Guinea pigs and chicken have a lot in common. Both are predominantly outdoor pets, and they both are social, preferring companies at all times. Guinea pigs and chickens need enclosure and run to flourish. Therefore, people mostly consider housing them together to save on space. But can guinea pigs and chickens live together?
Guinea pigs and chickens can share a standard enclosure if they are introduced while they are young. However, it is not recommended to house them together as both have different needs. Guinea pigs prefer indoor living space with a clean and secure environment. They can also get territorial in some instances.
Always take the necessary precautions while housing them together.
You should make sure that the coop is of substantial size, you will also need to be mindful of health concerns.
You should know that chickens hold diseases with no symptoms, which can make your guinea pigs fall sick.
Please note that we do not recommend keeping guinea pigs and chicken together. However, if you intend to do so then there are a few concerns you need to be aware of.
Is it a good idea to keep guinea pigs and chicken together?
You can keep guinea pigs and chicken together with the right care. But it is not a good idea to put a pair of guinea pigs into a chicken coop, and hope for the best as guinea pigs and chicken are different altogether.
It will take time for them to know each other as they have different needs.
You can keep guinea pigs and chicken together by being patient and dedicated.
Despite this, some ground rules must be taken into consideration.
Guinea pigs and chicken will only tolerate each other under the following situations:
- Introduce them when they are young: We will advise you to introduce them to each other while they are young. As both the species become intolerant as they grow older.
- Guinea pigs must be spayed or neutered: Male guinea pigs mount anything in sight. That can be considered as an act of domination, or they may be sexual. So we will advise you to neuter them as it will help to calm them down.
- Clean Environment: Guinea pigs are much cleaner as compared to chickens. Your guinea pigs can get stressed if they are surrounded by filth. It can also lead to many other health problems in guinea pigs.
- Sleeping Area: You must include a hideout for your guinea pigs in the coop. By doing this, your guinea pigs will feel safer, and they will also be cleaner as chickens poop regularly.
- Two of each animal: Just keeping one guinea pig and one chicken can make both of them feel stressed and lonely.
- Behavior: If their relationship starts collapsing, you should immediately separate these animals at once to avoid aggression.
What is the advantage of keeping chicken and guinea pigs together?
There are many benefits to keeping guinea pigs and chicken together. Some of them are discussed below:
- Space Saving: Your guinea pigs and chicken can live in one large enclosure that will also be more space-efficient than each type of animal living in separate homes.
- Company: If in case it is not possible for you to keep your guinea pigs indoors, chickens will give them a good company. It will be a joyful moment for you to see how well these animals get along. But this is only possible if they are introduced early enough.
- Security: As guinea pigs and chickens are prey animals, they even attract the same predators
- . So if they are kept together, they will enjoy more safety in numbers.
- Reduced Smell: Guinea pigs are much cleaner than chickens, but their waste has a pungent aroma compared to chicken. So, it will be mandatory for you to clean their enclosure regularly. That means that your guinea pigs will get a better hygienic environment.
- Temperatures: Guinea pigs and chickens both flourish in a stable environment. Thus it is quite easy to maintain an even environment for them.
There are many reasons to keep these animals together. But there are also many disadvantages to keeping them together, and you must learn that as well.
What is the disadvantage of keeping chicken and guinea pigs together?
If we talk in practical terms, guinea pigs and chickens are not meant to live together.
Some disadvantages of keeping your guinea pigs and chicken together are as follows:
- Food: Guinea pigs and chickens do not have the same nutritional needs. They both have different dietary needs. If they feed on each other’s meals, they might fall ill. We will suggest you feed guinea pigs separately as chickens eat anything.
- Temperaments: Guinea pigs and chickens are different in behavior. Chickens get scared of fast-moving animals, which can lead to pecking, clawing, and fighting.
- Disease: Guinea pigs and chickens can be prone to many diseases. It is even possible for them to share parasites. You must know that one unpleasant outbreak can destroy your whole animal family.
- Cleanliness: Cleanliness can be considered as both pro and con. Guinea pigs are much cleaner as compared to chickens. That means that you will have to clean their enclosure regularly. That also helps to eliminate the risk of parasites and flies, but this increases your workload.
- Mating: A male Guinea pig may mount with every chick in the enclosure. Neutering is a solution for this, but even neutering may not stop their behavior altogether.
- Coop Materials: As guinea pigs have very soft skin, they may hurt themselves on a wire chicken coop. So, we will advise you to use suitable materials for both species.
Do guinea pigs and chicken get along?
Yes, guinea pigs and chicken can get along if introduced to each other at their young age. But you will have to keep an eye on their warning signs.
Your animals can get sick from stress and anxiety. Here are some warning signs that should be taken into consideration:
- One species are running after a member of another species.
- Aggressive behavior towards humans from a calm animal
- Excessive Grooming
- Dullness and depression
If you discover such behaviors, separate them immediately for a while.
Even if separation for a while does not help, then it’s the time for a separate enclosure.
Do guinea pigs attack chicken?
