As with any animal, adult guinea pig size can vary based on a number of factors. These include birth order, age, species, gender, diet, lifestyle, overall health, and genetics.
Most commonly, however, only length and weight are noted when measuring guinea pig size. There is a significant difference between the average guinea pig weight for males and that for females.
So, if youre wondering how much should a guinea pig weigh, part of the answer is the weight range. So, a guinea pigs breed plays a significant role in its weight and length. Unlike other animals in the rodent family, most guinea pigs do not have a visible tail that can count towards its overall length.
The average guinea pig size in length ranges from 8 to 10 inches (20-30 cm). These wonderful piggies have a stunning coat marked by cowlicks (rosettes) that create swirls of fur all over their body. They also have lovely bands of color in their fur that can range from pure ivory to deep grey.
An Abyssinian full-size guinea pig can range from 8 to 12 inches (20-30 cm) depending on gender, birth order, litter size, diet, and overall health. American guinea pigs tend to stay at the shorter end of the spectrum lengthwise, with adults only reaching about 8 to 9 inches (20-22 cm) at maturity. Weight-wise, a baby piggie will weigh between 2 and 4.5 ounces (60-130g) depending on birth order and litter size.
By the time a baby guinea pig is just over a year old, it will be at its full adult length and weight. It is generally possible to tell whether a guinea pig is a male or a female by the time it reaches the age of three weeks. Most female guinea pigs will typically top out on the smaller end of the size range for their breed at between 8-10 inches (20-25 cm).
A male Abyssinian guinea pig is far more likely to grow to the full 12 inches than a female. If you can imagine a guinea pig that weighed 1,543 pounds (700 kg) and stood 1.4 yards (1.3 meters) tall, you are imagining Phoberomys pattersoni , the biggest guinea pig ever, which lived 8 million years ago in what is now northern Venezuela. Phoberomys is officially the worlds biggest guinea pig, although scientists are still piecing together how it evolved into todays pint-sized relatives.
Scientists say this biggest guinea pig that ever lived ate mostly grasses like its tiny modern cousins, just lots more of it of course! Hopefully, weve provided you with lots of other interesting information and facts on guinea pigs as well. We love guinea pigs for their gentleness, cuteness, wonderful personalities, silky coats, and friendly dispositions.
American Cavy Breeders Association Banks, R. The Guinea Pig: Biology, Care, Identification, Nomenclature, Breeding, and Genetics . USAMRIID Seminar Series, 1989.
How big do pet guinea pigs get?
Guinea pigs are furry, tailless pets that grow up to be about three pounds.
How big is a full grown guinea pig?
Guinea pigs are large for rodents; the common pet breeds weigh between 700 and 1,200 g (1.5 and 2.6 lb) when fully grown and measure between 20 and 25 cm (8 and 10 in) in length.
What is the largest breed of guinea pig?
The Rex is by far the largest breed of all the guinea pigs out there, measuring in at a rather impressive 43 cm or 17 inches long as an adult. Keeping in mind that the average breed is between 10 and 12 inches, this means the Rex is almost one and a half times bigger than other guinea pig breeds.
Guinea pigs are somewhat unusual among pet rodents because they grow much bigger than their furry cousins such as mice, rats, and hamsters. So what is considered a ‘typical’ or ‘normal’ size for a guinea pig? The following figures should give you a rough idea of how long your cavy should be at various stages in its life.
Guinea pigs’ relatively large size makes them great pets for children, as they are much less likely to drop them than they might with smaller animals. If you consider this right from the start you will be saved any nasty surprises, and won’t have to buy a second cage after just a few months when you discover that their current one is too small!
However, if your pet is significantly bigger or smaller than these sizes, you should take it for a checkup at your local vet, as it may be a sign of a physical problem.
Guinea pigs are smaller animals, though they are actually quite large for a rodent. When you first adopt a guinea pig, you may be getting and adult or a juvenile. If you adopt a smaller guinea pig, it is important to ensure they are growing along the right timeline. Otherwise, it could signal that something is wrong.
Guinea pigs are native to the Andes of South America, which is why they often have longer hair than other rodents. Instead, they are likely descended from a different species and evolved next to humans over thousands of years like dogs.
