Guinea Pigs

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!