Any small animal better than raising guinea pig for meat?

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by aPrimitive, Dec 23, 2013.

  1. aPrimitive

    aPrimitive Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm looking in to homesteading soon, but I want to get my household animals on a raw feed diet again and I don't want to buy chicken for them from the super-market like last time. Right now I'm seeing guinea pigs as a good way to start that. Easily available (any pet store, and more), easy to feed (grass/hay and table scraps), and can be raise in a "city" setting. What I want to know is if there is something that would be even better yet (I've considered rabbits, and the simpler feeding for the guineas won that argument). So any thoughts would be great.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2013
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Rats. Easy to feed and breed like, well, rats.

    In the movie King Rat they sold them as deer meat (indigenous rodent) from prison of war camp to restaurants as delicacy.
     
  3. Plough

    Plough Out Of The Brooder

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    Rats can be great. I know a lot of people freak at the sight of them but they are way more docile then any other rodent save guinea pigs. Females are sightly better for handling then males. As for breeding unlike mice or hamsters you can handle young and one mother will gladly take on another's young. As I'm on my phone I'll stop now but having been a pet shop clerk at a reputable independent pet store for about 5 years when I was a kid I could give you plenty more if you need help or info.
     
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  4. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

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    Guinea pigs are not a good choice to raise for meat. They are relatively expensive to buy, they have a two month gestation period, and they have small litters. After all that, the yield isn't that great either. You would be better off to raise rats, rabbits or chickens.
     
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  5. aPrimitive

    aPrimitive Out Of The Brooder

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    My problems when it comes to rats (to start with my two pets in the cage next to me lol). But the diet. Being as I'm prepping for a post-apocalyptic situation feed is big when it comes to livestock. Rats don't necessarily need grains but need more attention to food than guinea's, and getting the feeding wrong for rats can be quite fatal. They can eat **** near anything but it isn't good for them necessarily. I might put more thought into rats, depending if I can find some good information on them I might try. I'd have to work at convincing the rest of my family to want to raise "pets" as pet food lol.
     
  6. aPrimitive

    aPrimitive Out Of The Brooder

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    Not to say I want enough guinea's to feed them everyday but to take a good chunk out of costs. I do know to feed all my animals just guinea's for a year would take 1,700 of them.
     
  7. Plough

    Plough Out Of The Brooder

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    I don't think rats are any more complicated in feeding then guinea pigs. The only real concern is you really don't want them eating meat or particularly getting a taste for meat. Otherwise darn near anything you would feed a guinea would be suitable for rat with maybe a slight higher need for higher protein. Shorter gestation, quick maturation, easy temperment, if in a dire situation that your looking to cover, I would personally go with rat if you were sure you didn't want to go with some larger species like rabbits.
     
  8. If you graze them they are actually better then rabbits. Can eat more things with less digestive issues and have a pretty good meat yield. But you have to graze them or be able to get a lot of veggie scraps, then they are profitable.

    I've never tasted rat before. What's it like? Is it like guinea where it gets chewy easy?
     
  9. cassie

    cassie Overrun With Chickens

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    Let's see. You have a pair of guinea pigs, breed them, then wait two to two and a half months for the babies to be born. The litter size is usually less than four. My guinea pigs produced two babies, maybe three. Then you grow them for two months or so at which time they maybe weigh half a pound to a pound. I'm guessing here. It has been a long time since I have raised guinea pigs. Where is the yield? Have you ever seen a guinea pig carcass? I did on TV once. There is not much there. If you want to raise them for meat, there is no law against it. Actually, in some places there is, but that's another story. If you think the project is worthwhile, then for you it is. What anyone else thinks doesn't matter.
     
  10. aPrimitive

    aPrimitive Out Of The Brooder

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    See the guinea's I'm going to free range outside as to not pay anything for feed (til winter when I replace the grass with grass hay). Guinea's can live on grass and something to supply them with vitamin c (which can be accomplished with kitchen scraps). Past that no feed. Rats need more than grass and and mine eat raw meat every now and again, not bad for them by any means. There diets are very similar to ours being they are omnivores. I believe guinea pigs are vegetarians. I do think I would get less grief if I did rats but I do love the species so lol. Does anyone know if the bone- meat ratio is better in rats than guineas I can't find it?
     

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