What are Texel Guinea Pigs? Do They Make Good Pets?
When it comes to one of the most common and popular household pets that is not a cat or dog, you may be surprised to find that this pet of choice is none other than a guinea pig. These furry little pocket pets are going to come in all different shapes, colors and sizes, that of course depending upon the breed of guinea pig that it is. One breed that is going to set itself apart from all of the other breeds of guinea pigs is what’s referred to as Texel Guinea Pigs. While you may be wondering how a guinea pig is going to set itself apart from another guinea pig, you are going to be pleasantly surprised with the unique ways that the Texel guinea pig is able to do so.
You may be reading this because you are unsure exactly what a Texel guinea pig really is. If this is the case, you have nothing to be ashamed of, as not many people actually do know what they are. This is because there are not going to be a ton of people who are familiar with this guinea pig breed. However, they have recently seen a huge increase in popularity, often times being hard to find as they have seen a huge increase in demand.
Here is everything that you need to know about the Texel guinea pig.
What Exactly is a Guinea Pig?
Guinea pigs are going to be considered what is known as a ‘pocket pet’ and is going to be part of the cavie family. They are notoriously small animals that will end up growing to around 10-11” in length once fully grown. As for weight, they can get up to around 2.5 pounds if they are healthy and fully grown. If you do have a pet guinea pig who is healthy, you can expect them to live for over 10 years when they are in captivity.
One of the main quirks that guinea pigs have is that they are always going to need to chew on something. This is because their teeth are never done growing and must be chewed down or serious injury can happen to your guinea pig. What this means is that if you do not allow your guinea pig to chew on something in order to file their teeth down, they will continue to grow and cause some very serious health problems.
Aside from continuously chewing on anything they come across, guinea pigs are actually going to be a very playful pet that loves to socialize with just about anything and anyone. This is one of the reasons that guinea pigs are going to be such great pets for any responsible pet owner or person who lives in a smaller dwelling and wants to have a pet who can love them back.
The Different Breeds of Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs (as with many other types of pets) are going to come in many different sizes, shapes, and colors, this of course depending upon the particular breed that you are talking about. On top of that, these attributes are also able to greatly vary within a certain breed of guinea pig as well. When you think of a guinea pig, you are more than likely going to envision an American guinea pig, which are usually the ones that can be found in pet stores all across the country. This breed of guinea pig is going to come in various colors, those including browns, oranges, white and black. They have also been known to have large spots or areas that have a combination of different colors. The hair on this particular breed of guinea pigs is going to be shorter in length and cover their entire body.
Another breed of guinea pig that has long and straight, often times wavy hair, is going to have similar coloring and markings, is also going to be on the more common side when it comes to keeping guinea pigs as pets. With that being said, there are also going to be certain breeds of guinea pig that are going to look completely different than these, one of those breeds being the Texel guinea pig.
History of the Texel Guinea Pig
When it comes to the Texel breed of guinea pig, they are going to be one of the newest ones, having its origins in England during the early part of the 1980s. This breed of guinea pig was created when a British Rex guinea pig and a Silkie guinea pig were crossed-bred. Once the breed was originated, there would be further tweaking and breeding done over the next few years. It would be in 1988 that would see the Texel guinea pig really start to grow in popularity, finally being officially recognized as an actual guinea pig breed by the ACBA, also referred to as the American Cavy Breeders Association.
Texel Guinea Pigs: The Basics
While the Texel guinea pig is going to be one of the newer breeds of guinea pigs, they are also going to be extremely unique in how they look. They have a very calm and patient demeanor, meaning that they are going to make the perfect pet for anybody who is looking for a friendly, loving animal to have in their household. They have an average lifespan of 5-10 years while in captivity and are going to do the best with owners who have experience dealing with guinea pigs. This is because the Texel guinea pig is going to have a couple of very special circumstances that will need to be addressed.
The Physical Appearance of Texel Guinea Pigs
What makes the Texel guinea pig really stand out from the rest of the guinea pig breeds is going to be the fact their physical appearance is so much different than what you would normally expect a guinea pig to look like.
