How to Choose a Guinea Pig for Breeding

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Be aware of the risks associated with breeding guinea pigs.,
Ensure you have the time, money and space to breed guinea pigs.,
Make sure you know how to care for guinea pigs properly.,
Know where to find a breeding guinea pig.,
Check the age of the guinea pigs.,
Check the parentage of your breeding pair.,
Check the sex of both guinea pigs.,
Purchase a sow that hasn’t just had a litter.,
Physically examine your breeding pair before you make the purchase.,
Have your breeding pair health checked.,
Quarantine them both for two weeks.

Sows have a 20% mortality rate and if the sow is not chosen properly she and her pups could have a higher chance of fatal accidents occurring.

Breeding is not something to be done as a hobby or for fun. It takes experience and proper knowledge for the pregnancy to be carried out properly.
Fatal problems can occur through the last stages of pregnancy including stillbirth pups due to fusing of the pelvic bones and toxaemia.;
, Sows can have up to 8 pups and the pups will most likely have to be separated at 3 weeks. Boars cannot be housed with sows (including the pups after 3 weeks).

You will need at least 2 cages to separate boars from sows. After impregnating the sow, the adult boar will have to be separated half way through the pregnancy period. Then any male pups will have to join him at 3 weeks whilst the female pups can stay with the sow.

, Guinea pigs require at least 7.5 square feet of space each and should have a clean, sanitary cage lined with absorbent bedding.

They also need unlimited pellets (plain, avoid mixes), hay and water. They need 1 cup of vegetables per day each. Choose alfalfa hay which is recommended for the pregnant sow and her pups.
For the bedding, line newspaper or puppy pads on the floor and then add fleece or wood shavings. The cage will need to be cleaned at least once a week or spot cleaned daily.

, Guinea pigs can be found from pet stores, shelters/rescues and from other breeders. If you want a certain show-breed your luck would be to try a specific breeder for breeds such as long-hairs.

Breeders who specialise in show-breeds should have paper work available and may be more reliable than other places.
Do not purchase from backyard breeders. Many are notorious for selling sick guinea pigs that haven’t been cared for properly.
Do not rely on pet shops. Many pet stores aren’t knowledgeable about their guinea pigs and mix both sexes together leading to many pregnant guinea pigs (some pregnant with their siblings).

, You shouldn’t breed guinea pigs under 4 months old or over a year old. Look for a guinea pig that is 6-8 months old which is the best and safest age to breed a sow.

Males can breed at any age as long as they’re fertile, but you still want them to be at least 5 months old.
Sows must be 6-8 months. If they are over 1 year old and haven’t been pregnant before then they could have their pelvic bones fused together by then, which is a common cause of stillbirth pups.

, Guinea pigs have several hereditary. diseases that could affect them and their pup and cause a lethal pup or severe deformities.

Never breed related guinea pigs.

, Make sure you have a male and female. Check directly above the anus while holding the guinea pig on it’s back. A female’s genitals will look like a Y shape whilst males will have an I slit where you can see the testes.

If you aren’t very good at sexing, you can get them professionally sexed by an exotic vet.

, Sows need time to rest in between each litter and should only be bred twice at the maximum (if the pregnancy went well). Sows need at least 4 months to rest to help ensure the quality of subsequent litters., Your guinea pigs should be alert, their eyes should be clear, tidy noses and they shouldn’t have any bugs on them or any hair loss/scabs., Make a booking with an exotic vet that specialises in guinea pigs to ensure that they are both healthy and ready to breed., Unless they have been physically examined by an exotic vet, you should always quarantine new guinea pigs to ensure they are both healthy and no illnesses or parasites are present.

You need to keep them in separate cages where they cannot see or smell each other. Make sure neither of them interact when in quarantine.

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