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Question
Hi my guinea pig is anywhere from 66 to 70 days pregnant she is very big and she has been getting pig on her belly where she is so big when will she have them, they don't move much anymore since she has got so big

Answer
Litter of ten
Litter of ten  

mom with four
mom with four  
The typical gestation is 70 days. It's usually pretty hard to know the exact date of conception. The sow comes into heat every two or so weeks and is only fertile for a few hours of that time. So it's always a guess as to the precise date and time.

Size isn't always an indicator of when and how many babies are there just as with humans you can't predict the size of the baby by the size of the mother's belly. It sounds like your mamma is very very close, but don't be fooled by the ability of the babies not to have enough room.

It's very common for them to be more quiet and still right for a couple of days before delivery. Mother nature is a remarkable thing. The pig will know exactly what to do and when to do it. When the babies come do not be tempted to help her. Leave her alone. She won't nurse them until she has completely emptied out the uterine contents. This can be as long as twelve hours before she nurses the pups, but they instinctively stay put until mom says it's time.

Here are two pictures that are good examples of not being able to tell how many babies are inside by the look of the outside. The white pig is one of mine and she was enormous prior to delivery. She had only four babies.

The other was just normal size and gave birth to ten. I don't know if this was a record but it has to be close. The average litter size is two to four. It's also very common to have at least one stillborn in a litter. These ten babies all survived.

If there is a runt she will not make any exceptions for the weak baby. In the wild a mother will not risk the safety of the remaining healthy babies to try to save a weak one. All her effort will go to the healthy babies. This goes for any species. That's why animals in the wild are always healthy and strong. If they are not they're soon taken by predators. It's the law of nature and one that we shouldn't try to alter or interfere with.

That's a hard concept for many people as our human nature makes us want to save everything. But if an animal is to live a healthy life they must be born that way.  

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Pat VanAllen

Expertise

As is sometimes the case, people in urgent need of information have a higher degree of expectation than those of us as experts are able to give. The experts on this site do their best to give the most accurate and responsible answers possible. We ask that you remember that it is not our intention nor place to criticize the professional advice given by your veterinarian, nor is it appropriate for us to comment on the correctness of a diagnosis made by a licensed physician. Our knowledge is experience based. Although many years of breeding and showing cavies gives me a wealth of experience it cannot change the fact that we as experts are not veterinarians and therefore may occasionally have to reject questions that appear to be asking us to criticize advice given by the licensed professional. Having raised and exhibited cavies for many years I have extensive experience in cavy care and husbandry. I currently have an active breeding program for pedigreed show animals but do not encourage backyard breeding for inexperienced owners. Although I don't encourage breeding for fun I'm always happy to answer any questions from an owner who is in sincere need of help. Pet owners wanting to breed should understand that even experienced breeders have litter losses. The mortality rate is high in cavies. The chance for losing both sow and pups is always present, even with experience. Although this is a site for experts to assist owners, there is no expert in any field who has all the answers. The wisest thing a good expert can know is their limitations. Not having an answer does not diminish one's ability or knowledge. It simply shows that we recognize our limitations and operate within them.

Experience

Raised and shown cavies for many years, having aquired my first cavies in the early 1970's as pets. My caviary currently handles 65 + animals in two different breeds and several varieties. Having been in the health care industry as a licensed nurse for 35 years I have hands on experience with care and needs in both humans and cavies. Member of American Rabbit Breeders Association and American Cavy Breeders Association.

Organizations
Awarded Lifetime Membership in of one of the oldest cavy clubs in the United States, on whose Board I served as Sec/Treas for six years and currently serving as President. Also editor/publisher of the club's quarterly newsletter. We are strong supporters of our youth exhibitors, most of whom are 4H members who are working on cavy projects. Through these projects they become good responsible citizens. We deal with all aspects of showing, breeding, caring for and sharing experiences in the fancy. The cavy fancy is not a new one but in some areas is still relatively unknown. Our goal is to inspire interest in high quality, responsible breeding to improve the species, not just the reproduction of guinea pigs. Our job is to educate owners to help them make the right decisions and choices in the care of their cavies.

Education/Credentials
Graduate in nursing. Certified in emergency medicine.

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