Cuy husbandry

Post Reply
User avatar

Post   » Fri Sep 02, 2016 8:21 am

Hi guys,

My apologies if there's info (apart from the sticky) about cuy floating about already, but I'm at work and don't have much time.

I have seen a cuy boar up for adoption here in the UK and I'm quite keen on getting it, but not before I know all the ins and outs.

What common ailments do they get? How much space do they need? what is their longevity? Anything else in particular I need to know?

I know they're genetically weak and are often anti social. According to this boar's owner he actually is social once he knows the person, which is nice. He's only a year old and I'm awaiting further info on him.


Anything I need to take into consideration & info is very welcome.


User avatar

Post   » Fri Sep 02, 2016 10:04 am

While they seem to be more timid, I think it also depends on the cuy. Have you contacted the owner for any info?

User avatar
Supporter in '11

Post   » Fri Sep 02, 2016 5:09 pm

Most of the cuy in our area have been either red or gray in color, with or without white. I've seen some that I suspect are part cuy in different colors. Is the one in your photo supposed to be all cuy?

2x3 grid C and C cages are too small. A 2x4 would be minimal, a 2x5 better. Some will be able to jump out of C and C cages if there isn't a lid, while others do fine, once acclimated, in shorter cages. I have my 5 year old cuy in a cage that is only 10" tall at the front and she is fine, while she needed something much taller when she was young and wild.

Shelters in our area had a hard time confining cuy in cages that had a door that opened from the front because the cuy would launch right out when the door opened.

I've had a lot of cuy come in that were very skittish at first. It seemed to help to remove the pigloos that they could hide in completely and instead use stools or other type hideouts that they were forced to look at me. My cuy, Billie Jean, wouldn't let me even peek at her the first three months she was here but when I put her next to my desk and used stools, she calmed down a lot. I can now hand feed her.

Cuys were bred for meat production and seem to put on weight very easily. The ones that I've had tend to much prefer pellets to hay.

One of the Southern California rescues and my own see a lot more cervical lymphadenitis and possibly fungal issues in cuy than non-cuy. I've had cuy pop up with CL and fungal issues when it hasn't even been present in my rescue for a year or more. Meanwhile, their non-cuy cage mates seem immune to it. So some of these opportunistic bugs that tend to attack animals whose immune systems are down seem to get to the cuy.

I've paired lots of cuy with non-cuy and they do great. I think things are calmer when you pair a cuy and non-cuy than when you pair two cuy together. Female cuys tend to get harder to pair up as they get older. My 5year old female tends to accept males easier than females. In fact, she currently has two neutered non-cuy boyfriends. She is spayed.

We've had one cuy pup born at our rescue to a cuy who was a stray. The pup was a whopping 250 grams at birth! (Average seems to be 80-100 for non-Cuy.

I heard at first the cuy only lasted a few years due to heart issues. I did lose my Paula Bunyan to heart issues at three years of age but my 5year old is going strong at 5 and has made it through being spayed (due to pyometra). A couple other female cuy had a lot of stone issues.

I've really enjoyed them. Some become quite social while others never really trust.

User avatar

Post   » Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:43 pm

He could be a sort of "second generation" improved cuy, a pedigree type, not a meat one. It seems that pedigree guinea pig breeders in Europe have been going to great lenghts to undo the harm that was done to the breed.
The only cuys I have seen were the pampered show piggies, still quite rare, but lovely. They are said to be almost as mild mannered and gentle as other guinea pigs, and without any particular health problems.
My friend has a beautiful chestnut brown and white crested pig I strongly suspect is a cuy, or at least part cuy, because of his size, close to 2 kg - more than 4 pounds. He is a little skittish, but it is not unusual for a guinea pig around strangers. In fact, he is so normal, his owner didn't even suspect she might have a cuy.
So, if you are lucky, your prospective pet may be a descendant, pure or crossbreed, of a show cuy. Of course, they are still big, need lots of food and space, and make incredible amount of poop, but at least the are spared the worst of mind and body problems.

User avatar

Post   » Sat Sep 03, 2016 6:27 am

He's a pedigree imported from Germany. Owner says he has no abnormalities and is quite cuddly once out if the cage.
He's still in tact but I'll be neutering him.

Currently 2kg.

I didn't know they could be housed with standard pigs as I've always been told they're super aggressive.

I have three girls and one neutered boy.

Thanks for getting bk to me!


Post   » Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:21 am

I have a cuy boar, what size cage should I get? I thought bigger pig=accommodations for 2-3 pigs. He will be housed with another pig. My boy seems skittish, but he is my first one.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:03 am

Two normal sized boars need at least 12 square feet, and more is better. I'd go 15-16 square feet with a cuy if possible. And you'll need a lid -- they can jump.

User avatar

Post   » Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:50 pm

Yeah, we use white wire shelving to make a lid for our cage with the cuys. They are so fast and strong! I find that the males do well if housed with normal sized guinea pigs. We had two brothers that tolerated each other, but when one passed away and we put the remaining boy with another normal sized male, they actually formed a bond. And I think the normal sized boy (he's one of our older ones) is a calming influence on him.

Of course I also had it go the other way--a normal male housed with a cuy male became much more skittish over time.

User avatar
Supporter in '11

Post   » Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:21 pm

I've had a lot of luck too placing cuys with non-cuys. It did seem to calm a lot of them.


Post   » Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:49 am

I am planning on building a 20sq ft c and c before the summer. Is 4x5 enough for a cuy and regular boar? I based the minimum for my cuy boar on the reccomendation for two pigs, since he is double the size of a regular pig. My cuy will only jump if he feels unsafe (i.e., in a 4ft moving box)

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:51 am

That should be plenty.

Post Reply
11 posts • Page 1 of 1