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A comparison of the growth performance, carcass traits, and behavior of guinea pigs reared in wire cages and floor pens for meat production

Mínguez Balaguer, Carlos, Calvo Capilla, Antonio, Zeas Delgado, Víctor Alfredo, Sánchez Macías, Davinia
Meat science 2019 v.152 pp. 38-40
cages, carcass characteristics, feces, feed conversion, food intake, growth performance, growth traits, guinea pigs, meat, meat production, mortality, rearing, urine, wood chips
To achieve efficient production of guinea pigs for meat, it is essential to determine the most suitable housing system. A total of 220 guinea pigs were maintained in either wire cages (n = 11, 10 animals per cage) or floor pens (n = 11, 10 animals per pen) containing a deep litter of woodchips, both housing systems having the same dimensions (2 × 1 × 0.4 m). Growth traits, food intake and feed conversion ratio were recorded weekly and expressed as the difference between the two groups. After 77 days, the animals were slaughtered, and carcass traits were evaluated. Growth performance and carcass trait parameters, as well as mortality and behavior trends, were not affected by the housing system type. Nonetheless, the use of wire cages is recommended for raising guinea pigs since water, urine and feces pass through the wire floor, resulting in cleaner animals.