The Texel Guinea Pig is a newer cavy breed, though they have been rapidly growing in popularity in recent years due to their beautiful long and curly coat, friendly and docile nature, and patient demeanor. They require a bit more care than other Guinea Pig varieties due to their luxurious coat, making them a slightly larger responsibility.
If you’d like to know more about this unique cavy breed, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we look at this long-haired Guinea Pig and provide a general overview of what they’re all about. Let’s get started!
Quick Facts About Texel Guinea Pig
Texel Guinea Pig
Gentle, affectionate, calm, friendly
Solid, patterned, mix
Guinea Pig food and timothy hay
Minimum Enclosure Size:
30 x 60 inches
Texel Guinea Pig Overview
The Texel Guinea Pig is a fairly new breed of Guinea Pig, originating in England in the early 1980s. The breed was created by crossing a British Rex with a Silkie Guinea Pig. The curly-haired Texel variety was officially recognized by the American Cavy Breeders Association in 1988 and has been growing in popularity ever since, yet they can be rather difficult to find!
The Texel is similar in appearance to the Silky Guinea Pig, but instead of the Silky’s characteristic straight, long coat, the Texel’s coat is uniquely curly. It is this coat and their soft and gentle nature that make the breed so popular these days, as well as the fact that they love being handled by humans—provided that they are socialized from a young age. Similar to other long-haired cavies, Texels are generally more tranquil than short-haired varieties, though they are known to have a mischievous streak too!
While these cavies are known to be more docile than their cousins, it’s important to note that all Guineas have unique personalities, no matter the breed, and these personalities become far more apparent as they grow older.
How Much Do Texel Guinea Pigs Cost?
Depending on the breeder and availability in your area, Texel Guineas can go from anywhere between $20 and $50 or up to $75 in some cases. Since the breed has grown so rapidly in popularity, they can be difficult to find at times, and their high demand will naturally drive up prices even higher. Be sure to buy your Texel from a reputable breeder who can offer you an initial health guarantee, and avoid general pet shops, as it can be difficult to accurately assess the health of these animals.
Typical Behavior & Temperament
Texel Guinea Pigs are well-known to be the most docile of all cavy varieties and are highly amenable to being handled, even by children. Of course, they should be socialized early and handled gently at all times. They are calm in personality and nature and are not as active as their short-haired cousins, making them easier to handle and play with outside of their cage. That said, this is a generalization, and some Texels may be more active than others. As many Texel owners will tell you, they are a rather mischievous breed and can get into trouble if left to their own devices!
The most striking characteristic of Texel Guineas is the long and curly coat that covers their entire body. The hair around their head and face is typically a bit shorter but still has the characteristic curls. Their coat can come in almost any color, from solid white to gold, brown, and black, along with mixed and patterned varieties.
They are about the same size and weight as most other Guinea Pigs breeds, and males tend to be slightly larger than females. That said, many owners report that Texels tend to have slightly shorter, stockier bodies than other cavies.
How to Take Care of Texel Guinea Pigs
Texel Guinea Pigs have the same basic needs as other cavy breeds, and they need a clean, spacious, and well-ventilated habitat to live in. Guineas in the wild are social animals, and as such, they will do far better living in groups of two or three. They’ll need a cage at least 30 x 60 inches in size or larger if you have more guineas.
Dry bedding is a must and should be changed regularly to avoid any soiled bedding getting stuck in the long and curly fur of your Texel. Paper-based bedding or fleece cage liners are ideal, as wood chips can easily get stuck in their fur too.
A good water bottle and food dish are essential, as are accessories to keep your Texel mentally and physically stimulated, such as a hide house, chew toys, and a hay rack. They also love tunnels to run through, cardboard boxes, and obstacle courses. Even with all these accessories, your Guinea needs to spend time outside their enclosure as often as possible.
Do Texel Guinea Pigs Get Along With Other Pets?
Texel Guineas are known for their relaxed temperament and generally get along great with other Guinea Pig breeds. They are social animals that do well living together in pairs or more, even with other breeds. It’s important to introduce new members slowly, however, as a male will attempt to assert their dominance in the presence of any new males. Fighting is rare, even among same-sex Guineas, though it does happen at times, so be sure to take the process slowly.
With proper introduction, plenty of toys and food to go around, and adequate space in their enclosure, Texel Guineas are a docile species that generally get along great with other cavies.
What to Feed Your Texel Guinea Pig
In the wild, Guinea Pigs are omnivorous animals that are known to feed on small insects from time to time. As pets, they are easy to feed, and good-quality Guinea PIg pellets and fresh timothy hay are enough for them to get all their required nutrition.
Texel Guinea Pigs do not have any special nutritional requirements compared to other breeds. They can be fed fruits and vegetables as treats from time to time, but they do not digest sugar well and are prone to getting obese, so fruits should be kept to a minimum. As with any breed of cavy, make sure they have constant access to fresh, clean water.
Keeping Your Texel Guinea Pig Healthy
The most important aspect of Texel Guinea Pig health is keeping their long coat brushed, clean, and knot free. They’ll need a light brushing every other day to prevent matting, skin problems, and parasites from taking hold. Knotted fur can also cause mobility issues, which in turn, can cause weight issues if your Guinea Pig does not get enough exercise.
It’s also good practice to give your cavy a bath at least once a month with fresh clean water. Check their ears for wax build-up or infections, both of which can be common due to their long coats.
Breeding Guinea Pigs is not difficult, and the same goes for Texel Guineas, but it is the timing that is crucial. Female Guinea Pigs are sexually mature at as young as 1–2 months old and need to be no older than 10 months old to naturally give birth—any older and she will likely need a C-section. A female is pregnant for about 2 months and commonly has around two to four pups per litter. Guinea Pig pups are unique in that they are born with teeth and fur and are fully mobile from the day they are born. They will nurse from the mother initially but are known to begin eating hay shortly afterward.
Are Texel Guinea Pigs Suitable for You?
Texel Guineas do not have many different care needs than other Guinea Pig species, so if you have experience keeping cavies already, Texels are not too much of a change. The main difference is their long, curly coat, which will require regular brushing and bathing to prevent it from getting knotty. If you have the time to brush their coat every few days and enjoy a cavy that is more docile, especially if you have small children around, the Texel Guinea Pig is an ideal family pet!
Featured Image Credit: joanna wnuk, Shutterstock