About Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs (Latin name Cavia porcellus also called cavies; cavy singular). The Females are called sows, males are boars and babies are called pups. There are also hairless varieties sometimes referred to as skinny pigs.
Guinea pigs are about 10 inches long and weigh about 2-3 pounds. Their body is stout and rounded with no visible tail. There may be a few vertebrate felt under the skin where the tail would be. There are a variety of breeds having different coat types and a wide variety of colors and color patterns. The most common breeds are:
- American (short smooth hair coat)
- Abyssinian (short coat with “swirls” called rosettes)
- Peruvian (long haired). A wide variety of colors are seen.
Before You Decide on Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs as pets, are a long-term commitment, with an expected life span of 5-7 years, although 10 years isn’t unusual. Usually good family pets (but teach your children to handle them gently).
They are highly social creatures. When looking for these pets you should consider keeping a same sex pair so they have company. A pair of females is good however a pair of males may be ok but they may fight. While they are usually quiet they may vocalize quite loudly, and active both day and night. They may be nervous at first but rarely bite and generally become very tame with frequent handling. They need a large cage but fortunately it is easy to create a home made cage to meet their needs.