Backyard Poultry Forum • View topic - Co-housing Chickens with Guinea pigs or Rabbits?

Backyard Poultry Forum

Chickens, waterfowl & all poultry - home of exhibition & backyard poultry in Australia & New Zealand
Login with a social network:
It is currently Thu Dec 18, 2014 6:16 pm

All times are UTC + 10 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:59 pm 
Offline
Gallant Game
Gallant Game

Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2011 4:59 pm
Posts: 590
Location: Gilmore ACT
I have been told that its a good idea to have either a Guinea Pig or Rabbit in with my chickens to pick up the left over food. Is this an old wives tale?? Cause if not my daughter will be very excited. :rofl:


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:03 pm 
Offline
Golden Pekin
Golden Pekin
User avatar

Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 9:54 am
Posts: 11314
Location: Canberra
You don't need a guinea pig or rabbit to pick up dropped food but as far as I know rabbits can live happily with chickens. That's just a preliminary answer until someone with actual experience of it comes along. :)

_________________
Cheerio, Rach
Blue Swedish Ducks


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:05 pm 
Offline
Champion Bird
Champion Bird
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 1:40 pm
Posts: 927
Location: Canberra ACT
I've got rabbits, when ever I let them out the chooks go bonkers. Saying that I do know someone who does have a rabbit in their chook cage. Myself like to keep them separate. Chook pens can get pretty gross on the ground, don't really want my kids cuddling a filthy rabbit. But someone with experience is in a better place to comment.

_________________
Debbie
(pekins - lots of them)
http://www.canberrapekins.com


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:27 pm 
Offline
Old Mother Goose
Old Mother Goose
User avatar

Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 7:15 pm
Posts: 6337
Location: 10km North of Melbourne GPO, VIC
Guinea pigs & rabbits should not have a diet primarily of grains or seeds, as it causes disruption to their digestive system (and yes, I do know that commercial mixes for these two species sometimes have grain in them... they SHOULDN'T).

Chickens will clean up 'leftover' food in their own run, as long as you are not filling their feeder up constantly.. ie. if there's food on the ground in their pen, leave their feeder empty for a day (or half a day) & they'll soon clean it up. Don't make them clean up food that's damp or off, though. Nor should you allow any other animal to eat damp or off food.

We have four free range rabbits & a free range guinea pig, all of whom get along just fine with the chooks. Most of the chooks will move off food for the rabbits, but a few of our chooks will hassle the rabbits off food if they're very hungry or want a particular piece of food. They generally all get along just fine, with the rabbits & pig having a diet predominantly of grass. Annoyingly they also know how to work the treadle feeders, and do steal grain daily, which isn't ideal for them at all. :roll:

_________________
WINGLET - The BYP original (usernames on other poultry sites are not affiliated with BYP's Winglet, or Mr Winglet, or The Bantam Menace)
"Noise proves nothing. Often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as if she has laid an asteroid." - Mark Twain


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:15 am 
Offline
Showy Hen
Showy Hen
User avatar

Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:49 pm
Posts: 188
Location: NT
We have open guinea pig enclosures that the chickens go into when they are free ranging. At one point we lost several very small babies, no bodies left. We put up bird netting over the enclosures but still lost some more. It's not completely enclosed but hawks would have a difficult time getting in there and there are lots of hidey-holes. Having seen what they do with mice we suspect it could have been the chooks.

There have been no problems with adults or older babies and we haven't lost any since turning the budgie aviary into a maternity ward.

_________________
Deb
http://bigblueeggs.com Big Blue Eggs - chickens and opinions.
Mixed chooks, budgies, ducks and guinea pigs.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:02 am 
Offline
Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Sun Jul 31, 2011 2:44 pm
Posts: 179
Location: Rural NSW
I would be a little careful as the chooks may peck them if they are not seperated in some way or have a large enough space so that they can escape. I once had a neighbour who decided that his kid's rabbit could spend the night in the chook house with the chooks because the rabbit house was wet, the poor thing didn't survive.

Winglet can you please tell us more about free ranging guinea pigs? I have heard about people doing it, some have had great success while others have not. If I can ever get our fox problem under control I would consider doing it in the orchard to help control grass and weeds where I can not slash. The chooks and ducks are doing a good job but there are some things that they will not eat.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 6:35 pm 
Offline
Old Mother Goose
Old Mother Goose
User avatar

Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 7:15 pm
Posts: 6337
Location: 10km North of Melbourne GPO, VIC
Mukluk wrote:
I would be a little careful as the chooks may peck them if they are not seperated in some way or have a large enough space so that they can escape. I once had a neighbour who decided that his kid's rabbit could spend the night in the chook house with the chooks because the rabbit house was wet, the poor thing didn't survive.

Winglet can you please tell us more about free ranging guinea pigs? I have heard about people doing it, some have had great success while others have not. If I can ever get our fox problem under control I would consider doing it in the orchard to help control grass and weeds where I can not slash. The chooks and ducks are doing a good job but there are some things that they will not eat.


