The lunkarya guinea pig or lunk is a rare guinea pig breed. If you have not seen one yet, you will most likely fall in love with it at first sight. This cute little rodent is a favorite among pet lovers because they are extremely affectionate and friendly. Here is everything you need to know about the lunkarya cavy.
Where did the Lunkarya Guinea Pig Breed Originate?
This breed of guinea pigs was first discovered in Sweden. It is a variation of the Peruvian guinea pig. Unlike other breeds of guinea pigs, it is not a product of crossbreeding. This rare breed came about as a result of a genetic mutation.
The first of this breed was born in Stockholm, Sweden in 1986. Breeders first noticed that one male little has a denser coat with odd variations. Prince Adam is the name given to this rare guinea pig. He passed down his genetic mutations to his offspring. They inherited his long curly hair with a windblown appearance.
The lunk’s name is a combination of Lundvisq and rya. Lundqvist is the surname of the family that first bred the lunkarya and rya is the Swedish name for sheep. Like the sheep’s wool, the lunkarya has a dense, coarse, and curly coat covering its whole body. This crazy-haired cavy is the opposite of the hairless guinea pig breeds like the Baldwin.
Lunkarya guinea pigs grow about 4 to-12 inches (ca. -30 cm) long. With broad shoulders and short legs, it has a stocky build. Their average life span is up to seven years.
While lunk is common in Sweden and other parts of the UK, you will find it’s rare in some parts of the world.
What are variations of the Lunkarya Guinea Pig Breed?
There are three variations or sub-breeds of Lunkarya guinea pigs.
Lunkarya Sheltie Guinea Pig
The lunkarya Sheltie guinea pig got its name from the Shetland Sheepdog breed. Sheltie dogs have voluminous hairs that grow backwards. Like this dog breed, the Sheltie guinea pig has long and coarse hair that flows down in waves across its back. It has a single rosette centered upon its forehead.
This type of lunkarya guinea pig has a long prominent forelock.
The lunkarya Coronet has a beautiful crest of hair growing around its forehead. Unlike the Peruvian that has a forelock like a horse, the Coronet sports tufts of curly hair.
Lunkarya guinea pigs are a gentle breed. They are curious, tender, warm, and mild-mannered. They are not as active as the Texel guinea pig which is the most active among the long-haired guinea pigs.
Although they are not very energetic, they socialize with people and other piggies. The lunkarya, like all guinea pig breeds, love company. Guinea pigs are social animals and live in herds in the wild. In captivity, they can survive alone. However, they will be lonely and stressed. Guinea pigs who live with a companion are healthier, happier, and more active. Keep this in mind when you are thinking of buying or adopting.
What should they eat?
Cavies are herbivores. They eat hay, ideally Timothy hay. Their diet includes a mix of fruits, veggies, and other plant-based foods. This type of rodents must have a high-fiber diet for their digestive system to process other food.
Their digestive systems are prone to develop diseases. If they do not meet the required daily fiber content, they may develop Gastrointestinal Statis (GI). Their digestive system will slow down or completely stop. Food will become stuck in the digestive tract. This results in the growth of unhealthy bacteria and other health issues. GI can be fatal in a matter of days. If you notice, that your guinea pig is not interested in food or not pooping call or visit the vet immediately.
Giving your guinea pigs an excessive amount of fruit and vegetables can result in diarrhea. The advisable daily amount for an adult guinea pig is a small piece of fruit and one cup of vegetables.
Guinea pigs are prone to Vitamin C deficiency or Scurvy if they are not given the proper food. Give them vitamin supplements can avoid this. Include kale, strawberries, parsley, and broccoli in their diet.
Food that guinea pigs should not eat
Here are some things that you should never feed your little cavies:
- peanut butter
- caffeinated products
- dairy products
- nuts and seeds
How do you take care of a Lunkarya Guinea Pig?
Grooming is an important part of taking good care of your pets. Professional grooming for a guinea pig is available at local pet stores. But with little training and practice, owners can groom their cavy at home. The lunkarya with its beautiful curly coat requires patient and regular grooming.
Here are helpful tips in grooming a lunkarya guinea pig.
The lunk’s long and dense coat requires proper care. Thankfully, their calm temperament allows you to hold and groom them without giving a lot of fuss.
Weekly grooming for short-haired guinea pig breeds will do. But long-haired guinea pig breeds need a lot more care. This includes the Abyssinian and Peruvian breeds. Daily brushing is not necessary. Grooming three to four times a week is enough to avoid matting and tangling. A narrow tooth pet comb should be used because of their very fine hair.
Brushing sessions also allow you to check them for mites, lice, and other parasites.
A long-haired guinea pig breed needs to bathe to maintain its smooth coat. When bathing long-haired guinea pigs, one to two inches of warm water in a basin is enough. Mild, non-medicated pet soap and shampoo will keep their hair healthy and clean. You can use the sink sprayer to rinse their bodies and a towel to dry them. during the colder season, you can use a blow dryer set on the lowest setting to dry off their dense coats.
