Breeding guinea pigs is becoming increasingly popular among pet owners. To obtain healthy offspring from pets, the breeder must know the physiological characteristics of rodents, be able to correctly reduce guinea pigs and create comfortable conditions for breeding pets. It is allowed to sell babies to new owners at the age of 1-2 months.
Is it necessary to breed
It is important to approach the matter of breeding animals with all responsibility - this task is more complicated than it seems. Before you take such a step, you need to carefully consider all the pros and cons and evaluate your readiness.
Nuances to consider:
- Pregnancy, delivery and raising young animals adversely affect the health of mother pigs, which means that it needs special care and special nutrition,
- frequent or early birth shortens the life of the cattery,
- future parents need careful selection,
- you need to find a good veterinarian in advance, in case the pet needs medical assistance during delivery (not all doctors do a cesarean section, so you need to immediately clarify the qualifications of the veterinarian found),
- complications during childbirth can destroy not only the litter, but also the mother (especially in the absence or untimely help of a veterinarian),
- toxicosis is fatal for both the young and the mother,
- the more numerous the offspring, the more difficult it is to attach it (if the fate of the darling cubs is important for the owner, it should be borne in mind that many acquire small rodents to feed predatory pets).
Having decided to still breed guinea pigs at home, you should read the literature on this topic or at least talk to experienced breeders and consult with them on issues of interest.
How guinea pigs breed
Breeders are encouraged to bring pets in the spring season. Comfortable home content allows the animals to mate year round. But the most healthy and suitable for the subsequent procreation are considered to be babies born in the summer from large-sized dairy pigs.
One pig is able to fertilize several pigs. This feature can be used for large-scale breeding in a polygamous way, when one pig and 10 pigs live side by side in one dwelling.
It is recommended that novice breeders form classic pairs - one father, one mother. If the animals like each other, they will create a full-fledged family in which the spouses tenderly and carefully take care of each other and mutually love their partner until the last breath.
Mating of guinea pigs is caused not only by the proximity of heterosexual individuals in one dwelling, but also by mutual sympathy. Sometimes animals do not admit to themselves the representative of the opposite sex, even during the mating season - just the animals did not like each other. There will no longer be romantic feelings in such a pair - there will only be quarrels and fights. The selected partner must be replaced.
Breeding guinea pigs depends not only on the preferences of pets. For the success of the process, mutual sympathy must be complemented by certain conditions of detention. Partners must eat right and balanced. The cage with the steam should be in a room with optimal humidity and a temperature of no higher than +20 ° C.
The number of breeds of animals and various variations of their colors can not be counted. Sometimes new species appear by chance. But it is unlikely that it will be possible to bring out a new variety at home - for this it is necessary to get at least ten little animals with reliably fixed characteristic features of the new breed.
Experienced breeders breed mainly pure-bred animals, i.e., from generation to generation, crossing representatives of one breed, and not allowing interspersing of other varieties.
Crossbreeding of pets with long and short hair is not welcome - from this union will appear mestizo babies. Their appearance will be interesting, but such animals will not be able to participate in exhibitions, as well as continue the genus.
For breeding pedigree pets, it is forbidden to mix motley animals. Such offspring only slows down the development of the breed. Therefore, choosing a partner as a favorite, it is worth considering only animals of the same breed, or varieties that are allowed to cross.
The success of breeding pigs largely depends on the correct formation of a pair of animals. Finding the right breeds is half the battle. It is equally important to choose the right partner.
The mumps forming a pair should be approximately the same age and not be closely related. Among the mandatory requirements for future parents are also:
- good character,
- healthy body
- good physical condition
- lack of hereditary diseases.
For example, for mating, you can’t take a little animal that has ever had problems with teeth - the offspring will inherit diseased teeth.
Particular attention should be paid to the color of animals. Rodents of some colors can not be crossed among themselves - these are small-sized animals, as well as Dalmatians. When crossing darkened guinea pigs with each other, a lethal gene is formed - the offspring will be unviable. If some babies manage to survive, they will receive deviations that will make their existence a real torment - blindness, deafness, deformation of parts of the body or internal organs, etc.
