Guinea pigs are born in litters of two to five with an average of three.
The gestation period is about 65 days.
Pregnant guinea pigs will often build a nest in which to give birth.
The first thing you’ll notice when your guinea pig is in labor is that she’ll stop eating.
This is normal as she wants to conserve her energy for the birth.
She may also become more restless and may even build a nest in which to give birth.
When labor begins the guinea pig will push her babies out one at a time.
Each baby is born enclosed in a sac which the mother will break open and lick the baby clean.
The baby will then take its first breath and cry out.
The whole process usually takes less than an hour and you should see at least two babies born.
If your guinea pig has more than five babies she may need help from a vet as it’s likely she won’t be able to care for them all.
After the birth it’s important to leave the mother and babies undisturbed for at least 24 hours.
This gives them time to bond and for the mother to clean and care for her babies.
You can start to handle the babies after a few days but be very gentle.
They are very delicate and their bones are not fully formed so they can easily be hurt.
As the babies grow they’ll start to explore their surroundings and play with each other.
They’ll also start to eat solid food although they’ll still continue to drink their mother’s milk for the first few weeks.
At around eight weeks old the babies will be ready to leave their mother and start their own life.
It’s important to find them a good home before this happens as they won’t do well on their own.
If you have a guinea pig it’s a good idea to get her used to being handled from a young age.
This will make it easier for you to bond with her and to handle her when she’s pregnant and giving birth.