Saturday, March 28, 2015

Guinea Pig Pups

Guinea pigs take just over two months to produce a litter of up to 4 pups. The pups are born with all their fur, sharp claws and within three hours they can run. If they live outside they will breed in the summer months but can increase their numbers rapidly if the weather is clement.
Our two breeding females so far are named Toffee and Red Eye. Toffee miscarried four pups in January while Red Eye had two live ones. Now the birthing cycle has started again.
Yesterday we had five Guinea Pigs. This afternoon we had two young visitors who wanted to have a look. There were squeals of delight (from the children at least) when they found that Red Eye had produced two black and chocolate pups and our numbers are up to seven.

Despite being only a few hours old they were alert and active yet responded well to being touched. I had begun to wonder the benefit of having guinea pigs when each morning I have to lug heavy cages about the lawn and rustle up some greenery to supplement their grass. Seeing the excitement and wonder on the faces of the children as they held these little babies made the effort seem more worthwhile. Animals don't have to be eaten to perform a useful purpose. These guinea pigs are pets and so one already has a name - Alex - while the other is still being debated. 

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