As for diseases that are not inherited, until the complete cure of the disease, the animal should not participate in mating. You should also not bind the pet immediately after healing. From the moment of the complete recovery of the animal, it is necessary to wait a while and only then bring it together with a partner.
In order for healthy babies to be born, future parents should not be skinny or, on the contrary, overfed. The best weight is considered to be 700-1000 gr for both mom and father (the minimum allowable is 500 g).
Too slender pets can have problems with bearing and delivery, which is fraught with the death of both babies and the mother herself. Fattened animals may have difficulty with fertilization and also delivery. Too well-fed animals are recommended to put on a diet, increase the amount of activity and walks. When the pet lose weight, you can allow her to mate.
A sign of puberty and readiness for breeding is the advancing estrus - mating is impossible outside this process. Guinea pigs have an estrus every 13–20 days after maturity and lasts 24–48 hours. With the onset of estrus, the behavior of the little animal changes. She becomes flirty, flirts with a partner (if she liked him), tries to attract his attention and demonstrates her ass. The genitals of guinea pigs, ready for breeding, increase.
The best period for mating is the first 12 hours from the beginning of estrus. The pig is planted in a cage to the partner. Guinea pigs mate several times for several seconds. After this, the animals are seated again. If another estrus did not occur, the mumps is pregnant. Birth of babies - after about 10 weeks.
The age of the guinea pig for mating
Maturity in female pigs occurs earlier than in boys. If in the latter, puberty ends at 12 weeks of age, then in girls - at 6–8 weeks. Early maturation also occurs - 5–7 weeks in male pigs and 3–4 weeks in girls.
Regardless of whether maturation was normal or premature, the host should control when the guinea pigs begin to mate. 3 weeks after the appearance of the babies, they need to be resettled from their mother, divided into two groups by sex. It is impossible to allow reproduction shortly after the onset of maturity. Offspring from too young parents are distinguished by weakness - babies simply will not survive. In addition, the risk of death for a young mother is also great.
For successful first births, the appearance of healthy offspring and the preservation of the health of mom, when mating, the mumps must be at least 4-6 months old, but not older than one year. One-year-old animals often have difficulty delivering. However, knitting up to a year is an optional stage in the life of a darling. The little animal will live a full happy life without motherhood.
The best age for first mating is 10 months for female pigs and 1 year for boys. The optimal number of births for the little animals is 2 times per year. A more frequent pregnancy will drain the pet. Boy pigs are also not recommended to happen too often, otherwise they may lose their ability to fertilize.
With the right approach, raising pigs is easy to turn into a full-fledged home business with a good income. Every year, about three million pigs are acquired in Russia through clubs and pet stores, and about the same through private breeders. The price of a thoroughbred animal can be 40 thousand rubles. Given that one pig brings 1-10 cubs in one brood, the initial cost of buying pets and equipment needed for maintenance and care will pay off very quickly.
Some breeders sell babies for meat. In large Russian cities there are restaurants that buy this delicacy. But this method of implementation depends only on the breeder’s compassion. Not everyone is ready to allow his pet to be eaten.
What you need to breed guinea pigs at home
In addition to the theoretical base necessary for a competent approach to business, you should first prepare all the necessary equipment:
- feeding trough
- sawdust or straw,
It is not necessary to carry out the first mating earlier than the age of 10-11 months, although physiologically the animals are ready for mating much earlier. As for mating close relatives, it should be said here that mating a brother with a sister is not allowed. In other cases, knitting is carried out, but for a specific purpose, for example, to fix the color.
You need to cross a pair with wool of the same length.
When choosing a pair for knitting, the following points should be considered:
- good health,
- good external data and anatomy,
- the pig should be moderately well fed,
- good quality fur
- flexible complaisant disposition.
Mating and guinea pig mating
In good conditions, animals are ready for mating throughout the year. The estrus frequency is 13–18 days, the duration is about 2 days, but the first 3-5 hours are most favorable for conception.
