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Guinea pigs: birth and childhood of the nimble rodents


Guinea pigs are usually born quickly and easily. Guinea pig babies are fleeing the nest, which means that shortly after their arrival in the world, the little ones scurry cheerfully through the enclosure. However, you should still watch your little animals carefully to see if everything is OK with them and separate the lugs from the females in good time. Otherwise inbreeding and unwanted offspring can occur. Guinea pig babies are nest-escapeers and are almost fully developed - Shutterstock / schubbel

Guinea pig ladies are ready to mate about every 14 to 18 days and are fertile for about eight to twelve hours. The goat then runs after its chosen one, dances around it with swaying steps and woos its favor with so-called brumming - a cooing sound. If he is successful, the female lifts her buttocks, the male rides - and about 10 weeks later the guinea pig is born.

This is how birth takes place in guinea pigs

A litter usually consists of two to three babies, but only one child or up to six siblings can be born at once. In very rare cases there are more than six, but then the little ones often do not survive and it is also a heavy burden for the mother. The expectant guinea pig mom chooses a quiet corner in the enclosure just before birth. She does not build a nest, but sits down and spreads her legs so that the little sea piglets can be born.

The mother takes five to ten minutes for each new arrival, pulls each baby out by the head, nibbles it and frees it from the egg skin. Only when a piglet is outside does she take care of the next one. In the end there is a so-called afterbirth, which the mother eats together with the egg skin. Guinea pig babies get their fixed teeth in the womb and open their eyes about two weeks before the birth. They look like finished guinea pigs when they see the light of the world, only that they are much smaller.

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Possible complications in guinea pig birth

Make sure that your guinea pig has rest a few days before birth and has the opportunity to withdraw at any time. It is best to have the little one's father neutered after fertilization, since then you do not have to separate the Meerli group. An uncastrated goat cannot stay with the mother, because otherwise she could be fertilized again shortly after birth, which would be a great burden for her. In addition, a nice new home has to be found for every guinea pig baby later, provided it cannot remain in the family.

Pregnant pigs can develop pregnancy toxicity. Take your expectant marine limb to the veterinarian immediately if she lays aside during pregnancy or shortly before the due date. Complications can also occur in very young mothers under six months and older mothers over a year. If she is too young, there may be growth problems in the babies, if she is too old, her pelvis has started to ossify, which can lead to miscarriages, among other things. If you have any doubts or concerns, contact your veterinarian with confidence.

How guinea pig babies develop in the first few weeks

At birth, guinea pigs weigh between 60 and 100 grams. Solitary children are usually somewhat larger and heavier than multiple children. Healthy piglets gain three to four grams a day for the first six weeks - it is best to check this every day with a kitchen scale. If the little ones do not gain enough by the third day of life at the latest, this is an indication that they are not suckled enough or are sick. You may then have to feed them, for example with cat milk without taurine. The mini merlis are nursed for three weeks, after which they are weaned. They also eat the adult food right from the start, but should not be given water-rich vegetables such as cucumber or salad. Only slowly get used to it later.

As early as three weeks, the goats can produce new offspring, even if they are only fully sexually mature a few weeks later. Therefore, look at the guinea pig babies early for the sex by pulling the abdominal skin slightly above the genitals towards the head. Böckchen has an elongated line with a dot above it that looks like an "i". The letter "Y" can be seen in females. After three weeks, have the male babies with their father or have them neutered early.