A guinea pig is not a pig at all, just like a koala bear, is not a bear. A guinea pig is a rodent like a mouse, rat, beaver, porcupine or hamster. Many years ago guinea pigs only lived in south America. The local people used them for food, yes they ate them… Traders visiting South America returned with them and they have since spread all over the world as pets.Guinea pigs are very shy and will spend a lot of time hiding. They even eat at first and last light when other animals find it harder to see them. In the wild they live in long grass or other animals abandoned burrows.

Choosing your Guinea Pig
There are many different kinds of guinea pig, Abyssinian, shaggy shelties, silky satins and wavy rexes to name just a few. Forget all that (unless it’s very important to you – in which case look at the glossary at the bottom of the page). What you need is a short haired guinea pig. They are easy to look after and just as pretty as their long haired cousins.Buy at least two guinea pigs. They need company You must get guinea pigs of the same sex (two boys or two girls) or you will very quickly have more guinea pigs than you can handle. If you are going to have more than two then you should get females as males will fight. Kate says “typical”. Choose your guinea pigs from a litter that is at least six weeks old.The puppies (baby guinea pigs) that you choose should be plump and well fed, should have bright eyes and clear ears and nose, and should have shiny, silky fur all over including under the bottom.

A place to live

The first thing to decide is are they going to live indoors or out?. If the answer is indoors then a small cage for sleeping is fine. Maybe one foot (30cm) by one foot for each pig. They will also need a play room for when they are awake. This is a flat wooden tray about 2 feet (60cm) wide by 3 feet (1m) long with a side all around at least 8 inches (20cm) high These can be either bought or made very easily. OR you can buy a special, multi-layer, super stacking, wonder house, with tubes, wheels, bedrooms, and other exciting and very expensive stuff. If they are going outside then you need a hutch and a wire run. You could also fence off a small patch of your lawn and let them have a play area for when they’re not in their hutch. Outside living for guinea pigs is often more suitable. They poo a lot and their changes ca get stinky quickly. A movable cage with a wire bottom is a good idea so they can graze on your lawn.

Stuff To Own
Line the floor of the cage, playroom or hutch with newspaper.
Buy shredded paper for bedding.
Get hold of some dry, fresh hay for nibbling and bedding (optional but nice)
Put in a short piece of a fruit tree branch (6inches) to chew on or buy chews from your pet shop. This will keep their teeth worn down.
A low, heavy food bowl.
A water sipper bottle.
Cardboard tubes, boxes etc. to play with and chew.
A clay pipe, pot or bowl to climb on,in and through.
DON’T put plastic in with your guinea pigs as they will chew it and may choke.

What to feed them.
Guinea Pigs are vegetarians. Don’t buy them burgers they’ll just waste them. Fresh scraps from the kitchen are fine as are grass (not lawn clippings), dandelions,and clover. They will also like celery, cucumber, sweetcorn (maize), capsicum pepper, carrots and fruit. More convenient and cheaper is dried mix from the pet shop. A large bag will last for ages.

Breeding
Follow these careful instructions. Put a male in a cage with a female. They will breed, you will end up with lots of babies, over and over. Two males will happily live together especially if from the same litter, but don’t place a female in with them, they will fight over her. If you do wish to breed your guinea pigs, make sure there is only one male in with the female(s)

A guinea pig is not a pig at all, just like a koala bear, is not a bear. A guinea pig is a rodent like a mouse, rat, beaver, porcupine or hamster. Many years ago guinea pigs only lived in south America. The local people used them for food, yes they ate them… Traders visiting South America returned with them and they have since spread all over the world as pets.Guinea pigs are very shy and will spend a lot of time hiding. They even eat at first and last light when other animals find it harder to see them. In the wild they live in long grass or other animals abandoned burrows.

Choosing your Guinea Pig
There are many different kinds of guinea pig, Abyssinian, shaggy shelties, silky satins and wavy rexes to name just a few. Forget all that (unless it’s very important to you – in which case look at the glossary at the bottom of the page). What you need is a short haired guinea pig. They are easy to look after and just as pretty as their long haired cousins.Buy at least two guinea pigs. They need company You must get guinea pigs of the same sex (two boys or two girls) or you will very quickly have more guinea pigs than you can handle. If you are going to have more than two then you should get females as males will fight. Kate says “typical”. Choose your guinea pigs from a litter that is at least six weeks old.The puppies (baby guinea pigs) that you choose should be plump and well fed, should have bright eyes and clear ears and nose, and should have shiny, silky fur all over including under the bottom.

A place to live

The first thing to decide is are they going to live indoors or out? If the answer is indoors then a small cage for sleeping is fine. Maybe one foot (30cm) by one foot for each guinea pig. They will also need a play room for when they are awake. This is a flat wooden tray about 2 feet (60cm) wide by 3 feet (1m) long with a side all around at least 8 inches (20cm) high. These can be either bought or made very easily. OR you can buy a special, multi-layer, super stacking, wonder house, with tubes, wheels, bedrooms, and other exciting and very expensive stuff. If they are going outside then you need a hutch and a wire run. You could also fence off a small patch of your lawn and let them have a play area for when they’re not in their hutch. Outside living for guinea pigs is often more suitable. They poo a lot and their changes ca get stinky quickly. A movable cage with a wire bottom is a good idea so they can graze on your lawn.

Stuff To Own
Line the floor of the cage, playroom or hutch with newspaper.
Buy shredded paper for bedding.
Get hold of some dry, fresh hay for nibbling and bedding (optional but nice)
Put in a short piece of a fruit tree branch (6inches) to chew on or buy chews from your pet shop. This will keep their teeth worn down.
A low, heavy food bowl.
A water sipper bottle.
Cardboard tubes, boxes etc. to play with and chew.
A clay pipe, pot or bowl to climb on,in and through.
DON’T put plastic in with your guinea pigs as they will chew it and may choke.

What to feed them.
Guinea Pigs are vegetarians. Don’t buy them burgers they’ll just waste them. Fresh scraps from the kitchen are fine as are grass (not lawn clippings), dandelions,and clover. They will also like celery, cucumber, sweetcorn (maize), capsicum pepper, carrots and fruit. More convenient and cheaper is dried mix from the pet shop. A large bag will last for ages.

Breeding
Follow these careful instructions. Put a male in a cage with a female. They will breed, you will end up with lots of babies, over and over. Two males will happily live together especially if from the same litter, but don’t place a female in with them, they will fight over her. If you do wish to breed your guinea pigs, make sure there is only one male in with the female(s)