Most people always wonder if their guinea pigs and birds can live together. Although the most common answer you will get is it depends upon the space, birds breed, personality, and your arrangement. But there is a lot more to it that you must know.
You can have both guinea pigs and pet birds in your home, but they should never share an enclosure. There is a risk of the spread of diseases. Also, the dietary requirements of both of them are different altogether. Keeping them separately but allowing them to play together is the ideal situation.
Each of them has their own personality. It is possible that one guinea pig can be terrified of budgies or other birds, and another has no concern by their presence.
It can be the same for the birds as well. One bird can behave territorially, whereas another can ignore a guinea pigs altogether.
It is advisable to keep the guinea pigs and birds in separate rooms of the house. If you are busy in your work and don’t have the time to supervise them, then never let them share a common space.
That is not only to separate the animals to make sure that they will not harm each other but also to prevent the cross-contamination of fecal matter and food.
There are a lot more concerns you need to be aware of. So, let us get into further details now.
Can you keep birds and guinea pigs together?
Most of the small pet owners had a question: can you keep the birds and guinea pigs together in the same house safely? The answer can be a little bit confusing, and it depends on both their unique personality and the type of bird.
Both of the creatures, guinea pigs and birds can live together peacefully in the same house.
Guinea pigs and birds should be allowed to live together in the same enclosure, even if the aviary is big. There can be risks of cross-contamination for bacteria, fungal infections, and inter-species diseases.
Also, birds and guinea pigs cannot consume the same food. There are two essential parts of owning the bird and guinea pigs, first is to Keep the enclosures of each animal in the different rooms, and another is to supervise them whenever they are together.
Some of the specific bird species are suitable to live with guinea pigs. Lorikeets and budgies are ideal for guinea pigs, as they are quiet and friendly birds.
It would be best if you remembered that guinea pigs are known as prey animals so that they can frighten easily, and they can get stressed out from the noise of birds.
So, it is crucial that you introduce them slowly so that your guinea pigs can get used to the birds.
Can guinea pigs get sick from birds
Birds and guinea pigs are susceptible to certain parasites, bacteria, fungi, mites, and viruses. Some of them can be transmitted between the two species.
Giardia parasite causes the condition of giardiasis. Giardia duodenalis is believed to be one of the parasites’ subspecies, which is commonly found in the intestines of guinea pigs. That signifies that birds who consume the contaminated droppings of guinea pigs can suffer from giardiasis, which is very harmful.
In general, guinea pigs are very unlikely to suffer due to these parasites. However, this is not the same for pet birds.
Tularemia is another disease. Tularemia is an uncommon disease, and it is caused by the Francisella tularensis bacterium, which is also known as the deer fly fever.
It mostly affects small mammals like guinea pigs and rabbits, but it can be transferred into birds as well. This infection is easily transmitted, through the consumption of contaminated water and food, open wounds, and even through airborne bacteria.
On the top of bacteria and parasites, the fungal diseases can be transferred between the birds and guinea pigs.
Among which, aspergillosis is one of the fungal diseases that can grow in the lungs and can cause infections in the respiratory system. The pulmonary aspergillosis is analyzed in most of the species of domestic creatures.
Also, this needs to be noted that guinea pigs can be litter trained, whereas it is practically impossible for the birds. Some of the domestic birds are very intelligent, and they can be potty trained. However, this is not the same for all types of domestic birds.
Don’t try to keep the enclosure of guinea pigs and birds the same. Even if the aviary or enclosure size is large, don’t try to put them, as space doesn’t matter. The thing which matters is cross-contamination and other life risks.
Guinea pigs are pure herbivores. The food of some birds is not similar to the food of guinea pigs.
Bird food includes some specific insects, corn, grains, and seeds. If guinea pig consumes this, they can have a lot of problems that can affect the health of guinea pig, including GI stasis and impaction.
The eating habit of birds is very messy. They are likely to toss their food all-around their cage. A guinea pig can eat this food. And, a bird can eat the food dish of guinea pigs in return.
Birds can eat fresh vegetables as it is suitable for a few birds like parrots, but the pellets of guinea pigs are not ideal for them.
There will be a cause of concern for the droppings of both guinea pigs and birds from contaminating water or food.
Because of fecal bacteria, the drinking water will become unsafe for both of them, and it can also transfer viruses, parasites, and diseases.
Hence, guinea pigs and birds can not live together in the same enclosure.
