Young guinea pigs are exciting, and you will need to do some preparing for their arrival. Unlike most rodents, young guinea pigs are born with their eyes open and all the relevant parts in place. This means they become curious about their surroundings within hours of birth. Therefore, you should prepare for young guinea pigs before they arrive.
Plexiglass and Young Guinea Pigs
If you are using a wire bar cage, plexiglass is a necessity. What you may not realize is that if a young guinea pig pup’s head fits somewhere, it can make the rest of its body follow. Placing plexiglass between the cage pan and the wire bars prevents this. You should only need to go up a few inches over the pan height.
The first time we bred guinea pigs, we did have an escapee. Fortunately, part of preparing for the young guinea pigs was moving the father’s cage right next to the mother’s cage. The young guinea pig slipped right in between the cage bars and met her daddy. Since we were so fascinated with the little ones, we caught her quickly and returned her to mom. The plexiglass went in within the hour.
Guinea pig pups will poke and explore their environment relentlessly. Part of preparing for these young guinea pigs is ensuring the safety of the water. Generally, a bottle hung a little lower on the cage is best. Pups may crawl into a dish if you use it, which will pollute the water quickly. Additionally, pups may accidentally drown in dishes, which no one wants.
Little guinea pigs will poke around food dishes as well. It’s safe for them to eat whatever you’re feeding their mother. Chances are, you’ll see them try it within a day of being born. It’s important to note that they do still need their mother’s milk until she weans them, so don’t remove the babies.
Warm Places for Young Guinea Pigs
Another part of preparing for young guinea pigs is creating a warm place they can go to. Your home will have temperature fluctuations, and an enclosed space helps them make the most of whatever heat their little bodies can generate. Plus, a pup pile with mom is simply adorable.
While no one wants to contemplate things going wrong, it is a necessary part of preparing for young guinea pigs. Even perfectly healthy pregnancies can have something go wrong in delivery, especially with larger litters. It’s best to have established vet care and have the number handy just in case rather than be scrambling through the yellow pages.
The other thing you should consider in the way of preparations is picking up guinea pig or kitten formula mix. These are easy to mix and warm. While the process is time-consuming and you will not sleep much for a few weeks, you can save a litter after losing the mom with this method.