Do Guinea Pigs Eat Their Babies? (Here Is The Truth)

Do Guinea Pigs Eat Their Babies?

If you go back to your guinea pig’s enclosure and couldn’t find the babies, this means your guinea pig has eaten them. But is it a reality or just a myth? Do guinea pigs eat their babies? Let’s find out!

Guinea pigs can eat their babies if they lack nutrition. A mix of alfalfa and timothy hay could keep the mother full and prevent this from happening. After giving birth, the mother guinea pig is likely to eat the placenta but can end up eating her babies by mistake.

If your guinea pig is going to eat the babies, then they will do so nearly in a short time.

Your guinea pig will not change their mind while feeding and nursing their baby guinea pigs; they will eat them later.

But there is more to eat. If your guinea pig babies are missing, then it doesn’t always mean they have eaten them. There are more possibilities.

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What happened to the babies if your guinea pigs have not eaten them?

One of two things can happen if you find your guinea pig’s babies are missing and she has not eaten them:

1. A predator will eat guinea pig’s babies if they find the entrance to the enclosure. A predator could be a small creature, For example, a rat. Your guinea pig may not realize it because they do not sleep with their babies.

2. The little ones have fallen out of the baby guinea pig’s enclosure and wander away. Search the enclosure properly by checking under bundles of hay. Look for the gaps in the enclosure that the guinea pig could have run away from. 

If you find the baby guinea pig, return her to the nesting box at once. Baby guinea pigs will not last long without the warmth and milk of their mother. In some circumstances, it may already be late.

The owner will need to improve the security of the guinea pig’s enclosure if the babies of the guinea pig are being eaten.

Check the cage wire for any signs of chewed holes. A predator may have chewed its way in and eaten a baby guinea pig.

If your guinea pigs are housed outside, you may need to take extra safety measures.

It is advisable to put a Perspex coat to the enclosure in these conditions.

That will protect your guinea pigs, and from this, we can see them from outside.

For the fresh air circulation, just leave enough space in the perspex coat from one side. 

Not every guinea pig eats their young ones, but those guinea pigs who eat them will generally do it only at once. 

Why do guinea pigs eat their babies?

How long do guinea pigs nurse their young?

There are many reasons that why do guinea pigs eat their babies:

  1. Weakest less likely to survive: Guinea pigs can be Darwinian in their procedure toward motherhood. That means only the strong ones survive and reproduce further.
  2. Panic: To avoid the attraction of predators to their enclosure, they get nervous and eat their babies.
  3. Stillborn: Your guinea pig will begin to eat the body if a baby was stillborn.
  4. Territorial behavior: To remove the competition, they don’t want to share their enclosure. This can be especially true if other male guinea pigs housed together.
  5. Placenta: The guinea pigs become confused in afterbirth and placenta while eating. Guinea pigs ate the babies, thinking it was part of the after birth. 
  6. Dietary protein: They were left bored and had a lack of food and energy following the birth of their babies.

Most of the time, a guinea pig will not purposely decide to eat their babies.

They have a better understanding of what is required of them and their role once they have given birth to multiple litters.

Also read: Do guinea pigs nurse their babies?

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Should I remove guinea pig babies after birth?

Guinea pig babies can’t survive on their own, so they need their mother. Baby guinea pigs must live with their mother for around three-four weeks.

They will be more self-sufficient at this point. The baby guinea pig will be eating solid after the first few weeks, moving their preference, and will no longer want milk.

Your guinea pig will have moved past any intention to eat their babies once 24 hours has passed away.

The enclosure must be safe to protect the babies from other predators, and the guinea pig babies will grow up quickly.

Why do guinea pigs sometimes kill their babies?

You should spay your guinea pigs not breed your guinea pig if this occurs more than once. Your guinea pigs reject motherhood. It will distress your guinea pig if you force them to reproduce.

You may reveal that a female guinea pig can cause life-threatening to some of their babies, but not others, as this could be through effective action or neglect. Also, they can divide their babies into two groups and only nourish one group.

That is because one group of babies has been announced too weak and helpless. Guinea pigs are controlled by self-protection.

A significant role of this is reproducing healthy babies that will continue to enhance the species. They have agreed to focus their attention on the babies that are most likely to survive.

