We brought home our male guinea pig pair 65 days ago and never in our wildest dreams imagined that within a few weeks we would have a guinea pig pregnancy!
We asked Google desperate questions like: I think my guinea pig might be pregnant, what should I do?
Guinea Pig Pregnancy
Within a week of bringing home our guinea pigs we were shocked to discover that Theo is a girl.
From everything that we had read about guinea pigs, we knew that it was likely that she was already pregnant since she had been housed with all male guinea pigs.
Ever since finding out that our guinea pig is a girl and might be pregnant, we have learned all that we could about how to care for a pregnant guinea pig and her babies.
We had so many questions like:
- How can I tell if my guinea pig is pregnant?
- How long is a guinea pig pregnant for?
- How many baby guinea pigs in a litter?
- Should I separate my pregnant guinea pig?
- What should I feed my pregnant guinea pig?
How can I tell if my guinea pig is pregnant?
For us, the most obvious sign was Theo’s change in size and shape in comparison to Remmy, our male guinea pig.
Each week, Theo grew in size and became more pear shaped. It was hard to tell in the beginning; however, by about day 30 she was definitely much rounder.
By day 50, her body began to look like a pear. Her bottom half was very round and she waddled when she walked.
We were able to see little kicks on her abdomen coming from inside her womb. This was so amazing to watch and we knew she would be giving birth very soon!
Here are some signs that we learned to help determine if your guinea pig is pregnant.
1. Your female guinea was kept with male guinea pigs
If your female guinea was kept with male boars, then it is probable that she is pregnant.
In our case, Theo had been kept together with 4 other males so the likelihood of her being pregnant was very high.
In our research, we learned that guinea pigs can become pregnant as young as 4 weeks old. And male guinea pigs can get a female pregnant at as young as 3 weeks old.
2. Your guinea pig is eating and drinking more than normal
Your pregnant guinea pig will start to eat and drink up to three times the amount that she usually does.
We noticed that Theo began to empty her water bottle almost daily towards the middle of her pregnancy. This had not been normal for her.
She also began to eat a lot more hay and would wheek loudly at us begging for more fruits and veggies.
We kept a close eye on her to make sure she had easy access to water and food as her belly grew.
3. Your guinea pig has gained a lot of weight.
We learned that female guinea pigs will nearly double in size during pregnancy with the baby guinea pigs making up more than half of her weight.
This was definitely true for Theo. By day 51, she was massive in comparison to when we brought her home and she moved with a distinct waddle.
During the middle of her pregnancy, we were able to gently feel the little babies by lightly touching her sides and belly.
How long is a guinea pig pregnant for?
The average Guinea pig gestation period is 68 days with a range of 59 – 72 days. We read that the more babies she is carrying will result in a shorter pregnancy.
We had no idea of when Theo would have become pregnant, so we just counted the days from when we brought her home.
As she approached day 54 in our care, we knew that it wouldn’t be much longer until she would give birth.
How many baby guinea pigs in a litter?
A typical guinea pig litter size of 2 – 4 is most common with a range of 1 to 8 pups.
At first, we thought we could detect 3 guinea pig babies.
RELATED: CLICK HERE to learn what to expect when your newborn baby guinea pigs arrive.
Should I separate my pregnant guinea pig?
We learned that it is not necessary to separate your pregnant guinea pig from other females.
You will want to make sure that you remove any males because your female can become pregnant again within hours of giving birth. Most resources stated that whatever you decide, it is best to make sure that your female is not being bullied and is getting enough to eat. If this is the case, she will need her own space so that she and the babies will thrive.
We decided to leave Theo and Remmy together since they get along so well and crave each others company. Towards the end of the pregnancy we separated them. We allowed supervised visits once or twice per day so that they could hang out together. This worked well for our guinea pigs.
What should I feed my pregnant guinea pig?
We did a lot of research on what and how much to feed Theo during her guinea pig pregnancy.
If you have any questions or concerns, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian.
Here is a list of what we learned is best to feed your pregnant guinea pig:
- Alfalfa hay (contains more vitamin C)
- Leafy green vegetables
- High quality commercial pellet
- Vitamin C rich foods like kale, broccoli,
- Plenty of water to drink
We didn’t need to change our pregnant guinea pigs diet too much.
Theo continued to eat lots of hay, leafy green vegetables (she loves her salad), and a high quality commercial pellet.
Her vitamin C requirements increased during pregnancy. We made sure that she was getting enough vitamin C by feeding her one Oxbow vitamin C tab daily and adding vitamin C rich foods like broccoli, kale and alfalfa hay to her diet.
She drank a lot of water and would empty her bottle quite frequently so we also had to make sure that we kept it filled up.
We hope that this article answered some of your questions on guinea pig pregnancy.
Today we are on day 59 of guinea pig baby watch and already have so many more questions about what to do when the babies arrive. In preparation for their arrival we prepared a third enclosure to serve as a nursery and play area. Stay tuned!
Theo and Remmy