Most of the time, Guinea pig owners prefer to keep Guinea pigs in a pair or simply own only one Guinea pig. But, can Guinea pigs live with chicken? In theory – yes. However, it’s not recommended that these animals live together, as even Guinea pigs and rabbits aren’t going to go well with each other. Having your animals concealed in a single cage or space isn’t going to turn up as a good idea, although it may sound practical.
Many owners want to save some space by merging Guinea pigs with other animals, but it’s always better to let your Guinea pig enjoy its peace.
Let’s delve deeper into this topic, shall we?
Why Guinea Pigs Can Live With Chicken?
Let’s start by examining why Guinea pigs can live with chicken. Theoretically, both Guinea pigs and chicken aren’t a predatory animal and they aren’t prone to attack each other. Sure, a Guinea pig eats a bit different food, but they aren’t carnivores. Looking from that angle, we can assume that a Guinea pig and a chicken would go pretty well. If you pair a newborn Guinea pig with a newborn chicken, this could very well function, in terms of peace and relationship between each other.
But, as chicken have a very sharp beak, they are most likely going to injure a Guinea pig accidentally. Young chicken tends to go around and poke everything they see as interesting, including insects, some plants, and similar. When it comes to the size, a small chicken isn’t much bigger than an average Guinea pig. Depending on the behavior, a Guinea pig is more likely to behave wildly than the chicken. They can be really loud and possess high energy levels. Still, this wouldn’t represent a problem for a Guinea pig and chicken, if the cage or the space they live in is big enough.
Why Guinea Pigs Can’t Live Live With Chicken?
Guinea pigs can’t live with chicken because of various bacterias that can be found in chicken poop. As you’ve probably known, salmonella is a pretty common bacteria that can be found not only in poop but also in raw eggs. That’s why it’s recommended that you boil or fry your eggs before you eat them. A bacteria like salmonella can do some serious damage to your Guinea pig, making it vomit, have a fever, and even die if not treated well and on time.
What about food, then? Well, Guinea pigs have a different schedule and a bit different needs. Guinea pigs eat several times a day and they require lots of vitamin C per day. Chicken doesn’t eat the same food. If you try to feed both your chicken and a Guinea pig with the same food, it will result in vitamin deficiency and unbalanced diet for one of your animals in the cage. It’s logical that every animal is different and that every animal needs different treatment and nutrition to live healthily.
Chicken belongs to fowls and Guinea pigs are mammals. On top of that, a Guinea pig is still a half-wild animal which can show some of the primal instincts and sometimes get in conflict with your chicken. Some owners even reported that Guinea pigs got bullied by chickens, as they grew bigger and were more dangerous, especially male chickens. Roosters are very dangerous and are even keen on attacking people. A Guinea pig wouldn’t even be a match!
Can Guinea Pigs Live With Any Other Animal?
If you’ve never seen any Guinea pig owner keeping his/her pig with other animals… well, that’s because it’s not recommended. Rodents are the kind of animals that aren’t going to attack other animals in order to defend themselves. Instead, they’ll just freeze in fear and wait for any other predatory animal to kill them. As such, rodents usually go well with each other, but not Guinea pigs. Some owners even tried pairing rabbits with Guinea pigs and it didn’t go well.
There were numerous cases in which rabbits attacked Guinea pigs and even killed them. As you probably know, rabbits can grow very large, even twice the size of a single Guinea pig, and even more! However, there is an exception and that’s a mellow dwarf rabbit. If you’ve never heard of it before, it’s one of the smallest breeds of rabbit, weighing from 0.5 to 1.13 kg and it’s definitely one of the cutest rabbits you’ll ever see!
Since we’re still talking about two different animals, a mellow dwarf rabbit and Guinea pigs have different nutrition needs, although they are almost equal in size. As we mentioned earlier, Guinea pigs require a lot of Vitamin C, while rabbits don’t require any special vitamin treatment. However, these animals eat hay, so you can keep the hay rack full at all time. The only exception is the Vitamin C which you can supplement to your Guinea pig’s nutrition in a form of tablet or lozenge.
The main reason why Guinea pigs can’t live with any other animal is that of the size and habits of other animals. Although rabbits seem small, they are far larger than any Guinea pig out there and even a slight kick from its hind leg can cause great damage to a Guinea pig. Guinea pigs already play rough with other Guinea pigs, but they can’t pose a significant threat like bigger animals. That’s why the constant monitoring is advised and if you don’t have a lot of time to do that, it’s better that you don’t put any other animal with a Guinea pig.
Can They Live With Predatory Animals?
As long as your Guinea pig is in its cage, having a predatory animal like a dog or cat is safe. But, not all cages are dog or cat-proof and that’s something to take into an account. While the cat can easily access the cage with its paws, dogs can take down a whole cage and injure the pig while it’s in it. It also depends on the dog’s personality, but dogs are much more friendly with Guinea pigs than cats. Cats will, in most cases, simply chase the pig and fatally injure it. A well-trained dog can indeed live with a Guinea pig, even when it’s outside the cage.
Speaking of that, you can try to introduce your Guinea pig to your pet. The introduction should consist of you holding a Guinea pig in your hand and holding a dog or a cat in the other hand. For bigger dogs, a leash is a necessity. Try to pay attention to the initial reaction of your dog or a cat. If you can see that it isn’t going well, you can try to socialize the dog to react better, although we don’t recommend that you go for it, unless you’re an experienced dog owner.
All in all, you should definitely prevent any physical contact between your predatory (or any other animal) animal and Guinea pig.
How to Protect Guinea Pigs from Other Animals?
Whether it’s a big or small animal, Guinea pigs need to be safe and protected. Not only in a way that the physical contact is forbidden, but also any kind of contact. As we mentioned earlier, most animals carry some amount of bacterias that can negatively impact a Guinea pig’s life. Let’s use chicken as an example. Although they aren’t stinky, they carry some bacterias like salmonella. Salmonella is very easily manifested in every living being including Guinea pigs and humans. This bacteria can also be found in places with low hygiene.
That’s why regularly cleaning Guinea pig’s cage is a must. If you have chickens in your household, be sure to clean the cage every two or three days. A cage with a narrow wire mesh spacing is also a great idea. The wider the wire mesh is, the bigger the chances of touching your Guinea pig is possible. If you have a bit more space in your household, try to create a bigger distance between your chicken and Guinea pigs.
Alternatively, keeping your chicken away from your Guinea pigs can be done by elevating the cage a bit. Don’t go too high, though. Placing a cage on the table is always a good idea and in most cases, a chicken will not be able to get a hold of it. Don’t try to save cash by buying a cage that’ll be only means to an end. Instead, buy a quality cage for your Guinea pig, with quality material and lots of protection from the chicken and other animals.
To digress, let’s pack all we just said in a few sentences. Guinea pigs can survive with chicken, but SHOULD NOT live with them. Your Guinea pig should only live with other Guinea pigs and not rabbits, chicken or any predatory animals. Not only that a Guinea pig can be severely injured but also get dangerous bacteria and suffer from food and vitamin deficiency.