We all think of guinea pigs as one of the most captivating pets, considering their physical characteristics as well as their personality. However, few of us know the plentiful existing breeds of guinea pigs and the crucial differences between them. One of the most distinct breed of guinea pigs, guinea pigs that are really opposite to what we think, are the Texel Guinea Pig. One of the few breeds created by cross-breeding and one of the newest between the sub-species. They stand out primarily for their long and curled hair that has a part on the back, which is why they are often also recognized by the name “long-haired Sheltie/Silkie”. Their hair is a bit longer than the Sheltie/Silkie breed, but may appear same because of the ringlet coat. Although the body hair is long, the facial hair is usually reduced, which is believed to be like that to prevent the guinea pig from suffocating. Under the ears and jawline there may not necessarily have hair. Compared to other guinea pigs the body of a Texel is smaller and they have a large, wide and rounded face. However, there are many more characteristics that can influence how an individual Texel Guinea Pig looks like, such as eye color, coat color, coat pattern, head shape, body shape, weight and overall size, but the main notable features make the Texel recognizable.
At maturity, most Texel Guinea Pigs can reach from 8 to 10 inches (20 to 25 centimeters). Males are often somewhat longer than females. Weight-wise, by the time the Texel is fully grown, and depending on genetics, generally the pig weights from 1.5 to 2.5 pounds (700 to 1200 grams). In some cases, males tend to outweigh females. It is really easy to omit weight because of their coat. They are easily sensitive to issues of overweight and obesity, which can lead to other multiple health problems. Texel Guinea Pig coat can be in any color, solid or patterned. Often there are descriptions for “self” and “non-self” guinea pigs, which is a breeder’s language for solid coat color (self) and non-solid coat color (non-self).
The health of this breed is generally considered to be good as long as all the basic needs are consistently fulfilled. However, as with all pet animals, the Texel Guinea Pig can have some health issues.
- Skin problems are the ones occurring the most if tangles or mats are developed in the pig’s long, curly coat.
- Although Texel Guinea Pigs have big, round, expressive eyes, their sight is not one of their best sense.
- They can also have a very sensitive digestive (gastrointestinal) system.
- Their dental care is crucial because of their unceasing growth of teeth. They need to chew and gnaw to keep teeth healthy and coveted length.
Their lifespan varies from 5 to 7 years. Diet, exercise, enrichment, socialization (with another pig as well as with the owner) can benefit the life and help extend lifespan.