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Pregnant guinea pig... I think. 3 MO UPDATE pg. 9

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by jossanne, Jan 25, 2009.

  1. jossanne

    jossanne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 11, 2008
    Gila, New Mexico
    We bought our 10yo daughter guinea pigs for Christmas. The feed store (a tiny little local store, 3 guinea pigs) sold us their breeding stock, and said one female was expecting babies, and should have them by the end of December.

    So today is the 25th of January now, and still no babies. She is getting very fat, but we feel no babies in there, like we always feel with our mama cats. I've read that gestation is longer when there are less babies, and mortality rate is higher when there is only one or maybe two babies.

    Is there any way to tell if this little fat girl is preggo, or if she is just fat? She and the other female, who was with the male when we bought them (hopefully she's pg too), live together in a 4ft square enclosure in the house. They have tunnels to play in, and plenty of room to move around. She shouldn't be just getting fat for no reason, should she?

    Any input/ideas?
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2009
  2. cutiepieacres

    cutiepieacres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 20, 2009
    S. CA
    guinea pig gestation is about 69 days. Size of the litter isnt going to effect due dates much, and litter sizes from 2-4 are common though 1 or 5 is also just fine.

    Guinea pigs become pear shaped when pregnant. You can start to feel baby kicks around 2 weeks before they are due. If they are friendly you can place you hand under their belly, or just watch to see if you see babies rolling or kicking.

    Dont pick them up or attempt to turn them on their backs or palpate babies if they are heavy pear shaped as the babies are carried out to the sides and close to the surface so they can be easily hurt, you also dont want to stress the moms out especially if they are a little skittish.

    make sure they are one a good quality guinea pig pellet(no junk or colored pieces, no nuts, etc. just a plain green pellet of a good brand), getting enough vit. C and I would give them alfalfa for the extra protien content and Calcium. Lots of fresh water always available.

    keep a close eye on them they should have babies with no issues, probably while you are not there but if you see depression or they are not eating or drinking a vet would be in order right away.

    make sure babies are weaned at 3 weeks to avoid any accidental mom/son brother/sister breedings, its rare but it can happen after 3 weeks.


    The male is no longer with the girls right???

    good luck I hope you have some baby piggies soon.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2009
  3. cutiepieacres

    cutiepieacres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 20, 2009
    S. CA
    also if you can post a picture(from above) and I may be give you an idea. I have been raising and showing piggies for the last 15 years and love them, I currently have about 30 Texels.
     
  4. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    The male needs to be removed BEFORE the babies are born ! The mom will breed again within HOURS ! This is not good for her, the babies she has now, or the babies that will be conceived immediately after she gives birth.

    I [​IMG] guinea pigs !
     
  5. jossanne

    jossanne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 11, 2008
    Gila, New Mexico
    Thanks for the reply. I'll get a picture in a little while.

    No, the male is no longer with the females. It is okay to have the two females together, though, isn't it? They won't hurt each other's babies?
     
  6. cutiepieacres

    cutiepieacres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 20, 2009
    S. CA
    the two females will be ok together they will even help with eachothers babies.

    Some breeders wont keep two pregnant females together as they feel that when the first goes into labor and the second pig is helping clean up and eating afterbirth etc. that she may get some hormones that could put her into premature labor. I always keep pregnant females together for the support and have never had any sows go into labor early due to helping out another sow, with 30 some litters in 2008 and no issues I still put pregnant girls in the same cage with one another. You may look into it if it worries you but otherwise they wont hurt another sows babies at all, if they are close enough in age they will even feed and clean one anothers babies.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2009
  7. CountryMom

    CountryMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 21, 2008
    South Texas
    If she was due in December, then there is a good chance you have fat and not babies. A pig that is overweight can have issues getting pregnant. It also goes for the boar - if too heavy he may not breed as well. Also age can have a factor in if they breed or not and if they produce healthy pups. Knowing how old they are will help you determine how hard it will be to breed them.

    If you remember when they were seperated from the boar, you can count 70 days and make that as a new due date. Then wait. Usually two weeks before they are due you can feel actual boney bodies inside the sow. Do not press too hard as to not hurt the babies. We do handle all our pregnant sows to check for issues and clean cages. We have never had any problems doing so. However, we support them very carefully and handle them with care. I sat with my favorite just last night holding her because she just begs for attention. Her little babies were wiggling all over while Mom munched down her carrot sitting on my stomach. Then she proceeded to lay down and snooze with me while watching TV. Too cute.

    I have had sows in the past (especially one bloodline) that produced large litters of 6 to 8 babies. That line was notorious for birthing between 63 and 65 days of breeding. And our stock live in family groups so that sows are bred at a similar time and all litter out pretty much the same. They help each other out with all the babies. It really is nice if you have one sow who has one pup and another who has 6.

    I would hesitate to switch feeds at this time as that can throw their systems off and cause Toxemia. That would basically mean a loss of your sow. Just continue with what you are feeding and add to it to balance the diet. You will need a 20% protein for their health. Once you figure out if she is bred or not, then you can change the diet (slowly) either after she has pups or once you know she isn't. Vitamin C is especially important and you can use the crystal C from Purtian's Pride online to put in their water. Make sure to have calcuim on hand either in liquid form or in tums form to help her out if she is bred. I like to give my sows a dose right after they litter to avoid system imbalances. And if she is bred and seems off (drunk wobbly acting or stops eating.)