They are also important parts in folk practices, hinting at how long ago they were domesticated. Image Credit: Jaroslaw Slodkiewicz, Unsplash The information from this chart shows the standard growth of a Hartley Guinea Pig. You can judge a guinea pigs full size quite accurately at 14-16 weeks, though they may gain a few grams afterward.
Image Credit: Alexas_Fotos, Pixabay When judging the growth of your guinea pig, you should focus mostly on the weight especially if you have a younger animal. The animal will likely not stay still for an extended amount of time, which can make measuring difficult. The easiest thing to do is use a kitchen scale, distracting your guinea pig with a treat or affection.
Put a paper towel in the bottom of the scale to give your guinea pig some extra grip, which may help them feel a bit safer. In general, males will grow faster than females and end up a few hundred grams larger. She currently resides in Tennessee with four dogs, three cats, two fish, and a lizard, though she has dreams of owning chickens one-day!
The guinea pig or domestic guinea pig (Cavia porcellus), also known as the cavy or domestic cavy (/kevi/), is a species of rodent belonging to the genus Cavia in the family Caviidae. Breeders tend to use the word cavy to describe the animal, while in scientific and laboratory contexts, it is far more commonly referred to by the common name guinea pig. Despite their common name, guinea pigs are not native to Guinea, nor are they closely related biologically to pigs, and the origin of the name is still unclear. They originated in the Andes of South America. Studies based on biochemistry and hybridization suggest they are domesticated animals that do not exist naturally in the wild, descendants of a closely related cavy species such as C. tschudii. They were originally domesticated as livestock for a source of meat, and are still consumed in some parts of the world.
In Western society , the guinea pig has enjoyed widespread popularity as a pet since its introduction to Europe and North America by European traders in the 16th century. Their docile nature, friendly responsiveness to handling and feeding, and the relative ease of caring for them have made guinea pigs a continuing popular choice of household pet.
Livestock breeds of the guinea pig play an important role in folk culture for many indigenous Andean peoples , especially as a food source. Some species of cavy identified in the 20th century, such as C. anolaimae and C. guianae , may be domestic guinea pigs that have become feral by reintroduction into the wild. They are social animals, living in the wild in small groups (” herds “) that consist of several females (“sows”), a male (“boar”), and their young (“pups” not “piglets”, a break with the preceding porcine nomenclature).
Regionally known as cuy , the guinea pig was first domesticated as early as 5000 BC for food by tribes in the Andean region of South America (the present-day southern part of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia), some thousands of years after the domestication of the South American camelids .  Statues dating from circa 500 BC to 500 AD that depict guinea pigs have been unearthed in archaeological digs in Peru and Ecuador.  They continue to be a food source in the region; many households in the Andean highlands raise the animal, which subsists on the family’s vegetable scraps.
Folklore traditions involving guinea pigs are numerous; they are exchanged as gifts, used in customary social and religious ceremonies, and frequently referred to in spoken metaphors. They also are used in traditional healing rituals by folk doctors, or curanderos , who use the animals to diagnose diseases such as jaundice , rheumatism , arthritis , and typhus . Spanish , Dutch , and English traders took guinea pigs to Europe, where they quickly became popular as exotic pets among the upper classes and royalty, including Queen Elizabeth I .
 However, based on more recent excavations on West Indian islands, the animal must have been introduced to the Caribbean around 500 BC by ceramic-making horticulturalists from South America. Guinea pigs are large for rodents; the common pet breeds weigh between 700 and 1,200 g (1.5 and 2.6 lb) when fully grown and measure between 20 and 25 cm (8 and 10 in) in length. They startle easily, and when they sense danger either freeze in place for long periods, or run for cover with rapid, darting motions.
Larger groups of startled guinea pigs ” stampede “, running in haphazard directions as a means of confusing predators.  Dominance is also established through biting (especially of the ears), piloerection , aggressive noises, head thrusts, and leaping attacks. Activity is scattered randomly throughout the day; aside from an avoidance of intense light, no regular circadian patterns are apparent.
 However, rabbits have different nutritional requirements; as lagomorphs , they synthesize their own Vitamin C , so the two species will not thrive if fed the same food when housed together. listen ( help info ) A bubbling or purring sound is made when the guinea pig is enjoying itself, such as when being petted or held. listen ( help info ) A rumbling sound is normally related to dominance within a group, though it can also come as a response to being scared or angry.
