Monday, June 24, 2013

Going Guinea

Some of my followers – those who have been here since the very beginning – may remember our adding guinea pigs to our household.  You may then recall this post where I shared photographs of our new ‘families’ of guinea pigs.  Toffee and Fudge were our first pair – we later discovered that they were in fact two males and thus prone to having the occasional dispute over dominance.  By that stage we were so attached to our new babies that we just couldn’t think of getting rid of either one of them...  And so we made trips to two different pet shops on opposite ends of the peninsula to buy a female of completely different blood for each of our two lonely males.  After introducing the males to their new brides, our guinea pig farm grew from strength to strength...and strength – ok, you get the picture!  Many adorable babies were born and then sold to new homes during those first years.

However, Toffee and Candy, his darling lady, died at the beginning of this year due to exposure to excessive heat.  We were all devastated; Candy and Toffee had been part of our lives for the past three or so years.  I actually nursed Candy back to health after she battled against an illness, so she especially was very dear to me. 

Fudge and Cocoa and their three pups (yes, that’s what we call baby guinea pigs), also suffered heat stroke to some extent – it really was heart wrenching to see them so ill!  I learnt a very hard but valuable lesson that day, one I am sure I shall not soon forget.  Fortunately they recovered, but are much weaker than they were before.

We always maintained a strict rule that no baby, however adorable he or she may be, should ever be kept – reason being that we would never be able to feed and look after them all.  Female guinea pigs are able to birth new litters of pups every 64 days or so.  But when Cocoa had a smooth white pup with a bit of black and brown on her face that was born completely blind in one eye, we knew we had to keep her.

We named this little girl guinea pig, Jewel, and sometime in March this year she had her first pup which we called ‘Hot Cross Bun’, as she was born over Easter time.  Everyone fell in love with little Bun – no one wanted her to go to a new home as she already had one!  As Fudge and Cocoa are getting on in age and pretty much at the end of their reproductive years, Hot Cross Bun is kept with them for company and to help them stay young:-)  Jewel got her own dear chap last month when we heard of a long–haired male with the same colourings as her who needed a new home.  We named him Mr Knightly, after Jane Austen’s hero in her book, Emma.

New pups are always anticipated with my enthusiasm in our home – what colour and markings will the next lot have?  Will they be fluffy or smooth?  Over the years we have learnt to care for them better and see that they are kept healthy.  Our guinea pigs like to graze in the closed run my dad built for them.  Sometimes they run free for 30 minutes or so in the small veggie patch, eating stray grass and weeds (and sometimes a spinach or lettuce leaf when we aren’t looking).  We always have someone watching them to see that they don’t fight with each other, run off or eat something harmful.

Going Guinea is a four part mini-series to be featured on Beautiful Girlhood.  In part two I will be discussing a few of the pros and cons that come with keeping guinea pigs and how to know if your family can really commit to looking after them...

...I thought I would share a few of the photographs I took this morning of Jewel’s newest pups, Snow White (who is pure white with pink eyes – a first in our four years of breeding) and Wafer (who is chestnut in colour with white markings), in tea cups and sugar bowls.  These two are very sweet and proved to be gorgeous models for me! 


Aren’t they gorgeous?


Ginger Girls said...

They have such cute names and love the pictures of them in the tea cups. Oooooooooooooo they are so adorable!
Hair Stylist:)

Ginger Girls said...

Awwwwwwwwww HOW CUTE!!!!! Their color is perfect!


P.S. I love the teacup one!

Kelly-Anne said...

Thanks Sapphire! Blessings, Kelly-Anne

Kelly-Anne said...

Thank you, Hair Stylist! My sisters named them:-) Love, Kelly-Anne

Khloe Grace said...

I would love it if you would check out my blog! I'm looking to have more followers, I follow your blog.

Khloe Grace said...

Hey Kelly Anne! You've been tagged at my blog!

Grace Le Feuvre-Smith said...

What CUTE baby gunea pigs!
Our gunae pigs had babys to!
Love Grace xoxoxo

Kelly-Anne said...

Hey, Grace! They are, aren't they?! Just had a peek at the pictures of your gorgeous little babies. Enjoy them!

Kelly-Anne said...

Thank you, Khloe Grace! I'll pop over for a look...:-) Much love, Kelly-Anne x

Kelly-Anne said...

Thanks Khloe! I am your newest follower:-) Kelly x