Topics:  animals, breeder, club, facebook, guinea pigs, pets

Melanie loves her furry friends

Melanie Barnes, of Cooran, with some of her beloved guinea pigs ... they don’t bite and they don’t smell.
Melanie Barnes, of Cooran, with some of her beloved guinea pigs ... they don’t bite and they don’t smell. Geoff Potter

SIZE doesn't matter when you're this cute.

Meet one of the biggest families of guinea pigs in Queensland.

Melanie Barnes owns more than 100 of them and has names for each one.

She has black ones, white ones, yellow ones, brown ones, grey ones and some with brown and black spots.

They have two things in common - they're all tiny and plump and Melanie loves them all equally.

Melanie, who lives at Cooran with her husband, is a proud breeder of the tiny pets, which are actually named cavies.

She has been competing in national guinea pig competitions for more than 20 years and has six different breeds at her home, most imported from purebred bloodlines in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

"They're quite an inoffensive little animal," Melanie said.

"They don't smell, they don't bite you ... they're a great family pet."

Melanie launched the Sunshine Coast Cavy (Guinea Pig) Club last weekend.

The inaugural show attracted more than 85 entrants in competitions ranging from the quickest eater to the heaviest guinea pig and the best-cared for pet.

"It was quite overwhelming; I couldn't believe how many people turned up," Melanie said.

"I would have been happy if half a dozen people turned up with their guinea pigs."

Instead there were about 100 people and plans are afoot for the next guinea pig show at a bigger venue.

Other guinea pig lovers can search for the Sunshine Coast Cavy Club on Facebook.



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