Phoebe’s Day

Phoebe is the second rabbit to live with the flock in the Little Barn. The first was Candy, the Empress of the Barnyard. She was a clever, imperious lop-eared that liked to play tricks on the chickens. If you see Betsy chasing Phoebe, it’s because she bore the brunt of many of Candy’s jokes and has little tolerance for any bunny. Phoebe, however, isn’t Candy. She is mild-mannered, and so sweet that she wouldn’t think of teasing the hens.

Phoebe genuinely likes the chickens and wants to be around them. That became clear when she abandoned her cozy rabbit hutch to live in the Little Barn. She created a den under the nesting boxes, and I accommodated her wishes by putting hay under there, and by placing her dish of rabbit pellets nearby.



In the morning, the hens jump off of the roost and mill around, waiting for me to open the pop door to let them out. Phoebe is just as eager and maneuvers into the front of the crowd, and is often first out the door.

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That’s because rabbits don’t like to mess their houses, and given a choice, they’ll use a litter area off in a corner. This is where Phoebe goes.



Rabbits are crepuscular, meaning they are most active at dawn and dusk. During the day, Phoebe naps in her den, or hangs out with the old hens dozing in the sun.



Phoebe does have bursts of activity, even at midday. She sprints around the pen, she goes over to the fence to chat with the goats, and she eats. Along with downing her pellets, Phoebe forages through the weeds and things that I put into the hens’ pen. She especially likes to gnaw on the pumpkin shell. The Ladies sometimes chase Phoebe away. They’re being chickens, and use chicken body language to defend their turf and bit of food. At best the Ladies get a beak full of fur. Phoebe is usually unimpressed and simply hops away.



Sometimes I put greens into the suet feeder hanging on the roosting bar which keeps the vegetable clean, and allows Phoebe to take her time nibbling.



Once in awhile, the chickens eat Phoebe’s rabbit food.



It’s not bad for them, but I’d rather that they eat their own pellets. My solution is to block it off. Phoebe can see out, but the hens can’t reach the food.



Unfortunately, there’s not as easy a solution to prevent Phoebe from eating the hens’ food.



It’s not ideal for a rabbit, but it is vegetarian, and the bulk of what she eats is the right stuff, so I don’t worry about it. Candy lived to the old age of nine on this same exact diet.

At dusk, the chickens go inside the coop to roost. This is Phoebe’s favorite time of the day. She’s always outside, romping, or eating, or visiting with the goats. But it’s important for her to go inside, safely tucked away from nighttime predators. I didn’t want to chase her in, so instead I trained her to come. Knowing what she wants and being consistent is the key. Every night she watches me close up the Big Barn and put the goats away. She kicks up her heels and does one last tear around the pen, and then she runs inside for her treat. Banana chips.


I feed her two, then close up the pop door and say good-night.

A bag of banana chips is $1.19. If you’d like to send Phoebe a present and support what I do here at the HenCam, you can buy her a bag here.



  1. My Lop Indy may end up moving in with the chickens by default… I built this lovely hutch for him with a den attached the issue is, is that he uses the den area as the toilet area. I dont beleive he is sleeping in there, which wasnt an issue untill now, that the temperatures are dropping below freezing at night…

    • My rabbits have never peed where they sleep. If you give him a big pile of hay off in the side of the hutch, he’ll make a cozy nest in that. That’s what Candy slept in all winter.

  2. Phoebe is a delight to watch and an inspiration to my rabbit Snoopy. We look forward to watching her this winter and Christmas season! :) From your new friends in Texas, Karen and Snoopy

  3. Thank you for this information about Phoebe and her days with the hens.. The only rabbits here are wild and if they meet up with another critter that has wings, talon and beak there is only fur found in the field or as a few days ago in front of the barn.

  4. I love hearing about the co-existence between fowl and fur. For years, I had bunnies (indoor) until I developed an allergy and keeping them inside made it impossible. I’m planning on getting a few (chicks) hens in the spring, so maybe I’ll consider adding a bunny to the mix as well. Thank you so much for sharing!

  5. Thank you for A DAY WITH PHOEBE! Sometimes when I catch her in the evening, she moves so fast, it’s like a bolt of lightening with your new camera! She is so much fun to watch. Thank you for sharing Terry.

  6. I too loved hearing about the adorable Phoebe’s day. I love the way she fits in with the chickens so perfectly. Another lovely post.

    • ps I just discovered it is the IR lens on the camera that make her eyes light up. When she makes a sprint for it, it looks like a lightening bolt!

  7. My rabbit does the same thing. She loves to sleep in the nest boxes and sleep with the chickens when it’s cold. I catch her eating the chickens food and vice versa.

  8. I would LOVE to add a bunny to my chicken coop.. .so tempted, seeing how well yours do together. I do let my chickens free range during the day, and I leave the coop open so they can come and go. Do you do this also, and what do you do with the bunny?

    I was also told by one of your readers that you have information on Cochlear implants, totally off topic. If this is true, I’d love to know your experience, and my blog post today will explain my situation.

    • I never let Phoebe out of the pen, as I’d never get her back. When I let the hens free-range, I keep her closed up safely in the coop.
      Yes, I have CIs which have transformed my life for the better. I’ve been meaning to write a blog about how I’m doing. I’ll get to it!

    • I remember Terry ended up with the hens sounding like they were clucking through Darth Vader’s mask.

  9. Awe what a wonderful story on such a precious bun bun! Bought her 4 bags of chips as a simple thank you for bringing enjoyment to my daughters day! She just loves your blog!

  10. Sounds like another “book”. I liked what Bobbie said…..perhaps an idea for a Title. “A Day With Phoebe!

    • Trader Joe’s, although you can find similar chips at Wholefoods and some supermarkets. I only feed 2 per day, as they do have sugar on them. Rabbits also love fresh banana.