Many herbivores, both wild and domestic, live in social groups known as “herds”. Guinea pigs are pretty social and love being together. So does this make them herd animals too?
Yes, guinea pigs are herd animals. Guinea pigs are social creatures and form groups called herds in the wild.
Living in herds increases guinea pigs’ survival rate in the wild. A guinea pig herd is interactive and like a family.
They live together, eat together, and even travel together. They also raise and protect their offspring together.
Even in our homes, guinea pigs don’t like to be alone. They’ll be lonely and bored. And that’s too bad for creatures that love to socialize.
Similar animals living in a herd have a common herd name. Since a tribe is a herd of goats, what is a guinea pig herd called?
Let’s find out below!
What is a Guinea Pig Herd Called?
A guinea pig herd is called a muddle. This herd name describes a group of guinea pigs living together.
In the wild, different muddles (herds of guinea pigs) can still come together to form a bigger group called a colony.
Even to date, guinea pigs still enjoy living in groups. Interestingly, most pet parents happen to have a muddle of guinea pigs at home.
How many Guinea Pigs Are in a Herd?
A herd of guinea pigs consists of about 10 guinea pigs or more. Moreover, it’s mostly male and many female guinea pigs in a herd.
However, you can still find more than one male in a herd, especially newborns and young male pups. What you should also know is that a herd can produce other herds of guinea pigs.
If you care for many guinea pigs as pets, you might have a herd living in your house.
That’s right! They’re a herd as long as they are about five, ten, or more cavies living happily together.
Do Guinea Pigs Travel in Herds?
Yes, guinea pigs travel in herds. Traveling in groups is one of the characteristics of herd animals.
In the wild, guinea pigs don’t live in a particular spot all their lives. Cavies search for new homes and fertile grasslands from time to time.
And when they do so, they do it as a family. Interestingly, a colony (group of herds) of guinea pigs can also travel together.
Why Do Guinea Pigs Travel in Herds?
Guinea pigs travel together in herds because they need to stick together. Their safety and survival depend on it.
A guinea pig herd is not just meant to live together. They grow, expand, and move to new places together.
This is how guinea pigs live in the wild. It’s important for them to remain a family.
How Do Guinea Pigs Behave on Herd?
They Live Together
That’s right! Every herd of guinea pigs lives together in their natural habitats. This is the major reason that makes them herd animals in the first place.
They become family and will find shelter and build homes together. Their homes could either be burrows they make from scratch or burrows other animals made.
Guinea Pigs Eat Together on Herds
For an animal group to be considered a herd, they don’t just live together but will equally eat together.
Since they’re a family they’ll forage and feed together. Looking for food is much easier with a large group.
Guinea pigs in a Herd Travel Together
Similar to antelopes, elephants, and many other herd animals, guinea pigs will also travel together in herds. They find new places together.
As a herd, they stick together even when they have to change environments.
They Breed Together
This behavior is also common with guinea pigs in herds. They will reproduce and raise young ones together.
Breeding is necessary for the herd to expand. And a herd has both male and female guinea pigs to raise young ones.
So aside from living together, guinea pigs in a herd mate with themselves. This activity helps guinea pig herds expand to a colony.
Guinea pigs Look Out For One Another
Guinea pigs on herds look out for each other. And it’s easier in a herd where many eyes are watching and many ears listening. This is safety in numbers!
Spotting danger is easier and all they’ll have to do is protect themselves quickly. Interestingly, they won’t fight off predators as a group.
Besides, that’s not how guinea pigs protect themselves. In the wild, these creatures keep themselves safe by hiding.
Moreover, even as guinea pigs are now domesticated, they still live with this same prey instinct. They hide all the time!
In summary, guinea pigs are herd animals. And a major benefit is protection.
You must have also learned that guinea pigs survive better in groups. For cavies, living in herds is safer than living alone.
Remember that a guinea pig herd is known as a muddle. And don’t forget that about 10 or more individuals make up this group.
A guinea pig herd behaves as a family. They live, eat, and travel together. Guinea pigs in herds also cooperate to keep each other safe.
Even as pets, guinea pigs prefer to live with a guinea pig or more. They love having other guinea pigs around to interact and play with.
Today, many breeds of guinea pigs with different personalities exist today. Does this mean some breeds can’t live together?
Click here to know the breeds of guinea pigs that can live together.