Having baby guinea pigs in your house is exciting. You’ve watched the mother throughout her pregnancy and to the birth. Now you have adorable little guinea pig pups. Just a few questions remain, one of which is can young guinea pigs meet their father.
Guinea Pigs in Their Natural Habitat
Prior to domestication, guinea pigs lived in small herds. These herds typically consisted of a boar, a few sows, and any current pups. Pups would leave the herds over time to join new ones, or in the case of young boars, start their own.
In the wild, males would be exposed to their children. The sows did not move off to give birth, as some mammals do. In many cases, it’s a harmonious relationship. However, the males have been known to attack the newborns, mainly if the pups are not theirs.
In a domestic situation, it’s best to remove the father once you know your guinea pig is pregnant. Pregnancy is stressful for female guinea pigs, and dealing with the male can certainly be that. Having the male around during birth itself is simply too much. The mother does not need the male for support or to take care of the young pups.
Additionally, female guinea pigs enter a brief heat period post-birth. If there is a male present, he will try to mate with her as she’s trying to take care of the newborns. It’s dangerous for your guinea pig to become pregnant too soon after a litter. Her body hasn’t even begun to recover at this point.
The First Three Weeks for Young Guinea Pigs
You can introduce young guinea pigs to their fathers during the first three weeks of their lives if you want to. After the first two days, the young guinea pigs can be introduced to their father. However, you must supervise the entire visit and ensure the father is not bullying the little ones.
Any visits between the father and young guinea pigs should occur without the mother present. You do not want a pregnancy so soon after giving birth, and heat cycles can be a little odd. Additionally, mothers can be protective of their pups.
Living with Their Fathers After Three Weeks
At the three-week mark, your guinea pig pups should wean. At this point, you’ll need to separate out any male pups, so they do not impregnate their mother or sisters. Young male guinea pigs can live with their fathers, provided they all get along.
Boars can become more aggressive as they age. They may begin fighting with their father or brothers somewhere between the four- and eight-month mark. This change has to do with reaching their sexual maturity.