Texel guinea pigs were originally bred by crossbreeding Rex and Silkie guinea pigs, so they have characteristics of both. Their fur is dense, curly, and long all over their bodies, with the exception of their faces which are usually covered in straight, short fur.
Keep reading to learn more about Texel guinea pigs, what they look like, how big they get, and more!
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What do Texel Guinea Pigs Look Like?
According to the British Cavy Council’s breed standard, Texel guinea pigs should have dense hair of an even length, a part down the middle, and their fur should be soft, curly, and springy.
The fur around their face is usually short and straight. Their bellies are curly.
Texel guinea pigs can have coats of any color or color combinations, but rosettes would disqualify them from showing. Of course, you might find a Texel-looking piggy with a rosette, and this is okay! They still make perfectly good pets.
|Fur:||Long, soft, curly, and springy fur of an even length. The fur around the face is usually short and straight.|
|Coat color:||Any color or color combination|
|Size:||8-10 inches on average|
|Lifespan:||Average lifespan is 5-7, the same as for all guinea pig breeds|
|Grooming:||Needs regular brushing|
How Big do Texel Guinea Pigs Get?
Texel guinea pigs may be shorter than other guinea pigs. They measure around 8-10 inches from their heads to their bottoms.
They may weigh slightly less than other piggies due to their smaller size, but each Texel piggy is an individual. Don’t worry if your piggy is on the longer, heavier end of the spectrum!
If you’re ever concerned about your guinea pig’s weight, I suggest talking with an exotic pet veterinarian who has plenty of experience with guinea pigs.
Pellets, however, should be limited and are most often the cause of excess weight. Certain health conditions can also lead to weight gain if your piggy’s diet hasn’t changed, but their weight has.
How to Groom a Texel Guinea Pig
Unlike short-haired guinea pigs, Texels must be groomed daily. Comb through their fur gently and thoroughly to ensure they don’t develop tangles or mats.
When a guinea pig is matted, especially around their joints, the fur constantly tugs at the skin. This causes pain and must be avoided!
If you come across a tangle or mat, don’t try to pull the comb through. Instead, work it apart with your fingers or cut it out with scissors. If a mat is close to the skin, you can hold the comb against your guinea pig to protect them from being cut.
Extreme matting may require your Texel to be shaved. I recommend bringing them to the groomer or vet for this, as you can easily cut their skin.
Texel guinea pigs shouldn’t be bathed more than necessary. Some guinea pigs go their whole lives without needing a bath, but this is less likely for long hairs. It’s also okay to give them a partial bath when needed, such as cleaning the ends of their fur or their butt instead of the whole body.
Temperament: Are Texel Guinea Pigs Friendly?
When it comes to guinea pigs, breeds don’t tend to decide temperament. Individual piggies of any breed may be super friendly and outgoing or incredibly skittish. This can even apply to guinea pigs born in the same litter and raised the same way!
That said, there are ways to bond with your guinea pigs and make them more likely to enjoy your company. These include:
- hand-feeding vegetables,
- speaking to them in a soft voice, and
- approaching them calmly from the side, rather than loudly, quickly, or from the top.
Guinea pigs are prey animals, so they don’t like people hovering over them! They tend to be more skittish than predator animals, like dogs or cats, and take longer to warm up to human interaction.
That said, guinea pigs rarely bite so long as they’re handled nicely. Some like to be pet or held in your lap, while others won’t ever enjoy this and would rather adventure around during floor time or stay home in their cage where they feel safe.
It’s important to respect your guinea pig’s personality and boundaries. Remember that their needs come first–if you plan to get a Texel guinea pig just to force them to be cuddly, I suggest not adopting one at all.
Guinea pigs also have very fast digestive systems, which means they love food! (It also means they poop a lot.) Many Texel guinea pigs will be quite loud when they hear a bag rustle from the kitchen, because veggie time is their favorite!
Where do Texel Guinea Pigs Come From?
Like all guinea pigs, Texels originally come from South America where the pets we know today were once wild animals. Although guinea pigs were first bred for meat, the Texel guinea pig is a fairly new breed that thankfully originated as pets.
