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Just adopted two "super" cavies (super as in BIG)


Cavy Slave
Apr 23, 2012
Hi everyone. I'm new to cavy ownership and just adopted a pair of big guinea pigs--the larger one, we're calling her Paloma, is over 2 kg. I'm a little annoyed I can't find a real breed name for her other than "cuy" or "super guinea pig" but oh well. She's red and white, with a slight crest going on, and seems like she'll be a sweety once she's decided we're no longer terrifying.
The other is Tulip, who is at least half Abyssinian and maybe half "cuy" since she's also pretty big. So far she seems to be the boss despite being smaller--probably because she's not nearly as terrified of everything as Paloma is.

They're both pretty skittish but definitely cute. They've got a pretty large C&C cage (slightly over 2x5--it's an "L" shape with two extra square grids-worth) to play in, although I need to make the walls of the coroplast a little higher as they kick up the bedding everywhere if they panic at something.

I'm still trying to get the hang of the noises--I'm used to rabbits, which really only thump, tooth purr, or occasionally snort-growl. (Or scream, but that's really bad news when they do that; only had one rabbit do that when her foot got stepped on accidentally--she was okay though.) And of course I already know they're body language, but guinea pigs are different enough that I'm going to have to study them a bunch. Can't quite tell the grumpy noises from the happy just yet--sort of thought they were having fun earlier when I put them down on the floor and forced them to put up with me sitting near them but now I'm wondering if they were unhappy about it. Hopefully the bell pepper and strawberry treats they got made up for it.
Welcome, I am new also and absolutely love the noises that the pigs make! My bunnies thump and throw their cage items around but thats about it. The Gpig noises are just awesome!
Paloma definitely sounds like a cuy, based on what I've heard; red and white coloring, huge size and more skittish nature. I've never seen one in person; how big is she? Post some photos!
Welcome to GPC! I'm in the Bay area too. Your piggies must have come from CavyHouse.
Here's pictures--haven't yet got one of them together. And yes, I did adopt from CavyHouse! I renamed Paloma--she used to be called Twinkletoes.
[GuineaPigCages.com] Just adopted two "super" cavies (super as in BIG)[GuineaPigCages.com] Just adopted two "super" cavies (super as in BIG)
Oh my, those are indeed big piggies! Great pigtures of your crew.
Awwww, they are so sweet!!
I'm assuming she's a full "cuy"--but she does have a little crest going on so it's possible she has another breed in her. I'm just praying they won't have serious health problems later in life. Sounds like the breeding program for "cuys" in Peru has been going on for thirty years or so, so I'm hoping that means they actually followed good breeding practices. Although of course they're bred for meat there, so they won't have been concerned with long-term health, so I'll just have to wait and see. They've already surprised me with how strong they are--picking up Paloma is almost more difficult than handling a rabbit, since most rabbits her size aren't nearly as large around the chest. Rabbits I can prevent them from jumping up while still supporting their ribs (and my other hand is supporting their back legs) but Paloma is a little too big for that. She looks so chubby, but then you pick her up and feel all the muscle as she's squirming around!
Tulip is absolutely gorgeous. Good luck with them <3:)
Sounds like the breeding program for "cuys" in Peru has been going on for thirty years or so, so I'm hoping that means they actually followed good breeding practices. Although of course they're bred for meat there, so they won't have been concerned with long-term health, so I'll just have to wait and see.
The "breeding program" in Peru hasn't any regard to long term health - they are ridiculously inbred and when they were originally introduced here, they were almost all polydactyl, which is the product of extreme inbreeding.

I've had a total of 8 of these big guys and seen malocclusion, congenital heart defects and for some reason they are more prone to cysts, tumors and other skin maladies. The "good" news is that most we are seeing nowadays are a mix of a typical cavy and the cuy, which bodes slightly better for them in the gene pool.

Congrats on adopting! Despite all their troubles, I love having them and working with them.
They are so cute!
Gigantic! My heaviest pig only weighed 1.135 kg at his last weigh-in, and he's done growing.

I bet yours are extra nice to cuddle! Grats!
Thanks for the info; glad to find someone else who has owned them. Mine aren't polydactyl, so I'll just have to hope that indicates they aren't too inbred. I was expecting heart problems were a likely risk with them--that seems to happen with animals that are bred to be larger than what is "right" for the species.
Where do you people find these giant cuy? I've never seen one.
They're supposedly from Peru, bred for meat. They've been showing up in California mainly, especially Southern California, but I read a few posts on Guinea Lynx from people that were in British Columbia and Georgia. There was a LOT of discussion on Guinea Lynx about cuy being spotted in Petco's.

CavyHouse, a rescue group in the Bay Area, has one that she's keeping as an "ambassador." Apparently she was super popular at a pet fair she was shown at--everyone wanted their photo taken with her!
Scroll down to the bottom of the page for her picture.
I have a piggy called Paloma as well, slightly (!) smaller than your girl though. I think (in a completely non-biased way of course) it's a lovely name.
I liked it too--I thought it would be fun to have a Spanish name, since her "breed" is from Peru. Paloma is supposed to mean dove or pigeon, which for some reason works for me--she's skittish and flighty, but eventually I hope her to be peaceful like a dove.
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