[Gpdd] re: [CARE] <pregnancy basics>
petunia_loo at yahoo.com
Sat Mar 13 23:33:59 EST 2004
The typical gestation period for guinea pigs is about 60-70 days. They can have anywhere from 1 to even 6 babies, but the average is probably around 3-4. Babies should be weaned from their mothers, and boys especially must be seperated from their mother and sisters no later than 3 weeks, as they are capable of impregnating females at this time. You can determine the gender of a pig by placing pressure above the genital area and by the appearance of the genital area. Cavyspirit.com has a good page on this subject (the website is listed below).
Adult males should be kept away from the female after she gives birth, as she may become impregnated again immediately, which puts a lot of stress on her body.
If you are planning on breeding a female pig, make sure you do it BEFORE she is 6 months old! Otherwise, at that time her pelvic bones will fuse together making it almost impossible to give birth, GREATLY increasing the risk of death for both the fetuses and the mother.
Guinea pigs less than a year old and pregnant/nursing GPs should have a higher calcium intake than normal adult pigs. Alfalfa-based pellets and alfalfa hay will give them the calcium they need. After a year, or for the mother after her babies are weaned, switch to a grass hay, like timothy hay. ALL guinea pigs need vitamin C in their diets. Growing and nursing pigs will need more.
Having baby pigs is a big deal. The group of boys and the group of girls will probably get along together, but once the girls and the boys reach adolescence, it is possible that a few will have to be seperated in their own cages if they do not get along. Also, make sure you have good homes set up for the pigs if you are not planning on keeping all of them!
If a pig needs help transitioning from mother's milk to pellets, try dissolving the pellets in water, or even the KMR weaning supplement that they sell at petstores, and syringe feeding that. However, the babies might start to eat the mother's pellets or hay in addition to mother's milk right before the three weeks.
Here are some good Guinea Pig sites that should have helpful info:
Any more questions, don't hesitate to post!
Pooh Bear, Piglet and Lauren
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