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There are several varieties of Cavies, distinguished mainly by their
fur. The ones most commonly raised and most widely known are the English
or smooth-haired. These are the ones you should raise for commercial
purposes. They may be in color: white, black, red, fawn, cream, gray,
brindle, brown, or a mixture of these colors. The whites are usually
albinos and have pink eyes.
The Peruvian has long silken hair and may be called the aristocrat of
Cavydom. They are raised principally by fanciers and for general
purposes are no more valuable than the short haired ones, are not as
hardy and are more trouble to handle as their coat needs careful
This, like the Peruvian, is also a fancy breed. It has longer hair than
the short-haired, and it stands out in curious little rosettes. These
are more hardy than the Peruvian and are more common.
The Kind to Raise.
If you expect to raise Cavies for commercial purposes the English is the
kind that should pay you best. They are easier to take care of than the
long-haired varieties. For laboratories, experimental purposes, etc., it
is the smooth-haired Cavy that is in most demand. If you are a Guinea
Pig fancier or are raising them for pet purposes it is merely a matter
of taste and choice. The long-haired ones are usually more expensive and
sell for more, as they are scarcer and are generally sold for pet and
fancy purposes. It is usually well to have a few Abyssinian among your
stock if you are raising many, as many people prefer them for pets.
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