What are Texel Guinea pigs?
The Texel Guinea Pig is one of the newer breeds of Guinea Pig, which evolved by cross breeding the British Rex Guinea Pig, with the Silkie Guinea Pig.
They are one of the more striking Guinea Pig breeds with long, shiny curly hair, and are often found winning beauty competitions around the globe.
The Texel is a calm breed, with a sweet nature and love of being handled and stroked and make for excellent pets.
Texel Guinea Pig History
The Texel Guinea Pig was first created back in the 1980s, when a British Rex Guinea Pig was cross bred with a Silkie Guinea Pig.
The results were very encouraging, and the cross breeding continued until 1998, when they were officially recognized as a breed by the ACBA.
Texel Guinea Pig Appearance
They don’t refer to this Guinea Pig as the ‘Shirley Temple’ of the Guinea Pig world for nothing! the long, curly locks with satin sheen make this cute little Guinea Pig one of the most sort after breeds in the Cavy world today. Especially for those who are looking to present their Cavy at shows and competitions.
Texel Guinea Pig Size
Texel Guinea Pigs can grow up from anywhere form 8-10 inches long (20-25cm). Males tending to be on average a little bit longer than the females. Generally speaking, they are known to be shorter in the body than other breeds, with a distinct rounded face.
And how about Texel Guinea pig weight? Obviously there are many factors that influence the weight of your Guinea Pig, such as diet, exercise and family genetics. For guide purposes, you can expect your healthy, mature Texel Guinea Pig to weigh anywhere between 1.5-2.5 pounds (700-1200g)
Texel Guinea Pig Colors
Texel Guinea Pig coats can be shown in a wide variety of colors, which makes this breed even more exciting to own. The colors will be completely dependent on the genetics. Some of the more common colors include black, white and gold and don’t be surprised to see a mix of these colors!
Texel Guinea Pig Personality and Habits
Texel Guinea Pigs are gentle with a soft nature. They love interaction with Humans if handled appropriately from a young age. This is very useful to their owners as they do require some additional care and grooming because of their long shiny locks!
Similar to other long haired breeds, Texel Guinea Pigs tend to be more tranquil than their shorter haired cousins. However, the Texel has been known to be a little more mischievous and active than the silkie, but this just adds to their charm.
You can study your Texel Guinea Pig, and listen for sounds and actions which will indicate pleasure or displeasure as all Cavvies have different personalities!
Texel Guinea Pig lifespan
So how long do Texel Guinea Pigs live? The answer again is largely dependent on care, exercise and diet, as well as genetics. Generally speaking, a Texel Guinea Pig will live in captivity for 5-7 years.
Texel Guinea Pig care Tips
As we have mentioned above, the Texel Guinea Pig has a long curly coat, which is unique in the Cavy world. As striking as this coat is, there are additional care requirements to keep the coat in pristine condition and free from dirt and matting which can lead to health problems.
- Brush your Texel Guinea Pigs coat at least once a day to avoid clumping and matting.
- Use a soft brush or plastic comb to groom your Texel Guinea Pig. Metal combs can scratch the skin, or pull chunks of hair out.
- Trim your Texel’s coat regularly, especially around the genitals to avoid feces and urine getting into the coat.
- Pay attention to long hair over the ears, which may cause wax build up.
- Bathing and washing your Texel’s coat once a month in a soft shampoo will keep the coat clean and in good condition.
Texel Guinea Pig Habitat
Because of their long, thicker coats, keeping bedding dry and clean is even more important to avoid any soiled substrate becoming caught up in your piggies fur, which will lead to health problems if not addressed.
Adequate shade and protection from the elements is also an important consideration, so be careful where you place your Guinea Pigs living quarters.
Because of their long coats, keeping them out of wet conditions is a must, so pay careful consideration to keeping them indoors away from the elements!
Guinea Pigs should be provided with adequate time outside of the cage to exercise, play and explore to maintain health and happiness!
Texel Guinea Pig Diet
There are no special dietary requirements for Texel Guinea Pigs compared with other breeds. A readily available source of water and hay for them to munch on, as well as some staple foods such as pellets, fresh fruit and veggies will keep your Guinea Pig happy and healthy.
Texel Guinea Pig Health
Guinea pigs in general are susceptible to various health issues. The more general issues we have covered in a Guinea Pig Heath article to give you all the information you will need on Guinea Pig health.
In addition to these general issues, there are several things to look out for when keeping Texel Guinea Pigs.
Knotted Hair and skin problems
Texel Guinea Pigs have a long curly coat, which can become tangled and knotted very quickly unless they are regularly cut and groomed. This can cause skin problems including mites and parasites, which can be very uncomfortable for your Guinea Pig.
Knotted and matted hair can also impact their mobility, which can cause weight issues if your Guinea Pig is not getting enough exercise.
So be sure to get into a regular grooming routine and pay attention to signs of scratching, itching and generally moving around less.
Texel Guinea Pigs have large, pretty eyes, which is great for when they are looking at you lovingly for some additional hay or treats! but unfortunately also means they are susceptible to an eye infection called Entropion. This is a condition where the eyelid becomes rolled up against the eyeball causing irritation and sight problems. The good news is this can be treated safely with Antibiotic eye drops.
As Always, we recommend you contact a vet for advice if you suspect your Guinea Pig is having eye problems.
Texel Guinea Pigs as Pets
Due to their luscious locks and big bulging eyes, Texel Guinea Pigs are a popular choice among Guinea Pig enthusiasts, both as pets and show Pigs around the world.
There are a wide variety of markings and colors, depending on genetics, so this makes them very unique.
The big consideration to owning a Texel Guinea pig (or any long haired breed for that matter), is the additional care requirements to keep their coats in good condition and free from parasites and knots. With this in mind, they are most suited to experienced Guinea Pig owners, and those who can dedicate time and effort into maintaining a regular grooming routine.
Younger owners, therefore are probably more suited to a shorter hair breed to start their Guinea Pig journey.