Pregnancy Guide for Guinea Pigs

Cute Guinea Pig

A pregnant mom always needs special care, Guinea Pigs are not exceptional. All creatures on the earth will reproduce according to their habitats. When they are in captivity, you have to care for them as they could care for themselves in the wild. This is the only way to keep your pregnant pets healthy.

Sexual maturity of Guinea Pigs

The male and female Guinea pigs attain sexual maturity around 3-4 months of age. If you have male and female Guinea pigs together make sure you separate them or else they are likely to breed.

Mating in Guinea Pigs

It is better if the female guinea pig is older than the male guinea pig and weighs about 400gm. During mating, you have to keep the male and the female guinea pigs together in the same cage and it’s better to leave them alone.

The oestrus cycle in female guinea pigs lasts for 16 days and during this time the female would be interested in liaising with the male-only for the eight hours.

Why should you remove the male Guinea pig from the cage?

The female guinea pig like to stay without any disturbance. If you do not remove the male guinea pig , that could make the female pregnant again soon after the female guinea pig gives birth. This will reduce the quality of health of the female guinea pig , and may make her milk supply dry up.

How long is the gestation period?

The gestation period lasts for 9 – 10 weeks and the female may produce 1 – 6 babies at a time.

How to find whether the female is ready to give birth?

It is quite difficult to tell this as female guinea pigs don’t do any activities like burrowing or build a nest when they are about to give birth. But you can identify by observing their pelvis. Her pelvis widens about 2.5 cms or even more when they are about to give birth but this is a slow process and doesn’t happen in a day.

Beautiful Guinea Pigs 1

Diet for Pregnant Guinea Pigs

During the pregnancy period replace the Timothy Hay with Alfalfa as it provides more calcium and protein content required for the pregnant mom.

Usually, it is important to give your Guinea pigs vitamin C enriched foods because they won’t be able to synthesize vitamin C on their own. During pregnancy, female guinea pigs need thrice the amount of vitamin C that they need on normal days.

You can either add the 200mg vitamin C in the water/liter or give vitamin enrich foods like,

Dandelion greensCauliflower
Brussel sproutsBroccoli florets
Broccoli leavesCabbage

Pregnant guinea pigs drink more water than they normally drink so always make sure they never run out of water. Since they eat and drink more, female guinea pigs gradually increase in weight, and no need to worry about it.

During birth

Complications in giving birth are quite common in Guinea pigs and may even lead to the death of the mother. So it is highly advised to seek a vet few weeks before the birth.

Sometimes the mother doesn’t require any assistance while giving birth but sometimes caesarean section would be required. So while giving birth request your vet to be at your place to tackle any complications if required.

After that the mom will eat the after birth which is quite normal and the female will clean her babies by doing this.

Guinea Pigs Playing 1

What to do when you know that your Guinea pigs pet is pregnant?

When you got to know that your Guinea pigs pet is pregnant, you have to do the following,

  • You need to remove everything from the cage except food, water, and nesting material.
  • Also, you have to reduce the layer of their bedding.
  • You should never clean their cage for the first few days of their pregnancy period.
  • Remove the male Guinea Pigs from the cage.
  • Consult your vet for their better health.
  • Do not disturb the pregnanty Guinea Pigs. Any disturbance could be disastrous.

After birth

The new born pups should be with their mother for atleast 14 – 28 days. After that it is okay for the female pups to be with their mother but you have to seperate the male pups from the mother aswell as from other female sibling pups.

Pups begin to eat solid foods after few days and weaning is a long process for pups. After 4 weeks the pups will be independent and would have learnt to eat on their own.

Why is your Guinea Pig pet not getting pregnant?

Some Guinea pig will face infertility issues because of the following reasons,

  • Ovarian cysts (This occurs in the older guinea pig and is the major cause for the infertility)
  • Old age or too young (Either male or female)
  • Sexual immaturity
  • Exposure to pesticides or other toxins
  • Nutritional deficiencies, and disease.

Environmental causes of infertility in guinea pigs are as follows,

  • Overcrowding
  • Incompatibility with a potential mate
  • Environmental disturbances
  • Low temperatures

Important Facts to know about Guinea Pig Mating and Reproduction

  • Sexual Maturity: Guinea Pigs reach sexual maturity at one month of age.
  • Female guinea pigs after 10 months of old female guinea pigs will have complications in giving birth because of the fusion of pubic bones.
  • During each oestrus cycle the guinea pigs will be fertile only for 6 – 11 hours.
  • A female guinea pig’s carries her litter for 59 – 72 days.
  • For each pregnancy the female guinea pig carries minimum 3 litters and due to thie if you mate older female guinea pigs the complications will be there while giving birth.
  • A female guinea pig after giving birth it will be ready to mate again within 15-36 hours after giving birth.
  • Male guinea pig or the female guinea pig will not harm the pups. It is recommended to remove the male father and the male pups to avoid unnecessary mating between them.
  • The pups are usually born at night and they already have teeth and fur.
  • You can house the male and female guinea pig together and neutered so that they can bond with eachother throughout their life.
  • After two days the baby guinea pigs will be ready to eat the adult foods.

Final thoughts

The pregnant Guinea pigs should be taken well care of and do not let be stressed out. Try to give their own space during their pregnancy period by separating them from their partner(male Guinea pigs ). Try not to disturb them.

Do not let the old Guinea pigs have bred. Because the born pups from the old father or mother Guinea pigs will have weak health and reduced growth.