Do Guinea Pigs Eat Each Other?

Written by: Josiah Shobayo
Last updated on:

Do Guinea pigs eat each other? Guinea pigs aren’t really known for their social skills. They don’t play well with other animals or humans either. 

As unnatural as the question seems, you never can tell what the answer may be. Well, this article seeks to shed more light on that. 

Do Guinea Pigs Eat Each Other?

It’s not the most acceptable topic to discuss but the simple fact is that they do. Guinea pigs eat each other mostly due to hunger. Also, there are other factors that can cause cannibalistic tendencies in these furry, calm creatures.

But the truth is, it is an uncommon occurrence as it’s not every time guinea pigs feed on each other. As a pet owner, if you are consistent in delivering the best care for your pet, you can eliminate the chances of such an act happening and have your guinea pigs cohabit with one another peacefully.

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Why Do Guinea Pigs Eat Each Other?

Experts at Tiny Pet Cares identified a few reasons why guinea pigs eat each other, especially their babies. Here are some of those reasons.

Extreme Hunger

As earlier stated, hunger is a major reason why guinea pigs eat their babies. This could happen as a result of long periods of starvation and breastfeeding.

If the mother cavy constantly feels hungry or thirsty as she breastfeeds, and if there’s no food available, she will eat one of her young ones, especially the smallest one.

Stress

As weird as it sounds, eating baby piggies is a stress reliever for mother cavies. These mothers get stressed when there are changes in the temperature, loud noises, or when they are unexcited. So to prevent their young ones from experiencing the same strain, they prefer to eat them.

If The Baby Is Stillborn

When one or more pups are born lifeless, the mother eats them. She prefers to eat them than to allow anyone to take the stillborn away.  

Crowded Cage

In an overcrowded cage, adult cavies can eat their fellow adult cavies to lessen the competition for food and create space.

Note that most of these cases are associated with mother guinea pigs. However, the fathers aren’t any different. They are extremely territorial and would harm anything that shares their space. And baby piggies are no exceptions to this rule.

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How Can You Prevent Guinea Pigs From Eating Each Other?

The truth is, you cannot entirely control this behavior. It will probably happen even if you take every possible precaution to avoid it.

But while you can’t prevent it from happening, you can reduce the chances of it happening. Just ensure you practice these measures:

  • Always feed your guinea pig on time. You can even leave dry foods on their plates so they can eat whenever they’re hungry but ensure you change the food daily.
  • Provide diets rich in calcium and vitamin C for the new mother so that she doesn’t harm her young.
  • Always remove stillborns from the cage the minute you spot them.
  • Don’t lock pups in the same cage as their fathers. Introduce them to their fathers over time and leave them together when the pup is big enough to protect itself.
  • Provide enough space for your cavies, so they don’t resort to cannibalism to reduce competition.

With these tips, you can avoid situations where your cavy eats other cavies.

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Other Meat?

No, they cannot. Guinea pigs are strictly herbivorous. So you need to feed them hay, vegetables, and pellets, all of which must be rich in Vitamin C and calcium for their growth.

Conclusion

Guinea pigs become cannibals in extreme situations. While they depend heavily on certain fruits and vegetables for their nutrients, they eat their own kind in certain situations.

With the tips mentioned above, you can avoid such a situation from happening with your pet.

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