Champion New Zealand Plume Cavy
CHAMPION MAMAKU SNOWMAN

New Zealand Plumes are one of the original exclusive guinea pig (cavy) breeds that was created as a pedigree breed back in the 1970's.

They look quite spectacular with their "mohawk" like ridge running down their back with a cascading tail of hair resembling that of a Rooster Tail.  NZ Plumes are marvellous characters and are nice natured.  They can also be shown in any colour.

With NZ Plume genes, it takes time narrowing down the genetics.  This involves selective breeding which means breeding cavies that are closely related genetically and this is done to isolate genes and bring out the desirable traits.  The desirable traits being a well raised ridge and a high arched rooster tail that is more than a few hairs.  When you have a solid few good NZ Plumes you then try to match them by looking at each of their desirable traits and backgrounds.

NZ Plumes have the option to be taken up to the Judge on a Show Board.  If you like NZ Plumes please support the breed and the breeders by supporting Independent Cavy Clubs.

Nz  Plume Cavy
MAMAKU BATMAN RETURNS - 3 MONTHS OLD
Champion NZ Plume Guinea Pig in Show
CHAMPION MAMAKU SNOWMAN

new zealand plumes MAIN SHOW STANDARDS

PLUME:          To be well raised from the two rump rosettes, and as long and dense as possible.                                   40

RIDGE:           To start on the neck behind the ears with hair running upwards and getting longer                         

                        towards the plume terminating in the plume itself.                                                                                      20

COAT:            Thick and short elsewhere and course.                                                                                                        10

EARS:             Rose petal shaped and drooping.                                                                                                                 5

HEAD:            Broad with prominent eyes and short fringe between ears, falling forward. 

                       Has short moustache like Abyssinian.                                                                                                          10

BODY:           Solid and cobby.                                                                                                                                              5

CONDITION AND PRESENTATION:                                                                                                                                   10                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    = 100  

Remarks: The ridge should start behind the head at about 1 cm long and progress along the length of the body, sharply rising in the length to form a high arched plume on top of the rump the plume to arch like a rooster tail and not fan out sideways over the rump. The plume to be as dense and as long as possible.  Coat apart from the plume to be no longer than floor length and untrimmed.

Rare NZ Guinea Pig Breed
MAMAKU PEARL -  5 WEEK OLD NEW ZEALAND PLUME
New Zealand Plumes Female Guinea Pig
TINTOLA LADY LILAC - NZ PLUME 4 MONTHS OLD

THE HISTORY OF NEW ZEALAND PLUME CAVIES

Many years ago in the 1950's, a woman migrated from England to NZ with her English Peruvians and Abyssinian cavies. There were no cavy shows or clubs, so she mixed mated her cavies and sold the babies as pets.  She lived in Wellington. Christa Krey found her when she was looking for a pet for her 9 year old son and saw some of her longhairs, and bought some for herself. They had more than two rosettes and a coarser coat.

When the inaugural meeting to form a cavy club, was held in the Wellington area in January 1976 more than 70 people turned up with some of their cavies. Many of these were NZ Plume type and NZ Peruvian type with four or more rosettes, probably all going back to the 1950's pigs. Lots of these people wanted to show, but English pedigree imports were few at that stage and did not breed fast enough. Therefore the Committee of the newly formed National Cavy Club of New Zealand ( later renamed New Zealand Cavy Club because we were not allowed the word National when incorporating), drew up standards for two breeds, the NZ Plumes and the NZ Peruvians for members to work with to produce showable cavies.

There were some lovely NZ Plumes and NZ Peruvians shown for some time until more pedigree stock from English imports became available and breeders turned to those.  Just a few breeders persevered.

New Zealand Cavy Club photo from 1970's
"A photo in black and white taken at one of the very early NZCC shows, showing in show winners, when we still used to hand out cups."  New Zealand Plume in photo.

 THE GENETICS OF NEW ZEALAND PLUMES

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 NZ Plumes).

NZ Plume Baby Guinea Pigs
Mamaku snowman and mamaku robert - 4 weeks old

Share this page

© NEW ZEALAND UNIQUE aND RARE GUINEA PIGS 2015 - 2021