Millennium Post

Herbivorous Pets

Common pets like guinea pigs and goats barely need any special care; but, we must be observant of the physical signs and changes in these herbivores.

How long does a guinea pig live?

Guinea pigs live an average of five to seven years.

Is it advisable to let a guinea pig live outside the house or in the garden?

It is not advisable to let guinea pigs live outside.

Where do Guinea pigs come from?

Wild guinea pigs come from South America and northwestern Venezuela spanning across to central Chile. These wild guinea pigs are the original ancestors of the domestic pet guinea pig that we see today. They have been used since then as pets, for food, for their beautiful coats and often also as gifts. They were first brought to Europe by English and Dutch traders in the 1700s and they became a popular pet for royalty across Europe. Since then, they have grown in popularity as pets; but wild guinea pigs still exist in the wild today in the Andes region of South America.

How to tell if a guinea pig is male or female?

The easiest way to tell the difference between male and female guinea pigs is by measuring the distance between the guinea pig's anus and its genitals. A male guinea pig's genital area measures further from the anus than a female guinea pig's genital area. Another way to determine the sex of the guinea pig is by looking at the shape of the genitals. The opening of the genitals on males looks like a dot and the opening of the genitals on females looks like a vertical slit.

How do I tell if my goat is in heat?

The average cycle for a doe is about every twenty-one days. This is the time of their season when their oestrogen levels are at their highest peak. It generally lasts from twelve to forty-eight hours. When a doe is in heat, she will usually be more vocal, making loud, long, panicky sounds. They parade around, wagging their tail somewhat energetically. If separated from a buck, they will try their best to catch his attention, by rubbing against their dividing fence. Other visual signs include a gel-like discharge from the back and a somewhat constant and startled daze in their eyes.

What are the signs that your goat might be sick?

Aside from the bleating, there are other signs to check for a sick goat. Healthy goat conditions that might be altered when a goat is sick include the following.

They won't be interested in food or water

They will be bloating, kicking or biting their stomach

Green or cloudy nasal discharge

Body temperature above 103.5 indicates fever

Body temperature above 101.5 indicates subnormal temperature

Shows symptoms of pain like grinding their teeth

They have loose faeces which indicates diarrhoea or problems in their bowel movement

Rapid or slow breathing

They have a hard time urinating or they suffer pain when urinating

Pressing their head against fences or walls

Their eyelids turn gray or pale in color

(Views expressed and information provided are personal. Send your questions to

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