A Guide to Guinea Pig Gestation
For people who have no space for breeding larger animals but want to breed something cute, cuddly, and entertaining, why not start by learning about guinea pigs and breeding facts such as season, guinea pig gestation, number of babies, etc. Guinea pigs have been around for a long time, used for pets and breeding. As a pet, the guinea pig is sweet, has personality, and is fun to own. For breeding, this animal is relatively easy to care for and being such a popular pet, there is good potential for making profit.
Once you get started with breeding guinea pigs, you will find this to be a very easy and rewarding product. For one thing, sows, or females can be bred starting at just five weeks of age although most experts suggest the male, which is called a boar, is not be introduced to the sow until three months. Then, the sow will go into heat for about 16 days, about 8 of those being when the boar would have interested in breeding. Then, because guinea pigs can mate virtually anywhere, all you need to do is provide them with a clean cage.
Once impregnated, the guinea pig gestation is between eight and ten weeks. Considering that one boar can easily mate with about 10 different sows, all you need for a successful business at least initially is about 20 to 30 sows and two to three boars. Of course, this would require that you have numerous cages and proper space but beyond that, a good diet and fresh water daily will get you started. In addition, once the babies have been born and are ready to be weaned from the mom, they too will need their own space prior to selling.
Prior to getting to the point of the guinea pig gestation period, it would be important to know what to look for when the sow goings into season. For one this, her spine will begin to curve. Along with this being a visual sign to the boar, it also helps her keep her back end elevated during the mating process but also while carrying and delivering the baby guinea pigs. Typically, a boar will mount all the females, even one in the middle of the guinea pig gestation.
As the sow goes through the guinea pig gestation period of nine and ten weeks, she may need a little extra attention. For instance, if you notice that she is acting a little tired or not as active as usual, you may want to provide her with a separate cage and extra nutritional food. The greatest concern with a pregnant sow is vitamin C in that this animal does not produce it yet when carrying babies, they need it. Therefore, choose foods high in vitamin C or purchase vitamin c drops, remembering that during the guinea pig gestation period, the sow will need up to three times the amount normally consumed. The pregnant sow will also need more water in that they drink extra while carrying the babies.
Once the sow has gone through the guinea pig gestation period and is nearing the time to give birth, her pelvis will begin to widen, usually about a week prior to birth. However, when the sow is only hours away from delivering the babies, the pelvis can widen up to 2.5 centimeters. Eventually, she will give birth to around six babies although as few as three is common. Keep in mind that when sows have a larger litter, the guinea pig gestation period is generally not as long.
Usually, guinea pigs will give birth with no problem with all babies being born in about an hour. In most cases, the babies will be born in five minute increments but sometimes, one or more will come out as a stillborn. While difficult to handle, unfortunately this is all too common with guinea pigs. If for some reason the babies are not coming out every five minutes or the full delivery were not finished in an hour, you would need to see immediately veterinarian care.