- Guinea Pigs.
- Varieties • Abyssinian – Hair is made up of swirls called rosettes • American – Short glossy hair • Peruvian – Long hair • Teddy – Short, Kinky hair • Texel – Long curly coat • http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=18+1800&aid=2838
- Characteristics • Rodents • Adults weigh – 1-4 pounds • Body is short and stocky with short legs • Excellent hearing • Communicate with high pitched squeals and whistles • 2 males can not live together.
- Apply pressure by genitals to identify if it is a male or female. Females have “Y” shaped genital area.
- Housing • Cages should be wide and deep so that they do not scatter bedding around • House • Chew Toys • Food bowl that they Can not knock over Water bottle.
- Feeding • Guinea pigs are vegetarians • Pellets from pet store • Guinea pigs cannot synthesize vitamin C so it must be supplied in their diet • Fresh greens, fruits, green vegetables are great treats for GP • Timothy Hay every day • Guinea pigs drink a lot of water.
- CAUTION:Food to AVOID at All Costs (Guinea Pigs) • Altered food: cooked, tinned, preserved, etc. • Pickled vegetables: sour krauts, dills, capers • Potatoes: skin and eyes are poisonous, very starchy, high in oxalic acid • Nuts, Seeds, Lentils, Beans (exception are green beans) • Rhubarb • Mushrooms • Red hot chilli peppers, Jalapeno peppers, Hot herbs and spices • Collard Greens: could cause gas • Bok choy • Dairy products, Meat, Fish, Eggs, Bread, Chocolate • Alcohol, Teas, Coffee, Carbonated Drinks, Fruit juices (exception can be made on sugar-free or unsweetened juices) • Peanutbutter, cakes, cookies, baked goods • Iceberglettuce: practically no nutritional value, very fibrous and watery • Cornkernels, Popcorn: risk of choking • Seeds: risk of choking • Tomatoleaves • Tamarilloleaves • Avocado, Coconut: too high in fat • Taro: dangerous if eaten raw • Jams, jellies and fruit preserves: too high in sugar • Any non guinea pig food which often contain seeds and different balance of vitamins and minerals which aren’t suited for a guinea pig’s dietary needs.
- Information • Gestation 69 days • Litter size 4 • Wean 4 weeks • Lifespan 5-8years • Sexually mature 6 weeks • Female must be mated before 6 months or pelvic bone fuses and she will never be able to give birth • Origin – South America.
- Health Problems • Common Disease: Scurvy – Lack of Vitamin C – Hair loss, rough coat, diarrhea • Respiratory diseases • Malocclusion – Upper and lower teeth grow to long.
- Handling • Grasp firmly around front shoulders with one hand and have its rear supported with the other hand. • Once picked up it should be cradled against the body.
- http://www.guineapigmanual.com/guinea-pig-eating/ • http://www.merckmanuals.com/vet/exotic_and_laboratory_animals/rodents/guinea_pigs.html#v3309936?qt=&sc=&alt= • http://www.cavyspirit.com/sexing.htm.
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