Permaculture animal: Guinea Pig

Guinea pigs (cavies) are a useful permaculture animal because they can be a zero-input, multi-functioning addition to rooftop, backyard and homestead gardens.

They keep grass down, provide manure, recycle your food scraps and don’t need much space or make any noise, unlike our clucky friends the chickens. They also make great pets for kids. Guinea pigs are social animals and can also form close bonds with their carers.


Guinea pigs are voracious eating machines! They eat grass, weeds, vegetables and also mixed grains. Avoiding grains is completely possible and doesn’t seem to have any negative consequences. Food waste in the form of vegetable and fruit scraps mean another fertility cycling opportunity (that waste could be from a local cafe or restaurant). 15 guinea pigs will convert 20 kgs a week into hundreds of fertiliser pellets—a lovely landfill reduction for your local community, and fertility for your landscape!