Texel guinea pigs are beautiful, so it’s no wonder they’re growing in popularity! We hope this guide has helped you decide if a Texel piggy is right for you. And don’t forget to adopt at least two!
Where Can I Find a Texel Guinea Pig?
You can adopt a Texel guinea pig from a guinea pig rescue, animal shelter, or a reputable breeder. However, reputable breeders are very rare and it takes a lot of research to find one!
Never adopt a guinea pig from a pet store. These piggies come from breeding mills, which are abusive like puppy mills, just for other animals.
Guinea pigs are crowded into small containers, which often aren’t cleaned and lack proper ventilation. This leads to indiscriminate breeding, fighting, sickness, and hereditary health conditions being easily passed on through generations.
Most breeders should also be avoided, as they’re what’s known as backyard breeders. This type of breeder is usually in it for profit or as a hobby, without knowing enough about guinea pigs, their health, care, and how to breed them.
This may sound innocent enough, but responsible breeding can mean life or death for both the mother and baby guinea pigs.
You might also be tempted to “rescue” a pet store or backyard-bred guinea pig since they’re so poorly cared for. However, please keep in mind that this means funding poor breeding practices–therefore guaranteeing that the person or company you buy from continues to breed and neglect the animals in their care.
Below, we’ll talk more about finding a reputable guinea pig breeder.
Finding a Reputable Texel Guinea Pig Breeder
Before we start, I’ll note that reputable guinea pig breeders are incredibly rare.
It takes plenty of time, knowledge, and work to breed animals properly–and reputable guinea pig breeders are a lot more likely to pour money into the guinea pigs than profit off of them. Most people aren’t passionate enough to breed properly because of this.
I always recommend adopting from a rescue or shelter instead of purchasing a guinea pig from a breeder. Even if you can’t find a Texel guinea pig, I promise you can find another who is just as cute and lovable!
With that said, here’s what to look for in a reputable Texel guinea pig breeder:
- A waiting list. Reputable breeders know where their animals are going before they’re born, because they want to ensure they go to good homes! You’ll likely have to wait quite some time for a reputable breeder–if they have babies same-day, please walk away.
- Knowledge of the breed and breeding and raising guinea pigs in general. If your breeder can’t answer basic questions accurately, such as what to feed your guinea pig or proper cage size, they’re not a reputable breeder.
- Proper care. Reputable breeders will also care properly for the piggies in their care, including offering constant access to hay, daily veggies, and a large, clean enclosure. You should be able to meet the baby and mother guinea pigs in a home environment.
- One litter at a time. This isn’t a strict rule, so there are exceptions! Some breeders may have more than one litter at once, but they shouldn’t be able to offer a huge variety of breeds or animals. If so, you can guarantee they’re in it for the money–and likely aren’t caring for their animals properly.
- A contract that says you must return before rehoming. Reputable breeders never contribute to the shelter population. They want their animals in good homes, and will have you sign a contract stating that you’ll bring the guinea pig back if you ever need to rehome them.
- Their guinea pigs go to the veterinarian regularly. A reputable breeder will be happy to show proof that they see a veterinarian regularly. They can also recommend nearby exotic pet veterinarians for you to take your piggies to after adoption.
- DNA testing. A simple check-up at the vet isn’t enough to clear a guinea pig for breeding. Instead, the breeder needs to know that they won’t pass down any harmful genetics.
Two things they should look for are the satin gene, which causes Satin Syndrome, and the roan and Dalmatian genes, which can cause the birth of lethal white guinea pigs. Both of these conditions are deadly, and all of the genes are recessive–meaning they can be passed on without the parent guinea pigs looking like a satin, roan, or Dalmatian piggy.
Caring for Texel guinea pigs is no different than caring for other guinea pig breeds. They all need a spacious enclosure and safe bedding that is absorbent and good at preventing odors. All guinea pig breeds have the same dietary needs we wrote about in more detail here. They need an unlimited amount of hay plus a limited amount of pellets and fresh veggies daily. One thing that is different with Texel guinea pigs compared to short hair breeds is that they need regular brushing to prevent tangles or mats.