While courting, a male usually purrs deeply, swaying and circling the female in a behavior called rumblestrutting . listen ( help info ) Chutting and whining are sounds made in pursuit situations, by the pursuer and pursuee, respectively. listen ( help info ) A chattering sound is made by rapidly gnashing the teeth , and is generally a sign of warning.
listen ( help info ) Chirping, a less common sound, likened to bird song , seems to be related to stress or discomfort, or when a baby guinea pig wants to be fed. Domestic guinea pigs generally live in cages , although some owners of large numbers of cavies dedicate entire rooms to their pets. [ citation needed ] Wire mesh floors can cause injury and may be associated with an infection commonly known as bumblefoot (ulcerative pododermatitis), so cages with solid bottoms, where the animal walks directly on the bedding, are typically used.
Large cages, which allow for adequate running space, can be constructed from wire grid panels and plastic sheeting, a style known as C&C, or “cubes and coroplast”. Red cedar ( Eastern or Western ) and pine , both softwoods , were commonly used as bedding, but now these materials are believed to contain harmful phenols (aromatic hydrocarbons) and oils. Bedding materials made from hardwoods (such as aspen ), paper products, and corn cobs are alternatives.
Guinea pigs tend to be messy; they often jump into their food bowls or kick bedding and feces into them, and their urine sometimes crystallizes on cage surfaces, making it difficult to remove.  Groups of boars may also get along, provided their cage has enough space, they are introduced at an early age, and no females are present. Cavia is New Latin ; it is derived from cabiai , the animal’s name in the language of the Galibi tribes once native to French Guiana .
 Cabiai may be an adaptation of the Portuguese avia (now savia ), which is itself derived from the Tupi word sauj , meaning rat. They can survive for long periods in small quarters, like a ‘pig pen’, and were easily transported by ship to Europe. The German word for them is Meerschweinchen , literally “little sea pig“, in Polish they are called winka morska , in Hungarian as tengerimalac , and in Russian as .
For example, sailing ships stopping to reprovision in the New World would pick up stores of guinea pigs, which provided an easily transportable source of fresh meat. This association with pigs is not universal among European terms; for example, the common word in Spanish is conejillo de Indias (little rabbit of the Indies). The other, and less common, Japanese word for guinea pig, using kanji, is ( or tenjiku-nezumi ), which literally translates as ‘India rat’.
Most mammals that graze are large and have a long digestive tract; guinea pigs have much longer colons than most rodents, but they must also supplement their diet by eating their feces ( coprophagy ) . In geriatric boars or sows (rarely in young ones), the muscles which allow the softer pellets to be expelled from the anus can become weak. Some pet owners and veterinary organizations have advised that, as a legume rather than a grass hay, alfalfa consumed in large amounts may lead to obesity , as well as bladder stones from the excess calcium in all animals except for pregnant and very young guinea pigs.
Like humans, but unlike most other mammals , guinea pigs cannot synthesize their own vitamin C and must obtain this vital nutrient from food. Guinea pigs require about 10 mg of vitamin C daily (20 mg if pregnant), which can be obtained through fresh, raw fruits and vegetables (such as broccoli, apple, cabbage, carrot, celery, and spinach) or through dietary supplements or by eating fresh pellets designed for guinea pigs, if they have been handled properly. Healthy diets for guinea pigs require a complex balance of calcium, magnesium , phosphorus , potassium , and hydrogen ions ; but adequate amounts of vitamins A , D , and E are also necessary.
Poor diets for guinea pigs have been associated with muscular dystrophy , metastatic calcification , difficulties with pregnancy, vitamin deficiencies , and teeth problems. Guinea pigs tend to be fickle eaters when it comes to fresh fruits and vegetables after having learned early in life what is and is not appropriate to consume, and their eating habits may be difficult to change after maturity. They do not respond well to sudden changes in their diet and they may stop eating and starve rather than accept new food types.
 A constant supply of hay is generally recommended, as guinea pigs feed continuously and may develop bad habits if food is not present, such as chewing on their hair. A number of plants are poisonous to guinea pigs, including bracken , bryony , buttercup , charlock , deadly nightshade , foxglove , hellebore , hemlock , lily of the valley , mayweed , monkshood , privet , ragwort , rhubarb , speedwell , toadflax (both Linaria vulgaris and Linaria dalmatica ), and wild celery . Additionally, any plant which grows from a bulb (e.g., tulip or onion ) is normally considered poisonous, as well as ivy and oak tree leaves.
