guinea pigs for meat

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

  1. GBov

    GBov Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I miss nasturtiums, they just don't do very well for me in Florida. Your information on their grazing is good stuff. My plans are 4' by 4', 2' high, raised beds with 3' rows between in grass for the G. Pigs. I may or may not put pvc pipes through the beds at ground level for the g pigs to shelter from the heat (and hawks) in.

    Speaking of hawks, did you have any problems?

    We lost a few to snakes when kept outside but that was all.
     
  2. akane

    akane Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I found a big pile of old clay drainage tube and dug out mostly unbroken pieces. You can see a couple starting to be placed in some of the later pics
    [​IMG]

    That gave lots of hiding along with a wood house and then the sheltering of the plants. Hawks were everywhere so I'm sure there would eventually have been losses to hawks and if you get the attention of a hawk you might have trouble. If your pen is within about the 20-25' or less size range you can get bird netting to throw over it. I had a roll that I never used. They will seek shelter and run alongside structures to be less attractive to predators. More open areas they will slowly eat their way on to and dash back to the edge at any movement around them. That kept them safe even when we had them running around a couple acre fenced backyard. They never ate in the middle of the yard. They trimmed along buildings and fencelines.
     

  3. akane

    akane Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Guinea pig production is picking up. I've got 2 males and 2 females in growout for butchering and just had another litter. It was 4 but 1 didn't make it.
    [​IMG]
    If nothing else I find guinea pigs are a meat source with much cuter babies. I need to make some outdoor tractors for good weather because they are burning through wood pellet bedding.
     
  4. MeatPigeons

    MeatPigeons Well-Known Member

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    My sow is visibly pregnant and you can feel the babies.. It's so creaking cute!

    Hoping for a large litter! She'll be for my show pig, and I've got a new boar for her to get some quality babies. Otherwise Elsa is solely for meat producing pigs.
     
  5. StevenHughes

    StevenHughes Member

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    Picking up four free pigs sunday! kind of excited! Does anyone hear raise them in the northern Midwest? I am wondering if I can keep them outside year round.
     
  6. akane

    akane Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm in Iowa and I've been debating if there is a way to keep them outside year round. We had some go through snowstorms in the past when we didn't catch them out of the fenced area early enough but they were usually inside within the next 24-36hrs. Last winter wasn't too bad with only the odd subzero day and none of that -30F stuff but some of our winters are horrible. I think someone else reported they kept an area warm enough for the pigs but the pigs would not leave it to where the food and water was so they started getting sick. I've been thinking about if you can coldframe or greenhouse at least a portion of a guinea pig pen or if you'd have to cut the airflow down too much to get any effect.
     
  7. StevenHughes

    StevenHughes Member

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    Yea Minnesota winters can be brutal. I guess I will just have to find out.
     
  8. GBov

    GBov Well-Known Member Supporter

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    How about setting up a winter home and then pasturing them outside after the worst of winter is over?

    Or heat lamps perhaps?

    I found that, with such a small body size and no under coat to speak of, mine got cold easily.
     
  9. StevenHughes

    StevenHughes Member

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    I suppose I could put them in the garage with my rabbits but that won't be much better. It is unheated and uninsulated.
     
  10. akane

    akane Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Mine are in being setup in the basement for now. I have been looking at ideas for basically guinea pig boxes to set outdoors with or without a floor during weather above freezing. I have a 4x8' sort of tractor. It's also 4' high to keep me from having to bend too much and it's half all sides plywood and the other half wire so it works better to roll it for moving than to try and slide that much weight. I wouldn't need something so tall for guinea pigs. I had to fit in chicken roosts and be able to get to eggs so I put it that tall. I don't know. I have lots of options and maybe make some combination of chickens, rabbits, or guinea pigs together.
     
  11. akane

    akane Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Interesting guinea pig info from another source that is talking about using them for meat. Mainly feed them insanely full with all types of greens. Apparently they can easily get another pound or more bigger than they otherwise would. Within a few generations of stuffing them full from birth the person I was talking to had 5-8lb pigs from random pet pigs. Large amounts of pellets doesn't seem to do this. This may change my planned method of guinea pig raising.
     
  12. GBov

    GBov Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That is VERY interesting info!

    Shall file it away for after the move and give it a try. Would save quite a bit of money without having to buy the big g. pigs.
     
  13. StevenHughes

    StevenHughes Member

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    Random question, can they eat rhubarb? I have a bunch growing behind my shed that I don't use.
     
  14. akane

    akane Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yep, mine have eaten their fill of it several days this month. It is a mild laxative but they seem to limit themselves on their own. I fed part of the leaf too. It has nothing uniquely toxic compared to other plants. It is just higher in oxalic acid than most. Oxalic acid is in many plants we eat so it's not toxic on it's own. It's entirely an amount thing and it's found in increasing amounts in the stalks with age and higher in the leaves so just don't overfeed, especially the leaves. Like I said though the guinea pigs stopped eating the stalks on their own and the rabbits someone had loose around rhubarb did not overeat the leaves so I think given food options they will not overeat any part of rhubarb easily. Which is good cause the pen I plan to turn into their grazing area next year has 4 stubborn patches of rhubarb that I'd rather not kill even if it weren't such stubborn stuff.
     
  15. StevenHughes

    StevenHughes Member

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    Its been in the 40's the last few days here and the pigs seem fine. Running around and eating just fine.
     
  16. StevenHughes

    StevenHughes Member

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  17. StevenHughes

    StevenHughes Member

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  18. StevenHughes

    StevenHughes Member

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  19. Lady89

    Lady89 Well-Known Member

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    Just don't know if I could eat that they are so cute
     
  20. StevenHughes

    StevenHughes Member

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    Cows are cute when they are babies too. They get less cute.