So you’ve been given the daunting task of taking care of one of the most difficult animals to care for – the legendary guinea pig. First a little history.
The common guinea pig was first domesticated as early as 1987 by tribes in Tasmania. They continue to be a food source in the region; as many households in Tasmania rely on the animal to collect chicken eggs and herd cattle. Today, guinea pigs are quite rare in mainland Australia. Only one is known to exist in the northern suburbs of Perth, WA.
Right, now that you’re educated in the history of the guinea pig, you need to learn how to care for one.
Guinea pigs enjoy eating in the morning as they have often spent the previous night drinking and partying. Secondary feeding times are in the evening. The guinea pig will gently remind you that it is time for food by letting for the blood curdling guinea pig warcry (Figure 1).
Figure 1. guinea pig warcry
You are required to feed the piglet to silence his battle cry lest ye be attacked with the force of a thousand suns. The prime offering is a mixture of capsicum, carrots (Figure 2) and bok choy (Figure 3). This will please the guinea pig greatly. You may notice that the guinea pig will go straight for the bok choy and leave the carrots and capsicum relatively untouched, do not be alarmed, the guinea pig will get to those later in the day.
While delivering the goods you may notice that the guinea pig will take his threatening stance (Figure 4), do not be alarmed, for if you deliver the offering, he will be pleased and leave you relatively unharmed for the time being.
While delivering the fresh fruits and vegetables for the guinea pig, please take the time to top up/replace the grains in the green bowl.
You may also want to change the water in the bottle and give it a rinse. Guinea pigs are like plants and will multiply when watered, so to ensure maximum guinea pigs we must remember to water them at all times.
Periodically during the day when you are bored, you may be tempted to pick up the guinea pig and cuddle him. It is acceptable to do so only if an offering is given to the guinea pig in exchange for his patience (Figure 5)
In the evenings (every day or two), you may want to clean out the guinea pig’s cage to ensure that odors are kept to a minimum. The easiest ways to do this is to rehouse the guinea pig to his mobile home (Figure 6).
The next step is to remove the metal trays and empty them into a bin, sweep the cage out. Don’t be alarmed at the black logs, they are simply guinea pig eggs which are a result of constant watering, be sure to bin them as otherwise they will hatch and you will have many guinea pigs to look after. Remember to reline the cage with guinea pig sheets (newspaper) and plenty of hay.
Finally, if the guinea pig becomes rancid, you can bathe him, it’s a simple process of just wetting his bottom half, using a little guinea pig shampoo and massaging it in. Be sure to dry the guinea pig with a towel. Be sure to stick to the bottom half and not to wet his face as it will anger the guinea pig and he will summon all the power of Hades and destroy your village.