Tonawanda News — It was a bit strange that Clue had not become pregnant as guinea pigs, like your ordinary rodents, reproduce quickly.
Guinea pigs can live five to seven years and are good starter pets for older children. There are a few things to remember, though, when considering to adding one to your family.
Unless you have proper permanent homes for your pig’s offspring, do not mix males and females because you’d eventually end up with more babies.
Guinea pigs can be social and having two females living together in harmony is quite common. If you would like two males, getting them young and from the same litter is recommended.
Guinea pigs can weigh up to a couple of pounds — a little smaller than most rabbits — and a 4-square-foot enclosure per animal is recommended by the ASPCA. A solid floor, compared to wire, is required and lining it with newspaper and then shavings makes for a quicker clean up. Aspen or hardwood shavings work well. Healthy pigs are quite active and cardboard tubes, boxes, flower pots, rocks and pet store wooden blocks are essential accessories.
Fortified guinea pig diets are available at pet stores as well as grocery stores and these can be the bulk of their diet. Fresh vegetables and fruit can also be added. Hay should be available ad lib and can be hung in a hay rack or offered in a box, hay cubes or hay mat. Pet stores have a lot of options for small mammals including timothy or alfalfa hay or orchard grass.
Guinea pigs can’t produce their own ascorbic acid so vitamin C must be provided to them through their diet. Vitamin C is important for proper growth and health. Store-bought guinea pig pellets are a good source of vitamin C, although some researchers say that after six weeks of being on the shelf, up to half of the vitamin C can dissipate. Keeping the food under 71 degrees and using it after 90 days of production will help keep the vitamin C levels high. In addition to the hay that is provided, kale, dandelion and mustard greens, parsely, red and yellow bell peppers, and broccoli are excellent sources of ascorbic acid.