Guinea pigs are a favorite pet in many families. They are social, friendly, and playful, with many claiming that they require low maintenance.
Having such an adorable pet can tempt you to bring home more pets. A bird could be one of the pets you are thinking of adopting.
Or, it could be the vise versa. Maybe you have an adorable chatty and songful bird and you’re thinking that a guinea pig would be a perfect pet addition.
Both scenarios will make you curious about whether guinea pigs and birds can cohabitate. Well, read along to find out.
Can guinea pigs and birds live together?
Guinea pigs and birds can live together in the same home but not in the same space. Each pet should have separate living areas. This is to avoid cross-infections between the two pets and fights that could arise. They could also be scared of each other which would not be an ideal living situation for either of them.
Can guinea pigs get along with birds?
Guinea pigs can get along with birds especially if they were introduced at a young age. They will grow up used to each other and live in harmony in the same home.
No matter how much they seem to enjoy each other’s company, they should not be put in the same enclosure even when one has enough space for both of them to live in.
Usually, they will just ignore each other and go on their days as if the other does not exist. Sometimes they may be curious about the other and stare at each other.
Unless they are predator birds, and most domestic birds are not, apart from falcons, they can get along and have no problem with each other’s presence.
Why can’t guinea pigs live with birds
Various reasons lead to the separation of these two pets.
These reasons are:
Birds and guinea pigs can suffer from infections and diseases that could easily be passed on from one to the other. For this very reason, you should not have them close to each other.
They could be infected with bacteria, fungi, mites, and viruses that could be passed on through their stool. Either animal could poop on food or water meant for the other bringing about in both species.
Birds usually eat grains, insects, corn, and seeds whereas guinea pigs eat hay, veggies, fruits, and pellets. Their foods are different and each animal should only eat what’s in their bowl.
If they are living together, however, the animals could indulge in each other’s foods which could make them sick.
Do guinea pigs fear birds?
Guinea pigs are prey animals and birds are one of their numerous predators. Eagles and hawks are always turning these furry balls into a meal.
This makes guinea pigs fearful of birds especially large ones. A large flying bird could make a guinea pig run and hide for safety.
If your pet bird is big and you let them out to fly in the presence of a guinea pig, they will surely get frightened thinking that’s a predator about to catch them.
Small birds like cockatiels though will not scare guinea pigs and they could easily ignore each other’s presence.
Can birds hurt guinea pigs?
Domestic birds will mainly feed on grains and seeds so to them guinea pigs are not another meal they will salivate for. But if a curious guinea pig decides to satisfy their curiosity by getting closer, the bird could feel threatened and try to defend themselves.
They may use their beaks on guinea pigs and peck them. This could cause injuries if the beak touches ears, eyes, or the neck where it could strike an artery.
Can guinea pigs hurt birds?
Guinea pigs are very gentle pets and they never need to be aggressive unless irritated or scared. Guinea pigs run and hide as a defense mechanism.
If a bird decides to come close to them and they are not able to run away, they will be prompted to attack and save their lives. They will bite and scratch ferociously at the bird.
The outcome could be fatal if the bird was small. Medium-sized birds too could get serious injuries.
Guinea pigs have sharp hearing capabilities that make them hear even the smallest of sounds. This profound hearing nature makes them dislike and get irritated by noise.
Although guinea pigs may make their fair share of noise, birds can be quite loud and chatty. The constant sounds can stress guineas out and make them depressed and unhappy.
What to do about guinea pigs living together with birds
As we have seen, both pets living together can be dangerous to some extent. Ensure that they are in different enclosures and preferably, different rooms.
Let them out of their spaces at different times and give each pet their recommended food.
Which birds can live with guinea pigs
Not all birds can live in the same home as guinea pigs. Some are predators while others are extremely noisy.
Good matches for guinea pigs are:
Budgerigars or parakeets, as they are called, are a common bird pet that’s one of the smallest and quietest domestic birds. They are calm, friendly, easy to handle, and look adorable.
Due to their gentle nature, they would make great companions for your guinea pig. They could even live in the same room in different enclosures but always keep an eye on them when you let them out.
Cockatiels are other small domestic birds that love chatting and whistling. Guinea pigs can be irritated by their noise but the birds are not extremely loud.
People love parrots and they can get quite noisy. If you want to get a pet parrot, opt for the quieter kind like the calm Senegal parrot.
Guinea pigs get along with some pet species but they don’t get along with others. They can have good relations with animals like cats, dogs, birds, and frogs but will be afraid of snakes, ferrets, mice, etc.
Keep birds and guinea pigs separately to avoid cross-infections and injuries.