Guinea pigs are considered as small animals with brave hearts. That means that if they feel frightened, they may attack chickens. That can further lead to a dangerous situation.
If guinea pigs get irritated, they can be surprisingly aggressive. As some guinea pigs are territorial animals, they may be resistant if they see a chicken encroaching on their territory.
That is why it becomes mandatory to introduce guinea pigs and chicken with each other when they are young. Guinea becomes more comfortable in sharing their space in this way.
Warning signs of guinea pigs planning an attack are as follows:
- Hair fluffing
If you discover these behaviors, immediately remove your guinea pig from the coop for a time out.
We would suggest you take immediate action. As the less out guinea pigs feel like their cues have been accepted, their angrier will become.
You should also keep an eye on your guinea pigs chasing chickens as it can be tricky because guinea pigs chase through play. On other occasions, they have a plan to tear out the chicken’s feathers.
You should let your guinea pigs chase once to see what happens. If they pull out at the last moment, then just relax as it was just a game.
Chickens can be light-footed, and they may all be enjoying themselves. As soon as you notice the first sign of teeth/claws, separate them immediately.
Can guinea pigs damage chicken eggs?
Guinea pigs will be indifferent to a chicken’s eggs. As guinea pigs are herbivores animals, they do not have any reason to think to feed on eggs.
You should know that guinea pigs are also curious. They might wonder about the eggs in their cage.
That will inspire your guinea pigs to investigate. You may find them sniffing, nudging, and there are chances that they will break the eggshell.
Chickens are very protective of their eggs. So if they discover guinea pigs messing with their eggs, it may lead to conflict between them.
The chicken will sit in a nest for 24 hours for 21 days or more and will not leave except for water. They will take turns to keep their eggs warm. That may be hard for guinea pigs to understand.
How to introduce guinea pigs and chicken?
You should introduce guinea pigs and chickens when they are young so that they can live in harmony.
We will advise you to wait until male guinea pigs are old enough to be neutered before you introduce them as it will help out guinea pigs to calm down.
You can’t introduce them by locking them together and asking them to get along. It is recommended to follow the given process step by step to introduce guinea pigs and chickens.
- You should introduce both species on different sides of the fence. Allow them to feel each other from a distance.
- You should allow them to run free together. They may ignore each other at first, but this also means that they are not scared of each other.
- Allow your chickens to run freely in the enclosure and place your guinea pigs in the run. Then after a while, reverse the roles. That will eventually help both the species to be used to share a space.
- You should keep an eye for territoriality in your guinea pigs as they may get jealous and guard their space. You can provide guinea pig-only retreat, as it will help with this process.
Do guinea pigs and chicken share diseases?
Chickens can transmit diseases to guinea pigs. Chicken poop can lead to serious health problems in our guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs and chickens also share parasites. According to studies, flea infestation is not common in chickens, but it can occur in them.
So we will not advise you to keep them together as one small mistake can destroy your whole animal family.
Can chicken make my guinea pig sick?
Many chickens have a disease called salmonella but display no symptoms. Chickens can infect guinea pigs without even realizing it. Also, many guinea pigs do not show the symptoms of the disease, though.
There is also a high risk of coccidiosis. That occurs when a parasite connects itself to a chicken’s digestive tract. If it is transmitted, it can cause serious health problems to guinea pigs and chickens.
Can guinea pigs make chicken sick?
Pasteurellosis in guinea pigs is also known as snuffles. It is a bacterial infection in the upper respiratory tract.
Snuffles is transmissible between guinea pigs. It can cause serious health problems to our guinea pigs if they have a weak immune system.
Pasteurellosis can cause serious health issues to chickens like fowl cholera. We strongly recommend you to vaccinate your chickens as it is available. It is necessary if you decide to keep two different species of animals together.
It is best to separate your guinea pigs from chickens if your piggies have snuffles.
You should provide them with a separate enclosure, and let your guinea pigs recover before they rejoin the group as it is the only way to prevent its spread.
Do guinea pigs get along with other animals?
No, it is not recommended to pair your guinea pigs with any other animals. As guinea pigs are prey animals, they are not capable of fighting with their predators especially when they are larger in size.
Many owners tried to pair their guinea pigs with rabbits, but that resulted in a terrible idea as rabbits can kill guinea pigs in no time. Rabbits can grow twice in size than that of guinea pigs.
Instead of attacking back, guinea pigs would freeze and get scared of their predators. So we advise you not to pair your guinea pigs with any other animals.
Conclusion: Guinea Pigs and Chickens
Guinea pigs can survive in the same enclosure if introduced to each other at a young age. But we advise you not to place them together as there are diseases that can be transmitted by chickens to our guinea pigs.
Chickens have salmonella with no symptoms, which can lead to serious health problems in our guinea pigs. Not only chickens, but guinea pigs also should not be paired with any other animals.
Lastly, we would like to advise you to take care of your guinea pigs and shower them with all your love and attention.
Sources: Social behavior of animals, Nutritional requirement of chicken, Diet Composition of Guinea Pigs, Guinea pig care
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