Guinea pigs are social animals that like living together. If kept alone, guinea pigs tend to get lonely and can even get sick from it.
This very reason and the advice to get a cagemate for your pet may prompt you to look for a companion for them. You may decide to simply adopt another guinea pig.
However, when getting another guinea pig you should consider the sex you are getting. The opposite sex gets along well but they will mate and give you a litter of guinea pigs unless spayed or neutered while same-sex male guinea pigs fight more often trying to establish their territories. Female guinea pigs get along better.
But what if you opt for a different species as your pet addition like a chicken? Chicken are social animals too.
Can they live together with guinea pigs? Let’s dive into that possibility.
Can guinea pigs and chicken live together?
Guinea pigs and chicken can live together but it’s not the best idea. It’s easy for them to cohabitate as they both like socializing, are not naturally aggressive animals, need clean living spaces and it will help you save on space. However, both animals also have different food needs, personalities and may spread diseases to each other.
Reasons why guinea pigs and chicken can live together
Both guinea pigs and chicken have dominance tendencies and always try to establish social rank among themselves. Here are some of the reasons why you would have them living together.
Save on space
The biggest advantage of putting together these two pets would be to save up on space. Having one large enclosure would be ideal for both of them.
This will help you save up on space as you will not need to build different enclosures for each pet. One will be enough for them to run around, have their food, and take bathroom breaks in.
Are both prey
Both are prey animals with similar predators like snakes. They can safely live together as they will not attack and feed on each other.
Guinea pigs and chicken can cohabitate as they are not aggressive animals. When introduced to each other from a young age, they will get used to each other and learn to live with each other without major problems.
Reasons why guinea pigs and chicken should not live together
There are various reasons why guinea pigs may live in harmony with chicken. However, there are also reasons why they shouldn’t and these cons outweigh the pros.
Chicken are very prone to diseases and usually, the diseases are not easily detectable. The diseases can be passed on through their poop.
Bacteria like salmonella may be cross-infected from chicken to guinea pigs bringing about health problems that can be fatal if not treated fast.
Both animals can transmit parasites to each other. A parasite infestation can get serious and clear out all your pets.
Guinea pigs and chicken will have different personalities as they are different animal species. Chicken may get scared if guinea pigs move fast around the enclosure and think that they are predators.
Guinea pigs may also get scared if chicken get closer to stare at them as chicken are curious animals. The fear of each other may bring about defensive tendencies where each animal will want to protect themselves bringing about pecking and scratching.
Also, guinea pigs always have their large eyes open and chicken may accidentally or intentionally peck on them with their sharp beaks. This will bring about eye injuries you don’t want in your pet.
Guinea pigs and chicken eat different foods due to different nutritional needs. For instance, guinea pigs require Vitamin C supplements as they cannot naturally produce it for themselves.
If they keep eating chicken feed this will result in malnutrition and may bring about health problems. They could get sick from eating each other’s food.
Guinea pigs like living in clean environments. Untidy environments could easily stress them out.
Chicken too require their environment to be clean. Both animal species get diseases if they live in dirty environments.
Having them in the same enclosure will make them prone to disease as they tend to scatter their food and they normally poop a lot.
You will need to clean up their enclosure more frequently too and it may be tiring.
Guinea pigs can get territorial with their space. Chicken will not understand this and will roam all over the space.
This could make guinea pigs stressed out and agitated as they will not understand why the chicken are constantly getting in their marked territory.
Guinea pigs and chicken tend to attract rodents like rats and mice. This is because of their food that is usually scattered everywhere and if the food is not taken away if uneaten.
Rats and mice also eat eggs and small chicken which may attract them to your pets’ enclosure. Although chicken may protect their offspring and kill the rodents, an infestation may be harmful to your pets.
The rodents could stress them out and give them diseases.
Signs your pets are not getting along
Your pets may get along well and other times they may not get along. Signs they are not getting along are:
Running and chasing each other
Sometimes if they are running after each other they could just be playing. Always keep a keen eye on them to ascertain if they are playing.
If they keep chasing each other and seem aggressive towards each other, then they are not thrilled to live together.
Guinea pigs may start showing withdrawal signs and they may chatter their teeth to show agitation.
Chicken will cluck constantly if they sense danger. If your chicken keep clucking it means that they feel threatened and they could be viewing your guinea pig as a predator.
What to do when keeping both pets together
- Introduce them when they are young.
- Always separate any animal that shows signs of illness.
- Keep them separately if they don’t cohabitate well.
- Clean their space as often as possible.
- Ensure their enclosure is big enough to accommodate them or better yet, divide it and let each pet have a separate space.
Guinea pigs and chicken can live together although there may be some problems associated with it. It’s good to keep them separated even if they are sharing an enclosure.
Always keep their space clean and watch out for any unusual behaviors.