Guinea pig care and maintenance
Guinea pig In this article, we will try to fully describe the content and care of Guinea pigs. The article summarizes the main aspects of the maintenance and care of the animals, we painted history and other minor in our view, the nuances, gathering only the most necessary and important.
Weight (at birth) 50-110 gr.;
Weight (adult animal) 700-1000 (up to 1800) gr.;
Sexual maturity – females 30 days males 60 days;
Sexual maturity for reproduction – 4 months;
The cycle is 14-16 days;
Duration of pregnancy is from 60 to 70 days;
The number of cubs is 1-5, rarely 6;
Age of weaning from mother not earlier than 21 days with a weight of not less than 160 gr.;
Body length – 24 to 30 cm.
A Guinea pig is a great pet, lack of aggression and a pretty impressive body size, simplicity in feeding and maintenance are the main advantages of this animal.
There are several classifications of breeds of Guinea pigs, which differ in the type of coat. You can still highlight rare breeds, which are less common. The most common ones:
Shorthair Guinea pigs (Self, Rex, Teddy, the Abyssinians);
Dlinnochereshkovye pigs (Sheltie, coronet, Peruvian, Texel, Merino);
Rare breeds of Guinea pigs (Skinny, Baldwin).
Each breed is represented by a large number of different color variations.
When choosing Guinea pigs follow a few simple rules:
A healthy pig should be active, sit in the corner and ruffled the pig – a bad sign.
The coat should be clean, without Golden and bald spots.
The animal should be well well-fad.
Check to see if the animal suffers from indigestion. To check it is not difficult, pick an animal and examine the fur in the anal area, it should be dry and clean.
Most important of all, completely examine the animal, especially in exposed areas of the body, ears and paws for parasites (lice, vladeete).
Cage for keeping Guinea pigs can be of different designs and from various materials — wood, plastic or metal. You cannot contain the animal in a very small cage, its size should be not less than 40 by 40 centimeters.
In the cage it is best to put heavy ceramic or fastened to the sides of the cage feeders and waterers so that the animal they flipped out. The teeth of Guinea pigs grow throughout their life, so they need to grind off, to do this, purchase or cut a branch of some fruit tree and put it in the cage.
If the cage is spacious enough, get in the toilet with litter or sawdust. Pigs almost always go to the bathroom in one place, so that a trough will make your life easier. To clean the toilet 1 times a day. Cleaning in the cell itself can be performed 1-2 times per week.
Pigs, like most rodents, are afraid of draughts, overheating (battery or open sun). You must consider all these factors and put the cage in a well lit place in the house. The average daily temperature is 18-20C o .
In the form of litter pellets can be used (for rodents) or simple sawdust. The best option is granular, as they all hold the smell longer. But you need to mix pellets and normal sawdust that would not be adoptable.
Guinea pigs – rodents, so a major part of the diet is solid food. The percentage of solid and succulent fodder: 60% hay, 20% dry feed, 20% juicy feed. Hay should always be in a kennel! It promotes better digestion, and constant eating hay helps to skiving teeth. It also contains vitamins and minerals essential to a Guinea pig.
It is very important to choose the right hay. It should be somewhat greenish and smell good, not have a musty smell and humid or moldy.
Also in the absence of solid food, in the absence of hay and feed grains – Guinea pigs can’t grind off the teeth, they grow back hooks on the back teeth, which leads to an incorrect bite, dislocation of the jaw and inability to eat!
Although Guinea pigs in the food is unpretentious, but the excessive use of fruits and vegetables can lead to health problems in the animal.
As humans and apes, Guinea pigs are unable to synthesize their own Vitamin C (ascorbic acid). So they need to give them. Indicator of Vitamin C deficiency in Guinea pigs are loss of appetite, weight loss, fur loss and General lethargy of the animal. An adult Guinea pig needs about 10-20 mg of vitamin C per 1 kg of body weight per day, pregnant females in 2 times more. Of course a certain part of the Vitamin C Guinea pigs get juicy and green grass. Also feed some Vitamin C already added. If a Guinea pig eats feed is poor in vitamin C and in winter time you can add it to the drinker of water, after dissolving the powder in water according to the desired dose.
At the moment, pet stores in a wide range of forages and mixtures for rodents and in particular Guinea pigs. Problems with search of a forage will not be! From the experience of breeders from our website, we can recommend the following food: PET (Rostov-on-don), VITAKRAFT (Germany), zoo WORLD (St. Petersburg), VACA (St. Petersburg), PRESTIG (Belgium), FIORY (Italy), CATHERINE (Russia).
Guinea pigs in Nizhny Novgorod and the region as well purchase rings or chalky mineral stone for rodents, but not all pigs are gnawing them willingly.
You can also pick herbs for yourself for a change food fresh plants ( don’t forget to wash them out and in no cases do not collect in the city and at roads/businesses ): anise, Pansy, cranberries, strawberries, calendula, clover, coriander, cow parsley, nettle, bloodroot goose, lime, alfalfa, lemon balm, woodlouse, peppermint, dandelion, cleavers, plantain, chamomile, lettuce, Timothy, caraway, yarrow, blueberry, rosehip. If You are not 100% sure that the plant is safe for Guinea pigs to give it, otherwise you may experience problems!
The branches of the lilac – poison.
A list of poisonous plants is very large, and many Guinea pigs live next to them.
With the advent of pet in your house, you should carefully review the collection of houseplants. Some of them may also have hidden harmful and even deadly instances.
Unbalanced diet — one of the most common causes of various diseases in Guinea pigs.
When feeding Guinea pigs need to abide by the rule:
To feed the animal 2 times a day, about 1-2 tablespoons. Otherwise, the animal will be obese.
Honey sticks with grains to give in the form of treats 1-2 times a week, no more.
Eliminate unintentional products: meat, fish, poultry, sweet, salty, fried, spicy, smoked, confectionery and dairy products.
Vitamins, you need to give seasonal or as needed. With proper nutrition and the content of the need for vitamins may occur only in winter, when few fresh vegetable additives to the basic diet.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ORGANISM OF GUINEA PIGS
A receding hairline. All Guinea pigs behind the ears are small bald patches that sometimes take the place of deposition of the coat.
Eating litter. Often you will notice how piggy rolls up like a lump, poking his head under her tummy, and then something actively chews. No need to be frightened, Guinea pigs, coprophagy, they eat their droppings. In this way the animals make up for lack of the necessary body substances (enzymes, vitamins) and normalize bowel function.