You can try to nourish the guinea pig’s babies by yourself if this is the case. Also, you can make your guinea pig remedy to feed them on your own. You can search for it if required.

Also read: Can baby guinea pigs drink cow’s milk?

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How can I stop guinea pigs from eating their babies?

Best Guinea Pig Hay

To avoid the risk of your guinea pig, eating her babies, take these safety steps:

  • Watch your guinea pig after they are given birth, as they are likely to eat the afterbirth. They get confused between the placenta and guinea pig babies. 
  • Avoid breeding guinea pigs younger than three months of age for male guinea pigs and two months of age for the female guinea pigs. Up to this point, your guinea pig will still not mature. They won’t be prepared for the duty of having a litter.
  • Increase the protein items in the diet of your pregnant guinea pig. Add Alfalfa hay to their enclosure in the last few weeks of pregnancy. In this way, your guinea pig will not feel that she needs sufficient nutrition.
  • Show some gentle feeling towards your guinea pig. Make them understand that they are not being replaced, or their babies have taken the place of your guinea pig. That should reduce their territorial and jealous instincts.
  • Keep your guinea pig calm after, during, and before the pregnancy. Your guinea pig will become desperate to eat their babies if they are anxious or stressed. Make sure that your guinea pig feels secure and safe.

Also read: At what age can guinea pig’s breed

Do male guinea pigs eat their babies?

Male guinea pigs barely eat their babies, but you need to separate the babies from their fathers as male guinea pigs have an absence of paternal tendencies. Or else, baby guinea pigs could get hurt in other ways.

A male guinea pig is unable to feed their babies. That means the baby guinea pig will go hungry and will not get any kind of their additional needs that they want.

The male guinea pig may also see the baby guinea pigs as territorial enemies. They will likely have a manageable role.

If male guinea pigs get the chance to stand up for superiority, they will ultimately take that opportunity. 

It is advisable to keep female guinea pigs away from male guinea pigs as soon as a female guinea pig is reproduced.

The male guinea pig will continue to be bubbly, but the female guinea pig will not be in a mood for breeding.

Those guinea pigs who are pregnant are tense and are much more likely to attack a male guinea pig if they proceed towards them.

It is perfect for getting a male guinea pig neutered when a female guinea pig is pregnant.

A male guinea pig is fertile for three weeks after neutering, so do not put male guinea pig back in the enclosure instantly after the procedure.

Meanwhile, female guinea pigs can be impregnated 15 hours after giving birth.

Do guinea pigs eat their babies if you touch them?

You must never touch guinea pig’s babies, which is a common myth. Mythology insists that a mother guinea pig will eat her babies as they are affected with harmful or undesirable honor by the smell of human beings.

As this is not true. Your guinea pig will not get worried about your smell on their babies. They may even recognize the smell comforting if you have a good bond with your guinea pig.

Also Read: When can we handle baby guinea pigs?

When should you separate baby guinea pigs?

Baby guinea pigs require feeding on their mother’s milk, as this will nourish the babies to be healthy. Female guinea pigs need to feed their babies until they are a minimum of 2 weeks old.

Separating babies at three weeks is best for growing babies of guinea pigs. Do not separate the babies from their mothers until they are appropriately nursed.

The female baby guinea pig should remain in touch with their mothers until they are about 4 weeks old compared to male baby guinea pigs.

Conclusion

Thus, guinea pigs can eat their babies; predators can also be a reason for missing babies of guinea pigs.

A guinea pig can eat their babies because of the placenta, as they get confused between their newborn babies and the placenta.

You cannot remove guinea pig babies after birth, as they can’t survive without their mother. 

You can stop guinea pigs from eating their babies by avoiding the breeding of guinea pigs at a younger age, soothing your guinea pig, keeping an eye on your guinea pig, and make them calm before and after the birth.

Male guinea pigs don’t eat their babies, but they see their babies as enemies. Also, the guinea pig will not eat their babies if you touch them, as they know the smell of their owner. You can separate the babies at three weeks from the mother, for their growth.


Source: New Guinea Cannibalism, Behavior pattern of guinea pig

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Saurav

Hello, I am Saurav the founder of this blog that's all about guinea pigs. I am an Animal Nutritionist by education but a pet blogger by profession. My motto with this blog is to help guinea pig owners understand their pets better so they can provide them with the life they deserve.

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