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Guinea Pigs/Pregnant guinea pig worries


Hi i got 4 guinea pigs for free from a lady off facebook. I asked the basic question(sex and age) ive never owned a guinea before so thats all i knew to ask. Well i soon as i brought them home my male starting to impregnant my female, i decided to give her along with another female to someone that has had babys before from one. Well today i looked at my other guinea pig was huge. Ive never noticed it before...i think she got pregnant before i got her cuz ive been keeping an eye on them since day one. I can feel the babies but cant see them move yet. She keeps making all these wierd noises and doesnt really wanna move. I need to know when to separete her from my male and about how far she is and what to do to get her and myself ready. Ive delt with cats and dogs having babies but this is my first guinea pigs. Im scared but i dont have a vet nearby that i kniw has delt with them. If you could please give me advice on how far and what to do i would apricate it. Thanks

First thing you need to do is to remove the male now. If you aren't able to feel movement she isn't real close yet, however there are exceptions to every rule.

The sow will come into heat within hours of giving birth, and the male will breed her back. The breeding act itself is extremely quick, so you probably will never know exactly when she got pregnant.

The mother is pregnant for 70 days. The general rule of thumb is that when you first feel movement she is about two to three weeks from delivery. She could be closer than you think and it's entirely possible she came to you already bred.  Anytime you keep a male in with females there will be babies.  

The male will not hurt the pups. In fact they are very good parents and help clean and cuddle with the babies. The problem is that any baby sows will come into heat at about two weeks of age and the father will breed them too. They have no concept of incest. They are animals. They just do what they are genetically designed to do.  

As strange as it sounds, the young pigs actually have no problem delivering babies. It doesn't stunt their growth nor does it injure them in any way.  But to be safe you should remove dad right away. Since the sows only come into heat for a couple of days, but cycle about every two or three weeks it is not possible to keep a male with the females and expect that he will not do what he is designed to do. For that reason he should be in a cage alone.

If you have baby boys you can put them with dad when they are weaned at four weeks. Leave the baby sows with mom. Guinea pig boars are wonderful fathers. They never will attempt to hurt the babies. They actual give them a sense of comfort and help teach them how to be a 'big pig.'

The labor is typically not very long. Most sows deliver in the very early morning hours. The babies are very precocious at birth. They have a full coat of hair, mouthful of teeth, eyes open and ready to run. You can handle them as soon as they are dry. But be very careful that they don't leap right out of your hand. They are very quick.

The mother knows what to do. She will not nurse the pups until she has expelled all the contents of her uterus. I've had moms that ignored their babies for twelve hours. But the pups were fine and once mom was ready she took over her duties. Do not intervene. Don't get worried that they need nursing and try to bottle feed them. They will aspirate and quickly die. Mother knows best and she will do what needs to be done when the time comes.

Keep your camera ready and take lots of pictures. The babies grow at an alarming rate. They are fun to watch as they try to drink from the water bottle as young as a week or ten days old. They will try to eat the pellets, but they need mom's milk. It's best to let mom do what she knows to do. It's a built in maternal instinct and is a joy to watch.

Please take pictures when the babies come. I love to see the new litters.  If you have any other questions please don't hesitate to ask.

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Pat VanAllen


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.


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.

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.

Graduate in nursing. Certified in emergency medicine.

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