The Golden Agouti has been widely confused because of its striking resemblance to guinea pigs. But with a weight of about 13 pounds, it’s larger than the guinea pig.
Agoutis are also active, cute, and friendly. As a result of this, some people keep them as pets; and in some other parts of West Africa, they’re considered bushmeat.
In this article, we’ll delve into more details about the Golden Agouti and provide tips for you to become an amazing pet owner. So let’s get right in.
What Is the Golden Agouti?
The Golden Agouti is a rodent from the Dasyprocta genus. It’s fast and gets away quickly when it sees humans. It’s also strong and has sharp teeth that it uses to crack Brazil nuts; it’s popular for that.
These Agoutis have coarse, glossy fur with hoofed claws that they use to walk, run, and gallop. When they stand upright, they’re about 60 cm tall. And at night, you’ll find them scurrying into tree roots and logs because of their terrestrial nature.
They can also be kept as pets in the home. But note that Agoutis release an unpleasant smell called an odoriferous secretion that helps them find their other Agoutis; that’s just the major concern with keeping them as pets.
But there’s no need to worry; with constant training, this won’t be a concern, and you can have fun with them in your home.
What Do Agoutis Look Like?
The Agoutis can appear in brown, red, black, orange, and gray. However, the color doesn’t fully cover their body, so you can have a black Agouti with a white belly and underparts.
At first sight, you’ll notice that they have glossy hairs all over their body except on their tail; some of them may even appear tailless. Also, when they sense danger, their hairs straighten and rise up.
In addition, Agoutis have 5 toes on their front feet with three on the hind feet. And they have cylindrical teeth that are designed to crush hard items. They can also grow up to 60 cm in length. Finally, they have a big head with small ears and legs.
How to Feed Golden Agoutis
Agoutis feed widely on nuts, fruits, seeds, and flowers. They use their fore toes to hold food when they’re eating. And since they have a high appetite, they can eat birds and shellfish in cases where they don’t get fruits to feed on.
They use their incisors to chew nuts and molars to grind their food. It’s worth mentioning that their incisors continue growing as they age, so they won’t lose their excellent nut-cracking abilities.
Training Your Agouti
When you’re getting an Agouti as a pet, first, you’d have to know if you’re allowed to own one in your country legally. This is because some countries have regulations on this species.
We also recommend that you buy one from a licensed breeder. This is because it’s easier to train an Agouti that’s used to having humans around than one that’s always out in the wild. The ones bred in captivity tend to be more relaxed and receptive to humans than those in the wild.
How Can I House an Agouti?
For your pet’s house, you may need a wire cage with sturdy bars to get started. Agoutis love to eat through things, so you have to ensure that the enclosure isn’t made of any material that can hurt them.
You can also make the cage fun by providing toys and play items for your pet; Agoutis love to play around. You’d also have to train them on areas to defecate and urinate at. And you can let them out of the cage to run around, but with controlled supervision.
Life Cycle of an Agouti
Agoutis have a life cycle of about 20 years, which is quite long. Depending on the type of species, they can reproduce in May and October, providing litter ranging from 2 to 4 young. However, some breed all year round. At birth, you’ll see that the offsprings are strong, up and about.
Some Facts About the Golden Agouti
Do you know that giving quality attention to your Agouti will make it more confident and friendly? Yes, it’s true. Here, we’ll tell you some facts about the Golden Agoutis.
- They can swim
- They help to conserve the Brazil nut trees
- Their gestation period is 3 months
- Their conservation status is set to least concern
- They can communicate by a mode called posturing
- They can jump as high as 6 feet
- They can be aggressive
- They got the name Agouti because of the mixture of colors of their hair
- They’re very shy
- They can make scream noises when they’re scared
- They can bury seeds in the soil, which would grow to become trees
Is the Golden Agouti a Good Pet for Children?
Yes, the Golden Agouti would make a good pet for your kids. In addition, it’s cute and chubby. The downside is just its unpleasant smell that kids may not like. Nonetheless, make sure you supervise your kids when they play with the rodent.
Is It Difficult to Care for a Golden Agouti?
No, it’s not. The needs of the Agouti depend on the type of species it is. You just have to provide it with food, water, toys, and lots of attention, and you’re good to go. Your veterinarian will also assist you in the right doses of food and how to administer it.
There you have it. We’ve seen what the Golden Agouti looks like, how to train and care for it, some interesting facts about it, and how to be an amazing pet owner.
These social creatures make excellent pets; they’re active and always full of energy during the day and night. They’re also not threats; you can train them easily when they’re gotten from a licensed breeder and used to being around humans.
Keep in mind to clean the cage regularly to get rid of debris. And when you leave the Agouti, keep an eye out for it because it can run very fast.