looking for commercial cavy raising info

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by Pops2, Aug 6, 2003.

  1. Pops2

    Pops2 Well-Known Member

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    probably people raising to sell to labs. but anyone raising on a large scale would help.
     
  2. kirstinkey

    kirstinkey Guest

    Course, my initial response is "define full scale" but I generally keep about 200 cavies.

    I'd be happy to help with your questions.
    Kirstin
     

  3. Pops2

    Pops2 Well-Known Member

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    I would definitely say you are raising on a large scale.
    I was thinking they could be a pleasant alternative to rabbits for BARF for my dog. I wanted to know about growth rates (1 lb target live weight), feed conversion, individual space requirements, labor requirements & medical concerns, especially as compared to rabbits.
     
  4. kirstinkey

    kirstinkey Guest

    The main problem is that they have a pretty low reproductive rate. Gpigs tend to have a VERY long gestation rate, 70 days, and only have on average 3-4 babies, unlike rabbits at 30 days and up to 14 kits.

    You'd be looking at about 4-5 months to get to a 2 pound animal, and dressed out, an adult animal (32-36 oz) would probably yield roughly a pound of meat. The skull would be the largest and heaviest portion, weighing about a third to half a pound, but if you're doing a whole foods thing, the larger dogs (not sure about what breed you raise) would PROBABLY be able to handle the large skulls, if you feed rabbits now, but... the skull is a pretty major part of the animal.

    As far as to the one pound growth rate, you're looking to achieve this at about 8-10 weeks of age, but again, that's NOT dressed out, that's full animal. Babies (up to about 5 weeks) honk through the food, and you will find that they start eating solids at about 4-5 days of age, some will start nibbling on pellets at about.. 2-3 days of age. They're born fully furred and ready to go, and VERY cute I might add, until they get to that 12 week intermediate 'teenager' stage.. lol Babies do tend to go through a LOT of feed. I typically go through about ... maybe 150 pounds or slightly more per week? Cavy feed is much more costly on average (generally about 2x more) than rabbit feed is, due to their need for ascorbic acid, and also because most commercial rabbit feeds have antibiotics in them, you cannot use them for cavies for two reasons: 1. Cavies need about 30 mgs/kg of Vit C per day, and it breaks down in 90 days so the stuff HAS to be fresh. 2. The antibiotics used in rabbit feed to prevent the spread of coccidiosis is rather harsh and somewhat toxic for cavies. Hence, you're doubling your feed bill for half the output...

    Make sense?

    Hope this helps!
    Kirstin
     
  5. Robin Pundzak

    Robin Pundzak Active Member

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    "The antibiotics used in rabbit feed to prevent the spread of coccidiosis is rather harsh and somewhat toxic for cavies."

    ?????? My rabbit feed has never included antibiotics. What brand do you buy?
    Robin
     
  6. Pops2

    Pops2 Well-Known Member

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    thank you very much Kirstin
    it sounds like cavies are not the way to go.
     
  7. kirstinkey

    kirstinkey Guest

    One of the brands I noticed it on was Purina. I had been feeding it 50/50 with Mazuri cavy, and all of the sudden, a bunch of us who were feeding this mix (it might have been advanced show blend, the higher of the two proteins) were noticing blood in the urine and stool of our pigs and unexplained deaths. Somebody realized that the feed had been reformulated to include antibiotics. No change was done on the packaging, except one tiny line on the ingredient tag.

    Many may not carry that antibiotic, but unless you know what to look for... you might not notice it. I know I hadn't until it was too late for a few of my animals.
    :-(

    Kirstin