In our series on guinea pig breeds, we look at the himalayan guinea pig in particular the breed type, appearance, specific care considerations, and showing requirements that it has.
The Himalayan is a fantastically beautiful piggie breed known as the siamese cat of the guinea pig world and pretty common compared to other breeds.
Lets find out more about it…
- The Himalayan guinea pig is a non-self variety of guinea pig.
- It is a main classified breed
Appearance of Himalayan Guinea Pigs
- It is an albino guinea pig which develops pigment on its feet, nose and ears which are called points. These develop during the first months of its life.
- The Himalayan guinea pig is a pointed pig which basically means that it has a white body that has darker highlights that are either chocolate or black on the feet, nose or ears.
- After it is born, it takes several months for the darker points to grow to the correct density.
- The darker points appear on the nose, with the colour growing to between the eyes as well as onto the whiskers.
- On the Himalayan guinea pig the feet and ears are a matching colour
- On their feet, the colour does not go back as far as the heels
- It is commonly known as the Siamese cat of guinea pig breeds
- It is a fairly common breed of guinea pig
Caring for Himalayan Guinea Pigs
- They really do not like direct sunlight and need to be housed under shade
- Like all guinea pigs, they need to be fed regularly with a diet of timothy hay, fresh veggies and water.
- They are susceptible to the weather and need to be kept under good temperature conditions.
- The colour of their points will fade if they are knocked and by bright light and hot weather
- Their colour changes in accordance to the temperature of the climate where they reside.
- In contrast, their points will form and grow in cold weather
- In addition, the points will often also fade with age, with frights or any illness
Showing Himilayan Guinea Pigs
For this section, I am indebited to the Bluezak stud site for information on Himilayan showing requirements
They are very popular with breeders for show because of their appearance and ease of care.
They are exhibted in two colours which are Jet Black and Rich Milk Chocolate
When they are exhibited for show, the following are the standard requirements.
Head – needs to be short and broad with a profile that gently curves. A muzzle that is of good width and is rounded at the nostrils.
Eyes – need to be large, bold and bright, with good width between them. They should be coloured with black or rich milk chocolate and denser at the base of the ear. Should have bright red eyes.
Ears – they need to be large, drooping and with good width between them
Body – need to be short, cobby with good with across shoulders and body. Should be a pure white colour and not have any body pigment.
Fitness – need to be fit and of good substance, with lots of good firm flesh.
Size – need to have a good size appropriate to their age
Markings – need to be sharply defined dark and even points on face, feet and ears that are clearly marked from its white body colour.
Smut – it needs to be prominent and wider at nostrils. should be pear-shaped and carried up between the eyes. It should be sharply defined and coloured intensely in a rich milk chocolate or black colour.
Coat – Should be soft , clean and not have any guard hairs at all.