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What is a Group of Guinea Pigs Called? (And Other Key Terms)

Tim Rhodes
Written by Tim Rhodes Last Updated: November 6, 2022

Animals often live in groups. This is especially true for prey animals, which tend to form groups to help protect themselves from predators.

Guinea pigs are no different- they usually live in pairs or small groups. But have you ever wondered what a group of guinea pigs is called?

In this article, we’ll cover some of the key terms related to a group of guinea pigs, as well as provide some fun facts about these social creatures.

What is a group of guinea pigs called?

A group of guinea pigs is known as a herd. This name is quite fitting, as guinea pigs are social animals that enjoy living in close proximity to other guinea pigs.

Wild cavies can live in large herds of up to 100 individuals.

guinea pigs

While domestic guinea pigs typically don’t reach such large numbers, they still enjoy the company of other guinea pigs and do best when kept in pairs or small groups.

If you’re considering getting a guinea pig, be sure to get two or more so that your pet can enjoy the companionship of other guinea pigs.

How many guinea pigs is a herd?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as the size of a herd can vary depending on the individual guinea pigs and their living situation.

In the wild, guinea pigs typically live in large herds of up to 100 individuals. However,domestic guinea pigs usually don’t form such large groups.

Pairs or small groups of guinea pigs are typically the norms for domestic pets, though some guinea pig owners do keep larger herds.

Are there any other terms for guinea pig groups?

While the term herd is the most commonly used word for a group of guinea pigs, there are a few other terms that can be used to describe these social creatures.

A group of guinea pigs can also be called a colony, clan, or troop. These terms are less common than herd, but they can be used to describe a group of guinea pigs.

Importance of the herd

As we’ve mentioned, guinea pigs thrive and do best when living in close proximity to other guinea pigs.

The herd provides safety in numbers for guinea pigs, as well as a social structure that helps them feel secure.

Guinea pigs that live in pairs or small groups typically have a strong bond with the other members of their herd.

male guinea pigs

This bond can help reduce stress and anxiety levels, and it can also make guinea pigs happier and healthier overall.

The herd also provides a support network for guinea pigs. If one guinea pig is sick or injured, the other members of the herd can often help care for them.

Younger guinea pigs also benefit from being part of a herd, as they can learn important social skills from the older members.

If you’re considering getting a group of guinea pigs, be sure to do your research and learn all you can about proper care and husbandry for these amazing pets.

Are there more female or male guinea pigs in the herd?

In a guinea pig herd, there are usually more females than males. This is because males tend to be aggressive and can fight with each other.

Females, on the other hand, are typically more docile and get along better with each other.

female guinea pigs

As a result, most guinea pig breeders will have more female guinea pigs than male guinea pigs.

In addition, female guinea pigs tend to reproduce more quickly than males, so they can help to keep the population size stable.

Are there baby guinea pigs in the herd?

Yes, there can be baby guinea pigs in a herd. Female guinea pigs reproduce quickly and can have up to six babies at a time.

As a result, it is not uncommon for baby guinea pigs to be born into a herd.

baby guinea pigs

When a baby guinea pig is born, it is typically cared for by its mother and the other members of the herd.

Generally, baby guinea pigs stay with their mothers until they are old enough to be on their own. This can be anywhere from four to eight weeks old.

Do all of the guinea pigs in the herd get along?

Not all of the guinea pigs in a herd will get along perfectly. There may be some fighting and squabbling, especially between male guinea pigs.

Just like people, different animals have different personalities, and some personalities just don’t mesh well.

herd

If you have multiple guinea pigs, it’s important to keep an eye on them to make sure that they’re getting along.

If you see signs of bullying or aggression, you may need to separate the guinea pigs into different cages.

Does a guinea pig herd have a leader?

Guinea pigs have a hierarchical social structure, with a clear hierarchy of dominance.

The herd will have an alpha male and an alpha female who are the most dominant members.

