Guinea Pig Care & Health
There are over 40 different breeds of guinea pig recognised by the British Cavy Council and these include many different colours, coat types and coat lengths so there is definitely a guinea pig to suit everyone. Guinea pigs live on average for 4-8 years and owning them is very rewarding, but it is also a big responsibility and commitment in terms of care and finances, so please think about this before you buy your guinea pigs. Guinea pigs have certainly been around people for a very long time and have played an important role in the culture of many indigenous groups in South America, not only as a food source but also in medicine and in religious ceremonies; statues of guinea pigs that date from around 500 BC to 500 AD have been found in Peru and it is believed some of the ancient Peruvian tribes depicted the guinea pig in their art. The guinea pigs that we now keep as pets are descendants of wild guinea pigs found in the Andes that were introduced to Europe in the 16th century. No one knows exactly where the name Guinea Pig came from, but in the 16th century traders brought guinea pigs over from South America to Europe and it is possible that they stopped at Guiana on their journey, which may have led to people thinking this is where they came from.
Guinea pigs are ‘prey’ animals and are genetically programmed to always be on the lookout for and run away from danger, which can mean that it may take a little while for your guinea pig to learn to trust you. Offer really tasty, small pieces of veg or fruit and hand feed your guinea pig so that he or she learns that your presence is a positive thing. Don’t pick your guinea pig up if you don’t have too, they are so much happier with all four paws on the ground! Instead sit on the floor and encourage your guinea pig onto your lap for strokes and cuddles using food. If you do need to pick up your guinea pig, always do it by placing one hand under the chest and use the other to support their hind quarters – always make sure you have a firm hold of your guinea pig while you are holding them, as falling from a height can injure them.
Traditionally Guinea pigs have always been kept in hutches in the garden, however guinea pigs are just as happy when kept indoors. Fleece/Vetbed/Towels – commonly used for indoor guinea pigs This keeps guinea pigs dry and is soft on their feet also. Daily Health Care Bottom – Guinea pigs normally pass faecal pellets as well as the softer caecotrophs which they eat.
Effects of yeast culture supplementation on growth performance, intestinal health, and immune response of nursery pigs.
Effects of yeast culture supplementation on growth performance, intestinal health, and immune response of nursery pigs. A total of 216 weaning pigs were used in 2 experiments to determine the effects of dietary supplementation of yeast culture at different dose levels on the growth performance, nutrient digestibility, intestinal morphology, intestinal microflora, and immune response in weanling pigs and to determine whether YC can be a candidate to replace antibiotic growth promoters. 1, 192 pigs weaned at 28 d of age were randomly allotted to 6 treatments: 1) control; 2) AGP; 3) 2.5 g/kg of YC; 4) 5 g/kg of YC; 5) 10 g/kg of YC; and 6) 20 g/kg of YC. Each treatment had 8 replicated pens with 4 pigs per pen. Pigs were fed the experimental diets for 21 d. Average daily gain of pigs fed 5 g/kg of YC was greater than that of pigs in the control and other YC groups.
Pigs supplemented with 5 g/kg of YC, 10 g/kg of YC, and AGP had a greater ADFI than the control; however, G:F was not affected by treatment. 2, to elucidate the mode of action of YC, 24 nursery pigs were randomly allotted into 3 treatments for a 21-d trial. All pigs were harvested to determine treatment effects on gut microbiota, morphology, and immune function. Dietary supplementation of 5 g/kg of YC improved ADG of pigs compared with the control group, but performance of pigs fed YC was similar to those fed AGP. Pigs receiving 5 g/kg of YC had greater digestibility of DM, CP, GE, and jejunal villus height and villus height:crypt depth ratio compared with pigs fed the control diet. No differences in performance, digestibility, or gut morphology were observed between pigs fed YC and AGP.
Gut interferon-gamma concentrations were greater for pigs supplemented with YC compared with control pigs and pigs supplemented with AGP on d 21. Plasma IFN-gamma concentrations were decreased in pigs supplemented with YC and AGP compared with control pigs on d 7, and CD4(+) was decreased in pigs supplemented with YC and AGP on d 14. Results indicate that dietary YC supplementation at 5 g/kg had a positive effect on growth performance of nursery pigs by improving jejunal villus height and villus height:crypt depth ratio and by modulating gut immune response. The comparable effect of 5 g/kg of YC supplementation and AGP on the growth performance of nursery pigs indicates that YC may be a good candidate as an antibiotic alternative.