 Unlike the offspring of most rodents , which are altricial at birth, newborn cavy pups are precocial , and are well-developed with hair, teeth, claws, and partial eyesight. Large litters result in higher incidences of stillbirth , but because the pups are delivered at an advanced stage of development, lack of access to the mother’s milk has little effect on the mortality rate of newborns. Females that do not give birth may develop an irreversible fusing or calcified cartilage of the pubic symphysis , a joint in the pelvis , which may occur after six months of age.
Mange mites ( Trixacarus caviae ) are a common cause of hair loss, and other symptoms may also include excessive scratching, unusually aggressive behavior when touched (due to pain), and, in some instances, seizures. Guinea pigs are not well suited to environments that feature wind or frequent drafts, and respond poorly to extremes of humidity outside of the range of 3070%. Guinea pigs are prey animals whose survival instinct is to mask pain and signs of illness, and many times health problems may not be apparent until a condition is severe or in its advanced stages.
Treatment of disease is made more difficult by the extreme sensitivity guinea pigs have to most antibiotics , including penicillin , which kill off the intestinal flora and quickly bring on episodes of diarrhea and in some cases, death. Most commonly, the roan coloration of Abyssinian guinea pigs is associated with congenital eye disorders and problems with the digestive system. Other genetic disorders include “waltzing disease” (deafness coupled with a tendency to run in circles), palsy, and tremor conditions.
If handled correctly early in life, guinea pigs become amenable to being picked up and carried, and seldom bite or scratch. As a result of their widespread popularity, especially in households with children, guinea pigs have shown a presence in culture and media.  Butler’s story, in turn, inspired the Star Trek: The Original Series episode ” The Trouble with Tribbles “, written by David Gerrold .
 In the Golden Hamster Saga books, two guinea pigs named Enrico and Caruso are modern-day thespians (named after Enrico Caruso ) who serve as secondary characters, and often irritate the main character, Freddy Auratus , who strongly dislikes their acting antics. Both rural and urban families raise guinea pigs for supplementary income, and the animals are commonly bought and sold at local markets and large-scale municipal fairs.  Pachamanca or huatia , a process similar to barbecuing , is also popular, and is usually served with corn beer ( chicha ) in traditional settings.
 The animal remains an important aspect of certain religious events in both rural and urban areas of Peru. It is a syncretistic event, combining elements of Catholicism and pre-Columbian religious practices, and revolves around the celebration of local patron saints . The exact form the jaca tsariy takes differs from town to town; in some localities, a sirvinti (servant) is appointed to go from door to door, collecting donations of guinea pigs, while in others, guinea pigs may be brought to a communal area to be released in a mock bullfight .
In the Tungurahua and Cotopaxi provinces of central Ecuador, guinea pigs are employed in the celebrations surrounding the feast of Corpus Christi as part of the Ensayo , which is a community meal, and the Octava , where castillos (greased poles) are erected with prizes tied to the crossbars, from which several guinea pigs may be hung. The Peruvian town of Churin has an annual festival that involves dressing guinea pigs in elaborate costumes for competition. Subsequent university efforts have sought to change breeding and husbandry procedures in South America, to make the raising of guinea pigs as livestock more economically sustainable.
The three original lines out of Peru were the Per (weighing 800 grams (28 oz) by 2 weeks), the Andina , and the Inti .  In the 1990s and 2000s, La Molina University began exporting large-breed guinea pigs to Europe, Japan, and the United States in the hope of increasing human consumption outside of countries in northern South America. The heat from the guinea pig‘s respiration melted snow surrounding the calorimeter, showing that respiratory gas exchange is a combustion , similar to a candle burning.
 Guinea pigs played a major role in the establishment of germ theory in the late 19th century, through the experiments of Louis Pasteur , mile Roux , and Robert Koch .  Guinea pigs have been launched into orbital space flight several times, first by the USSR on the Sputnik 9biosatellite of March 9, 1961 with a successful recovery. In English , the term “guinea pig” is commonly used as a metaphor for a subject of scientific experimentation, or any experiment or test in modern times.
