The guinea pig
Although they are on the menu in some countries, in the Netherlands they are precious pets that you will love within 2 seconds!
The Guinea pig's way of communicating is particularly recognizable. The beeps as soon as the refrigerator opens and the cheerful look when he sees you with something tasty. Beautiful!
Guinea pigs are very friendly animals that live in groups. In our home, a guinea pig should never be kept alone. Always at least two Guinea pigs.
- Systematics: Cavia tschudii, Family Cavidae, Order Rodenita
- Head-body length: 30 cm (20 to 40 cm)
- Body weight: 450 to 1,000 g (max. to 1,800 g), males are larger than females
- Life expectancy : 6 to 8 years
Details of the anatomy of the guinea pig
Weakly muscled stomach: By consuming several very small portions per day, the food is pushed to the back of the intestines. Lifelong growth of the incisors and molars: Tooth wear occurs during eating because the teeth rub against each other. The duration of feed intake increases when eating raw fibres, which are intensively ground. Relatively large cecum: Conversion of fine, crude fibers by the positive intestinal flora into protein-rich and vitamin B-containing cecal droppings. These are eaten directly from the anus and undergo a second passage through the intestines.
Unlimited feeding is possible with CaviaDroom because it meets the energy needs of young animals during their growth process. to the needs of adult animals.
TriMellos® have a 3-fiber mix:
- I . Rough fibers promote tooth wear.
- I I. Fine particles (< 0.3 mm) end up in the cecum and are metabolized by the positive intestinal flora.
- I II. Particles > 0.3 mm stimulate intestinal movement. Sudden changes in food should be avoided.
Distribution of the Guinea Pig in the wild
- originally from South America
- • tschudi guinea pigs live at high altitudes in the Andes Mountains (1,600 - 4,200 m) in Peru, Bolivia and Argentina.
Natural habitat of the guinea pig
- open landscapes with low vegetation of grasses and herbs in the austere surroundings of Paramos and Puna
- wild guinea pigs move in dense vegetation through networks of hollows and holes
CaviaDroom is precisely tailored to the diet of guinea pigs kept as pets and contains all the necessary nutrients, vitamins, minerals and micronutrients.
Behavior of the Guinea Pig
- domestic animals are active during the day and at dusk, wild guinea pigs are mainly active at dusk and at night
- • amiable, in social groups with harems and territorial behavior
Guinea pigs make themselves known with sounds and have a large repertoire of sounds.
Reproduction of the Guinea Pig
- Sexual maturity: females after 4-6 weeks, males after 3 - 10 weeks
- Breeding maturity: females after 3-5 months, males after 2.5-5 months
- Number of litters: 2-3 per year
- Litter size: 1-5 litters per litter
- Gestation period: 63-70 days
- Birth weight: 50 g - 100 g, nestlings
- Weaning age: from week 6
We recommend feeding CaviaDroom YOUNG up to and including 5 months for an optimal growth process. You can then feed the animal CaviaDroom BASIC. Early castration of males after 6 weeks makes it possible to keep a pair from the start.
Particulars of the reproduction of the Guinea pig
Females are fertile again 6 to 15 hours after parturition (postpartum estrus). Gender differences: the female genital opening has the shape of a "Y", in the male the round genital opening and the anus are further apart.
Nutrition of the Guinea Pig
foli herbivore: The diet consists of a multitude of green plants supplemented with carrots, vegetables and fruit. Fruits may only be offered in limited quantities due to their high sugar content. Provide sufficient hay of good quality as well as fresh drinking water every day. Give branches to gnaw on. Fresh food can be given from week 6. The amount of fresh feed and also the amount of grass that the animals can eat outdoors must be increased slowly so that the intestinal flora can adapt and digestive problems can be prevented.
Balanced long-life recipe: The nutritional needs vary according to the different phases of life: CaviaDroom is precisely tailored to this from YOUNG to SENIOR. Hay from protected meadows and FreshGras Hay are characterized by a multitude of green plants and herbs (biodiversity). The long, crispy stems ensure optimal tooth wear.
