Goats & Rabbits together??

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I've been asked a strange (strange to me) question about goats and rabbits co-existing together in the barn. I've met someone that has a couple of rabbits that are housed, loose inside of a large pen. This is where they would like to keep their goats and wondered if there would be any health problems or would the bunnies get stepped on.

Can anyone advise? Thanks

-- Charleen with Obies in WNY (harperhill@eznet.net), February 25, 2002


Rabbits tend to be very timid animals and can actually die of stress. I've never heard of anyone housing rabbits with goats, but I would definatly be afraid of them being stepped on. Rabbits also are very prone to parasites which is why it is a really bad idea to house them on the ground. Rabbits in elevated housing are much cleaner, healthier animals. I'm not certain about them sharing parasites, but rabbits get many types of intestinal parasites as well as external ones. I would definatly try to advise the person against the whole idea... for the rabbits health.

-- Sharon in AL (Sharonspaws@aol.com), February 25, 2002.

I don't know about bunnies, but I keep chickens and used to keep two ducks with our goats. Both ducks and several chicks got stepped on. And squished I might add. ( as in no longer with us) And we only had two goats at the time. Goats have no problem stepping on anything or anybody that get in their way.

-- Bonnie (none@thistime.com), February 26, 2002.

Honestly I could see a LaMancha having a rabbit for a friend, my daughters first LaMancha was always very careful of the chickens, nosing them out of the way when she would go lay down. I couldn't even imagine my Nubians, perhaps if they were all raised together so they were used to them. Bet Alpines would eat them! :) Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh TX (vickilonesomedoe@hotmail.com), February 26, 2002.

I wouldn't do it. As someone said above, rabbits can literally be scared to death and they don't exhibit signs of illness until they are just about ready to die. Also the goats could get something from the rabbits. Nope. Not a good idea, in my opinion.

-- Doreen (animalwaitress@yahoo.com), February 26, 2002.

Oh! My alpine breeds WOULD eat their ears!!

-- Doreen (animalwaitress@yahoo.com), February 26, 2002.

Didn't I read somewhere where goats can contract disease from poultry? I think it may have been TB, but not sure. Anyway, I would definitely nix that idea of loose bunnies with goats. The rabbits should have their own pen.

-- Lynn (moonspinner@bluefrognet.net), February 27, 2002.

I frequently let my old, favorite rabbit does run free in the barn and barnyard. Never had the goats bother them nor have I noticed any increase in sickness.

-- diane (gardiacaprines@yahoo.com), February 28, 2002.

Hi Lynn,

Grade A Dairy regulations state that fowl may not have access to goat holding pens, milking parlor or milk room. But I don't know whether it's because of shared diseases or, uh, cleanliness.


-- Dennis Enyart (westwoodcaprine@yahoo.com), March 15, 2002.

I just got a couple of Nigerians and am keeping our Netherland dwarf bunny with them. They get along very well! The bunny even climbs into their food bin to eat with them (I'm getting a hay manger soon so she won't be able to do that.)at first the goats nibbled her ears, but now they're quite friendly and seem to accept her. I don't know about the disease factor, but would like to learn more-- I had heard it was okay.

-- Willa Keizer (willa@homeopathyhome.net), August 25, 2002.

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