This dates back to the early 20th century; the Oxford English Dictionary notes its first usage in this capacity in 1913.  The book became a national bestseller in the United States, thus further popularizing the term, and spurred the growth of the consumer protection movement.  During World War II , the plastic surgeonArchibald McIndoe established the Guinea Pig Club at Queen Victoria Hospital , East Grinstead , Sussex, England as a social club and mutual support network for his patients, who were undergoing previously-untested reconstruction procedures.
The negative connotation of the term was later employed in the novel The Guinea Pigs (1970) by Czech author Ludvk Vaculk as an allegory for Soviettotalitarianism .  In the past, they were widely used to standardize vaccines and antiviral agents ; they were also often employed in studies on the production of antibodies in response to extreme allergic reactions , or anaphylaxis . This is in part because research into the genetics of guinea pigs has lagged behind that of other rodents, although geneticists W. E. Castle and Sewall Wright made a number of contributions to this area of study, especially regarding coat color .
 Because guinea pigs are one of the few animals which, like humans and other primates , cannot synthesize vitamin C, but must obtain it from their diet, they are ideal for researching scurvy.  Additionally, guinea pigs have been identified as model organisms for the study of juvenile diabetes and, because of the frequency of pregnancy toxemia, of pre-eclampsia in human females. A hairless and immunodeficient breed was the result of a spontaneous genetic mutation in inbred laboratory strains from the Hartley stock at the Eastman Kodak Company in 1979.
“The associative processes of the guinea pig: A study of the psychical development of an animal with a nervous system well medullated at birth” . Sweden has similar legislation in place and several other countries have sensible laws protecting social animals. Breeding and Reproduction of Guinea Pigs , Merck Veterinarian Manual, Katherine E. Quesenberry, DVM, MPH, DABVP (Avian) ; Kenneth R. Boschert, DVM, DACLAM, 2016. , John E. Harkness, Patricia V. Turner, Susan VandeWoude, Colette L. Wheler, Iowa, USA: Wiley & Sons, “Ch.
^ Star Trek: the Original Series, Blu-ray edition, Season 2, Disc 4: “The Trouble with Tribbles”, CBS Home Video: Catalog No. ^ According to the “Commentary Mini” for the episode, the “costumes” for the guinea pigs were not created by South Park Studios, but rather had been ordered on line from a woman who makes them. “The current stage and future prospects of guinea pig production under smallholder conditions in West Africa” .
World Animal Review (FAO/AGA) 83(2): 2128 ^ Bindelle, J; Ilunga, Y; Delacollette, M; Kayij, MM; Di m’Balu, JU; Kindele, E; Buldgen, A (2007). “Voluntary intake, chemical composition and in vitro digestibility of fresh forages fed to guinea pigs in periurban rearing systems of Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo)” . ^ Maass, B.L., Katunga-Musale, D., Chiuri, W.L., Zozo, R. and Peters, M. (2010) Livelihoods of smallholders in South Kivu depend on small livestock: the case of the “cobaye”.
Analysis of the extent of human pressures and impact on natural forests of UNILEVER Tea Tanzania Limited (UTT) Archived 2011-09-28 at the Wayback Machine .
How Big Do Guinea Pigs Get?
So, how big do guinea pigs get? There is no single or simple answer to this question, but there are helpful guidelines.A guinea pig’s size consists of its length, width, height, and weight. Most commonly, however, only length and weight are noted when measuring guinea pig size.Let’s begin our look at guinea pig size by looking at average guinea pig weight.
Guinea Pig Weight
There is a significant difference between the average guinea pig weight for males and that for females.A female adult guinea pig generally weighs between 1.5 and 2 pounds (700-900g). Whereas a male adult guinea pig generally weighs between 2 and 2.6 pounds (900-1,100g).With numbers that small, it might not seem like a big difference. However, it means that a male full-size guinea pig generally weighs about one-third more than a female.So, if you’re wondering how much should a guinea pig weigh, part of the answer is the weight range.The vast majority of guinea pigs weigh somewhere between 1.5 and 2.6 pounds (700-1,100g). Of course, there will always be petite or large exceptions.For more general informaiton about guinea pigs and their life cycle, we invite you to review this informative post.