It’s easy to notice the onset of estrus: the female begins mating games, luring the male. Now you should put the female and male in one cage. You need to do this 1 time in 3-4 hours. With this (separate) content and subsequent planting, you can skip the beginning of estrus, missing the highest chances for successful fertilization.
Although this does not mean at all that it will not come.
There are 2 ways to breed these animals: monogamous and harem. In the first case, the animals form a strong pair, but this does not mean that the female does not have to be separated from the male.
The reasons for this are as follows:
- Possible male aggression towards their own cubs.
- Mating should not be allowed immediately after birth. Although the female is physiologically prepared for this, repeated mating will negatively affect her health.
How long does the pregnancy last?
The gestation period in these animals is 60–72 days. More precise terms depend on the breed, health status and the number of offspring. The more cubs a female carries, the earlier she will be born. After the second week of pregnancy, you can find out how many cubs the female carries. With the help of careful palpation (palpation) of the abdomen, you can feel for small seals - embryos. Their number will tell you how many cubs are to be expected. Remember that a pregnant female is in dire need of peace.
Nutrition features of a pregnant female
During pregnancy, the female needs two meals a day. During this period, food should be rich in vitamins and fiber. But the content of fats and dry food in the diet must be reduced. It is necessary to feed in moderation, not overfeeding, but so that the animal (and future offspring) does not lack nutrition.
The emphasis should be on greens and plant foods:
- nuts and seeds
- raspberry and dandelion leaves.
There should always be fresh grass and hay in the feeder. An approximate daily diet of a pregnant female cavey looks like this:
- oats (better sprouted) - 13–16 g,
- vegetables - 65–70 g
- wheat - 4-6 g,
- dry food - 2–4 g,
- fruits - 27–32 g.
How many and how are babies born
Usually 1-6 cubs are born with their eyes open and all their teeth. They are immediately ready for an active life, which they demonstrate after several hours, briskly running around the cell. Two days after birth, babies are able to eat the usual food for adults, although they still need mother's milk.
Immediately after birth, the female needs proper feeding. At this time, she constantly needs fresh grass and hay. From feeds, emphasis should be placed on those that are rich in vitamins E and C, calcium (germinated cereals and vegetables). The female, for whom these births are the first, may refuse to feed offspring. For 6-8 hours, the owner of the animal should not be anxious, everything will be fine with the kids.
In the event that, after the indicated time, the mother still did not deign to feed the cubs, the following procedure should be carried out: isolate the mumps and offspring into a small box protected from light. Typically, such a measure leads to the fact that after half an hour, maternal instincts wake up.
It happens that the female inflamed nipples during lactation. In this case, you need to treat them with a decoction of chamomile or a weak solution of potassium permanganate. You should examine the nipples regularly, since if you do not notice inflammation on time, it can turn into mastitis.
Milk in this case becomes thick, yellowish tones. The temperature of the female may rise; she will refuse to eat. They treat mastitis by expressing milk, thus conducting massage of the mammary glands.
If the owner of the animal, conducting such a procedure daily, has not noticed an improvement, you need to contact a specialist. Often after birth, the animal goes bald, it should not be scary: the hair will grow back after 15–20 days. Otherwise, contact your veterinarian. If there are sores on the bald patches, they are treated with a weak pink solution of potassium permanganate.
In the event that the offspring turned out to be large, one of the babies will certainly be deprived of mother's milk. The weakest individuals will be malnourished - those who weigh less should be fed. Such nutrition is carried out with lactose-free infant formulas.
Using a syringe (without a needle) 3 mg of the mixture is administered three times a day through the nasal openings.
Within 12-15 days after birth, without special need, you should not pick up babies. If there is still such a need, wash your hands thoroughly before contact.
When can I leave my mother?
Cubs are sedimented from the mother at the age of 20 days.At the same time, males must be separated from the females, since even at the age of one month they can show sexual claims, and such early contact is mortally dangerous for young females. As pets, guinea pigs are a great option, especially for a small city apartment. They are absolutely non-aggressive, practically odorless and do not fade. Guinea pigs are wonderful animals that delight the eye and do not let their master get bored.
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