Do Guinea Pigs Eat Their Babies? [The Surprising Truth]

It is far too simple for us to moralize and even humanize our pet animals. It is frequently hilarious when we observe them responding in ways that seem human to us. It implies that it might be perplexing when they act in a way that we would find objectionable. Undoubtedly, one of the most dramatic examples is a mother guinea pig consuming her babies, so why might a question cross your mind: Do guinea pigs eat their babies? Before moving on to preventative measures and the following care of young guinea pigs, let’s take a closer look at the subject.

When are Guinea Pigs Born?

Because guinea pigs are precocial, they have fully formed eyes, teeth, and hair when they are born. The average length of these insects is three to four inches (eight to ten cm), and their weight is around 2.8 ounces.

In contrast, a fully developed adult guinea pig measures eight to ten inches long and weighs about two pounds (900 grams). It indicates that a young guinea pig is around 12 times lighter and half as long as an adult. Puppies need time with their mothers. When puppies are born, their mother cleanly licks them. Their mother will often begin feeding them within the first few hours after giving birth. Although newborn guinea pigs can eat solid food within hours of birth, they still require their mother’s milk for 3 to 6 weeks afterward.

Typically, a puppy shouldn’t be taken from its mother until it is six weeks old. Puppies are often fully weaned at this age.

Do Guinea Pigs Eat their Babies? – Reasons

Puppies require mother-puppy time. Puppies get cleaned by their mother after birth. Typically, their mother will start nursing them within the first hours of their birth. Although newborn guinea pigs can eat solid food within hours of birth, they still require their mother’s milk for 3 to 6 weeks afterward.

A puppy should normally not get taken away from its mother until it is six weeks old. Puppies are often fully weaned at this age. Many rodent species often consume their young. Mice and hamsters are well known for engaging in this behavior. But do guinea pigs eat their babies? Babies gotten eaten by guinea pigs is not a frequent event. But that is something that may occur.

  • Malnourishment

A severely malnourished mother guinea pig is one reason why she could consume one of her young. An underfed guinea pig is not getting enough vitamins and minerals for its body.

It may occur if the guinea pig is not given enough pellets, vitamin C supplementation, etc. If the mother feels undernourished after giving birth to the puppies, she may frequently attempt to consume the placenta to refuel. Sometimes the mother will unintentionally devour the pup and the placenta together. It may occur more often if the pup is stillborn.

It’s vital to understand that a guinea pig mother doesn’t always consume the placenta due to malnutrition. To remove anything from the area that could attract a predator, a guinea pig mother may consume the placenta before or after washing the pups.

Additionally, it is thought that the mother guinea pig must consume the placenta for her body to undergo the chemical changes necessary to start producing milk.

  • Scarce Resources

The mother guinea pig may think that resources are few if insufficient food or water is available in the cage after birth, even if malnutrition might arise from inadequate nutrition before or during childbirth. The mother may start eating her puppies if she thinks there won’t be enough food or water for them, so there will be fewer to feed.

  • Anxiety

A guinea pig parent may consume her young if anything causes her unneeded worry or distress. Noise from the surroundings is one such trigger.

Even when they are not pregnant, guinea pigs are sensitive to loud noises. If there is too much noise around, a pregnant guinea pig mother or recently gave birth may feel overwhelmed.

Overcrowding is another cause of stress and worries for guinea pig mothers. If the mother guinea pig lives in a cage or hutch with other guinea pigs, she can feel too crowded and overrun by activity. It may also be the case if the mother guinea pig gets kept in a cage or box that is too tiny to accommodate her and her young. A mother guinea pig may consume her young for various reasons, including malnutrition, a lack of resources, stress, and anxiety. It is uncommon for a guinea pig mother to consume one of her young, though.

It’s unlikely that the mother will ever consume her young if she hasn’t done so within 24hrs of their birth.

How to Prevent Guinea Pigs from Eating their Babies?

Ensuring your female is well-nourished during her pregnancy will help you efficiently avoid this. To look after the pregnant cavy, take the following actions:

  • Make sure they have easy access to food and water, up their vitamin C intake, and receive enough dietary calcium.
  • Maintain the same schedule when pregnant.
  • Give them lots of room to exercise.
  • Reduce their level of tension
  • Do not move throughout the latter trimester of pregnancy.
  • Ask your veterinarian to examine the female and inspect her pelvis.
  • If they stop eating, have fewer feces, are sluggish or lethargic, or have bloody discharge, consult your veterinarian.

Final Thought

Now you know, do guinea pigs eat their babies? Even while guinea pigs can consume their young, this seldom occurs if you take precautions. The secret is to provide them with a healthy diet and separate the puppies from the males. It is as soon as possible after birth.

Guinea pigs are physically demanding. Therefore breeding them exposes sows to potentially fatal situations. Anyone’s heart would shatter if the little ones died at the hands of their parents and older siblings.

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