Hand-rearing newborn Baby Guinea pigs may be difficult as well as time-consuming. This is a huge responsibility that should not be done lightly, as well as there are a few things to think about before opting to grow guinea pigs by hand.
Most crucial, you must make certain that the mother guinea pig is not feeding her offspring. Unless the mother guinea pig is confirmed to be deceased, there’s a considerable probability she’s still nursing her offspring. Mother guinea pigs, on the whole, are not as attentive to their young as we would imagine.
Mother guinea pigs only feed their kids a few times a day as well as then leave them to their own devices. Guinea pigs are born with the ability to walk, see, as well as hear, as well as within a few days, they will begin nibbling on solid foods as well as drinking milk from their mother.
Signs that a mother’s baby guinea pigs have been neglected
Look at the infants’ condition if you suspect the mother guinea pig is “ignoring” her litter. If the newborn guinea pig’s stomachs are round as well as full-looking, energetic as well as bright, warm as well as chattering away, making little sounds, the mother guinea pig is most likely feeding them.
You may need to act if the newborns are chilly, sluggish, or have small bellies. It’s a good idea to weigh the newborns on a regular basis to ensure that they’re developing as well as gaining weight properly.
Taking Care of Guinea Pigs as Infants
Hands must be well washed before touching the newborns. This not only removes germs, but it also removes any odors from other items or animals that may cause the baby to become stressed. To fragrance your hands, massage them in some clean, fresh hay as well as on the mother guinea pig’s hair after they’ve been cleaned.
It’s recommended attempting to help the newborns with natural eating before initiating any syringe or bottle-feeding.
You may gently, but firmly, hold the mother guinea pig in your arms as well as gently attempt to place each baby onto one of her nipples to self-feed if she tolerates it as well as isn’t too agitated. When a tiny bit of milk is secreted from the nipple to tempt the infant to suckle, it might be beneficial to the newborn. If you’re still having trouble, you may need to start assisting with feeding or hand-raising.
What Kind of Guinea Pig Formula Should I Give My Baby Guinea Pigs?
The Wombaroo Guinea Pig Milk comes highly recommended. It’s a high-quality vitamin C supplement (which is very important for young guinea pigs). It comes in the form of a powder that may be blended with warm water to produce baby milk. The packaging contains all of the mixing directions.
The Unusual Pet Vets provides Wombaroo Guinea Pig Milk on sale. Alternatively, it may be available at other veterinarian clinics as well as bigger pet stores.
Is it necessary for me to purchase more feeding supplies?
You’ll also need some little plastic syringes to administer the milk to the newborns, in addition to the feeding formula. These are available in our clinics as well as most pharmacies. Large pet stores also sell little plastic feeding bottles as well as teats, but you’ll need to get the tiniest teat you can find, since the puppy as well as kitten teats are typically too huge. The majority of infant guinea pigs will happily eat from a syringe.
We suggest keeping a small scale on hand to weigh the young guinea pigs as well as keep track of their weight on a daily basis. The quantity of milk to feed is determined by the weight of the infant.
A weight chart as well as the amount of mls of milk to be given over 24 hours may be found on the Wombaroo Guinea Pig Milk box. The frequency with which you feed the young guinea pig will be determined by how much they will eat in a single feeding session.
Procedure for Feeding Baby Guinea Pigs
Before using, make sure all of your syringes as well as bottles have been completely cleaned.
Guinea pigs in their early stages are wiggly as well as unpredictable. They take a rapid as well as unexpected leap. A one- or two-foot plunge may be deadly, so make sure they’re fed as well as maintained in a secure setting.
In one hand, hold the infant in a regular sitting posture, as well as the bottle or syringe in the other. Otherwise, place the newborn guinea pig on the floor or a table (safely) as well as feed him with the bottle/syringe held slightly vertically in front of him.
At initially, babies may resist eating, as well as you must resist the urge to force-feed them. If the infant refuses to take the teat or syringe, moisten the baby’s lips with a drop of warm formula as well as let it lick it away. Repeat the process as needed once it has swallowed that. Be persistent while being polite. Despite not doing so on the first feeding, the infant will quickly learn about feeding time as well as will typically learn to take the formula readily.
Avoid squeezing too much formula into the infant guinea pig’s mouth. Since they may readily inhale milk, drip the formula gently for the infant to lap up.
Allow the infant to suckle from the teat without exerting any pressure on him. The infant should be able to suckle strong enough to empty the bottle or syringe without your assistance. If you use too much effort, the infant may aspirate formula that is coming in too quickly.
It is not a major issue if the newborns do not suckle. Most people will learn to lap or drink from the teat’s tip, which is safer since it reduces the chance of aspiration. To further limit the danger of aspiration, try holding the teat or syringe tip sideways or down-pointed in relation to the mouth.
Is it necessary to keep baby Guinea Pigs warm?
It’s preferable to keep the babies in a tiny box or travel cage in a warm, quiet environment. Two or more newborns hug to keep each other warm for warmth. If there is just one baby, a warm water bottle or heat pack wrapped in a soft towel may offer a good source of heat, but make sure the guinea pig can move away from the heat if it becomes too hot.
A Toiletry Recommendation
Many newborn animals are unable to urinate or defecate independently. To emit a stream of pee as well as feces, most infant guinea pigs will need stimulation of the mother’s grooming tongue on their belly as well as genital area.
To simulate this behavior, gently tap or touch the urogenital region with a cotton ball saturated with warm water until you feel the baby’s abdominal muscles strain as well as a stream of pee is produced. It may take 15-20 seconds of stimulation, or even longer, to elicit a urine response.
When Are Guinea Pig Babies Weaned?
For roughly 3-4 weeks, a mother guinea pig feeds her young, gradually reducing the frequency of feedings until they lose interest. From the age of a few days, your young guinea pigs will begin to chew solid food. From the time they are born, you may start exposing them to timothy as well as oaten hay, pellets, tiny quantities of green vegetables, as well as water in a shallow dish, but this does not indicate they are ready to be weaned. It’s even more important to keep feeding them formula after they start eating solid foods to help prevent the development of potentially hazardous infections when the newborns introduce new germs into their bodies.
By the age of 5–6 weeks, if the infants are still begging for nursing, you may start diluting the formula with clean drinking water. Begin with a ratio of 25% water to 75% formula as well as progressively reduce the proportion of milk until the infants lose interest.
Is it necessary to separate the male as well as female baby Guinea Pigs?
To avoid any early pregnancies, male as well as female infant guinea pigs should be separated at 3-4 weeks of age. Guinea pigs may be sterilised as early as 16 weeks of age.
Is it possible to re-home baby Guinea Pigs at a certain age?
By eight weeks of age, completely weaned as well as eating solids on their own, baby guinea pigs may be rehomed to new homes. Before sending the babies off to their new permanent home, get them inspected by a guinea pig veterinarian.