Guinea pigs

Guinea pig would probably be very surprised if she found out about her Russian name, because she has nothing to do with real pigs or the sea. Then why is it called this way?

Everything is very simple: it became “marine” because it was brought from America, that is, From across the sea. Although, perhaps, it would be more correct to call it “overseas”. In Europe, it is most often called “Guinea pig”, “pig mouse” or “Indian guinea pig”. As you can see, only the word “pig” does not cause controversy. Why? Because this animal sometimes makes grunting sounds, just like its big namesake.

The first guinea pigs domesticated the Andean tribes of South America 5 thousand years ago. However, then they were not just pets. People used them as a source of delicious meat or as a sacrifice for various rituals and rituals. Since the 13th century AD. Indian tribes seriously interested in their breeding and before the conquest of the Inca Empire in 1533 managed to bring out a variety of different breeds.

Of course, modern breeders went even further. Today there are a huge number of varieties of guinea pigs, which are not at all similar to each other. For example, in pet stores, you can meet as long-haired animals, as well as woolly, short-haired and even animals with no wool or with a slight downy.

In general, guinea pigs have a body length of 25 to 35 cm, they have a wide, dull muzzle with hanging ears, a large body with rounded forms and no tail at all. Males weigh from 1 to 1.5 kg, females – from 0.8 to 1.2 kg. In wild individuals, the natural color of the upper body is brownish-gray, the stomach and inner side of the paws are lighter.

These are pretty lovely pets with a good-natured and gullible nature. They like to sit on their hands and play with the host. However, during such exercises it is worthwhile to be very careful, since falling even from a small height can have very sad consequences for the animal.

It is interesting that the guinea pigs, in addition to grunting, can make many other very different sounds. For example, when they are happy, they can pomurlykat. At courtship males sometimes grumble. Female during pregnancy or in the absence of a male begin to tweet, like birds. They do this at night, continuing their “song” from 2 to 10 minutes. True, this happens very rarely.

Eat guinea pigs with hay, grain feeds, juicy vegetables and fruits. When feeding, it should be borne in mind that fresh hay should be kept in the cage 24 hours a day, as the animal uses it to stitch its teeth, in addition, it helps to normalize the digestive system.

Sometimes a small animal can be found for not too pleasant procedure – eating its own litter. This habit has got to him from wild ancestors – it turns out, in this way guinea pigs are enriched with vitamins, since vitamins of group B and K are absorbed in the animal’s organism only after repeated passage through the digestive tract.

Contain them better in pairs or small same-sex groups – loneliness causes guinea pigs to greatly survive, which leads to overeating and shortening the life span.