Unique Cavy Breed A Bonnet Guinea Pig

Bonnet cavies are are so unusual that it's hard to look away! With their ruffles and rosettes and reverse growing hair!

Many years ago a woman named Ethel Mckeown of Nemora Cavies bred two Smoothcoat cavies together, the resulting litter were all born with a fur fault.  Ethel liked the look of this fur fault and decided to do selective breeding to develop this fault.

She started showing them under the section of Rare Varieties and showed in the Nationals for the cavies at the 17th National Show three of which placed, this was in 1997, the standards followed this and by the 20th show in the year 2000 they were being included in the Roughcoat Section.  There is a Satin version.

Bonnets are an exclusive pedigree breed and rare in NZ.

If you like Bonnets please support the breed and the breeders by supporting Independent Cavy Clubs.

Exclusive Breed Bonnet Cavy being judged


ROSETTES: Sitting well back (one to three) preferably one                                                                                         10

SIDE RUFFLES: Balanced, leaving good width over shoulder                                                                                      25

TOP OF BODY: Smooth reverse growth of hair to front                                                                                                 15

BONNET: Extending forward between the ears                                                                                                              20 

BELLY: Uneven ruffle                                                                                                                                                      10

EARS:  Large extending sideways and slightly drooping, giving the effect of an extension to the bonnet                      10

TYPE AND CONDITION:                                                                                                                                                 10                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     = 100

FAULTS: Quiff of hair between rosettes, ruffles too low on side or too close on shoulder or unbalanced.  Suggestion of ridge on center back, Bonnet standing upright, to give a surprised look or finishing behind the ears.

REMARKS:  Whilst not mandatory best effect is often given by a single hip rosette. Either way, look for balance.

Unique Bonnet Guinea Pig Breed



The dominant gene R gives rosettes in the coat while rr cavies are smooth coated. The effect of R is enhanced by  the modifying genes mm, so that RRmm cavies are fully rosetted. Rrmm cavies may lack some rosettes. Where the genotype is RrMM or RRMM the cavy nearly always has the hair on it's toes growing backwards up the foot or in small whirls. The rest of the coat usually is smooth, though occasionally there is a ridge down the back and or two rudimentary rosettes on each side of the spine ( the basics for Bonnets). R-Mm cavies nearly always have the two rosettes and a marked ridge between them ( the basics for the Plumes).

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