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Hooksett guinea pig may land spot in record book

By MELISSA PROULX
Union Leader Correspondent

January 22. 2017 7:23PM
Hooksett's Briana Drouin is hoping for a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records after her guinea pig, "Ginger," had a litter of 10 pups recently. (Melissa Proulx/Union Leader Correspondent)

HOOKSETT — One local woman is waiting to hear if she and her pet guinea pig broke a world record last week.

On Thursday, "Ginger," a calico guinea pig, gave birth to 10 babies at the Northside Animal Hospital in Hooksett. Though two were stillborn, the other eight, named Bean, Coffee, Ginger Jr., Peanut, Almond, Coco, Chocolate and Brownie Jr., are thriving.

The large litter wasn’t something owner Briana Drouin expected.

“They said three,” Drouin said, of the original number she was told to expect.

Ginger was about a month pregnant when Drouin began fostering her about a month ago. The normal gestation period is two months. Though the pregnancy didn’t come as a surprise, Drouin said Ginger didn’t look pregnant until a couple of weeks ago.

“She was super round like a watermelon,” she said.

It might even be a world record. Drouin said the largest litter she could find in a search was a group of nine born in Australia in 1992. She said she sent in an application to the Guinness Book of World Records to see if Ginger broke that record and is now awaiting a response.

“It takes a few weeks,” she said.

A normal litter consists of only a couple of babies on average. Usually, labor lasts only about 40 minutes, but Drouin said it took Ginger three hours to finish giving birth to her brood.

Drouin is now stepping in to help feed the group of pups. She carries a cardboard box with the pups inside to help feed and care for them.

“Luckily, I work at a (veterinarian’s office),” she said.

The babies spend shifts with their mom in order to “learn how to be a guinea pig,” but Drouin aids in feeding the pups since Ginger wouldn’t be able to feed them all on her own.

“You just feed them a few drops (of kitten milk replacer) every hour,” she said.

Drouin will also need to keep track of their weight to make sure they’re growing and healthy. She carries a packet of all their names and distinctive markings so she can record all of that information.

Though happy to do it, the work is time consuming, Drouin said.

“It’s really hard to do that,” she said.

Drouin said she’ll take care of the babies and the mother for as long as she can, but is looking at putting them up for adoption.

“I’m going to give them little birth certificates,” she said.

Anyone interested in adopting one of the pups can contact Drouin at brianadr72@gmail.com.

“I just want to make sure they find a good home,” Drouin said.


Animals