    See if you can find a copy of a book by long time breeder Wanda L. Curran called, "Your Guinea Pig; A Kid's Guide to Raising and Showing." It is written very well and helpful to adults and kids no matter it's title. And you do not have to be showing to get very useful info from this book.

    Good Luck!
     
  8. jossanne

    jossanne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 11, 2008
    Gila, New Mexico
    I'm not positive she was due in December. I spoke to the guy at the feed store who was the main caretaker of the guinea pigs, and he thought she'd have them by the end of December. He didn't seem especially knowledgeable about guinea pigs, but was just the guy designated to care for them.

    I don't have any idea when she was separated from the male. He didn't tell me that, and I didn't think to ask him. The other female was housed with the male when I bought them on Christmas Eve, and separated on December 26, when we lost the male in an unfortunate dog incident, while we were all adjusting to life with guinea pigs.

    Both females are between a year and 18 months old, and I was told both have had litters before. The male was about 6 months old. These were the feed stores breeding animals, and they wanted to clear out the cages to fit more chicks arriving the next week.

    I'm in a very rural area, and choices for guinea pig feed are limited. I only have WalMart and the little feed store to buy feed for them, both 30 miles from my home. I bought Hartz guinea pig feed with all the colored stuff in it, and a bag of alfalfa. I read that alfalfa has calcium in it that is needed by pregnant guinea pigs. That's what they've been eating since Christmas, with the addition of a few apples and fresh veggies.

    The one we were told was pregnant was heavier than the other when we bought them, and she's even fatter now than she was then. She's definitely growing. I accidentally left my camera plugged in to the computer two nights ago when I uploaded pictures from it, and drained the batteries. I am out of batteries until I go to WalMart on Thursday, so I can't get pictures of her shape.

    Okay, I just picked her up to feel her belly. She is definitely pear-shaped. Her belly is so fat that I can just touch my fingers together when I put both hands around her. I can easily feel her ribcage, as there isn't really any fat padding on it, and it is much thinner than her belly. I'm not feeling anything that obviously feels like babies, though. These are our first guinea pigs, so I don't know what a well-conditioned guinea pig body should feel like. When I pick up the other one, my middle fingers overlap by a good two inches, so she is substantially thinner than the other one.

    We sure have grown to love these little animals. When we take them out of their enclosure to let them stretch their legs and socialize with us, they are getting really friendly and curious. The larger one is still more shy than the other, but she will come right up to us now for attention.

    I will go looking on Amazon for that guinea pig book. Thanks for the advice!
     
  9. CountryMom

    CountryMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 21, 2008
    South Texas
    Ok, so Dec 26th was your last mating date. I assume they were together before? So that one I would figure around 70 days at March 5th. Could be sooner though as you can only go on what the store keeper told you. And if he wasn't knowledgable then you may very well have a guinea pig that is bred.

    Please, do not go change feeds just yet. Don't mix them either. I can't tell you how many times I have seen pregnant pigs sold and off to a new caviary to new feed and they dump their litter and die. So keep up with what you have. Being out there in the country myself I know how hard it is to find decent feed. Even feed especially for Guinea Pigs that has Vitamin C in it only has a freshness on that C for 4 months. So I can tell you two things. Number one, I have fed the Manna Pro Gro Rabbit Feed formula for years with great results. It has no C added, so I have to feed the C crystals in water for mine. Number Two, I noticed just last week that Wal-Mart is carrying a guinea pig feed called Small World that is produced by Manna. So you may be able to switch to that in time.

    Now, if you go onto American Cavy Breeder's Association, you can find a breeder near you. I know of one that just moved out there, but she is new to the breeding and showing just a few months now. Here is a link to the ACBA... http://www.acbaonline.com/
    If
    you go down the left side menu you will see Club locator. I recommend that also because even pet breeders can enjoy a show and learn something from some experienced breeders in person. Emails and forums are great, but you can learn a bunch by being there. You can also find some very good articles on the ACBA about raising pigs.

    I hope you have some luck finding that book. It is a gem. I have recommended it many times to new pig owners for health info and medical info. And it has a great section on pregnancy and even pictures to help you sex your babies. It is a bit out of date on breeds and show info, but it isn't too bad.

    Let us know how your it turns out.
     
  10. cutiepieacres

    cutiepieacres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 20, 2009
    S. CA
    By your description it could very well be that the first pig is well on her way to babies. The other may have longer to go or may not be bred you will just have to wait and see how she grows.

    Personally I have never had an issue with switching feeds on pregnant or sick pigs that I have taken in. If done right the switch should not put a stress on them at all, however if they are on a poor diet the lack of essential vitamins and minerals can be a huge stress that can cause big issues. With that being said Hartz is an ok brand, if my only other choice was the Manna at walmart I would stick with the hartz and not bother switching as quality is about the same and they should be ok if supplemented with some good hay and veggies. Just make sure the bags you are buying are fresh and used up quickly so they get the Vit. C. In the future if you would like to switch feeds Oxbow is awesome if you just have a few pigs.

    If you feel they are a bit thin you can sprinkle a few old fashioned rolled oats on top of their feed as a treat. My pigs Love cilantro, bell peppers, swiss chard, kale, and an occasional baby carrot or apple slice. If they havent had veggies before start slow and only introduce one new veggie at a time. The veggies can be given on a daily basis and insures the needed amounts of Vit. C.
     

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