The rest of the herd will fall somewhere in the middle, with each animal having a specific place in the hierarchy.

babies

This hierarchy helps to keep the peace within the herd and ensures that everyone knows their role.

While the alpha male and female may be the leaders of the herd, they are not necessarily the biggest or strongest members. Instead, they are usually the smartest and most assertive animals in the group.

Can different breeds of guinea pigs be in the same herd?

Different breeds of guinea pigs can be in the same herd. In fact, it’s often recommended to have two or more guinea pigs of different breeds in a herd.

This is because different breeds can have different temperaments and personalities. Having a mix of breeds can help create a more well-rounded and socialized herd.

breeders

Additionally, different breeds can offer different coat types and colors, which can add visual interest to the herd.

However, it’s important to remember that not all guinea pigs will get along. It’s still important to introduce new guinea pigs slowly and carefully, regardless of breed.

But overall, having a mix of breeds in a herd can be beneficial for both the guinea pigs and their owners.

Caring for a guinea pig herd

When cared for properly, a herd of guinea pigs can be a fun and rewarding experience.

Here are some tips on how to care for your herd:

Provide plenty of space

Guinea pigs need plenty of room to run and play. A good rule of thumb is to provide at least 10 square feet of space per guinea pig.

Give them hidey-holes

Guinea pigs like to have somewhere to hide when they want some peace and quiet. Be sure to provide them with plenty of hiding places, such as tunnels, cardboard boxes, or blankets.

Feed them a healthy diet

Guinea pigs need a diet high in fiber and low in sugar. Be sure to provide them with fresh hay, vegetables, and a small number of pellets. Avoid feeding them too much fruit, as it can cause gastrointestinal problems.

group of guinea pigs

Keep them clean

Guinea pigs are very clean animals and groom themselves frequently. However, they still need occasional baths to keep their fur clean and free of mats. Be sure to use a mild shampoo made specifically for guinea pigs; avoid using human shampoo, as it can be harsh on their skin.

Handle them gently

Guinea pigs are delicate creatures that can be easily injured if handled roughly. When picking them up, be sure to support their bottom and back end so they don’t feel like they’re going to fall. Also, avoid holding them by their tails, as this can cause pain and injury.

Having a herd of guinea pigs can look like a lot of work, but it’s actually relatively easy to care for them.

By following these tips, you can provide your guinea pigs with a happy and healthy home.

How to breed a guinea pig herd?

If you’re thinking about breeding your guinea pigs, it’s important to understand the basics of how to care for a pregnant female and her baby guinea pigs.

With a little preparation, you can ensure a healthy pregnancy and delivery for your guinea pigs.

Guinea pigs reach sexual maturity at around 4-6 months old. Both female and male guinea pigs can become fertile as young as 2 months old, so it’s important to be aware of the signs of pregnancy and take steps to prevent unwanted litters.

family

If you do decide to breed your guinea pigs, make sure to do your research in advance and be prepared for the potential risks involved.

Guinea pig litters typically range from 1-4 babies, with an average of 2-3.

Pregnant guinea pigs should be housed separately from males, as well as any other non-pregnant females. This will help to prevent fighting and reduce stress levels during pregnancy.

breeding

The gestation period is approximately 59-72 days. During this time, it’s important to provide your pregnant females with a variety of fresh vegetables and hay to help them maintain a healthy diet.

You should also avoid any sudden changes in temperature or diet, as this can lead to complications during pregnancy.

Once your pet gives birth, she will need plenty of time to bond with the young guinea pigs before they are ready to be handled.

cavia porcellus

Allow her at least a week or two before attempting to pick up or hold any of the baby guinea pigs.

Baby guinea pigs are typically weaned at around 6-8 weeks old, at which point they can be separated from their mother and introduced to other members of their herd.

What are the different roles inside the herd?

Within a herd, there are different roles that each individual plays in order to maintain harmony and order. 

The first role is that of the dominant male. The dominant male is the biggest and strongest guinea pig in the herd.

He is the one who mates with the females and protects the herd from predators. 

