-rabbit person will fit right in.
     
  7. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Welcome to the Rabbit Forum, Smwon!

    "Rabbit over hen... happy critter pen!
    Hen over rabbit... very bad habit!"
     
  8. smwon

    smwon Escapee

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    Thanks for the welcome... I'll be around. I was looking at the goat forum too and will check out the chicken forum... my favorite things, chickens, rabbits, goats, and gardens. :happy:
     
  9. Terry W

    Terry W Duchess of Cynicism

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    Good little rhyme.


    One can keep hens from roosting over cages by 1) not providing any cross pieces for them to roost on and 2) a sheet of lightweight metal at a 45 degreeeangle, over the hanging cages prevents the hens from getting a foothold-- they will slide right off, back onto the ground.
     
  10. smwon

    smwon Escapee

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    Yes! Good idea... I used plywood with mine and it worked ok, they never got on them. I'm planning a new chicken/rabbit/goat pen. This time I plan to make a storage place w/doors above the rabbit cages. The bottom of the coop will be open (chicken wire around) this way the chickens can see so they scratch every bit of the rabbit droppings and mix them with the bedding. Or if there was another way to make sure all corners are bright enough for the chickens to see to scratch around... I'd be open to some ideas. I want to make a small 'barn' of sorts. It will house six chickens, four rabbits (with one spare cage) and two Nigerian Dwarf does and a folding milk stand. The space I have to build this is small. A footprint of about 12’x 16’… this would include the yard. Any ideas would be very welcome.
     
  11. dk_40207

    dk_40207 Well-Known Member

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    I was running chickens and rabbits together for a while. I had the wire cages a little to low and when the kits started to get out of the nest boxes the chickens decided the feet looked like worms and it was pretty horrible.
     
  12. smwon

    smwon Escapee

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    Oh! Ick! Thanks for bringing that to my attention! Wow... don't want that!
     
  13. Somerhill

    Somerhill Well-Known Member

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    I have a friend who raises English angoras in hanging cages with Silky chickens on the ground beneath them. The Silkies cannot fly, and therefore don't roost on the cages. I thought that was a clever pairing.
    Wish Silkies came in standard size, tho'.
    Lisa