Last updated on January 22nd, 2023 at 07:02 pm
Are guinea pigs cannibals?
Yes, guinea pigs are cannibals. Guinea pigs are cannibals, but only in certain situations, primarily due to hunger, while under normal conditions, they would never eat their babies or other adult guinea pigs.
Maybe you’ve looked into a guinea pig’s cage and noticed that a guinea pig is missing.
You wonder if it escaped if predators grabbed it, but in the end, you realize with a bit of surprise what happened.
Guinea pigs are brilliant and calm pets, which is why many of us love them and enjoy their company.
In today’s article, we will find out why guinea pigs are cannibals, do they eat their babies, and do they eat each other.
Are guinea pigs cannibals?
Unfortunately, as we said, guinea pigs are cannibals at certain times, but let’s see in more detail the reasons for our furry friends’ actions.
Stress causes cannibalism in guinea pigs
Mother of guinea pigs eats their babies to protect them from stressful situations.
Whenever the mother perceives potential threats and stress, she will eat her babies. Unfortunately, that’s how guinea pigs think.
Here are some of the possible situations that caused stress in the mother:
- changes in temperature
- loud noise
- danger from predators
The mother kills and eats her baby to protect it from the stress she feels. She doesn’t want her baby to go through the same pressure.
Too many guinea pigs in one cage
When too many guinea pigs are in a cage, some guinea pigs may get eaten.
Sometimes there will be food fights and one of the guinea pigs will be eaten. This behavior of guinea pigs is not typical, it happens rarely, but it can still occur.
The best solution to avoid cannibalism among guinea pigs is to provide them with a large enough space to avoid such side effects.
Hunger is probably the leading cause of cannibalism and cannibalism in guinea pigs. The mother guinea pig loves her babies, but she is often hungry and thirsty because she is nursing them.
If there is insufficient food for the mother, she will start eating her babies, starting with the smallest.
That’s why we, as owners of guinea pigs, must always have enough food for the mother of the guinea pigs; food with vitamins and minerals; vitamin C is essential for the mother guinea pig.
When the mother has enough food, she will not even consider eating her babies.
If the baby is stillborn
If, after giving birth, any of the babies do not survive, their mother will eat them.
Nature and the wild have taught guinea pigs to eat dead babies to protect other living babies and their own lives from predators.
Predators will smell the dead baby and find the location of the guinea pigs more easily.
Now, guinea pigs living in a cage are not in danger of predators, but their mothers don’t know that and will eat the dead baby guinea pigs.
That’s why we, as owners of guinea pigs, should immediately remove it from the cage if we notice a dead guinea pig.
When Baby Looks Like a Placenta
Sometimes a mother guinea pig may mistakenly eat the baby instead of the placenta.
After the guinea pigs are born, the mother cleans and eats the babies’ placenta to prevent predators from taking advantage of this situation.
But as we said, by mistake, instead of the placenta, she can eat her baby.
Do guinea pigs eat each other when they die?
No, guinea pigs do not eat each other when they die. Guinea pigs are sad when someone in their family dies and are very calm and quiet during those days.
If you notice a dead guinea pig, immediately remove it from the cage so that the other guinea pigs do not see it; the less they see it, the faster they will get over the loss of their friend.
You can add more toys or other activities to make it easier for them to forget the dead guinea pig.
Read more: Are Guinea Pigs Born With Hair? (Let’s Discover)
Do guinea pigs eat their babies if you touch them?
No, guinea pigs do not eat their babies if the owners touch them.
There are certain beliefs that the mother will eat her baby when we touch it because we will change its smell, but this is not true.
Other pets, like hamsters, eat their babies after their smell has changed because they can’t see well, but this is not the case with guinea pigs.
Do male guinea pigs eat babies?
Yes, male guinea pigs can eat the babies, but not always, but in some instances, they eat them too.
Male guinea pigs like to defend their territory and eat tiny babies. It is best to first keep the babies with their mothers separate from the male guinea pigs.
Once the babies are big enough to defend themselves from the adults, you can gradually introduce them to the male guinea pigs.
Can guinea pigs not be cannibals?
To avoid cannibalism in guinea pigs, certain steps should be taken to prevent this unwanted thing.
Here are some steps to help you do that:
- Remove the dead guinea pigs from the cage so the mother cannot eat them.
- Always give them enough food and water, so they are not hungry; when they are hungry, guinea pigs become cannibals.
- Don’t let a male guinea pig be in the same cage as a baby guinea pig, so he doesn’t eat it.
- The cage should be large enough and have enough space, so the guinea pigs do not fight and eat each other.
- Reduce stress around guinea pigs by reducing loud noise, do not keep other pets near the cage, and ensure the temperature is optimal.
All these factors work to reduce the chances of cannibalism in guinea pigs.
Read more: Why Are Guinea Pigs So Cute? (Find Out Now)
Do guinea pigs eat meat?
No, guinea pigs do not eat meat; they are herbivores, which means they only eat plant foods.
The digestive system of guinea pigs is not adapted to process meat or any meat products.
If they accidentally eat a piece of meat, they will not die, but they will face many health problems, such as:
- digestive problems
- stomach ache
Therefore, in no case should you give them meat; guinea pigs should eat:
- and to drink fresh and clean water
Guinea pigs can sometimes be cannibals, but this is rare, mostly when they have a food shortage when stressed and if there are too many guinea pigs in one cage.
Under normal conditions, guinea pigs never eat their babies; If a baby guinea pig dies, the mother may consume it to prevent attacks from predators.
To prevent cannibalism among guinea pigs, it is necessary that they regularly have enough food and drinking water, that they do not have stressful situations, and that they should have a sufficiently large cage.