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St Peter's Catholic Primary School

St Peter's Catholic Primary School

Guinea Pigs

Robbie and Freddie are our school guinea pigs. They are both male guinea pigs (called boars).

Robbie (brown & tan fur) & Freddie (black & white fur)

Robbie and Freddie live in the animal enclosure in the Reception Early Years Outside area. This is a lovely space with plenty of grass and plants for them to nibble on, as well as being a sheltered space to keep their hutch. Guinea pigs are herbivores, which means that they only eat plants.

More interesting guinea pig facts: 

  • Despite their name, guinea pigs are not pigs and they don't come from Guinea! They originate from the Andes, which is a mountain range in South America.
  • Guinea pigs are herd animals (like cows and sheep!) and do better in groups than alone.
  • The teeth of guinea pigs grow throughout their entire life but chewing and grinding food keeps guinea pig teeth from growing too long.
  • Like humans, guinea pigs do not produce their own Vitamin C and need to get it from food.
  • Depending on breed, diet and other factors, a normal guinea pig’s lifespan varies from five to eight years. However, the world record of a guinea pig’s age is fourteen years.
  • Guinea pigs are active up to 20 hours a day and only sleep for short periods at a time and they can sleep with their eyes open or closed.
  • A male guinea pig is called a boar and a female is called a sow. Newborn guinea pigs are called pups. 
  • Guinea pigs are very social and have little trouble living together with other species of rodents. They also enjoy human company.
  • Guinea pigs feel a little shy at times, so they like having places to hide. A good idea for guinea pig owners is to cut some holes in a cardboard box and leave that in the cage.
  • Guinea pigs don’t bite as a defence mechanism. If you are ever bitten by a guinea pig it probably means they thought there was food on your hand. 
  • Despite their small size, there are 258 bones in a guinea pig’s skeleton. In contrast, human adults have 206 bones!
Robbie and Freddie enjoying playtime.

adapted from: http://guineapigaloo.com/guinea-pig-facts-for-kids)