farm guinea pigs (meat cavy!)

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Bug n Flock, Apr 27, 2017.

  1. Bug n Flock

    Bug n Flock Songster

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    Hey folks!

    I am new to the world of farming and recently started up a cuy project! I am very very very excited as this project has been in the planning stage for well over a decade.

    Any other cavy keepers here? I am just starting my journey (bought my male on the 21st) so would love to chat about it and such!

    Cheers,
    Bug
     
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  2. Bug n Flock

    Bug n Flock Songster

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    Been a few months, and I have my first babies! 4 born yesterday.

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    They're cute. Real dang ole cute.

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  3. Bug n Flock

    Bug n Flock Songster

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    Oh, and because it's worth posting also, pregnant pig pics!

    This is their mother, Pocket, and she got huuge!
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    And more baby pics, cuz really: they're cute. Any girls (I can't tell them apart yet) will be kept as pets/breeders, and boys from this litter I will try to sell as pets probably. I'll use my current male for one generation beyond this, and then get an unrelated one to replace him. by then I should have a nice size herd hopefully, and not too inbred. Once I'm producing enough to make it worth the time, I'll try processing some.

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  4. Hardwarehank

    Hardwarehank In the Brooder

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    Hey there.

    Looks like you're off to a good start. I just recently obtained some breeding stock earlier this summer and am planning on having 4 harems(1 boar, 4/5 sows) going once I'm in full production. Mainly as food for my dog who eats a raw diet but I'm looking forward to having some myself.

    When did your sow start to show that she might be pregnant? I have some sows, that if they took should be ready to go towards the end of august so they're a little over halfway. Problem is one of them's a peruvian with real long hair and the other is an abby and I can't see that they've gotten any bigger.

    I currently have them in portable tractors in the backyard that get moved daily. Pictures are of the first tractor and one of the harems(2 sows, boar is hiding) IMG_20170720_185854248.jpg IMG_20170720_190009552_HDR.jpg I've got 4 tractors now and will have to take some updated pictures when I get home because I've made some improvements in their design.

    Looking forward to your progress!
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
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  5. Hardwarehank

    Hardwarehank In the Brooder

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    Pictures of the improvements. Went to Walmart and got some wash tubs and cut an entrance in the side. Before with the igloos I would have problems with them flipping them over, effectively turning them into toilets and fairly useless for extra shelter in the event of a storm. With the tubs there's no more flipping and enough room for them all to huddle together. Bought some wire baskets while there and attached them to the side to hold alfalfa/grass hay in case there's not enough grass.

    Got J feeders for all of the tractors off Amazon to hold an oat/barley/BOSS mix in. Cut out some rain flaps from scrap tarp. They flap around pretty easily in the wind so I need to get out there with some scrap 2x2 and staple it on to weigh them down. Built some wire shelves out of scrap to hold their fresh veggies off the ground. Getting much less waste from the veggies versus just piling them on the grass. Also hung water bottles from the side.

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    With the J feeders I'm only required to visit them once per day(I used to refill their bowls with the grain mix in the morning) in the evening to move them to fresh grass and give them fresh vegetables/forage and only have to remove and replace the wash tub when moving versus igloo/water bowl/feed bowl like before.

    Here's Whiskey(the tan boar) leading his two sows around. If he bred them when I think he did they should be due middle/end of August.
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    Here's Moose(He's sort of hiding under the hay basket) with his two sows who will hopefully be due end of August/mid September.
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    Here's a group of future sows growing out. Hopefully be ready to breed end of September. A slight photobomb from my dog Buford being a creeper behind the hay basket.
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    And here's the two bachelors(Fred top, Squirrel bottom) patiently waiting.
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    So far the tractors are working out well. The one change I'd think of making is adding some type of peak in the top to help shed water(maybe running an extra 2x2 board down the middle). They collected a bit too much water in the last storm and could end up being a problem down the line, will have to keep an eye on it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017
  6. Zoomie

    Zoomie Songster

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    Wow, @Hardwarehank nice set-up, that should work a treat once you figure out how to get your little roofs to shed rain. Also great pics, @Bug n Flock and yes, they are really cute.

