guinea pigs for meat

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by akane, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. agrichick45

    agrichick45 Well-Known Member

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    There is a facebook group called Alaska Rabbit and Cavy Breeders Club. I know people do it. Some parts of Alaska are warmer than other parts of the continental US. As far as using silkies for breeding, I have a female, but she is much smaller than she appears. They are very well insulated, so long as they are blocked from direct winds.
     
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  2. MeatPigeons

    MeatPigeons Well-Known Member

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    Where I'm at it gets fairly cold. But during the worst part of winter I could possibly bring them in.

    The facebook group isn't where I'm at. It's about 500 miles away. Lol.

    Thank you
     

  3. agrichick45

    agrichick45 Well-Known Member

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    Well, it can be done! :D
     
  4. MeatPigeons

    MeatPigeons Well-Known Member

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    When you introduce new foods to guinea pigs, do you have to do it like rabbits, ie introduce slowly? Based on what I've read you do, but I've also read guinea pigs aren't as fragile and can just be fed whatever however much they want, which is why they're nice (can give them all sorts of veggie scraps without fear of them keeling over)
     
  5. akane

    akane Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You can intro foods a lot faster and more than rabbits. They handle vegetables well and forage plants even better. They are fed on veggie scraps with some grazing in the country they come from. Don't get sucked in to the pet sites too much. They make guinea pigs out to be one of the most fragile animals in existence when they are probably the hardiest I've raised aside from sensitivity to temperatures.

    Our first pups are born. I'm not sure I will be able to butcher the golden agouti roan. She's just so pretty. I only took a quick pic.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. MeatPigeons

    MeatPigeons Well-Known Member

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    They're adorable. Guinea pigs are probably the hardest to butcher (maybe after rabbits) just cause they're so cute.

    So I finally acquired 2 sows. 1 is older so im iffy about breeding her, but I've also read that the calcification isn't a huge deal because it only happens when the pig isn't well taken care of? Ie, metabolic disease?

    The other is 4 months, very glad I found her. Our boar will be very happy. Do you just leave the boar in for most of the pregnancy? Should I be concerned with the boat being lonely by himself while the sow(s) have babies? Maybe I'll find a friend for him once it gets warmer.

    Thank you. Have fun with your new babies. I love that red!
     
  7. akane

    akane Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you have at least 3 sows you could move a sow with him and just alternate sows so only one gets a back to back breeding. They can handle the occasional back to back pregnancy quite well and boars usually are not a threat to pups. If you put them in a large area they form a train with the sow leading, the pups in the middle, and the boar at the back to watch for pups that got stuck or lost while running through tall grass and over terrain. It's really interesting to watch how they work in herds and family groups.

    I setup 2 cages of 3 sows so I just swap my boar. I actually used bookcases. I took out the shelves and laid them on their back. One turned out to have too cheap of material for the back so I had to replace it with a piece of plywood but the other has been holding up well without visibly absorbing any urine.

    These were born a few hours ago
    [​IMG]
     
  8. MeatPigeons

    MeatPigeons Well-Known Member

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    Ah I see. I'll probably just get another boar. He's so freaking big! I feel bad for the girls, he looks nearly twice their size (though I doubt they're that large)

    Wait, so are you on the guinea pig forum (there really only one)? There's someone using that first pic of the babies over there..

    They're so cute! I want babies, lol.
    That's an awesome idea with the book cases! I might have to go onto Craigslist :hobbyhors
     
  9. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I seem to be doing rather well with my gp's. A couple of months ago I was up to 41, plus 2 which I have "loaned" to my daughter's pre-school class for the school year. I was running out of room to keep them, and was unsuccessful in selling any, so I decided to send some of the males off to freezer camp. I think I did around 9-10 of them in the first batch. A few weeks later, I did another 6-7.

    That left me with with around 25 at the house, mostly females and young males. I was planning to keep the males and let them grow a bit more before sending them off to camp, but we had another three litters last week, which put me back up to around 41+ again. I finally sold three of those.

    I sent 10 more to freezer camp yesterday. This time I used the broomstick method- very effective, and much less traumatic than hitting them with a pipe. I still have a hard time dispatching them, but I got it done.

    I am now advertising my two week old litters, hoping to sell more of them to get some cash, but, if not, I will have them all out on pasture soon and can them keep them all till Fall, at which time I will cull again. My main purpose in raising them was for dog food, but I figure that if I can sell a few here and there, the $$$ can help pay for GP pellets, of which 40+ piggies go through a LOT, lol.
     
  10. mekasmom

    mekasmom Well-Known Member Supporter

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    So, you are saying rabbits are a much better idea, then? Thank you for describing this. I was curious.
     
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  11. sonofman

    sonofman Well-Known Member

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    The main benefit to guinea pigs is that they eat for free. They do not require anything but grass.
     
