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Guinea Pig Facts
Guinea Pig Breeds
The most interesting thing I have learned while researching guinea pigs for the past few years is that there are between 9 and 12 different types of breeds. Some breeds are more often recognized than others, like the American, Peruvian, Silkie, Abyssinian and Hairless. Others like the Teddy, Coronet, Texel, and Alpaca are not always acknowledged. The images to the right show the variations in breeds.
Speaking Guinea Pig
Learning how to translate your piggy's strange noises is definitely something to adjust to. This site provides a great resource for new pig-owners who cannot tell if their guinea pig is excited or scared to death. There's a variety of noises they make, and not all guinea pigs are the same. I do think that these noises are very similar to the ones that Sonic and Tails (my guineas) make.
Contrary to popular belief, guinea pigs require a lot of space to live in. Even though stores like Petco/Pet Smart/ect. sell 2 square foot cages, piggies cannot live a happy and active life in that size constraint. Since the guinea pig ancestors were foragers, they had lots of room to roam. This is why it is important to supply them with adequate room.
A lot of resources recommend to give your piggy "floor time," meaning time during the day that they can run free in a room in your house. That way you don't need to invest in a massive cage. There is a great resource for measuring the required space for your piggies at Guinea Pig Cages Store. They also provide great information on a healthier alternative to wood-based bedding. This site has really inspired me on building more effective and safe guinea pig cages.
Guinea Lynx is a very detailed medical reference guide for guinea pig owners, breeders, and rescue workers. It contains detailed information on feeding, common ailments/illnesses, and medications safe for our furry friends.
My Guinea PigsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Sonic and Tails
Right now I am the proud mother of two very unique guinea pigs: Sonic and Tails.
I got Sonic in September 1st, 2010, and he was only a couple months old. He is very shy, and to this day runs away any time I try to pick him up. It was my first time having a rodent as a pet, so it was really exciting to hear him squeak when I came home from school (I was in my last year of HS then).
Throughout the years, I have spoiled him so much that now he and Tails each have 5-8 square feet to live in and "lap time" daily and "floor time" weekly. I've gotten adjusted to his habits and behavior, and since he is getting older I decided he needed a little brother.
I brought Tails home from the Humane Society August 2nd of this year. Little did I know, this would spark a never-ending competition for my attention at my home. Tails was also a couple months old when I got him, so there is a pretty big age difference in the boys. He, however, has a very different personality. For Sonic to allow us to hold him, we wrap him up in a bath towel. Any petting must be done with the towel as protection. Sonic is really nervous constantly and it takes a lot to get him to the point where he yawns or closes his eyes in your presence.
With Tails though, he is so rambunctious that I need to restrain him from jumping off of my lap or climbing on my shoulder when I'm standing with him! He is always loud and bouncing off the cage walls. He also likes to show his affection by licking me when I hold him or pet him.
The boys unfortunately did not end up getting along, as Tails was a more dominant personality and constantly acted threatening towards Sonic. I made a 3 foot tall "C&C" cage to accommodate their personal space needs. I love having two piggies that are so different from each other though!
Sonic and Tails' Favorite Foods
What is your favorite guinea pig breed?
© 2013 Megan Rose