Full-Size Guinea Pig
So, how big do guinea pigs get?As with hamsters, dogs, cats, and other popular household pets, there are several breeds of guinea pig that are kept as pets today. The American Cavy Breeders Association (ACBA) recognizes 13 guinea pig breeds, but there are many more breeds that they don’t recognize.Some are quite large breeds, while others are much more petite. So, a guinea pig’s breed plays a significant role in its weight and length.Unlike other animals in the rodent family, most guinea pigs do not have a visible tail that can count towards its overall length. Which is actually good, since this can be confusing when the tail length represents half of a rodent’s overall length!For guinea pigs that do have visible tails, their tails are usually only between 1-1.5 inches (2.5-3.8 cm). They are often hidden from sight by the guinea pig’s fluffy fur coat.The average guinea pig size in length ranges from 8 to 10 inches (20-30 cm).Now that we know how big the average guinea pig is, let’s look at some exceptions.
Biggest Guinea Pig Breed
The award for the biggest guinea pig breed goes to the Rex guinea pig, which can grow up to 17 inches (43 cm) at maturity!To date, no other modern guinea pig breed even comes close to the Rex guinea pig’s incredible adult length!This one’s a gentle “giant” though as it’s also known as a low-maintenance lap pig that appreciates affection.
Abyssinian Guinea Pig Size
If you’re curious about how big do guinea pigs get, you’ll be intrigued to know that the larger guinea pig breeds grow across a length range of about 4 inches.The larger pigs in each breed range from 10 to 12 inches (25-30 cm).Here are some common and popular large guinea pig breeds:
American Guinea Pig Size
The American guinea pig is one of the smaller breeds on the guinea pig size chart.American guinea pigs tend to stay at the shorter end of the spectrum lengthwise, with adults only reaching about 8 to 9 inches (20-22 cm) at maturity.
How Big Are Baby Guinea Pigs?
If you think adult guinea pigs are cute, you should see them when they are babies!Baby guinea pigs don’t stay babies for very long, however, so usually only breeders get to see these teensy versions of the adult pets we all love.If you are wondering how big baby guinea pigs are, well, an infant guinea pig may be only 3 to 4 inches (8-10 cm) long at birth!Weight-wise, a baby piggie will weigh between 2 and 4.5 ounces (60-130g) depending on birth order and litter size. The average birth weight is 2.8 ounces (80 g).The larger the litter, the smaller the baby guinea pigs will be. Litters can range from one to eight babies, with the average litter being three.Infant guinea pigs grow very fast. In just eight weeks, they will double in size and weight. In another eight weeks, they will nearly double in size and weight yet again.By the time a baby guinea pig is just over a year old, it will be at its full adult length and weight.
How Big Do Female Guinea Pigs Get?
It is generally possible to tell whether a guinea pig is a male or a female by the time it reaches the age of three weeks.The most common way is to palpate the abdominal area, but size can sometimes also be an indicator of gender. Males are generally 25-30% larger than females in both weight and length.Most female guinea pigs will typically top out on the smaller end of the size range for their breed at between 8-10 inches (20-25 cm).
How Big Do Male Guinea Pigs Get?
Males are almost always larger than female guinea pigs of the same breed. They are the ones who are most likely to grow to the breed’s maximum length.For instance, if you bring home an Abyssinian, you know that Abyssinian guinea pig size ranges from 8 to 12 inches (20-40 cm).A male Abyssinian guinea pig is far more likely to grow to the full 12 inches than a female.
Biggest Guinea Pig Ever
If you can imagine a guinea pig that weighed 1,543 pounds (700 kg) and stood 1.4 yards (1.3 meters) tall, you are imaginingPhoberomys is officially the world’s biggest guinea pig, although scientists are still piecing together how it evolved into today’s pint-sized relatives.Unlike modern guinea pigs, this really big guinea pig also had a really long tail that it used for balance. Scientists say this biggest guinea pig that ever lived ate mostly grasses like its tiny modern cousins, just lots more of it of course!
How Big Do Guinea Pigs Get?
We’ve answered your questions about how big do guinea pigs get and how much should a guinea pig weigh. Hopefully, we’ve provided you with lots of other interesting information and facts on guinea pigs as well.To recap, the average guinea pig weight is 25-40 ounces (700-1100 g) and guinea pig size lengthwise is typically 8-10 inches (20-25.4 cm).We love guinea pigs for their gentleness, cuteness, wonderful personalities, silky coats, and friendly dispositions. But when you love your guinea pig, you want to learn all there is to know about him or her too!We encourage you to keep learning, and also to share what you learn with other guinea pig enthusiasts. How big is your guinea pig? Do you have a furry friend that’s on one end or the other of the size range? Tell us about him or her in the comments.