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  12. MeatPigeons

    MeatPigeons Well-Known Member

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    Figured I'd show off my pigs :)

    [​IMG]


    This is Elsa. She's ~4 months old, and very skiddish, but starting to warm up. Just came from the shelter, not sure what her breed is. Any ideas what color you'd call this?


    [​IMG]

    Celeste. She too came from a shelter, she's an american tri color white. I absolutely adore this pig. She's so much like rat - she grabs food and hides it, she holds it with her feet. It's just too adorable

    [​IMG]
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    Lastly, Einstein! He's a coronet we got off craigslist. He's super bold, not at all like a guinea pig. I intend to show him, cause he's just too cute and seems like a great pig to show. Since he's not super skiddish and all.

    And they all love each other, but I think Einstein is a bit more in love than the girls, lol. Celeste is a bit of a bully to Elsa, (which is actually the reason she was given up, she was a bully), but since Einstein annoys them both they sorta stress bond with each other.

    I've been looking at the shelters and craigslist for another boar, so that I'll have a friend for Einstein when hes done his duty. How long do you leave the boat in? Until the does are visibly pregnant, or?
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015
  13. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Well-Known Member Supporter

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    MeatPigeons- Your piggies are adorable, and your pictures are awesome. I need to take pictures of some of our babies to post on craigslist, but I have not had good results photographing them in the past. Love yours!

    The bunny is cute, too.
     
  14. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Here are some pictures of some of the baby gp's I am trying to sell. One male, and the rest are females. I think I have another male sold, will know for sure tonight. I haven't really tried to sell any females yet, since I have been keeping them to build up the herd, but I did sell 3 last month after someone asked for them specifically, but this is the first time I have really tried intentionally.
     

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  15. MeatPigeons

    MeatPigeons Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! I like your pigs too! Good luck on selling them, I'm planning on just culling all of mine. No one wants guinea pigs around here. I'm hoping once I've got some good breeding going on I'll be able to talk to some meat rabbitors into doing guineas.

    On a different topic, I was recently lucky enough to visit Ecuador. While there, we visited a native village and saw the head of the communities house. She had probably, ooh, 50 pigs? They were all very skittish, and super super loud. Some of the biggest sows were the size of my holland lops!
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    The babies could to into these corner bars to get away from the parents I guess. They were soo tiny and cute.
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    They were all in separate concrete cages. I presume there was a pregnant sow one, raising babies one, boar one, and a few others that might be duplicates (ie, multiple cages for raising them). But there seemed like there was pregnant sows with babies. Idk.
    [​IMG]
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    They were huge. That blonde and white female was about the size of a smallish but normal guinea pigs 0_0

    They also had rabbits
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    We got cuy at a restaraunt, and saw some being cooked (I'll try and get pics of it). It was.. Ok. Not cooked too well. Super oily, deep fried. Otherwise just tasted like fish or dark game meat. But it's affordable for them to raise. Hopefully with some garlic ill like it better.
     
  16. akane

    akane Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm probably going to have to add one more pen for sow grow out and definitely more pens if I want to expand production but this is the current setup. 2 are bookcases and the other is an old screw together style ferret nation. We got a bunch of them for cheap from a chinchilla breeder selling off everything.

    Breeding pen, currently 3 sows and a roan boar. Boar is still growing back his bottom front teeth and putting on weight again.
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    Male grow out pens. Currently 3 weaned in to the top ~2x3'.
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    If sows look obviously pregnant they go to this pen until their pups are 3 weeks old and wean before going back to the breeding pen. Also right now the sow grow out pen.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The top food dish in the sow pen is actually a supplement mix of 1 part black oil sunflower seeds, 2 parts ground flax (bought in bulk 50lb tubs for horses), and some apple flavored electrolytes that I eyeball the amount.
     
  17. GBov

    GBov Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That bookcase idea is GREAT!

    I plan to try g pigs again but this time to run between raised beds and, hopefully, keep the grass mowed down.

    Has anyone tried that?
     
  18. akane

    akane Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I sort of did. I did not raise the beds but lined them with fencing panels so the guinea pigs stayed on the path and I could remove a panel to let them eat. Anything over about 8" would most likely work even though they can jump 2' or more. They generally don't without a good reason. This is the process of making the former herb/guinea pig grazing garden
    http://smg.photobucket.com/user/aqh88/library/guinea pigs/outdoor pen?sort=3&page=2
     
  19. GBov

    GBov Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I could only view a few before the computer locked up :grit: but what I saw looked really good.

    Did you find that your g pigs overgrazed the area?
     
  20. akane

    akane Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My 5 had plenty of grass and weeds. Also the catnip bushes I planted along the middle of the right side in most pics grew to about 3' in all directions and I had 3 of them. I also had multiple varieties of mint or other mint relatives so those grew fast. The fennel, anise, cilantro, and chard needed the most protection and were mostly handfed to the pigs. The edible flower section of nasturtiums and snapdragons was grazed lightly when the barriers were removed. This was the edible flower bed within a couple months
    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately I don't have too many other completed pics with the plants growing. I always got too busy as summer came.
     
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