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Guinea pigs: breeding, care and advice for the management of small guinea pigs. From the cage to living with cats.
THEGuinea pigs(Cavia porcellus) are small rodents that are very successful in our country such as pets. In other contexts, the breeding of guinea pigis intended for use in research laboratories (lab rat) or for food purposes. Fortunately, its use in the laboratory has decreased dramatically in recent decades. Yes, thebreeding of guinea pigs it can also be for food purposes, even if it will be painful for some to discover, only in the record, we report that in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and guinea pigit is cooked a bit like we do with chicken: fried, baked, grilled, rotisserie ...).
Guinea pigs: breeding
If you are thinking ofraise a guinea pig, know that it is an animal that can suffer from loneliness: it is better to prepare a cage large enough to accommodate two or moreGuinea pigs.
THEGuinea pigsthey are intelligent animals: they can recognize and abindto their cage mates and also to other animals and humans. AbreedingMoreGuinea pigsit can only be functional if each piece has enough space. If thecagenot big enough, guinea pigs can end up competing for territory.
Domestic breeding, in general, is limited to a large cage, although some reared ones dedicate the entire room to guinea pigs or even decide to raise free guinea pigs. If your choice is that ofraise free guinea pigs at homeI recommend that you consult the guide: free guinea pig at home.
Guinea pig: cage
Therecagethe best is probably the one in metal mesh, very solid: however, know that the floor must be covered with a litter: the metal mesh, although easy to clean, can cause injuries to the paws of guinea pigs that will end up getting sick with an infection very common which has as a symptom of the small ulcers on the legs.
The cage must therefore be enriched with a litter, the most common are those of red cedar or pine. but there is no shortage of bases made with poplar, paper products, vegetables taken from corn cobs, straw and heterogeneous mixtures of materials.
Incagecan not miss a bowl for food even if iGuinea pigsthey are famous for being quite messy: they mix food with the litter box and the most unruly specimens deposit urine and feces right next to the food, making it difficult to clean the cage.
Coexistence with hamsters and dwarf rabbits
If you are thinking of putting aguinea pig and a hamsteror a guinea pig and other rodents such as dwarf rabbits, know that guinea pigs are very sensitive.
In theory, the hamster and the guinea pig can live together in the same cage but there are some factors you need to know:
- Often, hamsters become aggressive and tend to subdue theguinea pig
- By sharing the space with different species, iguinea pigs do not reproduceeasily
- They become more sensitive to respiratory diseases
As for dwarf rabbits, be aware that any other larger rodent will tend to treat theguinea piglike a prey. A dwarf rabbit, even if of similar size, is stronger than the guinea pigand can cause damage.
Guinea pig and cat
The cat, in theory, represents a real predator: iGuinea pigsthey are still rodents, however it must be said that a lot depends on the feline's temperament. As shown in the photo above, there is no shortage of cases of adaptation betweencat and guinea pigthat end up sharing the same domestic spaces.
Guinea pigs: nutrition
Diet is a major factor incare of guinea pigs. The wild counterpart feeds on grass: the teeth are particularly suitable for gnawing plant material and would like to continually gnaw! There is no shortage of ad hoc mixtures on the market that can be used to feed guinea pigs.
If you have the audacity to keep the guinea pig free in the garden, know that many plants can be poisonous to him. Beware of all bulb plants (tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, onions ...) and plants such as hellebore, hemlock, privet, wild celery, belladonna ... The tendency to gnaw on anything could induce the guinea pig to eat plants poisonous to him even when full.
Does the guinea pig eat its feces?
Yes, the guinea pig can eat its own poop. This behavior is called "coprophagy", in practice the guinea pig eats its feces but not in a wayconfused. Some rodents produce cecotropes (caecal pellets) that is, particular fecal excretions containing vitamins, fibers and bacterial strains useful for the digestive system. These excretions have a softer consistency. If you notice that the guinea pig eats its feces, it is completely normal.