Male vs Female Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs have become a very popular household pet for quite some time. Rather than buying them from the pet market, people prefer to breed them in the house. However, in order to carry out a successful breeding process knowing the male and female differences would be greatly advantageous. It is not, however, the easiest task to verify the sex by seeing through the external morphology, but there are techniques to understand as whether a male or a female.
Male Guinea Pigs
With the presence of the male reproductive system, the male guinea pigs should be observed for their external genitalia, especially for the penis. The penis is not placed outside the body in guinea pigs but inside the genital opening, which has a similar shape as the anus does to the exterior. It is a little contradictory whether the genital opening of males is located slightly away to the anus or not, as many references cite it differently. However, the penis becomes visible when the genital surroundings are applied with a slight pressure. Additionally, the testes could be identified beneath the skin when the scrotal swellings occur. The testicles are likely to have the shape of a doughnut in mature males. Male guinea pigs usually grow slightly more than the females. The male urinates on the floor of the cage and draws a urine line to mark his territory, and that happens after the cage is cleaned. This territorial behaviour is prominent in captive males. When they live in wild conditions, their herds are composed of only one male with few females, and the male can mate with many females. Males become sexually matured in about five weeks, and it would be important to know that they emit a deep purring sound during mating with females. The captive male guinea pigs may sometimes have a slight dislike towards the owner. Male guinea pigs are commonly referred as boars, which is the same for the actual pigs.
Female Guinea Pigs
Female guinea pigs are the friendly members of their kind towards the owner when they live as pets. With their likable habits, an adult female (called sow) could be identified with the smaller size compared to an adult male. The location of the genital opening may be slightly close to the anus in the females. A small swelling could be spotted around the genital opening (vagina). One of the most important features in a female guinea pig is the Y-shaped vulvar flaps. The guinea pig sows reach the sexual maturity in about four weeks from birth, and their vagina are remained closed with the membranous hymen until oestrus and parturition. They come to oestrus in every 15 – 17 days and the oestrus lasts up to two days (48 hours). The vulvar region becomes wet during oestrus but seals out otherwise. Sometimes there are instances where the vaginal openings are sealed irreversibly (pubic symphysis), especially in the females that have never been pregnant. Sows do not show aggressive behaviours, but they are very friendly with others including the owner.
What is the difference between Male and Female Guinea Pigs?
• Male is slightly larger than the female.
• Females reach sexual maturity slightly faster than the males do.
• Males purr deeply during mating but not the females do.
• A slight swelling around the vagina is present in females, but the scrotal swelling in males is of doughnut-shaped.
• Females come to oestrus in every 15 – 17 days, whereas males are always ready to mate.
• Females are friendlier with the owners than males are.
• The Y-shaped vulvar flaps are present only in females and not in males.