Fun Facts About Guinea Pigs

Source
My Guinea Pig, Muffin, hiding amongst stuffed animals
My Guinea Pig, Muffin, hiding amongst stuffed animals | Source
A Guinea Pig's incisors constantly grow.
A Guinea Pig's incisors constantly grow. | Source
Mom and newborn Guinea Pigs
Mom and newborn Guinea Pigs | Source

'Piggy' Facts

  • A Guinea Pig is also known as a 'Cavy'.
  • A male Guinea Pig is called as a boar, a female is known as a sow, and a baby Guinea Pig is called a pup.
  • The coat of all Guinea Pigs is made up of five different types of fur.
  • There are about nine different breeds of Guinea Pigs, although new ones are beginning to emerge as well. Among the most popular are the Short-Haired (also known as the American or English Guinea Pig), Abyssinian, Peruvian, and the Silkie (also known as the Sheltie).
  • Despite their name, Guinea Pigs are not from Guinea (They actually originated from the Andes) nor are they related to pigs. Some speculate that the 'Guinea' part of the name was first dubbed when the rodents were brought to Europe by way of Guinea, which may have led people to believe that they originated from there. The second part of the name, 'pig' may have resulted from the squeals that Guinea Pigs can emit, which sound very similar to the noises made by pigs.
  • Guinea Pigs are related to Chinchillas, Porcupines, Agoutis, Maras, and Capybaras (the largest rodent in the world).
  • Unlike most rodents, Guinea Pigs are diurnal (though they do take short naps throughout the day).
  • The Guinea Pig's incisor teeth constantly grow, so they need to have something hard to gnaw on (such as a chewing block) to trim them down.
  • Guinea Pigs make a variety of noises that express how they are feeling. Wheeking, which sounds like a long and loud squeal or whistle, often indicates excitement (Guinea Pigs most commonly make this noise when they know they are about to be fed). Content Guinea Pigs may purr. Teeth chattering and hissing noises indicates agitation or anger, while a shrieking sound can mean that the animal is fearful or in pain.
  • Unlike most rodents, Guinea Pigs are born with a full coat of fur and with their eyes open. They are even able to run when they are only three hours old!
  • Guinea Pigs are unable to produce their own Vitamin C, so they need food that is enriched with the vitamin or supplements.
  • While Guinea Pigs usually live five to seven years, the oldest one to ever live reached the ripe old age of fifteen.
  • Guinea Pigs are able to learn complex paths to food and are able to memorize them for months.
  • While Guinea Pigs do not have tails, they have tail vertebrae.
  • Guinea Pigs do eat their own poop, but not the same feces that you see in their cage. The ones that they eat are known as ceacotrophs, which are smaller and softer (and often smellier) than normal poop and are packed with vitamins and protein. Guinea Pigs need to eat them, as their digestive systems are not able to extract all of the nutrients from their food the first time that they ingest it.
  • Some South American cultures use Guinea Pigs as evil spirit collectors for healing rituals.
  • Happy Guinea Pigs will 'popcorn', or rapidly run around in circles inside their cages and jump a few inches in the air over and over again.
  • The largest litter that a Guinea Pig ever gave birth to was seventeen pups!




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Comments 12 comments

snoblet profile image

snoblet 4 years ago from New York

very nice article on guinea pigs, i love guinea pigs they are very passive and easy to work with


Kai0224liu profile image

Kai0224liu 4 years ago from TX

Omg that's so so cute lollolololol


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 4 years ago from Oakley, CA

Guinea Pigs are fun little pets. My daughter had a couple of females right after she got out of high school. We used to set up an area in her room where they could run around out of their cages and get exercise every day. We used kindergarten wooden building blocks to make mazes for them to run through, although, while they did to that, they were also apt to 'cheat' and just climb over the blocks into the next section.

We'd sit on the floor with them, with our feet flat on the floor, and they loved to run in figure 8's around our legs. One was an Abby, as in your first photo, the other was a Peruvian. The Abby fancied herself a barber, and was constantly chewing off the other's hair...especially the "bangs" she originally had. The Abyssinian was "Patches," and the long-haired Peruvian was "Cocoa." both were named for their coloration.

They'd hear the bag of lettuce being opened a floor below them, and you'd hear them "WHEEP! WHEEP!" very loudly, as they awaited their treat.

They each lived about 6 years, were much loved and thoroughly spoiled.

Great article, voted up, interesting, useful awesome and shared.


Pollyannalana profile image

Pollyannalana 4 years ago from US

I love these little cuties too and I use to breed them. Was so amazing to see them jumping around right after birth.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

This is an interesting and informative hub, jennzie. I love guinea pigs. I've never owned any, but I've taken care of two guinea pigs over the school holidays. They were fun to care for, and loved getting broccoli to eat. They would make the excited squealing sound that you describe whenever I approached them with broccoli in my hand!


jennzie profile image

jennzie 4 years ago from Lower Bucks County, PA Author

Thanks a lot for the comments everyone and for sharing some of your experiences with Guinea Pigs. They make adorable and fun little pets, don't they?


MyMastiffPuppies profile image

MyMastiffPuppies 4 years ago

So cute and cuddly, thanks for the info and pics! Voted up across the board...


ishwaryaa22 profile image

ishwaryaa22 4 years ago from Chennai, India

An engaging hub filled with equally engaging trivia about these cute furry creatures! I have often seen guinea pigs. Nice to know that you have one. A detailed hub! Well-done!

Thanks for SHARING. Useful & Interesting. Voted up


Brett.Tesol profile image

Brett.Tesol 4 years ago from Somewhere in Asia

Quite a collection of facts about these cute creatures. I learned a few things along the way.

Up, interesting, shared and pinned.


Rosyel Sawali profile image

Rosyel Sawali 4 years ago from Manila, Philippines

Nice! I'm a guinea pig owner too! I've also written about them. They're so adorable. ^_^


piepieg 3 years ago

COOL! THANKS FOR THE TIPS!


Katie 3 years ago

I got one lil pig and her name is Sugar! I'm 11 and I love Sugar so much, that I let her roam all over my room! Boy, does she love running!

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