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Bringing Sexing Back

How to tell the guinea girls from the guinea boys

  • Guinea pigs

    Do a little privacy invasion, and you can prevent a pig population boom in the shelter. ERIK LAM/

Meet Marshmallow and her son, Marshmallow Junior, two adorable guinea pigs just surrendered to your shelter. They’re lovable and highly adoptable—but Junior seems to be mounting mom quite a bit, and … huh … she seems to be getting a little rotund …

That’s right, you’ve been given a mating pair of guinea pigs! And now there’s so much more adorableness headed your way—up to 10 darling little bundles of joy.

Let’s rewind: Before you end up with your own private G-Force army, consider a little sex ed, guinea pig style.

Guinea girls, or sows, can become pregnant as early as 1 month old. Guinea pig males are able to make time with the ladies when they’re only 3 weeks of age. And for these randy little fellows, mom is in no way off limits. Fertile males shouldn’t be kept in a cage with a pregnant female, because as soon as she gives birth, she’s equipped to become pregnant again, so unless you’re adopting guinea pigs out as fast as iPads are selling, you’ll want to enforce an abstinence policy.

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