How long are guinea pigs pregnant? Guinea pigs pregnancy only lasts between 59-72 days. If ever your guinea pig will get pregnant, the stages of their pregnancy are always easy to predict and consistent, so you can already know what to do and what would happen. If you insist, learn how to breed guinea pigs.
How Guinea Pigs Reproduce
Male guinea pigs, or should we call boars, often mature sexually, and they can perform intercourse as young as three months of age. However, Ginger mated when he was two months! But, sad to say, I didn’t keep the pups. Regardless, it still depends on your guinea pigs as some start late, but it’s not ideal since guinea pigs would lose their vigor.
On the other hand, sows or female guinea pigs usually mature when they reach at least two months of age. It is not less than 55 days or more than 70 days. Both male and female guinea pigs can pass adulthood and be fertile at a very early period. However, females may have estrous or productive periods at no specific time of the year.
However, they are commonly known to happen in the spring. This is because the estrous cycle length exceeds more than sixteen days.
A female is fertile for at least six to eleven hours, and most often during the night. Female guinea pigs start a new estrous cycle immediately after giving birth.
Their litter size can range from one to eight offspring, but a litter of two to four is quite common.
A female guinea pig can bear at most five litters every year. Therefore, any male guinea pig close to the pregnant guinea pig will come near and do its best to become the dominant male to protect both females and offspring.
As you know, a female guinea pig has a very short postpartum estrus that can last for only about 12 hours a day. Therefore, if a dominant male is absent, all-male guinea pigs will do their best to mate with the newly released mother.
Effect Of Pregnancy On Guinea Pigs
Here’s what you should take note of:
Breeding usually lessens the lifespan of a female guinea pig.
Especially for the very first time after it reached eight months of age can be incredibly risky due to the normal stiffening of their fibrous cartilage near the pubic bones and pelvis joints called the pubic symphysis. ( please read here How to know the age of Guinea Pig)
Sows that passed by adulthood without a sudden pregnancy cannot deliver their young in a usual manner.
Cesarean deliveries are seldom successful in guinea pigs, even when veterinarians have excellent experience with guinea pigs.
Neutering or spaying your pet guinea pig can be performed by a veterinarian with expertise dealing with tiny animals.
Still, the surgery can cost a tremendous amount of money and have potential risks. In addition, neutering a male guinea pig is often easier than spaying female ones.
On the contrary, guinea pigs usually do not feel well to surgery, anesthesia, or locked in unfamiliar surroundings.
The most guaranteed, easiest, and least expensive way to avoid breeding is to cage a male and female guinea pig away from each other.
However, if ever you have already decided to let your guinea pig undergo spaying or neutering, always remember to seek a veterinarian who has successfully performed a considerable number of surgeries like these.
Taking Care Of A Pregnant Guinea Pigs
After performing the surgery, make sure that you place your pet in a quiet surroundings.
Let them be isolated from other guinea pigs while waiting for their bodies to recover.
A small and dirt-free cage that uses towels for beddings helps a lot. Also, take note that towels must be changed at least every 48 hours.
Always make sure that your guinea pig is eating and drinking correctly. learn more on why do Guinea pig drink so much water
Do not starve them since their body needs many nutrients and vitamins that can help them recover faster.
As you know, extra vitamin C is very beneficial to them.
Stages Of A Guinea Pig’s Pregnancy
To have a deeper understanding of the pregnancy of guinea pigs, let us show you the stages!
Stage 1: The beginning of their pregnancy
A female guinea pig can go through estrus at least three or four times per year.
Thus, giving her and her partner a large number of chances to breed.
She begins estrus when she just reached at least two months old, so if you’re a guinea pig owner, do not be surprised when a very young pet of yours gets pregnant early.
Males are the ones that pick their mates by smelling their odor, then marking them with their urine.
While a female guinea pig is in estrus, he spends time with her overnight, resulting in her pregnancy.
Stage #2. The whole pregnancy period
The expected duration of a pregnancy is at least 65 days, but it still relies on the number of offspring she is carrying.
A guinea pig’s pregnancy will be shorter if she has more offspring.
An average litter is three or four babies, which is certainly enough for a guinea pig to become visibly more prominent during the whole pregnancy period.
A veterinarian can determine the number of babies she is carrying, guaranteeing that she successfully delivers all of them. (please read here why do Guinea pig shed)
Stage #3. Birth
Once she proceeds into labor, giving birth should not take long. However, it could take 30 minutes or so.
If your guinea pig gives birth longer than this or shows s signs of struggling, she needs immediate attention from a veterinarian, as they frequently require assistance when giving birth.
The babies are born with a well-developed body, complete teeth(how many teeth do Guinea pigs have), healthy hair, two ears, and two eyes.
Stage #4. After labor
Guinea pigs’ offspring can eat solid food after birth, but they also take a lot of nutrition from their mother.
Approximately 5-8 days after giving birth, the female guinea pig begins lactating for her babies, but they don’t depend on her for more than a month.
After only at least two or three weeks after their birth, the babies are weaned and become more reliable.
Please take note that you should be aware of a female guinea pig’s behavior after giving birth; they definitely won’t think twice to become pregnant again in a blink of an eye.
How long are guinea pigs pregnant? Guinea pigs mate at a young age.
Female guinea pigs can get pregnant quickly and lasts for about two months. You’d want to keep an eye on them if you don’t want to raise tons of baby guinea pigs.
Raising these cute and furry pups can be challenging, especially helping a guinea pig recover from pregnancy.
So, make sure you are ready. I am planning to mate Ginger anytime soon, so wish me luck!
Regardless, thank you for reading this article, and I hope you learn a lot from it!