Most people only have space, time and/or money for a couple of guinea pigs at most, so they try their best to keep their pets from mating and having puppies. Owners who decide to breed guinea pigs usually do so in order to sell the babies and make some money. If you decide to go this route, here are some things to think about and an idea of what to expect from the guinea pig mating ritual.
Research the Market and the Competition
If youre breeding your pigs for business purposes, youll want to first research your potential competition. You need to find out how many guinea pig breeders are already operating in your area and how large their businesses are. Youll also want to do some market research to find out if there is enough demand for another breeder. If there are already too many breeders, youre going to face stiff competition and you will have a hard time selling your guinea pigs.
Guinea Pig Knowledge
You also need to possess a good knowledge of guinea pig care, so that you can explain to potential buyers everything they need to know about taking care of their new pets. Make sure they know what they are getting into and that they will be able to properly care for their pigs. Prepare some informational handouts in advance to help them out, for example a list of foods guinea pigs can and cant eat.
Thousands of guinea pigs die every year because their owners are unable to take care of them or because someone let their pigs breed out of control but had no one to take the puppies off their hands. You dont want to contribute to this problem, so dont go into breeding unless you know you will be able to find people to care for the babies and unless you have prepared those people with the necessary knowledge. You want your puppies to find a good home with a suitable living environment, dont you?
You should breed your guinea pigs once the female reaches four months of age and before she turns six months old. This is the ideal age for her to have her first litter. Guinea pig females have a cycle that lasts 16 days; they are able to mate for 8 to 24 hours of that time.
When the time comes to mate, give your guinea pigs plenty of space. They need their privacy. Once the male becomes aroused, he will lower his head and advance on the female using a sequence of steps designed to entice her, while wagging his butt back and forth several times. We call this the rumble strut, because it is accompanied by a rumbling sound.
Sometimes, the male will even perform a little mating dance. He props his front legs onto some object and moves his body seductively. Hell wave it side to wide, wiggle it and/or waggle it. Its even more hilarious than it sounds. But try not to laugh out loud and interrupt the two lovers. It might help to remember that this mating ritual is the result of many, many years of evolution.
If all this dancing around does the trick and gets the female in the mood, shell get excited and start to squeak in anticipation. The squeaks will get louder, the closer the male gets.
Sometimes the female is simply not interested in the male; usually this occurs if its the wrong time during her cycle or if she isnt in heat. In such a case, shell probably bite him and run away. If he doesnt get the message and keeps trying, she might even go so far as to urinate on his face. I bet that makes all the human males out there feel better about the times they were turned down by a woman.
If the opposite occurs—the female is ready, but the male isnt aroused—she may be the one to perform the little sequence of steps that the males use to entice the females, while lowering head down and sticking her butt slightly up in the air. If this doesnt get his attention, she might resort to less subtle hints and simply back into the male. If that doesnt clue him in to the fact that she wants him to mount her immediately, hes probably gay.
If all goes well and the two guinea pigs mate, congratulations! You and they will soon become parents and your first foray into guinea pig breeding was a success. If you want to keep going, the male is game. A guinea pig male can mate with up to ten women in one time period, but just because he can, doesnt mean you have to let him. As I mentioned at the beginning, make sure you only breed as many pups as you can handle.