Fact About Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs are native to the Andes of South America, which is why they often have longer hair than other rodents. They’re used to a colder climate. The origin of the name “Guinea Pig” is actually very unclear, especially considering that these animals aren’t related to pigs and aren’t from Guinea.These animals are now fully domesticated, which wild guinea pigs not existing naturally in the wild. Instead, they are likely descended from a different species and evolved next to humans over thousands of years – like dogs.In the Western world, they are often kept as pets. They were first introduced in the 16In the Andean people, the guinea pig is often raised as a food source. They are also important parts in folk practices, hinting at how long ago they were domesticated.
When Does a Guinea Pig Stop Growing?
The information from this chart shows the standard growth of a Hartley Guinea Pig. Males will be bigger than females.
Factors Affecting the Size of Guinea Pigs
The most obvious factor is gender. Males tend to be quite a bit bigger than females, no matter the breed. You can expect all males to grow at a faster rate, though both genders will stop growing at about the same time.Another factor is the breed. Some breeds are bigger than others. The Hartley guinea pig is one of the most common, especially in the scientific community. Therefore, we have the most scientific information about their growth rate. However, other breeds will grow at different rates and reach different sizes.Diet can also affect the size. However, if fed correctly, all guinea pigs should keep up with others of their gender and species.
Ideal Diet for Maintaining a Healthy Weight
Guinea pigs need a variety of foods to thrive. Typically, they need unlimited amounts of hay. This hay should be low in calcium, such as Timothy hay. They will need to be supplemented with pellets, which will contain more nutrients and help the rodent stay healthy.Guinea pigs can also eat a variety of fruits and veggies, though you should be careful in choosing the correct options for your guinea pig. Treats should be fed sparingly if at all, as guinea pigs are very small.
How to Measure Your Guinea Pig
When judging the growth of your guinea pig, you should focus mostly on the weight – especially if you have a younger animal. While you don’t want your guinea pig being overly large for their length, comparing their length to their weight is not always an accurate way to judge whether a guinea pig is at a healthy weight or not.Measuring a guinea pig can be a bit difficult. The animal will likely not stay still for an extended amount of time, which can make measuring difficult.The easiest thing to do is use a kitchen scale, distracting your guinea pig with a treat or affection. Put a paper towel in the bottom of the scale to give your guinea pig some extra grip, which may help them feel a bit safer.
TheIn Western society, the guinea pig has enjoyed widespread popularity as a pet since its introduction to Europe and North America by European traders in the 16th century. Their docile nature, friendly responsiveness to handling and feeding, and the relative ease of caring for them have made guinea pigs a continuing popular choice of household pet. Organizations devoted to the competitive breeding of guinea pigs have been formed worldwide. Many specialized breeds, with varying coat colors and textures, are selected by breeders.Livestock breeds of the guinea pig play an important role in folk culture for many indigenous Andean peoples, especially as a food source. The animals are also used in folk medicine and in community religious ceremonies.Biological experimentation on domestic guinea pigs has been carried out since the 17th century. The animals were used so frequently as model organisms in the 19th and 20th centuries that the epithet
Wild cavies are found on grassy plains and occupy an ecological niche similar to that of cattle. They are social animals, living in the wild in small groups (“herds”) that consist of several females (“sows”), a male (“boar”), and their young (“pups” not “piglets”, a break with the preceding porcine nomenclature). Herds of animals move together, eating grass or other vegetation, yet do not store food.Regionally known asFrom about 1200 to the Spanish conquest in 1532, the indigenous peoples used selective breeding to develop many varieties of domestic guinea pigs, which formed the basis for some of the modern domestic breeds.Folklore traditions involving guinea pigs are numerous; they are exchanged as gifts, used in customary social and religious ceremonies, and frequently referred to in spoken metaphors.Spanish, Dutch, and English traders took guinea pigs to Europe, where they quickly became popular as exotic pets among the upper classes and royalty, including Queen Elizabeth I.The guinea pig was first described in the West in 1554 by the Swiss naturalist Conrad Gessner.The earliest-known European illustration of a domestic guinea pig is a painting (artist unknown) in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery in London, dated to 1580, which shows a girl in typical Elizabethan dress holding a tortoise-shell guinea pig in her hands. She is flanked by her two brothers, one of whom holds a pet bird.
