Rabbits and chickens can live happily together, but there are some things you need to be aware of - most importantly potential diseases.
In this article, I'm going to answer; can rabbits get coccidiosis from chickens?
As well as looking at how you can ensure your chickens and rabbits are coexisting happily and staying healthy:
Can Chickens and Rabbits Live Together?
Yes, chickens and rabbits can live together quite happily and many people do keep both of these species together.
However, you do need to be aware of a few potential risks:
- Chickens can transmit coccidiosis to rabbits. Coccidiosis is a serious intestinal infection that can lead to death in rabbits. Make sure your chickens are healthy and up to date on their vaccinations before introducing them to your rabbit.
- Rabbits can transmit myxomatosis to chickens. Myxomatosis is a deadly virus that affects wild and domestic rabbits. There is no cure for myxomatosis, so it's important to keep your rabbits vaccinated against it.
- Chickens may eat the food meant for your rabbit. Make sure you provide both animals with their own separate food and water sources.
- Chickens may scratch or peck at your rabbit. This can lead to injuries for your rabbit. Provide your chickens with a designated area to scratch and peck, and keep your rabbits away from this area.
By taking the proper precautions, you can ensure that your chickens and rabbits live together happily and safely!
What Is Coccidiosis?
Coccidiosis is a serious intestinal infection that can affect both rabbits and chickens.
The disease is caused by a small protozoan parasite, which infects the intestine and causes diarrhea, weight loss, and in some cases death.
Coccidiosis is very contagious and can be transmitted from animal to animal through contact with feces, blood, or mucus.
Chickens are particularly susceptible to coccidiosis and can easily become infected if they come into contact with an infected rabbit.
It's important to keep your chickens up to date on their vaccinations against coccidiosis and to isolate any sick animals immediately.
If you suspect one of your rabbits or chickens has contracted coccidiosis, seek veterinary help right away.
Related - Can pigs live with chickens?
Can Rabbits Get Coccidiosis From Chickens?
Yes, rabbits can get coccidiosis from chickens.
The disease is most commonly transmitted through contact with infected feces, but can also be spread through blood or mucus.
Rabbits are particularly susceptible to the parasite that causes coccidiosis and can easily become infected if they come into contact with an infected chicken.
It's important to keep your rabbits vaccinated against coccidiosis and to isolate any sick animals immediately.
What Are the Symptoms of Coccidiosis in Rabbits?
The symptoms of coccidiosis in rabbits can vary depending on the severity of the infection.
Common symptoms include:
- Pale gums
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Lethargic behavior
In severe cases, the rabbit may become dehydrated and develop a fever. In extreme cases, the rabbit may die from the infection.
If you suspect your rabbit has contracted coccidiosis, you must seek veterinary help immediately.
Can Bunnies and Chickens Be In The Same Coop?
Yes, chickens and rabbits can be in the same coop, but you need to take a few precautions to keep them safe and healthy.
Make sure your animals are up to date on their vaccinations against coccidiosis and any other diseases as recommended by your vet.
You'll also need to provide your chickens and rabbits with their own separate food and water sources as they have very different dietary requirements.
Make sure you also provide your chickens with a large designated area to scratch and peck, and keep your rabbits away from this area.
So, while it is possible - and I know some people who let their rabbits and chickens share some coop space - you also need to provide a lot of space for each species to call their own.
Treatment for Coccidia in Rabbits and Chickens
If your rabbit is diagnosed with coccidiosis, your veterinarian will likely prescribe a course of antibiotics to treat the infection.
The most common medication is called toltrazuril. This is an oral medication that is easy to give to rabbits, and typically only lasts 2 days and is repeated 5 days later.
For chickens with coccidiosis, medications vary depending on where you are in the country.
I've heard backyard chicken owners say that they've also used toltrazuril to treat their chickens, as well as a veterinary medicine called Baycox.
The medicine you use isn't something you should determine for yourself though. You should always act on the advice of a veterinarian as coccidiosis is a serious condition that requires the most appropriate treatment.
Preventing Coccidia in Rabbits and Chickens
There is no vaccine currently available to prevent coccidiosis, but there are some things you can do to help protect your animals.
- Make sure all of your animals are up to date on their vaccinations against coccidiosis and other diseases.
- Keep your animals separated as much as possible to avoid contact with infected feces.
- Provide a clean, dry environment for your animals to live in and keep the area around their food and water dishes free from droppings.
- Have them checked regularly by a veterinarian for early detection of any health problems.
- Consider a quarantine period when introducing new animals.
Prevention is certainly important when coccidiosis is a risk. But keep in mind that sometimes it's just not possible to prevent the disease entirely and you'll be forced to act reactively.
Rabbits can get coccidiosis from chickens, but there are some things you can do to help protect your animals.
The best practice is to make sure all of your animals are up to date on their vaccinations and keep the area around their food and water dishes as free from droppings as possible.