He has LOADS of places to escape when he wants to & plenty of shade throughout the garden as well as plenty of water containers (not that he drinks much). He eats the grass down to an even level, and we know exactly where he's been eating recently as there is a very defined line between the short, clipped area that he's looked after & the long bits that we need to mow... he eats whatever grass it happens to be... not as fussy as the chooks who prefer fresh shoots & green, fresh grass rather than dried hay or brown runners from some grass types.

If you could create a fox-proof ring that you could put around the trunk of each tree in your orchard... maybe a half-donut that you could move around - as large as you could make it... a guinea pig or two in there would eat the grass right down for you. Guinea pigs, like rabbits, prefer company... his girlfriend died when they were both in our metal lawn hutch... and he's befriended Harvey, the largest of our male rabbits, and he hangs out with the ducks at times.

If you have a fox problem, or have feral cats around, I wouldn't allow them to free range... they're FAST, but quite a tempting morsel for predators to go after. Not much more I can tell you really... apart from that they're VERY cute, and make an adorable 'squeaking' noise when talking to each other.

_________________
WINGLET - The BYP original (usernames on other poultry sites are not affiliated with BYP's Winglet, or Mr Winglet, or The Bantam Menace)
"Noise proves nothing. Often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as if she has laid an asteroid." - Mark Twain


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:44 pm 
Offline
Hatchling
Hatchling

Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2011 8:53 am
Posts: 5
We have the back part of our backyard fenced off for our animals. We have 4 chooks that have a coop inside the area & we let them out of the coop to free range in the day.

In the middle of the backyard we have two guinea pigs with a lockable house inside a fenced off area, the fence is about 30-40cm high. We let them out in the day & lock them up at night. I have read somewhere that Guinea pigs can't climb & so far they haven't. We have a number of short PVC pipes that they can hide in & there is a small bush that hangs over one corner & they hide under it.

We have 2 isa browns & 1 susex bantam & 1 plymouth rock bantam. So far neither the 2 guinea pigs or chooks have seemed to have taken any notice of each other. They have been tegther for nearly a year now. The chooks regularly jump the fence & foliage in the guinea pigs area & they even got into there house to eat there food (we had to make the door smaller).

So far we have never seen the chooks chase the guinea pigs or seen the guinea pigs chase the chooks. They don't seem to notice each other. The guinea pigs to have a lot of places to hide & it may be different if they were locked up together.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 7:31 am 
Offline
Clever Cockerel
Clever Cockerel
User avatar

Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2008 10:35 am
Posts: 1677
Location: Cambewarra
I have a rabbit in with my Pekins. Max has lived there for years and is now 8 years old. He just eats scratch mix and all the greens I give the Pekins. He drinks out of the auto waterer and is really happy in with the chooks.

Their pen is very large and stays nice and clean most of the time ( not so much in all this wet weather)

I don't find he eats up the food left on the ground but eats out of the feeders. What I do find is that he keeps all the mice away. There are none in the Pekin pen but there are in another one of my pens so I am going to get a Rabbit to put in there also.

Cheers
Shayne

_________________
Double Lace Gold and Blue Laced Barnevelders, Large BLS. Gold. BLG and SL Wyandottes, Pekins in many colours, 3 Rabbit, 2 Horses, a cat, fish, a Llama, a Alpaca, a Kelpie, a Maremma and a patient husband
http://shoalhavenpoultry.com.au/


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:24 am 
Offline
Old Mother Goose
Old Mother Goose
User avatar

Joined: Sun Aug 16, 2009 7:15 pm
Posts: 6337
Location: 10km North of Melbourne GPO, VIC
shayne wrote:
I don't find he eats up the food left on the ground but eats out of the feeders. What I do find is that he keeps all the mice away. There are none in the Pekin pen but there are in another one of my pens so I am going to get a Rabbit to put in there also.

Cheers
Shayne


I don't know if a rabbit will necessarily help keep mice away. Guinea pigs will actively chase off any mice, whereas rabbits aren't that fussed by them.

_________________
WINGLET - The BYP original (usernames on other poultry sites are not affiliated with BYP's Winglet, or Mr Winglet, or The Bantam Menace)
"Noise proves nothing. Often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as if she has laid an asteroid." - Mark Twain


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:14 pm 
Offline
Clever Cockerel
Clever Cockerel
User avatar

Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2008 10:35 am
Posts: 1677
Location: Cambewarra
Max does keep the mice away for sure as there are none in that pen at all. There are in the one next to it that does not have a rabbit.

I am going to give it ago and put two more in the pen with the mice and see if they can get rid of them.

Cheers
Shayne

_________________
Double Lace Gold and Blue Laced Barnevelders, Large BLS. Gold. BLG and SL Wyandottes, Pekins in many colours, 3 Rabbit, 2 Horses, a cat, fish, a Llama, a Alpaca, a Kelpie, a Maremma and a patient husband
http://shoalhavenpoultry.com.au/


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 11 posts ] 

All times are UTC + 10 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
©2004-2014 Backyardpoultry.com. Content rights reserved
freestone