guinea pigs

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by emiliozapata, Nov 19, 2004.

  1. emiliozapata

    emiliozapata Well-Known Member

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    has anyone ever tried raising these animals as a source of meat? I have been tossing around the idea and wonder if the meat would differ enough from rabbit as to add variety to one's homestead/survival scenario meat production.i.e. different taste ,texture, nutritional profile. Any thoughts p.s. i did a little looking online and only came up with one article on the peruvians breeding a giant sized GP for eating purposes.
     
  2. CarlaWVgal

    CarlaWVgal Well-Known Member

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    My father told me (when we got our pet guinea pigs) that when he was a child his family would raise them, along with rabbits, for thier pelts. And being poor the family ate them, along with the rabbits :haha: I did watch a show (National Geographis channel?) where they placed a family to live with a family in the Andes, and they ate guinea pigs. They ones on tv looked bigger than the pet ones here. I know my little Rosie is probably not even a pound and she is 4 years old, so you would have to find a bigger breed. Or maybe the pets are so small because they don't get much exercise being in small cages. Also you would have to find a breeder because the pet stores will only sell females (around here) and i would guess they don't want to hear of your dinner plans!

    Carla
     

  3. Thatch

    Thatch Well-Known Member

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    There is quite a bit out there....

    Here is an article on the super (guinea) pig

    http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_1144988.html

    Here is a good pdf on gp production

    http://www.metafro.be/leisa/1989/5-1-22.pdf

    and here is one on gp as meat in Africa

    http://www.cipav.org.co/lrrd/lrrd9/5/gp951.htm

    Actually there is quite a lot of information on low tech farming solutions for africa that are very useful to the small holder.

    I haven't read through all of those articles yet but that should give you some good info and direction on further study. It certainly could work for you. Now whether there is suficient reason to raise guinea pigs over rabbits I can't tell you other than the novelty factor (which is always a little fun.... scares the hell out of the inlaws :) ) Best of luck.

    J
     
  4. emiliozapata

    emiliozapata Well-Known Member

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    the information you folks provided has given me enough incentive to explore the situation more seriously, first i guess i'll just go buy a GP and eat it to see if i even like it. thanks EZ
     
  5. spring77

    spring77 Well-Known Member

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    My boss was just on a trip in Peru and all the peasants up in the mountains keep them for meat. That is what they were originally domesticated for. She says they just have them running around loose inside the house and they'd run over you in the middle of the night! I wonder if they have a "meaty" strain that gets bigger and gains weight faster than the guinea pigs around here, you might have to breed some meat guinea pigs from pet guinea pigs.
     
  6. deberosa

    deberosa SW Virginia Gourd Farmer!

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    Just don't pick them up by their tails or their eyes will fall out.
     
  7. LaDonna

    LaDonna Well-Known Member

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    They don't have tails.
     
  8. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    how can ya eat a guinea pig? or a bunny?
    I just cant... Icould if they were dead but kill it...
    with it..
    looking at ya...
    *sniff*
     
  9. havellostmywings

    havellostmywings Well-Known Member

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    The largest Guinea Pig Breed is the Cavy...

    they are about the size of a Large Rabbit.. or a weaner pig... maybe 15 lbs or so...
    The Cavy doesnt have the exotic colours that the Guinea Pigs that are raised for show or pet do... the Cavy is short haired...

    I would Not talk about eating Guinea Pigs much.. you would have someone up in arms...

    and Frankly I dont think I could eat them.. I have raised them for pets.. had several that were better mannered and trained than dogs I have owned... so... shrug... then again.. I have had box trained rabbits that ran around the house, used the "cat" box and would wake me up in the middle of the night by jumping up on the bed wanting to find a place warmer than where they had been sleeping...

    Lynn in Texas
     
  10. Reauxman

    Reauxman Well-Known Member

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    Lynn,
    You wouldn't have a picture of these 15 pound cavies, would you? I believe you were misimformed somewhere along the way. A cavy is a guinea pig. They weigh about 1-3 maybe 4 pounds. I have never owned one, and have seen them but a few times. They are about the size of a medium rat. The ARBA is the official organization of which they are shown under here in the states, and I went back and read a little in my ARBA literature on them. I know for sure a 15 pound cavy could not live in a 10 gallon tank as a cavy could, so I believe some info is off. I became rather interested in this when I first saw pics of these animals in Peru, so I wouldn't mind hearing more info on this. What color were yours?
     
  11. DreamingBig

    DreamingBig Well-Known Member

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    I'd thought Lynn might have meant capybaras; but no, those weigh 100 lbs. http://www.rebsig.com/capybara/ To me, they are WAY too adorable to eat. What a face! However, at that weight they might be a good animal for some to consider. The problem with guinea pigs is you have to kill so many, one or 1/2 per person since I doubt many of us nortenos would eat the bones, lungs, and intestines. :confused: This is one reason I gave up crayfishing (which is ridiculously easy)--each one was only worth a bite or two. Didn't make me give up clamming and musseling though! Go figure...
     
  12. Old John

    Old John Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hi Y'all,
    Yup, I've read oif Folks eating cavies & guinea pigs.
    But, they're kinda small.
    I also, awhile back read an article on Folks eating Nutria.
    They are vegetarians also. And, They're lots bigger than a guinea pig.

    I like "Cow or Pig" myself. Although, years ago i have eaten
    horse meat a few times. It's okay. I'd eat it again.
    I c'n be persuaded to eat goat.
    Lamb is good.
    I think I'd just skip those little guinea pigs & go for something a bunch
    Bigger. There're too many other meat animals around.
    Just my thoughts, hunnh.
    Have a good-un.
     
  13. emiliozapata

    emiliozapata Well-Known Member

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    lynn is refering to the Patagonian Cavy, which is indeed the largest cavy specie some weighing up to 20-25 lbs. I saw a few people selling them on the net for about 350 a pop, but too big for my interest. I like the idea of small stock that can be killed, cut, and ate with no worries of excess to try to store or refrigerate or freeze etc.
     
  14. blanknoone

    blanknoone Member

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    Generally with a fork. You can use your fingers if you like.
     
  15. havellostmywings

    havellostmywings Well-Known Member

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    Thats the ones...

    and if you figure 20 to 25 lbs alives... after dressing them out.. maybe 15 to 20 lbs of meat.. more or less.. thats not much really... and they would not take up much more room than pot belly pigs....

    Lynn in Texas

    PS... I had Guinea Pigs.. the fancy Long Haired tri coloured... I was able to make good money on raising and selling them for a time... babies went for $10 and adults I could get $15 to $20 for, depending on the colours and the swirl pattern in their hair... Some Swirl Patterns were worth more than others, made them show quality....

    There.. More than you probably ever wanted to know about guinea pigs... now.. have I told you about my Gold Fish?????? :haha:
     
  16. Xandras_Zoo

    Xandras_Zoo Well-Known Member

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    I thought I'd reply to this simply for the fact it's nice to see someone going for something else that's small besides rabbits.... shesh :p

    I can see what you mean by something you can do so quickly. You need dinner, you pick out a few, do the deeds, and there's a nice, fresh dinner.
     
  17. Meg Z

    Meg Z winding down

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    This is something I thought about a few years back, but didn't do enough follow up on. I do know someone around here (know slightly) who raises GP's, and has eaten them. He did it mostly to see what they tasted like. Said they were pretty good. He raises them for snake food, since his 'real' thing is breeding snakes.

    I decided to pass on yet another cage animal. Rabbits are easy-care cage animals. Everything else I have is on pasture or in pens that don't need to be cleaned daily. I'm shooting for the 'easy' stuff! :eek: