Description of the guinea pig breed “Magpie and Harlequin”
The line of my magpie pigs, which I started to create even before I learned about the ARBA / ACBA (American Rabbit Breeders Association / American Cavy Breeders Association), consists of a mixture of several breeds (different types of wool appear – shorthaired, longhaired, teddy, long-haired teddy, crested, etc.).
I adore forty and work with them very seriously, and I also hope that soon they will become more popular and more acceptable for show exhibitions and shows (if this takes 10 or 20 years, well? So!).
Magpies and harlequins still do not have an official standard and belong to the group of rare breeds, so they are not accepted in many clubs. I use standards from other countries – Canada, Great Britain and Australia, where these breeds develop successfully.
This is an English standard guideline for forty (it has no point scale and can only be applied in classes specifically designed for “rare breed” gilts and is not acceptable for normal shows). Breeds and varieties that currently only have such a standard guideline may one day receive a full official standard, with significant breeder support, agreement to adopt this standard, and quality lines. This breed is developing well in many countries, although in the USA it has not yet reached the same level.
So the show standard for magpies and harlequins
Breed type: the larger the better. The eyes are large, dark and round. The ears are large, well set and pulled down.
Head: half black, half white, splitting down the center of the muzzle. Distribution of three colors on each side, equal ratio of black, white and black and white colors. A straight line at the top and bottom. The marks are the same size.
Colors recognized as the standard guide in England: black magpies are a mixture of black, white and black and white. Brown magpies are a mixture of brown, white and brownish-white.
Disadvantages: the presence of color belts, the absence of any color on one of the sides.
Serious faults: one side completely unpainted.
Disqualifying faults: third eyelid, coat and skin disorders, lice.
A similar standard exists for harlequins, where white is replaced by yellow.
The following nuances are not taken into account by the standard, but when discussing this breed with foreign breeders, the following comments were made:
Some experts prefer contrasting colored paw pads. According to the breeders with whom I spoke, this color of the paws is not exactly mentioned in the standard, and therefore it should not be given too much importance, but such a contrasting color of the paws is most preferable.
The standard does not say anything about the quality of the coat – smooth-haired pigs should have a short, silky coat. Other gilts must meet the requirements of their wool quality standards. However, being developing breeds, Magpies and Harlequins are most often represented by short-haired pigs – American Crested Pigs are the most common, but Rex, Teddy and English Crested Pigs (not accepted in the US) are also relatively common. In long-haired gilts, this color cannot be adequately manifested.
For those new to the terminology, “gut” is something that often occurs in color in mice. They have just this is the ideal color distribution adopted by the standard. In essence, a belt is a strip of the same color, running continuously from one side, through the back, to the other side. Such zonation is undesirable for either magpies or harlequins. There should be a dividing center line between the flowers, running along the head, back, abdomen and ending at the chest and chin.
The color of the eyes, especially in magpies and especially on the white side of the muzzle, will be more ruby than dark.
Here are some samples from my pigs. These are not the best representatives, since I started work relatively recently, so they still require a lot of work. In my opinion. As my acquaintances breeders from other countries, who are also engaged in rare breeds, told me, I am doing quite well. In any case, the photographs presented do a good job of reflecting the main features of the breed.