Guinea pigs are large for rodents; the common pet breeds weigh between 700 and 1,200 g (1.5 and 2.6 lb) when fully grown and measure between 20 and 25 cm (8 and 10 in) in length.In the 1990s, a minority scientific opinion emerged proposing that caviomorphs such as guinea pigs, chinchillas, and degus are not actually rodents, and should be reclassified as a separate order of mammals (similar to the rodent-like lagomorphs which includes rabbits).Male and female guinea pigs do not differ in appearance apart from general size. The position of the anus is very close to the genitals in both sexes. Sexing animals at a young age must be done by someone who has been trained in the differences. Female genitals are distinguished by a “Y”-shaped configuration formed from a vulvar flap. While male genitals may look similar, with the penis and anus forming a similar shape, the penis will protrude if pressure is applied to the surrounding hair anterior to the genital region.
Guinea pigs can learn complex paths to food, and can accurately remember a learned path for months. Their strongest problem-solving strategy is motion.Like many rodents, guinea pigs sometimes participate in social grooming, and they regularly self-groom.Guinea pig eyesight is not as good as that of a human in terms of distance and color, but they have a wider angle of vision (about 340°) and see in partial color (dichromacy). They have well-developed senses of hearing, smell, and touch.Guinea pigs have developed a different biological rhythm from their wild counterparts, and have longer periods of activity followed by short periods of sleep in between.Guinea pigs do not generally thrive when housed with other species. Larger animals may regard guinea pigs as prey, though some dogs and cats can be trained to accept them.
Vocalization is the primary means of communication between members of the species.
Clubs and associations
Cavy clubs and associations dedicated to the showing and breeding of guinea pigs have been established worldwide. The American Cavy Breeders Association, an adjunct to the American Rabbit Breeders’ Association, is the governing body in the United States and Canada.
Allergic symptoms, including rhinitis, conjunctivitis, and asthma, have been documented in laboratory animal workers who come into contact with guinea pigs.
In popular culture and media
As a result of their widespread popularity, especially in households with children, guinea pigs have shown a presence in culture and media. Some noted appearances of the animal in literature include the short story “Pigs Is Pigs” by Ellis Parker Butler, which is a tale of bureaucratic incompetence. Two guinea pigs held at a railway station breed unchecked while humans argue as to whether they are “pigs” or “pets” for the purpose of determining freight charges.
In film and television
Guinea pigs have also been featured in film and television. In the TV movie
Guinea pigs (calledPeruvians consume an estimated 65 million guinea pigs each year, and the animal is so entrenched in the culture that one famous painting of the Last Supper in the main cathedral in Cusco shows Christ and the 12 disciples dining on guinea pig.
Peruvian breeding program
Peruvian research universities, especially La Molina National Agrarian University, began experimental programs in the 1960s with the intention of breeding larger-sized guinea pigs.
The United States, Europe, and Japan
Andean immigrants in New York City raise and sell guinea pigs for meat, and some South American restaurants in major cities in the United States serve
Efforts have been made to promote guinea pig husbandry in developing countries of West Africa,
In scientific research
The use of guinea pigs in scientific experimentation dates back at least to the 17th century, when the Italian biologists Marcello Malpighi and Carlo Fracassati conducted vivisections of guinea pigs in their examinations of anatomic structures.In English, the term “guinea pig” is commonly used as a metaphor for a subject of scientific experimentation, or any experiment or test in modern times. This dates back to the early 20th century; theGuinea pigs remained popular laboratory animals until the later 20th century: about 2.5 million guinea pigs were used annually in the U.S. for research in the 1960s,The guinea pig was most extensively implemented in research and diagnosis of infectious diseases.Complement, an important component for serology, was first isolated from the blood of the guinea pig.Guinea pig strains used in scientific research are primarily outbred strains. Aside from the common American or English stock, the two main outbred strains in laboratory use are the Hartley and Dunkin-Hartley; these English strains are albino, although pigmented strains are also available.Hairless breeds of guinea pigs have been used in scientific research since the 1980s, particularly for dermatological studies. A hairless and immunodeficient breed was the result of a spontaneous genetic mutation in inbred laboratory strains from the Hartley stock at the Eastman Kodak Company in 1979.