Good Composition of Guinea Pig Food
- Crude protein (Rp): 12 - 14%
- Crude fat (RVe): 2 - 3%
- Crude fibers (RVz): 18-22%
- Crude fiber-starch ratio: at least 3:1
An optimal crude fiber-starch ratio meets the energy needs of adult animals and/or the growth phase of young animals. This protects the animal against obesity.
- Calcium (Ca): Adult animals: 0.6 - 0.8%, 0.6% Ca to avoid bladder grit/stones. Young animals: 0.9 - 1.0% for bone formation during the growth phase
- Phosphorus (F): 0.4 - 0.6% (Ca-F ratio: 1.5 - 2: 1)
Monocomponent feed (TriMello®) prevents the selection of energy-rich components and avoids a nutrient deficiency. The sensitive cecal flora can gradually adapt thanks to a gradual change in food. The transition from starchy, low-fiber muesli or extrudate to bunny food is easier when feeding Nature Shuttle. TriMellos® with grains and native, healthy components are the right intermediate step when switching to low-starch, high-fiber bunny food.
Guinea pigs cannot produce vitamin C themselves and require a daily supply of vitamin C (10 - 20 mg per kg body weight). CaviaDroom contains at least 600 mg of stabilized vitamin C and thus covers a higher need for vitamin C in times of stress and illness.
Housing for the Guinea Pig
Don't just keep it; We recommend keeping at least a pair: 1 castrated male and 1 to 3 females. In a group of males, uncastrated animals can bite each other after reaching sexual maturity. Do not keep with rabbits or other rodents.
Rabbits and guinea pigs cannot communicate with each other. While rabbits make themselves understood with body language (lying against each other, mutual body care) and smells, guinea pigs communicate through sounds and smells.
Position of the Guinea pig cage
- no direct sunlight
- relative humidity below 70%
- optimal ambient temperature 18 to 22° C
Drafts in combination with high humidity increase the risk of respiratory infections. To avoid association with predators, the cage/house should be on a raised level and the opening should be on the side.
Size of the Guinea pig cage
- at least 120 x 60 x 50 cm (W x D x H) for 2 guinea pigs
- for each additional animal the area must be 20% larger
- also offer the option of daily exercise (under supervision!)
The development of natural behavior, such as extensive exploring and playing, is mainly stimulated by allowing the animal to roam freely - also in the home.
Ground cover for the Guinea pig
- well absorbent
- odor-binding, very ammonia-binding
- low dust
- replace regularly
Litter from the bunny Bedding series, e.g. Absorber (on the bottom of the cage) in combination with Comfort or Linum, shows all the good properties of high-quality litter. It is optimal for guinea pigs to walk on.
Furnishing of the guinea pig enclosure
- 1 house with two openings per animal
- elevated berth
- gnawing wood
- feed in sturdy clay or ceramic bowls (clean the bowls daily)
- drinking water in bottles or bowls (change the water daily)
- hay in coverable rack
Outdoor enclosure for the guinea pig
- possible all year round
- provide protection against direct sunlight (at least half of the cage should be in the shade), rain, wind and predators
- take measures against digging under the fence of the cage
- frost-free house/shelter
Especially guinea pigs that are kept outside in a cage should have their backside checked daily, especially in the summer months, to detect any fly maggots (myiasis) in time.
Handling the Guinea Pig
- During the first few days, guinea pigs need a lot of rest to get used to it.
- Guinea pigs are suitable for children aged 8 years and over under parental supervision
- Lift guinea pigs with hands on their chest and pelvis.
- bunnyINTERACTIVE stimulates guinea pigs both mentally and physically, intensifies the bond between owner and animal and improves confidence.
The Enjoy Nature range offers a multitude of natural products that are suitable for building a bond of trust during the adjustment period and as an incentive for playing and exploring behavior. Check the animal's health daily, regularly checking the incisors, anogenital area, coat and nails. A weight check should be done once a week.
Indications of disease in the guinea pig
Weight loss, reduced food and water intake, altered defecating and urinating behavior as well as a rough coat are among other signs of a disease.
To determine the cause and treatment, a veterinarian should be consulted as soon as possible. If the guinea pig's teeth are not worn down correctly, treatments must be carried out by a veterinarian under anesthesia.