Archive for March, 2008

Solo Arrival…

Sunday March 9th saw the arrival of Solo, a solid black boar. He was born to Miss Panache with either Artful or Mr Personality as the father.His weight was very good at 132g and at the time of writing he enjoys eating Cavy Cuisine, a variety of hays, though I think Orchard Grass and Dust Free Hay (Meadow) are favourite, he does pick at veggies and loves his his Easigrow Grass- Easi come Easi go!

Solo is never far from his Mum (who is being an excellent mother), but doesn’t object to being held for a short time.

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Teengae Parents

Sweet Harmony, Artful, Mr Personality and Miss Panache were surrendered to the RSPCA after they were found running free in a garden. Prior to being handed over they were kept together in a bath.

When they arrived the first thing I did was check their gender, fingers crossed they were all same sex… Nope, two boars and two sows who had spent at least the last 24 hours together, and probably most of their lives (if not all!) with each other! Hopefully the sows (who were very small, one of them in particular) were too young to be ‘caught’ first time around. The boars were young too, so maybe, just maybe…

For the first couple of wheeks tummies were trim and I really thought they’d escaped getting pregnant, but over one wheekend things changed. On Saturday Sweet Harmony was looking decidedly more rounded, in an odd sort of way for a juvenile. Instinct was to feel her tummy (which I am not good at), but I couldn’t feel anything. Monday came and went, but the bulge didn’t go, and on Tuesday I felt my first movement! Someone in there was practising for the Olympigs for sure! The next Olga Korbut, maybe? Certainly a little gymnast. Sweet’s bulge grew almost daily and the little kicks became tumbles and twirls ) Sweet was having a very ‘unsymmetrical’ pregnancy, with a bulge to the left where most of the movement was felt.

It was another 10 days before Big Bertha (AKA Miss Chatterbox) decided to grace us all with her presence. A big, beautiful, black sow. Sweet was not going to bond immediately though and started to trough her way through whatever food was available, her hunger was unreal! When she’d had her fill she settled in a corner with Bertha and fed her, Bertha had resigned herself to eating Just Grass but soon went over and suckled from Mum.

From then on Sweet has been an excellent Mum, yet taking care of herself too. Sweet, Bertha and Artful live in a trio now that Artful has been castrated. Artful plays the doting, worried father. When I take Bertha out for a cuddle Sweet carries on as normal while Artful’s little nose goes in the air waiting for her safe return. Bertha follows Artful around and has been seen jumping on him! Not something Sweet would let her do! She has no reservations about kicking out at her daughter.

Hopefully they will find a nice indoor home together, Artful and Sweet are snuggle pigs and at the moment Bertha fits in nicely )

Miss Panache is with Wrigglers too, she is more rounded than Sweet so I suspect there is more than one in there. There is only slight movement so probably another two wheeks or so to get.

Mr Personality has been castrated and is living with Miss Daydream. Him and Artful were separated when fighting broke out and they were castrated so they could live with a wife.

All these guineas are estimated to be less than four months; Sweet Harmony is probably only 17 wheeks, she certainly has lots of growing to do yet! Whilst young sows can cope, and do cope, with pregnancy and birth this young it is not desirable simply because they haven’t finished growing themselves. What’s more Sweet and Artful are Roan coloured guineas, I will never know if they are genetically Roan because I don’t know their parentage- breeding Roan to Roan can result in a percentage of ‘lethals’ born in a litter. These guineas might be described as severely disabled. Leave breeding to those who know what they are doing, even the best breeders have found a rogue Roan amongst their stock and had a lethal born. If this can happen to someone who has their guineas family tree going back generations then it could happen to anyone- all the more reason for encouraging knowledgeable breeders to breed quality guinea pigs. I would rather have a shed full of rehomable guineas than severely disabled ones that no one wanted- what a good reason for someone to go to a pet shop…

Bertha

Bertha at just a few days old, and with Sweet Harmony.