My family and I moved to a farm about a year ago. Since then, we have gotten a few cows and chickens. We decided to get either ducks or rabbits this year, but the kids want both. It created quite a dilemma for us because we had no idea if we would have to house them apart or if ducks and rabbits get along.
Ducks and rabbits live pretty happily outside in their enclosures, but they don’t do well living in the same enclosure. Both the ducks and rabbits have their own set of needs that might clash, not to mention the personality differences. Ducks scare pretty quickly, and rabbits can get very defensive.
Not many people would think of housing ducks and rabbits together, but what about having them together only during the day? Will ducks and rabbits play nice?
All these questions kept going through my mind, so I decided to research this topic and find answers. I thought I would share what I found.
Do Ducks and Rabbits Get Along?
If you are thinking of getting rabbits and ducks or already have them and wonder if they can cohabitate, we will discuss that next.
Should Ducks and Rabbits Live in the Same Enclosure?
In most cases, housing animals of the same species together causes problems. Experts would not recommend rabbits in the same enclosure as ducks. Here are some reasons why comingling these two species in the same enclosure is not a good idea.
Each species has different needs in their immediate space that might be dangerous to the other. Here are the enclosure needs for ducks and rabbits:
Ducks need ready access to water in their enclosure, so you need to create a bath or pond for them. They are avid swimmers that spend more than half of their time in the water. Ducks love to dive and hunt in the water.
Ponds or duck baths are a massive problem for rabbits; while rabbits can swim, they don’t like to. If rabbits stay wet for too long, they can become very sick. While rabbits won’t willingly swim, if ducks are in and out of the water the whole day, it will leave a wet and muddy trail which in turn will cause the rabbits to hop around in wet, muddy patches.
Daily Space Needs
Ducks need a lot of space because they love to explore, so they have to have free reign if you want to keep them happy. Ducks don’t like to be in an enclosure, and they will get stressed if ducks are cooped up, which will lead to serious health problems.
Rabbits also need space, but most owners still have them penned at a certain point because they will make a run (or hop) for it as soon as they can if they have too much space to run free.
Ducks might not be dirty animals, but they are not worried about the cleanliness of their space. They won’t care where they do their business or how wet their sleeping area is. It will cause rabbits to keep to a tiny area of the enclosure. Duck dropping is wetter than the rabbit and might contain dangerous bacteria harmful to rabbits if they are directly exposed to it.
Rabbits are very particular about the cleanliness of their environment. They don’t like getting wet, so they want when their space is dry and clean. They will do their business in one enclosure area away from their sleeping area.
Ducks are notorious for damaging grass, so they will have no issues messing up the hay piles or grass you feed your rabbit. They can be rather destructive to their environment.
We all know that rabbits will eat just about anything, so they will eat the duck’s food. It can become a health hazard because the digestive tract of rabbits will have trouble digesting the food leading to gut problems.
The one thing that can make a cohabitating situation work or not work is when the personalities of the two different species clash. Rabbits are scared of just about anything, so loud and busy ducks might cause a heart attack in the rabbits because of fear.
Ducks are also easily scared, so if you have an unneutered male rabbit, your ducks might be in danger. Male rabbis are known to fight for their territory, and while a duck can give a good pinch, they can’t defend themselves in a combat situation.
Rabbit males will bite, kick, and jump on a duck’s back if it feels threatened or if the duck is invading the rabbit’s territory. Regardless of the cute pictures we see on the internet, duck and rabbit personalities aren’t compatible.
Can Ducks and Rabbits Share the Same Space?
If sharing the same enclosure is a bad idea, can ducks and rabbits share the same space with separate pens? If you have one big area that you can divide, they can share the same space.
Below we have are a few tips that might help you keep ducks and rabbits in the same space but in different enclosures:
- Create the pond or water bath as far away from the rabbit side as possible.
- Ensure the divider between the two enclosures is at least 3 feet deep as rabbits can dig under fences.
- Keep the food on the opposite side of the divide between the duck and rabbit sides. You don’t want either to get sick from eating the wrong food.
- You need to consider giving both sides an area in their enclosure where they can escape if things become too much.
Ducks and rabbits together give all of a sigh moment, but contrary to popular belief, they can stay in the same space, but you need to divide it, so they don’t share the same space or area but not the same enclosure. It’s never a good idea to put ducks and rabbits together. Their individual needs make it very difficult, not to mention their personalities.
Ensuring that your rabbits and your ducks are happy should be the only concern you have about housing these two species. Their personalities, habits, and other needs mean they each need their own space.