Posted: June 13, 2011, 5 a.m. EDT
Q: My husband and I got a female guinea pig named Penelope recently. Little did we know that she was pregnant, and she gave birth to a baby male and female 3.5 weeks ago. We moved the male into his own cage this week and he can see, smell, touch noses, and hear the females but can't fit through the bars of the cage to mate. Is this setup alright, or will the male get sad/lonely? We plan on having them play together when we are there to supervise. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
A: Several months ago we were faced with a similar situation with a pair of female guinea pigs; one had a baby boy, and it was time for him to be separated from the female guinea pigs. He was very upset, had trouble eating and would fly around his cage in a dead run fleeing a gentle hand or a piece of treat because he seemed absolutely lost without his guinea pig mom.
Luckily we used a type of cage that is 4 by 2 feet, and we were able to place a divider down the center so that Mac the guinea pig was able to see his mother and auntie but not directly interact with them other than touching noses at the wire. We made sure that he would not get his head stuck in the wire as we used a type of guinea pig cage called a C & C cage.
This setup seemed to bring Mac the guinea pig great comfort. He often visited with his mom and aunt guinea pig through the wire yet ventured to do things on his own. He slept in his own house, and ate and moved about his day with the comfort of knowing that his guinea pig mom was within sight.
Placing the two guinea pig cages next to each other as you suggested so that the guinea pigs are able to see each other is perfect. Placing them either end to end or back to back will still permit the guinea pigs to interact with each other and know that they are not that far from the other guinea pigs.
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