Are guinea pigs scared of birds?
One of the natural predators of guinea pigs is a bird. A guinea pig can consider anything larger than a dove as a possible threat.
Generally, domestic birds are not found in the family of prey birds, except falconers. However, domestic birds do carry a similarity to prey birds. This can immediately trigger your guinea pig’s senses.
Guinea pigs will see most birds as a predator. Because of this, they can be terrified. They can also suffer from a wide range of diseases due to extreme stress.
The birds that are small in sizes, such as budgies and finches, have a low risk of resemblance to the eagles, falcons, and hawks that are considered as predators for our guinea pigs.
However, even small birds can create loud noises. Guinea pigs cherish calm environments as they feel comfortable in such environments.
Do birds attack guinea pigs?
Some domestic birds can attack the guinea pigs out of the intention to eat and hunt them. The bigger parrots, such as Blue Macaws and African Greys and Blue Macaws, can not do this.
The parrots are not hunters, they are foragers, and they mostly eat seeds, fruits, vegetation, and nuts. However, sometimes they go through hormonal changes that make them aggressive.
If some birds are nesting or territorial, they can dive or drop downwards at the guinea pig. That is not a behavior of a predator. That is a behavior of defense. There is a very least chance of an actual attack, which involves scratching or biting.
Few birds can attack when they are afraid and cornered. Those birds which have clipped wings and are cornered by a guinea pig, they wave their wings, they can shriek or scream, or can bite the guinea pig.
That means that you need to supervise them whenever they are together. It is not restricted to some specific species, as any bird can do this.
Can guinea pigs kill birds?
Maybe guinea pigs don’t look dangerous, but when they are frightened, they will protect themselves. The tendency of a guinea pig will always be to hide and run away. However if they are cornered and have no other choice, a guinea pig can attack, bite, and scratch at the threat.
Guinea pigs can kill small birds quickly. Frightened guinea pigs mostly attack the little birds by kicking or biting for their protection; otherwise, they don’t intend to attack them.
The teeth of the guinea pig can cause fatal damage. Also, the guinea pig’s tackle is also mighty, which can cause serious injury to the skeletal structure of most small birds.
A guinea pig can hurt even the medium-sized birds. Even if the damage is not significant, the treatment and surgery of small creatures, such as birds, will need a specialist. It can cost you hundreds of dollars in vet bills and may even result in permanent damage to the bird.
In some instances, the birds can fight back and can hurt the guinea pig by their beak. It will be trouble if something happens with the ears and eyes of the guinea pig. Also, It can be harmful if a giant bird bites the neck as it can potentially strike an artery.
Also read: Can guinea pigs and chicken live together?
Can budgies live with guinea pigs?
Parakeets is another name of budgies as these birds are one of the most common birds that are kept as a pet in many houses.
They are perfect companions with their calm and friendly nature, lovely feathers, and good aptitude. Also, they are categorized in the smallest and quietest domestic birds and can be easily handled.
Budgies are the best choice for those owners who have guinea pigs, as budgies are a very calm, gentle, and quiet bird.
Although they will need their separate enclosure, guinea pigs and budgies can peacefully live together in the same room.
But whenever you allow them to come out of the enclosure, you need to keep an eye on both of them. And maybe the guinea pig needs a period of adjustment as they will become habituated with the budgie.
Can cockatiel live with guinea pigs?
Cockatiels are acceptable, as they can live together with your guinea pig in the same house. Make sure you keep them in a separate enclosure.
Cockatiels love to chatterer and sing a lot, which can bother some guinea pigs.
Can parrots live with guinea pigs?
If the parrots are brought up correctly and socialized in the early stage they can stay together with a guinea pig in the same house.
Please don’t buy those parrots who make a loud noise, for example, Macaws, Quakers, and Caiques, as their chattering voice can cause stress to your guinea pig.
Some of the parrots are vocal by nature whereas some birds can be quiet and very shy, even if they belong to the same bird species. If you already have a parrot who is quiet and calm, you can surely add a guinea pig in your family without any concern.
Birds and guinea pigs can peacefully live together. That doesn’t mean that they can live in the same enclosure, as it can cause many health risks.
However, If some specific conditions are fulfilled, both birds and guinea pigs can live together in the same room of a house.
Sources: Social behavior of animals, Diet Composition of Guinea Pigs, Guinea pig care
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