Friday, July 30, 2010

Guinea Pig Mad!

Everyone who knows me, also knows that I am 100% mad about them! 

I have one guinea pig of my own and the rest are owned by my sisters.  But as I am in charge and older, I take care of them all - you could call them 'mine'.

I have two breeding pairs:  Toffee (male) and Candy (female) Cupcake.  And Fudge (male) and Cocoa (female) Chanel.

Candy is mine and is the best breeder ever!!  She has now had three litters in the 6/7 months I have had her!  When I first got her, I thought her so ugly - but as she has gotten older and has become more tame, she is more beautiful.  Her current litter totals six - yes six!!!  Her last two litters were both three! 

Just before I left for Cape Town to visit my friend I went outside to the runs in which the guinea piggies graze all day and I heard this very tiny squeak - the babies!!  At that time there were four and I was happy!  They had JUST been born and were wet and bloody.  I picked them up and popped them in their hutch.  All was well - God had answered my prayer for her to give birth before I left!

The next morning I got an sms from my mom saying Candy had had two more during the night - impossible!  The books say four/five is the maximum - record said eight!  I couldn't believe Candy had six!  I was over the moon!

Unfortunately I don't have photographs at the moment, but as soon as I can I will post! 

Cocoa is a smaller, gentler mommy.  Her first litter she only had two, which was slightly disappointing.  She gave birth to her second litter shortly after we moved to Knysna - Tammy, Peanut and Butter (P and Butter are twins - identical!)  Cocoa is a very good, gentle, loving momma to her babies!  Hopefully, once she gets a little bigger, she will have more!

Poor Candy was huge while pregnant - no wonder!  Six is a lot of babies for one small guinea pig!!

Toffee and Fudgy are the males - Toffee is not a very good dad - he is more like a baby himself!  Toffee though is brilliant at coping with little children holding him!  He is Gabrielle's so he has to put up with a lot!

Fudge is THE dad!  He takes no nonsense from his guinea pig babies.  He is not the nicest guinea pig to cuddle, but he has character - which I like!  Beth owns him and Cocoa.

So now, I have thirteen guinea pigs to take care of - wow!!  The babies stay with their mothers until about five/six `weeks of age.  The last litter, Honey and Biscuit stayed with us until they were 9 weeks old  because of the move, it was very sad to say goodbye to them!!

Breeding guinea pigs is my hobby.  I also enjoy card making, but prefer to be outside with nature - with animals.  I really dislike dogs though because I was attacked by one.  My nose is still tender, because he broke it and I have sore scars on my face. 

When the babies reach the age to sell, I put out adverts.  In Cape Town I sold three to a lady with two children.  She came to our house.  My parents like to leave me to sell the babies, which I like:  I show the buyer the choice of what I have, then they choose and I give them a little info about them and then take the money, which I use to buy things I need for the other guinea pigs.  Hay, food, etc.

So in a month or two I will have lots of selling to do!!  I enjoy having the babies to take care of, but I am ever so grateful when they are gone!!!  Now, with thirteen all I am going to do is feed their ever hungry little tummies - but it is my hobby, so I don't mind!  To comfort myself after they have gone, I focus on the good side...there will be more in about....well, pregnancy period of the females is 63 days (females, if kept with their male will become pregnant usually immediently after birth, so they will forever be pregnant or lactating unless the male is taken away)!

Blessings to all,

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