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Guinea Pigs

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Guinea pigs, also known as Cavies, and are native to South America. Since domestication a variety of breeds, colours,  and coat types are recognised.

Guinea pigs are naturally gregarious (social) animals which  must be housed with at least one other guinea pig to meet their welfare needs.  Guinea pigs have open rooted teeth which means they are always continuously growing, so providing hard roughage such as hay to wear the teeth down when chewing along with measured amount complete nugget-based dry food is important. Some occasional leafy greens and access to fresh grass will also support their hind-gut fermenting digestive system.

Guinea pigs communicate with a range of unique noises including a loud, shrill 'WHEEK WHEEK', as well some low grumbles, purrs and squeaks. Many guinea pig owners will tell you that they make a noise when they hear someone coming, the fridge door opening or the crinkle of a packet of kale. 

Some of the breeds of guinea pigs include Peruvian, with long locks of hair, Abysinnian, with rosettes of hair all over their bodies, crested, which have short hair and a single rosette crest on top of the head, and rex that have more wiry and textured fur. Recently, hairless guinea pigs have been bred and are sold at high prices to pet owners. They are nicknamed 'skinny pigs' and due to their lack of fur, they have some additional welfare requirements. 

Common Name: Guinea Pig

Scientific Name: Cavia porcellus

Type: Mammal

Diet: Herbivore

Group Name: Herd

Average Life Span in the Captivity: 4- 8 Years

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Size: Head to Tail: 20-40cm

Weight: 0.7 - 1.2Kg

IUCN Red List Status:                  Least Concern

LC

NT

VU

EN

CR

EW

EX

Least Concern

Extinct

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