Breeding Guinea Pigs
Before you breed
This is a very easily bred animal. Before you even contemplate this, consider what will happen next. What will you do with the babies? Do you want to keep them? If you are going to keep them, can you look after them?
If you intend to sell them to your local pet shop, make sure that they are going to be willing to buy them. They may have their own suppliers, or even breed their own. Also, if you sell them to the shop and find that they are charging four times what they paid for them, do not go and accuse them of profiteering. Shop owners have all sorts of costs which you may not be aware of.
some pet shops last for a long time, there is also a steady turnover of new pet
businesses that start with high expectations and close within two years. Quite
often the shop owner has lost so much money that he loses his house as
well. The person you are accusing of profiteering may be in serious
financial trouble because he is not making a profit, despite what it looks
Even the owners of successful pet shops which have lasted for many years will be working very long hours and are probably not rich.
Also, if you sell them to your local pet shop, consider: do they look after their animals well?
Uncontrolled breeding of Guinea Pigs in most situations is so irresponsible that only controlled breeding should be considered.
Breeding Guinea Pigs is a major responsibility and requires several times as much effort as just keeping them. It also requires a significant amount of money to set up. If you want to make money, find a different way. Very few Guinea Pig breeders make a real profit.
Even if you only have one breeding pair of Guinea Pigs you need a minimum of 3 hutches. One larger hutch is for the sow; one to separate the boar into before the babies are born; and a third one to put the male pups into before they are 4 weeks old. If you don’t separate the male pups, you are likely to have brother/sister matings and possibly son/ mother matings. This breeding of close relatives is called inbreeding and increases the likelihood of genetic problems.
If you only have three hutches you will want to sell or give away all the babies of each litter before allowing a second mating.
If you have thought about breeding seriously, then you will want to select the prospective parents. Decide which variety you are going to breed. While most are suitable, only try to breed Skinny Pigs if you are extremely experienced and understand the genetics of this hairless condition.
Females can become capable of conceiving at as young as 4 weeks old. I do not recommend allowing this to happen, but don't leave it too late. A female Guinea Pig that has never given birth can become incapable of giving birth, although she is still capable of getting pregnant. This can happen at as young as 6 months old.
female is over 6 months old and has never had babies, it is very dangerous
to allow her to get pregnant. I suggest that a female for breeding should
start at about 8 weeks old.
Typically, each litter is from three to five pups but I've known mother Guinea pigs to have one, two, three, four, five, six or seven babies at a time.
Baby Guinea Pigs are called pups. They are born in a very advanced state with their eyes open. I have seen Guinea Pig pups eating grass when they are less than half an hour old.
Although a female Guinea Pig can have up to five litters a year, this sounds like very hard work, and she deserves more rest than this. The males can also become sexually mature at about 4 weeks old. It is best to avoid brother/sister mating and other closely related combinations.