Breeding problems of guinea pigs

Almost any passer-by stopped on the street will list at least several breeds of dogs, perhaps remember one or two breeds of cats, but hardly name at least one breed of guinea pigs. Therefore, animals bought on the market can often be attributed only to the so-called “noble” breed. As a rule, for the continuation of the genus of a favorite pet, another “thoroughbred” pig is acquired, and the criteria for selecting a pair, usually only external signs (phenotype) of the selected pig. And, the stronger the candidate for the acquisition will be different from the “marriageable” pig, the more likely it is that such a pig will be bought.

The most popular among buyers, especially among children, are animals with wool of different lengths sticking out in all directions. That is why in the poultry market there are most of all “rosette” or “angora” pigs, in other words, mestizos with high demand and low cost. Indeed, to obtain “unborn” rodents, it is not at all necessary to acquire high-bred producers, to monitor inbreeding and the purity of the lines being bred. You can simply tie all the available pigs together, despite the fact that many of them may turn out to be relatives.

Currently, there are traders dealing with pedigree pigs who are trying to improve the quality of their goods, as the buyer begins to navigate the breeds, to appreciate the exterior of the animal. These people can be called breeders, but there are very few such people. Real breeders are mostly altruists, since their main goal is to improve the quality of American pigs, and most often the most promising and expensive specimens of animals do not go on sale, but remain in the nursery for further breeding. Professional breeders practically never hand over pigs to stores, to the poultry market, but try to track the further fate of the offspring of their pets. In such cases, the “pig business” does not pay off, but brings aesthetic, professional pleasure.

Pedigree pigs are also found in pet stores. True, the price for them is quite high, and the conditions of detention often leave much to be desired. Most sellers cannot accurately determine the sex of the animal, so if gilts of both sexes are kept together, there is a possibility of acquiring an already pregnant female.

Animals from the store or from the market are often sick. People who make money from this try to get as many litters as possible from pigs in a year, preventing weakened females from resting after giving birth. The first pregnancy often occurs before the mumps reaches the recommended age for full, healthy offspring. This, of course, is also the fault of some breeders – cattery owners, but fortunately, this does not happen often.

Few people know that breed lovers’ clubs and kennels have long existed in USA. There are just amateurs who are fond of breeding any breed of guinea pigs. Exhibitions are regularly held to which experts from other countries are invited. And although not all breeds are officially recognized in USA, their range in our country is quite wide. Here is some of them:


The first pigs of this breed appeared in England in 1861 as a result of a mutation of the wool gene. The first copies were brought to Europe in 1886. They differ from ordinary smooth-haired pigs with a somewhat elongated, hard and elastic hair, not exceeding 3.5 cm in length, and a large number of rosettes located in a certain order throughout the body of the pig and forming combs. The total number of outlets can range from 10 to 12. The pig should have a good collar around the shoulders and pronounced sideburns.

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The breed has been known in Europe since the middle of the 19th century. Peruvian pigs have a long, straight coat growing to the head from two rosettes located on the sacrum and falling down from the parting on the back, which runs along the spine. In show-class pigs, hair length can reach 50 cm. Good indicators of the breed are: the absence of extra rosettes, the so-called “tucks” (when in a small area the hair changes its direction), a comb. Brightness and a clear border of colors, pronounced sideburns are appreciated

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They differ from the Peruvian only in wavy hair.

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In England, the Shelties were recognized in 1973. In the USA – in 1980. Unlike the breeds listed above, Shelties do not have rosettes. Long thin hair, forming a mane, passing from the head to the body, is soft and silky. On the muzzle, the coat remains short. Tanks should be well defined, pointing forward. Newborn babies have a short coat, and only an experienced breeder will be able to distinguish the Sheltie from another breed at this age.

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The same Shelties, but with a rosette on the crown, forming a “crown”.

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The appearance is like a Sheltie, except for a wavy, curly, soft and elastic to the touch coat. The curls should be spiral, well-defined, and the more, the better.

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Agouti are smooth-haired pigs with a complex color similar to wild pigs. Each hair of the coat is divided into 3 parts by color. The color of the coat on the belly corresponds to the color of one part of the hairs of the coat and contrasts with the general tone of the mumps; specks are excluded. There are six types of agouti colors: lemon silvery, golden, chocolate, cream and cinnamon agouti.

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Smooth-haired guinea pigs with a solid (solid) body color. There are several color options available in this breed – black, white, cream, gold, red, buffalo and others. Moreover, each color must correspond to the color of the eyes and skin.

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Smooth-haired pigs with a rosette on the crown. Distinguish between English and American crested. The color of the rosette of the English crested should be identical to the color of the main color, and of the American ones it should contrast with it.

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The secret of their beauty lies in the extraordinary soft silky coat, which shines and shimmers due to the special hollow structure of the hair (each hair has a hollow axis, from root to tip, due to which light easily penetrates through it, which makes the coat unusually shiny). Satin pigs are found in almost the entire variety of breeds.

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Of the rare, I would like to note TAN (UNDERWEARED)

There are two colors in the pigs of this breed. One is the main one (can be beige, lilac, shale, chocolate and black.) The other is a tan of a certain pattern, which should be lighter than the main color. By coloring Tanov can be compared with the color of Doberman dogs.

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I want to add that this is just a small fraction of the wide variety of breeds and variations of guinea pigs. They are all different, but there are a few traits that are common to all known breeds. One of the indicators of the quality of a guinea pig is its recumbent ears, which should not have pockets, creases and resemble a rose petal in shape. Large, slightly protruding eyes, “Roman” profile of a short, blunt muzzle are welcomed. The mumps should not lag behind in development, be fat or thin. When buying a rodent from the nursery, the chances of acquiring a healthy pedigree animal with a pedigree and getting professional advice on maintenance and care are increased.

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