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Guinea Pig Breeding tips and advice?

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Guinea Pig Breeding tips and advice?

Post Number:#1  Unread postby olafthebunny » Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:17 am


Hey y'all!
So I am going to be starting up a guinea pig breeding project soon- I just posted a whole post with details and plans!
But I am not too educated in breeding and raising pups and such. When I was young I had a female piggy and she had pups once, but it was a long time ago and more of a fun experience then a project.
Do any of you breed or have guinea pigs?
If so, please share any tips and advice about breeding and care of guinea pigs!
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Re: Guinea Pig Breeding tips and advice?

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Tuftles » Sat Jun 29, 2019 12:39 pm


My parents used to breed guinea pigs.
First of all, its preferable to have them give birth before 6 months (pregnant at roughly 12 weeks, then 9 weeks to give birth. This will stretch their pelvis before it hardens between 6 to 8 months in females). They can give birth after that but the pelvis and vagina will be less elastic and more likely to cause problems.
Don't be afraid to handle them, guinea pigs rarely eat their young unless it is sick or malformed. Handling them often as newborns makes them easier to pick up and inspect later in life if something happens.
There's no real health testing like dogs.
Avoid breeding lethal whites (and in case of accidental litters either hard cull at birth or never sell them and never let them breed. RowanXRowan and DalXDal cause lethal whites which have small eyes, are blind and deaf and often have malformed teeth. Lethal whites rarely make it out of the womb and need exceptional amounts of care for the rest of their lives. The other pups may look healthy but no one really knows how the lethal white genes affect the other pups).
DO keep two to three mother guinea pigs(that get along) together, they're social species and love company and they will even alternate nursing pups to make things easier.
Guinea pigs are some of the easiest orphans you will ever get but they're still an uphill battle. Goat milk could help guinea pigs but they're already developed with a good intestinal system so it's safer to feed a warmed mix of either critical care or baby guinea pig food(mixed into a mash with electrolytes).
You are better off investing in a great male than great females because females only keep their fertility for two to three years and can only pass those genes onto her own pups but males can be bred for their entire lives and can pass his great genes off to multiple sets of pups from multiple females.
Get friendly, sociable guinea pigs that are easy to handle and friendly with others of their species because temperament is mostly genetics.
Guinea pigs aren't hard to keep contained(in the 40+ I've had in 9 years, only two would challenge an open box or container, these two were smart and self-serving) most of the time, you just need a barrier roughly an inch taller than them and that should keep most guinea pigs in.
Guinea pigs are the MOST bribeable creatures on this planet. They love to eat and eat and sleep. Should they escape, just wave around some food and most of them should come scampering happily.
I've never met a guinea pig that could resist cucumber or celery, they go nuts for it.
Guinea pigs can be as low maintenance or high maintenance as you like. Also, you might want to separate your males or house them separate from the females as females can cause fighting.
Guinea pigs are action based ovulators, they may have times of year when they are naturally more fertile but all it takes is some movement from males and the eggs will drop.

Just remember to have loads of fun, they're sweet and easy to keep. I hope this wall of text was useful to you! Please keep us updated <3.

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Re: Guinea Pig Breeding tips and advice?

Post Number:#3  Unread postby olafthebunny » Thu Jul 04, 2019 6:02 am


Thanks so much, all your advice was amazing! I'll keep it all in mind:)
I haven't been able to find a female in my area at the moment, so I have started anything. I'll make sure to keep you updated! :D
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Re: Guinea Pig Breeding tips and advice?

Post Number:#4  Unread postby Tuftles » Sat Jul 06, 2019 9:57 am


I hope this info helped you! Please keep me updated <3

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Re: Guinea Pig Breeding tips and advice?

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Ghost » Sat Jul 06, 2019 4:34 pm


I did not get an answer as to the reason you are breeding. That being, I am assuming you are looking for a breeding setup that will produce a large number of births. If this response sounds harsh then it is because I misunderstand your reason for breeding.

My friend David has a herd of guinea pigs that he keeps to provide food for other creatures. I don't have access to the number of animals he removes from the herd. Judging from the number of births I would guesstimate that the natural doubling rate is between 6 and 9 months.

From what little I have read of people attempting to start a herd of guinea pigs, when you have only a limited number of guinea pigs, the herd may take over a year to double in size. You must understand that I have a very limited data to go on so this my be a false understanding on my part.

Definition:
Natural doubling rate - This is the rate by which a herd will double in size, unless a number of individuals are constantly removed from the herd. If for example the double rate is 5 months, then you have a herd of size X, 5 months later the herd size is 2X, 5 months later it is 4X, the 8X and so on.

Going on my understanding, it seems that a GP herd requires a sort of "critical mass" to reach to get to to shrink the doubling time below 12 months. It seems that if you start with two females and one or two males, you might eventually get a herd going, but it will be slow for the first year or two. In addition, if you remove one or two individuals, the herd's growth rate will will be slowed considerably.

My hypothesis is not that the GPs change biologically, but that the herd dynamic changes. It is theoretically possible to start a herd with one male and one female (provided you swap out some of the offspring with non-related GPs) and have the same doubling rate as a larger herd size. In practice, this does not seem to happen.