- Their Coat
One of the Texel guinea pigs best features (as well as most noticeable differences from the other breeds of guinea pigs) is going to be their curly, long coat that covers their entire body. While their coat is going to cover their entire body, the hair that is over their face and head will tend to be slightly shorter than that of the rest of the body. Often times referred to as the ‘Shirley Temple’ or even the ‘Long-Haired Sheltie’ of all the different guinea pig breeds, it is going to be for good reason.
The color of the Texel guinea pig’s curly coat is going to come in just about any color, those ranging from gold, white, brown, red, and black, coming as a solid color, a mix of colors, or a pattern of colors.
- Their Size
When it comes to the size of the Texel guinea pig, they are going to be similar to the size of most of the other breeds, that being in the range of 8-10” once they are fully grown. You need to make note that a full-grown male may be slightly longer than a full-grown female, however.
As for their weight, an adult Texel guinea pig is able to get up to between 1.5-2.5 pounds if they are in good health. Similar to length, the males are often times going to outweigh the females, although that is not always going to be the case. This is going to be because there are some outliers to take into consideration of that very generalized statement.
- Their Body Shape
Very similar to many of the other breeds of guinea pigs out there, the Texel guinea pigs are going to have a very compact and broad body, with a matching neck. They will normally have a quite round face. There are going to be some Texel’s that have a shorter body length when compared to some of the other types of guinea pig breeds, but that is going to be something that is a case by case basis.
Texel’s are going to have four stubby and short legs that they walk around on. You can expect their two bright and large eyes to look back at you, essentially causing you to fall deeply in love with them. There are also going to be two ears that rest on the tops of their heads and will normally be hidden from view, as their curly hair will cover those with no problems.
Behavioral Characteristics of Texel Guinea Pigs
Very similar to any other type of pet, each Texel guinea pig is going to have their very own and unique personality. This means that it is going to be even more fun for you to get to know your Texel, as their personality will start to become more and more apparent the more time that you have to spend with them. Texel guinea pigs are going to be very calm, patient, soft and have a very good nature about them. They love to interact with any person or animal that they have the chance to, as well as love to be the center of attention. You will have no problem handling them properly and safely from a young age, which is actually going to be very important when it comes keeping their long coats well-groomed.
Compared to some of the other breeds of guinea pigs, Texels are going to be considered to be on the more active side, meaning that they have been known to get into a little more mischief than some of the other breeds as well.
The Texel Guinea Pig Diet
When it comes to the Texel guinea pig, they are not going to have any type of special dietary requirements. They actually have the very same dietary requirements, concerns and restrictions that every other breed of guinea pig has. This means that you will not have to do anything special when it comes to their regular daily diet and nutrition regimen.
However, Texels are going to require a wide array of different things in order to keep them happy and healthy. These are going to include:
- Some Timothy hay and a very high-quality guinea pig food. These should compose the main parts of their regular diet on a daily basis.
- Roughly 10% of their daily diet is able to come from fruits and vegetables, making sure that you are able to discard of any vegetables or fruits that have not been eaten within the first 12-24 hours.
- They will need a minimum of 30-50 milligrams of vitamin C every single day, that coming in the form of their regular daily diet. This can be through the food that they are eating, a special guinea pig vitamin supplement, or from the vegetables and fruits that you are feeding them (which means that the fruit and vegetables will need to have a higher amount of vitamin C in them).
- Ideally, they are going to be eating a diet that is low in sugars and fats. This is the kind of diet that they will do the best with.
- They are always going to need to have access to water that is clean, chlorine-free, and filtered. This water is going to need to be fresh, which means that is must be changed on a daily basis. So if you are using some type of water dispenser, you need to make sure that you are changing that water every single day, ensuring that clean water is being given to your Texel.
When it comes to having a pet guinea pig, it can be one of the best experiences of your life. But if you are looking for that same amazing pet experience with a guinea pig that has more of the ‘look at me’ factor, then a Texel guinea pig may be exactly what you are looking for. While they are going to require a little bit more work than a regular guinea pig, if you are a responsible guinea pig owner, you will surely fall in love and have a new best friend with the Texel guinea pig.