Description of the guinea pig breed “Luncaria”
Luncaria (Lunkarya Guinea Pig), with an emphasis on “and”, is one of the newest and most recent breeds in the world of guinea pigs.
The appearance of the Luncar pigs is very attractive and attracts all eyes. Their main distinguishing feature is tightly twisted spiral curls on long hair, which makes Luncaria look like little sheep.
From the history of Luncar
An interesting and, one might say, wonderful story that happened in Sweden in 1986 is associated with the emergence of this breed.
Two sisters, owners of a pet store in Stockholm, breeders of guinea pigs and just an animal lover, Annika and Monika Lundqvist noticed an unusual agouti and white male pig , which was brought to them at the pet store. The most unusual thing was that the male had unusual curls on his coat, despite the fact that none of his parents were curly.
As experts in guinea pig breeding, Annika and Monica knew that the curl gene is a recessive gene and that a curly pig can only be born when two curly pigs are crossed. Once again, we note that the parents of Prince Adam (as the girls called this wonderful pig) were both smooth-haired. Annika and Monica could not help but become interested in this riddle, they took Prince Adam for themselves and crossed him with a Peruvian pig. All newborn babies had the same coarse and curly hair as their father.
Everything indicated that this was some kind of new, hitherto unseen, dominant gene of “curliness”, although before that all the known genes that were responsible for curly hair (in guinea pigs of the teddy , texel , and rex breeds ) were recessive.
Recall that a dominant gene is a “stronger” gene that ensures the manifestation of a particular trait, regardless of whether another gene of the same pair is dominant or recessive. On the other hand, a recessive gene can be suppressed by the influence of a dominant gene. The recessive gene will ensure the manifestation of the trait it determines only if it is paired with the corresponding recessive gene. If it is paired with a dominant gene, then it does not manifest itself, since the dominant gene suppresses it.
Then the Lundqvist sisters, for the sake of the purity of the experiment, decided to mate the children of Prince Adam with smooth-haired pigs, and being confident that offspring with smooth hair would be born, they were incredibly surprised to see babies again, similar to curly lambs. There was no longer any doubt — it was a question of a new gene and, accordingly, a new breed, but it was still far from its recognition. In the meantime, the new gene was named LuLu, and it became the fourth known to breeders of guinea pigs with the gene for “curliness” (the first three are the gene for the American teddy, the gene for the Swiss teddy and the gene for the rex).
If we talk about the nature of the occurrence of this gene, then in all likelihood it appeared as a result of a natural mutation. And he was responsible for a completely new type of wool.
The Lundqvist sisters started breeding a new breed. They crossed pigs with the LuLu gene with other breeds ( Coronet , Sheltie , etc.) and always all newborn babies had a hard and curly coat. The most beautiful guinea pigs are obtained by crossing with Peruvian guinea pigs . And today this particular combination is the only recognized option in breed standards.
When it became clear that we were talking about a new breed of guinea pigs, Annika and Monica had to come up with a name for this breed. The name “Lunkaria” was born from a combination of the two parts “hole” (part of the sisters’ surname) and “Ria” (from the Swedish word “rya” — sheep). It is under this name that funny sheep-pigs are now conquering the world. In just a couple of years, Luncaria spread throughout Sweden, and then beyond.
The Curly guinea pig breed (curly) is a short-haired variety of Luncaria
Features of Luncar
So, as already mentioned above, the most important feature of the Luncar is a tough, long coat, twisted into steep corkscrew-like curls, and these curls do not straighten out with frequent combing, like in texel or alpaca , but stubbornly curl back and keep their shape perfectly. Thanks to this feature, it is quite easy to care for the Luncar, despite the fact that this breed belongs to the long-haired, which means that it is demanding to care for, breeds. The special shape of the hair prevents debris from clinging to the fur and getting stuck in it, so even walking through the hay in the cage, the Luncaria pig will remain clean.
Newborn baby Luncaria are very similar to newborn texels or alpacas, but then the wool begins to grow intensively and curl into steep curls, which at first stick out in all directions, giving the babies a very comical look.
And on the muzzle, on the contrary, the fur begins to fall out, and as experienced breeders say, the more hair falls from the muzzle, the coarser the fur will be. With regard to Luncaria, the rule applies: the coarser the fur, the better!
To maintain the purity of the breed, it is not recommended to cross Luncar gilts with Texel, Merino, Alpaca, smooth-haired breeds, as well as with pigs that carry the Rex or Teddy gene. The offspring from such crosses will have a softer and thinner coat, atypical for true Luncaria. Offspring born from such crosses will not be considered purebred. Guinea pigs born from a pair of Luncaria + Sheltie, Luncaria + Peruvian or Luncaria + Coronet are allowed at the exhibition, but evaluated accordingly.
At the same time, when properly bred, children often even surpass their parents in wool quality and have a coarse and tough coat, as required by standards.
An experienced breeder will determine a real, high-quality Luncaria right from birth: the baby will have hard, well-defined curls on the coat. Over time, the hair will become coarser, thicker and stick out in all directions. Luncar’s wool, like other guinea pigs, grows throughout life, 2–2.5 cm per month. Until the age of 5–6 months, the hair will stick out in all directions, giving the pig a very funny look, and then, under the influence of gravity, it will begin to sink down. It is from this age that the breeder will have to sew for himself whether he will grow wool or will he cut his pet to a comfortable length.
Luncaria has very thick and dense skin, which helps to support the weight of the heavy coat.
As for the colors, the Luncaria can be of any color or any combination of colors.
Luncar on croup has two sockets. There should be no parting along the spine. The belly should also have tight curls. In spring and autumn, Luncaria begins a shedding period, wool falls out and is renewed, and new wool grows rather quickly.
Maintenance and care
The basic rules for keeping Luncar are no different from the rules for keeping all guinea pigs: a spacious cage , proper nutrition and love and care without fail.
The only peculiarity of Luncaria is their intolerance to high temperatures due to their increased “fluffiness”. On hot days, air conditioning can be a salvation for the Luncar. Also consider this feature when letting your pet out in the summer. No direct sun! Only shadow and partial shade! Luncaria is more susceptible to heatstroke than other guinea pig breeds.
Luncar hair care
Despite the fact that, thanks to the special structure of the coat, caring for Luncaria will be much easier than for other long-haired guinea pigs, you still have to comb and comb your pet at least occasionally. This will require a wide toothed comb or a special Afro comb.
A simple experiment to check whether or not you care for the Luncaria fur coat is correct — run your fingers deep into the coat and “comb” it. If the fingers slide easily, there are no tangles or knots, then everything is in order.
Experts say that luncaries need to bathe every 6–8 weeks to maintain healthy skin and clean hair.
Luncaria is a very funny and curious breed. These pigs are friendly, calm and outgoing. They love people, they easily allow themselves to be stroked and taken in their arms. Good contact with children.