Piggys, Piggys everywhere!

51 Guinea Pigs and Counting

The shelter has recently taken in a huge number of guinea pigs. We currently have 51! Unfortunately the number is due to rise and some cannot be rehomed yet, as most of the females are pregnant and the single males need to be neutered (at great cost to the shelter!) This is because many people do not realise that guinea pigs are able to breed from a very young age, 3-4 weeks, are not sure how to sex them properly and that female guinea pigs can become pregnant again immediately after giving birth for up to 15 hours!

My Experience

I have experienced this myself at home. I gave a home to three guinea pigs from the shelter when we had an influx just before Christmas in 2010. I took on a Mum with her two young daughters. They had been with the father and their brother until they were separated when entering the shelter at 5 weeks old. In February, the mum gave birth again and the two daughters also gave birth a few weeks later. I had 11 guinea pigs at once! I kept a female baby and the rest had to be rehomed through the shelter.

Please Be Responsible

It is so important to have males neutered and to separate males from females at 4 weeks old at the very latest. It doesn’t take long for things to spiral out of control and the poor females end up stressed and ill when giving birth to so many litters. We have had some females at the shelter that have given birth to stillborns because they are too young or have given birth to too many litters.

Sexing Guinea Pigs

Here are some photos to help you learn how to sex guinea pigs properly:

This is a 5 week old female. Notice the Y shape. There is no bump at the top of the Y.
This is a 5 week old female. Notice the Y shape. There is no bump at the top of the Y.
This is a 5 week old male. Compare with the 5 week old female. He has a round prominent bump at the top.
This is a 5 week old male. Compare with the 5 week old female. He has a round prominent bump at the top.

 

This is the same 5 week old male. If gentle pressure is applied above the penis, as shown here, the penis will emerge.
This is the same 5 week old male. If gentle pressure is applied above the penis, as shown here, the penis will emerge.

 

This is an adult female.
This is an adult female.

 

This is an adult male. Compare to the adult female. He has swellings under the hair to the sides (testicles) and a prominent round bump at the top. No need to express the penis, as it is obvious this is male.
This is an adult male. Compare to the adult female. He has swellings under the hair to the sides (testicles) and a prominent round bump at the top. No need to express the penis, as it is obvious this is male.

 

I hope this is helpful.

If you can help us rehome our guinea pigs, we would love to hear from you.

Thank you. Keeley x

September 7, 2014Permalink