Island News

Amina and her guinea pigs

Written By : NANDIKA CHAND . Guinea pigs are becoming the centre of attention for people in Nadi as more families are now keeping this small hamster-like-mammal as pets. Amina
16 Aug 2008 12:00

image Written By : NANDIKA CHAND . Guinea pigs are becoming the centre of attention for people in Nadi as more families are now keeping this small hamster-like-mammal as pets.
Amina Devi, 39, of Kennedy Avenue in Nadi said she has been raising the guinea pigs for the past six months.
Ms Devi said guinea pigs were very cute animals and attracted a lot of attention.
She said she had second thoughts about having pets in her home after their pet dog died but she changed her mind when she set her eyes on the guinea pigs.
“My husband was at his friend’s house and first came across the guinea pigs. He was so awestruck with it that he brought it home,” Ms Devi said.
“He brought two, a male and a female guinea pig home and now after six months we have 12 guinea pigs,” she said.
“They grow fast and reproduce fast too and are not costly or expensive to raise as they eat only vegetables like carrots, cabbage and para grass,” she said.
“I gave them a bundle of cabbage the other day and they finished it off within a few seconds!” she added.
Ms Devi said her guinea pigs do not eat lettuce or drink water.
She said she feeds the guinea pigs in the morning, midday and in the afternoon.
“They are like our security alarm too because whenever there is someone at the gate or someone passes by their cage, they will suddenly make noise like beep beep,” she said.
“A week ago a family member came, saw our guinea pigs and took a pair with them home. We sold it for $50 a pair,” she said.
“Raising guinea pigs is quite a challenge because it comes with the responsibility to feed them on time and clean their cage,” she said.
“I clean the cage regularly so that they are no risk or danger of the guinea pigs in getting sick or viruses,” she said.
“If one guinea pig is sick in the cage then it will take less than a week in all the guineas pigs in the cage in getting sick,” she said.
“This is the reason why we always have to keep in mind to clean the cage regularly,” she said.
“If there are children in the household then they will learn about responsibility, love and care from an early age,” she said.
Ms Devi said guinea pigs are also vulnerable and they should be kept away from dogs because they will eat it.
She said cats will not do anything if they see a guinea pig on the ground but if a dog sees it, it will tear it apart.
“That’s why we keep guinea pigs in a fenced like box or cage so that the dogs will not get to them,” Ms Devi said.
“Whenever family members, relatives or friends come over to our house they will first have a look at the guinea pig and give it a cuddle,” she said.
“No one can resist not cuddling a guinea pig because it is as cute and as attractive as a small baby,” she said.
“We clean its cage regularly and have to feed it in time because they get hungry quickly,” she added.
Ms Devi said she was devastated when one of her guinea pigs died and decided to give more attention to the guinea pigs.
She said she does not regret keeping guinea pigs instead of any other animal as pet because guinea pigs are unique and one of its kind.
“They are very cute and easy and simple to look after and they also do not eat much,” Ms Devi said.
“They eat vegetables and grass and most of all this is not costly or expensive,” she said.
“One will just have to make sure that they look after the guinea pigs with love and care just as they look after any other pet animals,” she said.
Ms Devi said she has gotten fond of her guinea pigs as they are very cute and cuddly.
She said she would not give up her guinea pigs for anything in the world.
There are also several households in Nadi that are keeping guinea pigs as pets.
Guinea Pigs are rabbit like animals and can live in any type of environmental conditions.

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