Do guinea pigs eat their young?

Guinea pigs have a robust body with small limbs, a wide head, short ears, and eyes. Guinea Pigs are certainly very cute-looking animals. Their dominant problem-solving technique is motion. They can understand complex ways to eat.

Guinea pigs are sensible and intelligent; they can efficiently memorize a particular route and remember it longer. They can hop over the hurdles but only the smaller ones. They are good swimmers too. But the eyesight of guinea pigs is not as good as humans; they cannot comprehend colors and distance; besides this, they have a strong sense of hearing and good olfactory lobes.

Guinea pigs are great pets. They survive for several years and look too cute. They are fun playing and specifically entertaining. Male and female guinea pigs do not differ in their appearance regardless of their size. A Guinea pig is a good companion and friend that needs daily interaction. They are small, cute, and friendly, which can change a person’s mood if feeling low. They are good pets.

What Guinea pigs can eat

Guinea pigs are herbivorous animals. Their diet is based on high-quality guinea pig hay, pellets, and lots of green, fresh and leafy vegetables. A proper diet for guinea pigs is necessary.

Hay is a crucial part of the guinea pig’s diet. They require it for the proper digestion process. It is the thing that must be available for them 24/7.

Pellets provide adequate nutrition to the guinea pigs.

Vegetables should be provided to them daily, including carrots, tomatoes, peas, lettuce, etc. It provides necessary vitamins and minerals to them. Fruits such as apples, kiwi, papaya can also be given to them.

Do mother Guinea pigs eat their young ones?

Certainly yes, mama guinea pigs can eat their young guinea pigs. However, guinea pigs eating newborns is a very unusual behavior.

The following are some situations when guinea pigs could eat their young ones-

  • Inadequate resources- If there is insufficient food and water in the mother guinea pig cage, they might think that resources are scarce. If they believe that sufficient food and water are not available for their young ones, they might start to eat their babies to have only a few baby guineas to feed sufficiently.
  • Malnourishment – This might be the reason why a mother guinea pig may eat her baby. If the guinea pig is not getting adequate nutrients, minerals, and vitamins needed by the body, they are malnourished. This can happen if they are not supplied with sufficient food and nutritional supplements. After delivering the baby guinea pig, if the mother guinea pig feels malnourished, she will always try to feed on the placenta to nurture herself. Along with that, she can accidentally engulf her baby too.
  • Stress: If constant stress or anxiety can cause a mother guinea pig annoyance, then it can lead her to eat her pups. One of the triggers is noise. Guinea pigs are certainly sensitive to loud noise.
  • Overcrowding: Another reason for anxiety is overcrowding. If there are many throngs around her, she might be devastated by the activities and insufficient space. To make her space, she might eat her young ones.
  • Less liable to cause harm– Guinea pigs might be Darwinian in their strategy towards motherliness, which means survival of the strongest and propagates more.
  • Local behavior: To eliminate the opponent, guinea pigs are resistant to sharing their enclaves, which might be true if the male guinea pigs are kept together.

The above mentioned are the few reasons why guinea pigs might eat their young ones. However, it is very rare.

Do male guinea pigs eat young guinea pigs?

Mother guinea pigs eating their young ones is rare, while male guinea pigs eat the babies. One of the reasons that male guinea pigs could eat babies is that pups usually stay with their mother to nurture and stay separated from them. If the male guinea pig feels threatened by the young ones, they might eat them.

Do guinea pigs eat their young ones if a human touches them?

No, it is a widespread myth and completely not true. It is a myth that a guinea pig will engulf its offspring or refuse them if a human touches or handles them. A guinea pig would not eat its babies if a human touched them.

Just be gentle and careful while handling the baby guinea pig. Precisely, leave the baby guinea pigs with their mother for a week for proper nourishment and to make their bones stronger for proper and comfortable handling.

How to assure that guinea pigs shouldn’t eat babies

After birth, baby guinea pigs require healthy supplements from mother’s milk, so they need to be kept with their mother after birth. Do the following to decrease the risk that the guinea pig would eat baby pigs-

  • Keep the watch on the mother guinea pig after birth to avoid getting confused between the baby guinea pig and placenta.
  • Wait until the guinea pig turns old to breed at least three months old so that she will be developed and mature sufficiently to feed her babies properly without eating them.
  • Provide healthy and proper nutrition to the guinea pig so that due to lack of food and water, she wouldn’t eat her offspring. In general, a guinea pig must have ⅛ cups of pellets every day, one mug of fresh and green vegetables, and whole Timothy fodder, and during the gestation period, the pellets should be provided limitless.

Summary

Though it is very rare for a guinea pig to eat its babies, there are some circumstances in which baby guinea pigs might be eaten by their parents. A female guinea pig may eat her baby due to a lack of nutrition, malnourishment, anxiety, etc. A male guinea pig may eat his young ones if he feels frightened by them. Female guinea pigs would rarely eat their young ones, but it is even rarer that a male guinea pig eats his babies.

If the guinea pig has eaten their offspring, it is possibly unintended, or they may have done that for survival.

The proper care should be taken to avoid eating young guinea pigs by their parents. Taking some precautions can help guinea pigs to live a healthy and happy life.

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