History of the Baldwin Guinea Pig

History of the Baldwin Guinea Pig


“The Baldwin was a spontaneous mutation from White Crested cavies belonging to a Californian cavy fancier who was breeding them for show. Baldwins are born with a full coat which falls out until they are bald. The Baldwin is characterized by numerous skin wrinkles and a very small amount of hair just on the feet only. The Skinny and the Baldwin are two separate breeds and the two different hairless genes are not compatible. Hairless breeds require special accommodation, as they need to be kept warm and may require extra food. Currently the UK bodies admits hairless breeds on to the show table, and consequently a standard of perfection exists.”
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guinea_pig_breed#Hairless_breeds

“Baldwins are completely bald with absolutely no hair at all or very minimal on their feet, but they do not come out like that when they are born like the skinny pigs do. They are born compeletely haired like a regular haired guinea pig. After just a few days of their birth from 2-5 days old their hair falls out from the head to their bottoms until they are completely bald at around 2 months of age or so. 

Skinny pigs and baldwin guinea pigs seem to be the consequence of different separate recessive mutations in one gene each so the conditions only occurs in the homozygous state. The skinny and baldwin genes do not appear to be related to each other at all and they do not go together. When you breed a skinny pig to a baldwin you will only produce haired babies in the first generation, so they are definitely genetically different from one another/

We have now been producing very hardy Baldwins in our caviary that thrive and are just as healthy as our skinny pigs.  Carol Miller the originator of Baldwins believes the Baldwins have come a long way and are producing very hardy lines.

The baldwins have a rubbery texture to their skin when you touch them.

When Breeding Baldwins:
Same as the skinnies

Baldwin X Baldwin
When you breed two hairless Baldwins together, 100% of their babies will all be Baldwins (with hair that falls out and become totally hairless).

Baldwin X Baldwin Gene Carrier
There is a 50-75% or about half chance that the babies bred by a Baldwin to a haired Baldwin gene carrier, will have hairless Baldwin babies.  The rest will just be baldwin gene carriers. You will know which ones are the true baldwins when their hair starts falling off.

Baldwin Gene Carrier  X Baldwin Gene Carrier
There is only a 25% chance that 1 or so baldwin babies will be born in these litters.  You may have 1 or so carriers from this breeding too.

Baldwin X Regular haired breed guinea pig (not a gene carrier of baldwin)
None of them will be a hairless baldwin.  There is a chance that most of the babies will be baldwin gene carriers which can then be bred back to the Baldwin.

Baldwin Gene Carrier X Regular haired breed guinea pig(not a gene carrier of baldwin)
There is no chance a baldwin pup will be born from a Baldwin gene Carrier bred to a regular haired guinea pig(not a gene carrier).

Baldwin X Skinny Pig (breeding not recommend)
None of the babies will be hairless like the Baldwins or Skinny Pigs. They will all have hair and look like a regular haired guinea pig, but 50% of the babies will carry either the gene for Baldwins or Skinny Pigs and you won’t know which ones they are.
All the Baldwins born in the litters will all have hair and look like a regular haired guinea pig, and then their hair falls out until they are completely bald.  You won’t know which babies will be the true Baldwin gene carriers until you breed them.

The Baldwin Cavy is a hairless guinea pig that originally appeared in San Diego, CA out of Carol Miller’s herd of White Cresteds.  The hairless mutation occurred after breeding two Golden Solid pigs, with hair, eyes open, and ready to go.  Within a week, though, something happened.  Two of them started loosing hair around the eyes and nose and then progressively towards the rear of the animals until the hair was gone.  They were completely hairless.  When the Baldwin pups continued to mature and thrive, yet not grow back a coat, the decision was made to rebreed the parents.  Again more Baldwins with the same results.

These unique animals are quite “handsome” and have tremendous personalities.  They possess wrinkles on their head where the crest once appeared, wrinkles and folds over their shoulder/crown and around their legs, and are smooth over their rump.  Their ears are spectacular, shapely and dangly in a rose petal fashion.  Their skin has a very rubbery texture that one can manipulate into folds.  They are completely hairless except for very sparse whiskers on the chin and a small amount of hair on the feet up to the hocks which we are trying to eliminate.

Do Baldwins have special needs?

One must remember that a Baldwin is a cavy first, hairless second.  You must use common sense when caring for them, just as you would a haired animal.  Overall, there are more similarities then differences between a haired cavy and a Baldwin.  Baldwins do appear to have a higher metabolic rate than haired cavies; they consume more food and water and are more active, thus generating heat to keep themselves warm.  This also leads to a need to clean the cages more frequently.  Because of the heat generating ability, all that is needed to protect them from the cold is a small box to crawl into.  They warm it up themselves and have tolerated low temperatures this way. Baldwins require more frequent baths using a facial cleanser or exfoliate. There is no need to use moisturizers or oils on the skin as they produce their own.

Myths about Baldwins

Myth: There appears to be a lethal gene involved in the breeding of Baldwins.

Fact: NO! lethal genes have appeared up to this time.  We have successfully bred carriers of the Baldwin gene to Baldwins, and Baldwins to Baldwins, and have had hardy, healthy litters.

Myth: The skin of a Baldwin requires oiling to prevent it from cracking and drying out.

Fact: The Baldwin’s skin, just like humans, produce it’s own oils and sufficiently moisturize itself.  The animal does benefit from baths with facial cleansers or exfoliates, but no moisturizers are used on our Baldwins at this time.

Myth: Baldwins will be limited to shows held in warmer environments to prevent them from catching colds.

Fact: Baldwins tolerate lower temperatures quite well if they are provided with a small box to hide in.  They warm their boxes up sufficiently to be comfortable and stay healthy.  In windy or extreme conditions they can be covered, just as one would cover their haired cavies.

Most Important Fact:
As Baldwin pups (Loose their hair they look very sickly)- They are NOT!! You don’t need to do anything special.  Any animal loosing their hair looks sickly.  Baldwins are just as hardy as regular guinea pigs.

Carol Miller: Breed Sponsor

Produced by Brenda McNaughton”

Source: http://www.specialfarm.nl/pageID_8633345.html