    I'll be interested to see how this goes for you guys. I had heard about doing this, but never met anyone who was actually doing it. Best of luck in your endeavors and please keep us posted!
     
  7. Hardwarehank

    Hardwarehank In the Brooder

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    Thanks @Zoomie. So far it's been pretty easy but haven't had to deal with birthing yet or Winter.

    Somehow I missed sharing this earlier. It's a picture showing how the grass looks with daily moving. With the replenishment rate the way it currently is(hot and pretty dry July for Minnesota) I'm thinking I'll need to do a 14 day rotation. Hoping I have enough yard space for all of them but I'm not above supplementing with some hay if need be. IMG_20170728_202438016.jpg

    You can see my peach and pear saplings that I just put in this year. Will be adding plum and chestnut trees next year that will hopefully provide some shade in my backyard to help with the summer heat.

    @Bug n Flock how are the babies doing? How old was Pocket when you bred her?
     
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  8. The Moonshiner

    The Moonshiner wicked chickens lay deviled eggs Premium Member

    We have some guinea pigs.
    NO plans on eating any though.
    I'm gonna follow this thread just to see if any of you really do end up eating them. I've heard of it but never knew anyone that actually have.
     
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  9. Bug n Flock

    Bug n Flock Songster

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    Warning on your pigs: one of your boars is a roan. Whiskey. Look up roaning, as it has a lethal superform if you breed roan-roan.


    Sorry for my lack of replies here! LOVE that this thread has been attracting attention! I've been busy with suddenly taking in an underweight and lice infested rescue probable homing pigeon(she's great. And has her own thread in the pigeons section of this forum!). O.O And getting ready for a family reunion thing a few states over(leaving tomorrow morning and bringing someone special to meet my family for the first time... exciting and terrifying both!).

    The babies weaned yesterday. I'm selling the two males from this run as pets, and if they don't sell before tomorrow, they will be coming to the reunion and maybe I can sell them to someone in my family with kids. Or who wants to start a herd. Or both! I'm from a farm-y family so you never know. Our reunion is a pig roast at a farm with a pig someone in the family raised. Real fun time.

    I'm keeping the two girls, but I have them separated out now in a smaller pen within the big run they have so I don't have to fuss with introductions when I decide they're old enough to breed. Pocket was probably between 4-6 months old when I bred her. I do have a second sow who is over 2 years old with an unknown history in with my male, though. The whole "don't breed for the first litter after 9 months" thing is silly. The bones don't fuse at some magic age, the ligaments just stiffen with age as they do in all mammals. The guinea pig community is the most rabidly anti-breeding community I have ever encountered, and it blows my mind. These animals were domesticated as livestock and used as lab test subjects so much so that their name is nearly synonymous with being a test subject! Why would that be the case if they couldn't be bred? Heh, but I digress.

    Pocket started to show about 3 weeks or so before she had the pups, but I knew she was pregnant before then based on behavior changes. Pocket is typically a high energy PITA to the other pigs, running around and just generally being a pest. Then she suddenly stopped doing that, hid a lot, slept a lot and drank a ton.

    I wish I could do pigs outdoors here, but I am in the city and have to deal with neighbors. I'm in the historic district so have a grand old palace of a house, but still not much land at-all and very judge-y neighbors. Oh well, I do critters in the house. :p But I should be moving rather shortly to a large lovely property in the mountains with someone with very similar goals to myself and we are very eager to expand the pig project and put them on pasture when we do so. Why do you offer so much feed in addition to the grass?

    And because why not, here are some photos. :)

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    What a strange lookin' pig! (is a patchwork hairless rat, I am under strict orders to post one of these pics on a GP forum with the text "My pet had babies, and I think there is something wrong with one?" but I haven't yet, lol)
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  10. Bug n Flock

    Bug n Flock Songster

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    Oh, and I have eaten guinea pig before. :p I bought a pig from petco specifically to eat it when I was like 17. I was a weird kid.
     

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