A mother of one has revealed how much she loves to spend her most of the time with her fifty-two pet guinea pigs.
She spends eight hours a day looking after the animals – after ‘falling in love’ with the rodents.
Sophie Mason, 29, and husband Mark, 44, from Lincoln, spend a whopping a month feeding the creatures.
They take care of them by doing things like, cutting up fresh vegetables and fruit for their meals, and washing the towels they sleep on rather than sawdust.
Sophie admitted that her hobby is ‘a bit odd’, she said her animals bring her ‘so much joy’.
Sophie and Mark never planned to have so many of the cute creatures, they started with buying six animals two years ago.
But after some time they got to know that they had all females, they returned from their honeymoon to find one was a male and had mated with the others.
Sophie and her husband Mark, 44, now have 46 adult guinea pigs and six babies that live at Mason’s Cavies, their guinea pig enclosure.
Sophie said: ‘I have always loved guinea pigs and been fascinated by them. They’re lovely little creatures and they make me laugh and smile every day.’
She added: ‘It’s a bit unusual but if you enjoy it and it doesn’t hurt anyone, then why not?’
The mother of one said she has always loved the furry creatures.
She revealed: ‘I had always wanted a really big herd and it was something Mark promised me. So we had these six and we went away on our honeymoon.’
‘When we returned, we noticed that the four of the girls had started to get really fat. We took all of them to the vet and realized that he’d got them all pregnant!’
She went on: ‘So suddenly, we had 10 babies on our hands but we just decided to go with it.’
Now Sophie says the pigs have changed her life at their family home.
She said: ‘It’s my full-time job. Absolutely. I’ve constantly got the washing machine on the go because we keep them on bath towels rather than sawdust.’
‘I spend about eight hours every afternoon cutting veggies, hoovering the shed, washing towels, changing their water bottles.
‘It’s a full-time job. Mark refills the shed with hay every day. It’s a real team effort.’
Alongside pellet food and hay, the piggies love eating fresh vegetables and fruit such as kale, carrots, swede, parsnips, tomatoes, and bananas.
Every other night, the creatures also eat dried pea pellets, which is one of their favorite treats.
Sophie said: ‘We buy a lot of the ‘wonky veg’ boxes from Morrisons and get through around £60 of vegetables easily.
‘The looks you get from the supermarket when you’re queuing up are hilarious.’
Sophie also runs a Facebook page called Mason’s Cavies, and the page is followed by 54,000 avid fans, where she regularly shares cute snaps and videos.
She says the creatures help keep her calm on tough days after battling with stress.
Sophie, who has a son with additional needs, says owning the guinea pigs has helped remove stress from her life.
She said: ‘I have a stressful life and they just bring me so much joy. They all have their own quirks and you can’t help but fall in love with them.’
‘For me, looking after that many is not a chore, it’s something I adore doing.
She added: ‘They really are fascinating animals, I love watching them in the garden playing with the dog.’