Guinea pigs are small, sociable rodents and are a popular pet. They originate from South America where they are called cuy. Guinea pigs were originally kept by people as a food source, but when they initially got exported to other countries, they were treated more as pets.
Guinea pigs have short legs, no tail and are quite small, only weighing 1.5 to 3 pounds. Guinea pigs are herbivores. They mainly eat grass hay, which provides them with nutrition and also helps to wear down their teeth, which grow constantly.
Because they are herd animals in the wild, guinea pigs are typically very sociable, so it's always best to keep them in pairs so they can have social interaction.
The guinea pig gestation period is 59 to 73 days, and the litter size ranges from 1 to 8 babies known as pups. A female can give birth to up to 5 litters per year.
Some Interesting Facts
- A young guinea pig can run when they are only 3 hours old.
- Guinea pigs live between 7 and 9 years, and the oldest recorded lived to 15 years.
- Guinea pigs are not related to pigs but may have been called pigs because have a similar squeal.
- Guinea pigs can hear sounds of up to 40,000 to 50,000 Hz, and they can also make noises above 20,000 Hz (ultrasonic).