 

The second role is that of the female. Females are slightly smaller than males and their main purpose is to reproduce. They give birth to anywhere from one to six babies at a time, called “pups.” 

The third role is that of the juvenile. Juveniles are young guinea pigs who have not yet reached adulthood. They play an important role in groups by helping to care for the pups and keeping an eye out for predators. 

Finally, there is the role of the elderly. Elderly guinea pigs are usually no longer able to reproduce or play an active role in the herd. However, they are still respected members of the community and are often cared for by the younger members of the group for long periods of time.

Other guinea pig key terms

pigs

Guinea pigs are popular pets for many people because they’re small, low-maintenance, and relatively docile.

If you’re thinking about getting a guinea pig, it’s important to familiarize yourself with some key terms.

Here are a few key guinea pig terms and their definitions:

  • Cavia Porcellus: This is the scientific name for guinea pigs.
  • Sow: Females that have not been spayed.
  • Dam: Females that have been spayed.
  • Buck: A male guinea pig that has not been neutered.
  • Boar: A male guinea pig that has been neutered.
  • Cage: This is the enclosure where your animals will live. It should be big enough for them to move around comfortably and have room for a water bottle, food dish, and hiding space.
  • Food dish: A food dish is where you’ll put your pet’s food. It can be made of ceramic, metal, or plastic. If you have two guinea pigs, you’ll need two separate food dishes.
  • Water bottle: A water bottle is essential for your pet’s cage because it provides them with fresh, clean water. It should be attached to the side of the cage so they can easily access it.
  • Hiding space: A hiding space is a place where your guinea pigs can go to feel safe and secure. It can be made out of cardboard, wood, or fabric and should be big enough for them to turn around.
  • Bed: A bed is a soft, comfortable place for your pets to sleep. It can be when made out of hay, straw, or fleece and should be placed in a cage.
  • Collars: A collar is a piece of fabric that goes around your guinea pig’s neck and can be used to attach ID tags or leashes. They come in a variety of colors and styles.

Generally, these are the key guinea pig terms that you should know. Of course, there are many other words that you’ll learn as you become more familiar with these cute little animals.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Guinea pigs thrive in social environments, so it’s generally recommended to have at least two guinea pigs, or even more if you have the space.

However, having a herd of guinea pigs can be a bit challenging. Here are some of the frequently asked questions about guinea pig herds:

How many guinea pigs can live together?

The number of guinea pigs that can live together depends on a variety of factors such as the size of your cage, the personality of your guinea pigs, and whether or not they are related.

What are some misconceptions about guinea pig herds?

The most common misconception about herds and groups of guinea pigs is that they are always noisy. While guinea pigs can be vocal, they don’t have to be.

Another common misconception is that guinea pigs will always fight if they live in groups. This isn’t necessarily true either, as long as you provide them with enough space and resources.

herd

What is the difference between a wild and a domestic guinea pig?

The biggest difference between a wild and a domestic guinea pig is that domestic ones are bred to be pets, while wild guinea pigs are still found in the wild. Domestic guinea pig comes in a variety of colors and sizes, while wild guinea pigs are typically brown or black.

What is a family of guinea pigs called?

There is no scientific name for a family of guinea pigs, although it’s sometimes called fluff, because of their soft fur.

These are some of the most frequently asked questions about guinea pigs. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask a veterinarian.

Final thoughts

Guinea pigs make great pets because they are social animals that thrive in groups.

They are also relatively easy to care for, as long as you provide them with a spacious cage, fresh water, and plenty of food.

If you’re thinking about adding this furry creature to your family, be sure to do your research and ask lots of questions to make sure you’re prepared.

References

Author

Tim Rhodes
Tim Rhodes

Hi there! My name is Tim Rhodes and I'm a guinea pig enthusiast through thick and thin. My mission is to teach others useful tips and tricks about these cute creatures. When I'm not writing, I enjoy kickboxing and work as an animal trainer.

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