On the other hand if you have 6 or 8 adult female's and an least 3 adult males (NOTE1) the herd will double at a much higher rate than just 2F:1M. With rabbits many homesteaders will start with 2F:1M (a trio) and get a good production, however GPs don't seem to have a high production rate in that situation.

NOTE1: That sentience implied that a critical mass was 6F:3M, however this a just a guess biased on little date. If I could gather date with GP breeders I could make a firmer test my hypothesis.

My friend's heard has about 11 breeding females and 4 males that seem to occupy a position of dominance. Other males usually wind up getting scratched up trying to break into the dominate positions. Those males usually get removed from the herd rather than getting into a dominate position. About a year ago, David removed many males from the dominate position, some time later the herd's production seemed limited. There is a question on whether the seasonal heat or a disturbance in the herd was to blame for the slower reproduction rate. A few months later when the weather cooled and the younger males of the herd matured. Around the same time the herd returned to it's former production rate.

David's herd is a closed herd with no new genetics added in over 13 years of operation. As far as a genetic bottle-neck the herd size has never dropped below 40 individuals (including babies).
You have to do the most good for the most. You must remember that a few won't make it. Don't be ashamed to shed a tear for the ones lost along the way, we will not hold it against you. Just remember "the herd goes on".

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Re: Guinea Pig Breeding tips and advice?

Post Number:#6  Unread postby ladysown » Sun Jul 14, 2019 7:10 pm


I haven't seen your other post.

I used to raise guinea pigs for pets and food.

1 boar 3-5 females.

They will replicate quickly if you let them. my piggies consistently had 3-5 pups per pregnancy.

Each group is 1 male and 3-5 females. I never kept two males in one herd. Switch out the males if you want to change your genetics. Always keep the best and cull the rest. breed AGAINST mites. It is possible but you need to be diligent. if you run them as a herd they will help care for each other's young.

I had two pigs die on me over the course of 8 years. Both larger than expected litters. One had 9 pups in her (found her dead), the other had birth complications and died three days after delivery. Again large litter of seven.

feeding: rabbit food with 1/4 tablet daily chewable vitamin C for each piggie. 1/2 tablet daily for pregnant pigs. Culled by the time they were four years old, or rehomed as pets. Hay daily in the winter (or straw) I used the deep litter method kept them outside 24/7 in SW Ontario. Healthiest babies born in the middle of winter with nary one dead... they TUNNEL. Use those rabbit hidey hole things over the openings so you can see them easily, summer they ate all the weeds out of my garden. They are pickier than rabbits, but smarter when it comes to what to eat.

Anyways, hope that helps.
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Re: Guinea Pig Breeding tips and advice?

Post Number:#7  Unread postby olafthebunny » Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:27 am


Thanks so much for all the advice and tips!
@Ghost, the reason I am breeding is just for fun, as well as where I live there isn't a lot of guinea pigs around at the moment, and theres a bit of a demand for them. I thought it would be a cool project to start, as well as I love the animals and would love to raise them!

Good news! After weeks of searching and waiting, I finally was able to find a female piggy! she looks to be around 2-3 months old. She's an Abyssinian which is what I wanted, and her coloring is white, but her head is a mix of an agouti with orange/ginger. She's super gentle and small and has a great personality! She's currently on quarantine and a little small so it will be a while before I breed with her, but I'm super excited!
And her name is Sunflower, as it's my favorite flower :)
I got her on Friday, so she's still new!
I'll make sure to send some photos as soon as I get a chance!
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Re: Guinea Pig Breeding tips and advice?

Post Number:#8  Unread postby GBov » Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:45 pm


I raised all of mine in a wire sided shed, about 20 by 8 ft. One big herd. When I wanted any to eat I would watch and see the young males running after each other and catch them for dinner.

They are slow to start multiplying but once they really get going, LOTS of lovely fat meat and OMG they are such funny things to watch as they live a normal life.

Gpigs kept in little cages all alone? The saddest things ever! :cry:

They are great though because they don't jump or climb very well so can be kept on the porch in open-topped pens. I did a free-range experiment but my mum's dog put paid to that one. Shame as it was going really good up until then. :roll:

Keep a close eye out for genetic defects, I had slobbers in my herd which I was working on getting rid of (then I got rid of them all due to one move too many) and at the begining, some of my sows were aborting their litters but that went away on its own, no idea why or why it stopped, I was just glad it did.

Their noises are the BEST EVER!!! but loud if you have tetchy neighbors.

Oh, they are easy to dispatch, easy to process and cook up good!

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Re: Guinea Pig Breeding tips and advice?

Post Number:#9  Unread postby ladysown » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:50 pm


do note. guinea pigs can scale 12 inches. It's surprised me the first time it happened.
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Re: Guinea Pig Breeding tips and advice?

Post Number:#10  Unread postby olafthebunny » Mon Aug 19, 2019 3:18 am


ha ha! :lol: Our boars are actually surprisingly small! The ones I had a couple years back were pretty big compared to them.
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