Guinea pigs are very gentle animals and will often sit quite happily with our visitors during our Small Animal Petting sessions!
Guinea pig facts:
- An adult male is a boar and an adult female is a sow. A newborn is called a pup.
- A group of guinea pigs is called a herd.
- Despite their name, guinea pigs aren't a member of the pig family and they don't come from Guinea!
- The wild ancestor of the domestic guinea pig lives wild in the forests and grasslands of South America where they are considered a delicacy to eat.
- Sailors introduced guinea pigs to Europe from South America as they were an easily transportable source of fresh meat.
- Today people in Peru eat over 65 million guinea pigs per year.
- Guinea pigs are rodents, which means that their teeth continue to grow throughout their life and have to be worn down by gnawing.
- Guinea pigs usually live for 4-8 years.
- A guinea pig sow's pregnancy lasts for 2 months, which is similar to cats and dogs.
- The average litter size is 2-4 pups.
- Pups are born with fur, a full set of teeth and open eyes. Newborns are also able to move around.
- Guinea pigs have a whole range of vocal noises!
- Guinea pigs digest their food twice by eating their own droppings!