The Texel guinea pig is a rarity of nature. It is a rodent with long hair, but instead of straight, it is wavy or curly. The Texel guinea pig is a renowned breed known for its calmness, gentleness, and friendliness. They have their whole body covered with hair, and they are similar to Silkie guinea pigs in their appearance, particularly their curly hair.
They are the shortest and the most beautiful breed of long-haired guinea pigs with a body size of 8-10 inches and a life span of 5-10 years. Similar to humans, their younger ones are energetic, while the older ones are sluggish and lazy. They are a relatively new breed, and their demand keeps increasing. The species is more difficult to obtain than the typical American or Abyssinian guinea pig.
If you own or want to own a texel guinea pig, this article will show you everything you need to know about this lovely pet.
Origin of the Texel Breed as a Guinea Pig
It is a new breed, and its origin comes from the United Kingdom during the 80s due to crossing breeding between Sheltie and Royal (Rex).
The Guinea Pig Breeders Association officially declared this new breed in the late 1990s after so much popularity and demand for its peculiar long curly hair.
Characteristics of the Texel Guinea Pig
This breed of pig is a bit like the fluffy lumps you want to pick up. They have beautiful big eyes and small ears in the shape of rose petals. Among them, you can even find white guinea pigs.
Although it can be confused with the Merino, it will be quite easy to identify them if you know their characteristics. The characteristics below will show you how texel guinea pigs differ from other breeds of guinea pigs.
Their hair is long and also curly or wavy. The curly hair grows far from the head. However, the length of its hair is much greater on its body than on its muzzle, and it can reach up to 15 centimeters.
Although this breed’s color is quite diverse, cinnamon brown with white is the most common color. We can also find Texel in black and all the shades of these three colors separately, or in two-color and even tricolor mixtures, although they are very rare. There is even a satin with more shine.
Similar to other breeds, the Texel body is wide and compact, and it has a fairly round neck and face. It has two large shinny eyes hidden under the part of their gorgeous coat with four short, stocky legs.
The Texel has a calm temperament and is easy to tame. It is a sociable animal you would love to play with.
How does a Texel guinea pig see?
The Texel guinea pig’s visual insight is poor but superior to that of most pet rodents. Since the retina is made up strictly of rods, daytime vision is very poor, but night vision is fine. The texel guinea pig does not support light.
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Caring for the Texel Guinea Pig
This animal does not require special care as other breeds could have. Common care for the Texel guinea pig are:
Contrary to popular belief, texels don’t need daily brushing. You just need to rub your fingers or a wide-tooth comb through their hairs from time to time.
Guinea pigs do not usually need baths. However, in the case of Texel, it is recommended to take a fortnightly or monthly bath to keep your pet’s coat clean. Spot cleaning with a tissue or flannel can also work. Like other breeds of guinea pigs, the Texel should have its nails trimmed once a month.
Cleaning the Cage
Cleaning and maintaining minimum hygiene in the cage where it spends most of its time is vital for a guinea pig. The rodent is a very clean animal that does not feel comfortable with the dirt of its feces, food scraps, etc.
The Texel breed is active and needs to exercise daily to maintain optimal health. To do this, you must buy a large cage to run around, an exercise wheel, and of course, take your pet out of the cage and inspect the house or garden.
Like any other animal or domestic pet, it requires care and attention. Even a rodent, a guinea pig, wants affection, and you need to pay attention to it, especially if you do not want it to become surly, fearful, and antisocial.
The diet of the Texel breed does not differ from other guinea pigs. They all eat the same thing. The most comfortable and highly recommended is that you should go to an online store specializing in guinea pig feeds and ask for a complete and quality pellet or feed that meets all the pet food needs.
Also, you can give them fruit, vegetables, and greens. They love these three elements, and it is a complement of vitamins, fibers, and other nutrients that the feed does not cover. As a nutritional supplement, you can also include hay and alfalfa in their cage.
The hydration of your pet is very important. Buy a bottle dispenser that you can clip to the outside of the cage and that your guinea pig will use when needed. You can put a bowl of clean water inside the cage. It is advisable to change the water at least once a day.
Due to their beautiful coats and large, soft eyes, this breed has become popular with owners. This breed requires the regular attention of a competent pig guinea handler because of its hair treatment and the breading requirement to make them agile and cheerful.
As always, if you have specific questions regarding your guinea pig, it is best to contact your local vet regarding your concern as they know your pet.
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