GUINEA PIGS

(Cavia Porcellus)

guinea pigs
They originate from South America and live near forest, pastures, even swamps, and rocky areas. These little and interesting animals are known to almost every child.

Characteristics:

They can grow up to 30 cm. Their fur has shades of different colours. In general, we classified them into following categories: short-haired, long-haired, curly, skinny.
They can weigh up to 1200 grams and live up to 8 years. In the wild, they live in groups. The leader is usually a male, which has more females.
Their front legs have four fingers, while their back legs have only three fingers. They are related to the Patagonian mara, an animal which is also in our zoo. The difference is that the latter can be 1 m long.
Although they like high temperatures, we keep them outside through the whole year. You always need to have them in a group which needs sufficient hiding place and a lot of hiding and warming material (hay or straw).

Breeding:

They often give birth – even 4-5 a year to 2-4 offspring. If they give birth to 6 or more, only a few survive. Females can mate every 10-14 days, their estrus lasts a day or two. During this time, they frequently mate with males. Gestation lasts 64-70 days. Males don´t have a role during the birth – the female cuts the »cord«, cleans the babies and protects them with its body.

Nourishment:

They need hay and water, seeds of corn, barley, oat. They can also eat briquettes of clover. They also like cabbage, apple, salad, fresh grass, carrots, cucumbers and dry bread. Considering their size, they are real gluttons.
If they are outside, you need to make sure the food is fresh. It should not be frozen or dirty.


Dusan Kreslin
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