Like rabbits and mice, all guinea pig breeds have open-rooted teeth. Their teeth never stop growing and only wear them down by munching on hay. Daily brushing will help avoid other dental health problems for your cavies.
Regularly trimming your cavies’ nails will prevent ingrown nails. Trimming depends on their age and level of activity. Typically, owners should trim their nails once a month. Some guinea pig breeds have longer nails than others. A younger and more active guinea pig will wear its nails and will need lesser trimming. Cat nail trimmers are safe to use.
When trimming, avoid trimming several nails at the same time. If you cut your cavy by accident, put a paper towel over the bleeding and apply a little pressure. If your cavy is very fussy, you can consider continuing trimming some other time. an easy technique to keep your cavy still is wrapping them with a towel and doing a football hold.
Other Guinea Pig Breeds
If the lunkarya made you fall in love, wait till you read about these other guinea pig breeds.
Peruvian Guinea Pig
This breed is popular. The Peruvian guinea pig grows its hair from 12 up to 24 inches long. Like the lunkarya Peruvian guinea pig, it has a long prominent forelock.
Texel Guinea Pig
The texel guinea pig, also called Curlies because of its beautiful curly fur, was first bred in England. This breed is a product of crossing long-haired guinea pigs with short-haired breeds. While their face has shorter hair, they have notable long ringlet curls. This breed has a broad head and a plump body.
Alpaca Guinea Pig
Alpaca guinea pigs have wavy and coarse hair and a thick textured coat. Among other cavies with curls, the Alpaca guinea pig sports the curliest whiskers. This breed is more sensitive to hot weather. It’s best to keep it indoors at controlled room temperature.
Alternative names for this guinea pig breed are English Peruvian, Curly-coated coronet, and boucle.
Abyssinian Guinea Pig
Abyssinian guinea pigs originate from South America. The Abyssinian Guinea pig has a medium-length coat with eight to ten rosettes. The edges of the rosettes create ridges giving this guinea pig breed the worst case of bedhead.
Coronet Guinea Pig
This guinea pig breed has a long, silky, and smooth coat. Coronet guinea pigs derive their name from the single rosette on top of their heads. The coronet creates a mane around its face that flows down and blends with the long hair around its body. Coronet guinea pig is among the alluring guinea pig breeds.
Merino Guinea Pig
Merino Guinea Pig is a popular choice for children. This breed has an affectionate personality and sweet temperament. It looks like a cornet but has curls like a texel.
Alternative names for this guinea pig breed are English merino and merino Peruvian.
Sheba Mini Yak
The Sheba mini yak boasts untamed locks of long wavy hair similar to the shaggy-haired yak. It originated from Australia. They are generally easy to handle and are very sweet.
Sheltie Guinea Pig
They first appeared in the 1970s. Otherwise known as Shelties, this breed has beautiful long hair. It makes them popular during shows. Their hair is long, straight, and without rosettes. It flows back without separating from the middle giving it a teardrop shape when view from above.
American Guinea Pig
American Guinea Pig is among the common breed of guinea pigs found in local pet stores. It has a short and smooth coat without rosettes and curls. This breed is excellent for younger children because it doesn’t need a lot of grooming.
American Crested Guinea Pig
The American Crested Guinea pig has a distinct white crest on its forehead created by a whorl. The white patch looks like a crown and adds to the gorgeousness of this breed. The rest of its fur has the same color which can be black, red, or golden brown.
Himalayan Guinea Pig
This breed is considered the Siamese cat of the cavies. It’s an albino breed having a beautiful white coat and pink eyes. There are many other sites dedicated to this unbelievably cute cavy.
They are supersensitive and should not be under direct sun. When exposed to direct sunlight, the dark spots on their ears, nose and feet will fade. These are signs that the cavy is sick or stressed. For people living in colder temperatures, the Himalayan breed is the perfect pet.
English Crested Guinea Pig
The Eglish crested guinea pig has short hair and a crest similar to its American cousin. But its body has the same colour as that of its crest. Like the lunkarya, it also originated from Sweden.
Baldwin Guinea Pig
The Baldwin belongs to the breed of hairless guinea pigs. They are born with a full coat but shed after a few months. Because of their exposed skin, they are more prone to abrasions and skin infections. They are also more sensitive to extreme heat and cold temperatures. Direct sunlight harms these animals.
All the breeds of cavies should be kelp in places 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit or 18. 33-23.88 degrees Celsius.
Guinea pigs are terrific pets for adults and kids alike. The lunkarya breed, especially, is easy to manage. Its cuteness and sweetness will melt your heart every time. With a proper diet and regular grooming, your cavy will stay perfectly healthy. And don’t forget, guinea pigs need other guinea pigs to be happy.