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Guinea pigs are very cute, cuddly animals, and they rarely bite. I remember my first guinea pigs- I was about 3 when we got them. I was always cudling and stroking them. Im 16 now, and I've got 4 guinea and I love them!.
Housing and equipment: You will need to buy a hutch for you guinea pigs to live in. There are many different shapes and sizes. The hutch should be atleast 45cm square for one guinea pigs, 90cm long and 45cm high and wide for 2, and so on. The hutch should really be made out of would, and easy to open out for cleaning. A guinea pig can live inside or outside. If outside the hutch should have a layer of roofing felt on the top and the sides to make it waterproof. In bad weather the ginea pigs should be bought inside. There should be an separate bedroom compartment. You will also need a food bowl, and a water bottle. The water bottle should be attached to the wire front on the hutch, and easily accesible for the guinea pigs.
Bedding: The guinea pig will need bedding to keep warm and dry. Ideal bedding is a layer of newspaper, followed by 5cm of wood shavings. (avoid sawdust) This should be topped with 3 or 4 hanfuls of hay. More hay should be added each day. The cage needs to be cleaned out each week. It also needs a thorough scrubbing with mild disinfectant 3 or 4 times a year. Make sure the hutch is completely dry before putting the animals back in.
Choosing and Buying: The best age to buy a guinea pig is 6-8weeks old. It does not matter if you choose a male or female. (We had one of each and didnt realise, the next thing we knew we had 8 instead of 2!) There are many types of guinea pigs available, including; English self cavies, Smooth marked cavies, Rough haired cavies, Long haired cavies. Long haired are the hardest to look after as their coat drags on the ground and get matted easily. They need regulare brushing.
Feeding: Guinea pigs feed mainly on dry food, available from pet shops and many markets. They also need vitamin c and need fresh green vegetables daily. Carrots are also good, as they contain plenty of essential vitimins. The water bottle should be changed each day, and should never be empty.
Grooming: It is important to clip your guinea pigs nails regularly. Cut them just above the vein, which can be seen through the nail.
Breeding: Guinea pigs have a pregnancy lasting 65-70 days. An average litter is of 2-4 and the young are born fully furred with their eyes open. They will walk within a day or two. A guinea pig can be mated at twelve week, and should be stopped at 18-24 months. If a guinea pig has not had any young at 12 months, it should not be mated at all. The young ones are very cute by the way!
Guinea pigs usually live 4-6 years. (albinos generally live a year less. they are white with red eyes.)
I'd recommend the keeping of guinea pigs to anyone, especiallly families with young children. They need to be looked after, and like lots of love and care.
Great opinion! I have four guinea pigs also. poonon x
Broksababie 30.08.2001 16:26
good advice :). I love them they are so friendly too
rustifer 30.08.2001 12:16
Great advice. (I love your typo in the breeding section :) - it took me a couple of minutes to work out what you meant). I have 2 Guineas and they're lovely animals. I love the noises they make when they're getting fed!