Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Subi had her baby!!!

Last night was only the second night I'd brought Subi inside to keep her warmer if she gave birth. And give birth she did!

When I checked on her this morning there was a little bundle of fluff nestled up next to her in a different colour. One massive wiggly haired bundle of baby goodness! The bub has her mum's hair - really thick and course and wavy. (I'm assuming this is what rex babies look like because it was hard to find a picture online for comparison.) She is an agouti as well, but by the looks of things, she's a rare cream/cinnamon agouti. Very very pretty colouring. And, being a girl - she's staying right here with us! No re-homing for this little princess!

She weighed in at a massive 150g as well! (average weight - according to Google - is 85-95g!). Sprout and Sparrow weighed 105 and 110g respectively when I adopted them at Easter. And they were supposed to be 4 weeks old. (Realisticly, I think they were probably barely a week old, but that just goes to show how huge this little lady is!). Subi weighs in at 1.075g now. She was 1.235kg on monday, so is only 160g lighter now. Which is basically ALL BABY!

Mother and Baby seem to be doing really well. I was a bit worried about Subi, having to push a monster bub like that out - but she looks really well. The photos aren't the best, but its way too cold here still to go outside for clearer ones. But I hope to take some more later on in the day. And hopefully have a name for bub sometime today too. Suggestions are more than welcome!

Weight overview for the last 5 weeks

We've had the full 11 guinea pigs for 5 weeks now. 10 weeks since we got Custard back from our friend's place and adopted Alice to keep her company. We've come a long way from two girls in a little cage to the whole gang in the mansion and surrounding hutches!

I was curious to see what the overall weight gain has been like over the last 5 weeks because there was a week there where a few girls lost weight. I tallied it all up last night and between them, the 11 guinea pigs have gained 1.85kg in 5 weeks! That's not a bad effort really. Most of the younger ones have gained about 200g in those 5 weeks. Ruby has been our little porker and has gained 245 in that time. I'm keeping an eye on her as her belly is getting a little larger than you would expect. So I'm wondering if she was impregnated just before she left her last owner as well!? Hopefully it turns out that she's just living up to the 'pig' aspect of her name.

Subi, who actually is pregnant, gained 130g over the last 5 weeks. If she delivers in the next few days that will mean she was about 4-5weeks pregnant when we got her. I am curious to see how much her bubs weigh when they are born too. From what I've read most newborn guinea pigs are about 80-100g. I'm also interested to see how much she weighs when not pregnant too! And here we were contemplating naming her 'fatso'!

Monday, May 30, 2011

a new Video

Just a quick video I took during the week of the girls checking out the cuddle sack for the first time. I love how curious guinea pigs can be. They get very nosy when something new is placed in their space!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Another weigh in and an update on Sprout

(Little Ginger all tucked up in her cuddle sack!)

Today's Weigh in:

Sprout is 370g (gained 55g) - 7wks
Sparrow is 420g (gained 65g) - 7wks
Liam is 460g (gained 65g) - 8wks
Ruby is 585g (gained 65g) - 10wks
Ginger is 590g (gained 60g) - 10wks
Kobe is 600g (gained 70g) - 13wks
Alice is 525g (gained 40g) - 15wks
Beeno is 515g (gained 50g) - 13wks
Alba is 565g (gained 45g) - 13wks
Custard is 905g (gained 10g) - 4yrs
and Subi is 1.235g (gained 50g) - 1-2yrs (Pregnant)

Total piggy weight 6.770kg (total gained 575g!!)

Another pretty good week for my piggy pals. It seems that putting on 60-70g in a week has become pretty standard now! I can feel the weight when I pick them up now too. I plan to do an overview on the weight gain since we adopted them all. But that will be in a future post.

Subi is getting fatter and fatter as you can see by her weigh in result for today. Still, she only gained 50g, yet some of the younger girls gained more than that and they're not growing babies! :P Subi's estimated delivery date has been brought forward as well. Her pelvic bone started opening during the week and is at full width today. I'll bring her inside tonight as she could deliver any time from now. Very exciting stuff!

And my Quarantine Pigs are doing better. I'm still slathering Beeno's ear in anti-fungal cream. I stopped for a few days and it started to come back. So I might just keep it up for another week to make sure. Sprout's hair is growing back, but he's still got crusty spots. So I gave him a fourth mite treatment today. That boys has cost me a fortune in treatments! It's a good thing he's so damn cute!

You can see in these photos his original hair when we first got him:

Then how his hair started to get scruffy and patchy and fall out with the mites about a month ago:

Then this is him today. It's still an uneven coat, but it's thickening up again:

You can see where the hair has grown back in one of the crusty bald spots too:

It's a bit of a shame though. He started out with such gorgeous thick curls. And now it's kind of just a fuzzy mess!!!

Growing Grass

I decided to try growing some grass for the pigs. Especially Sprout and Beeno who are in quarantine at the moment, each kicking a case of mites and ear fungus respectively. This is just a container lined with paper towel, sprinkled with grass seeds and dampened with water. Not so much that they'll go mouldy, but enough to get them to germinate.

I left them outside on the patio table for two weeks, watering them a little each day - and this is what the result was! Lush, tasty grass shoots.

Getting the grass out was super easy. I just lifted out the paper towel which was held together in one chunk by the grass roots, and placed it in the cage with the pigs.

As you can see, Beeno took an immediate interest! There's probably nothing yummier to a guinea pig than freshly sprouted grass!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The new old cage

We were lucky enough to be given a new old cage on the weekend by some friends of ours. It is huge compared to the old Love Shack! Liam, Alba and Alice moved in that afternoon and have been getting up and down the ramp with ease (Alba was the only one to have a little fall, but she's figured out where the edge is now!).

So the old Love Shack has become the Quarantine Quarters until further notice, while Beeno and Sprout get better. I took out a Cuddle Sack for Beeno and Sprout this afternoon so they could have it for the evening. Beeno loved it! Sprout is still deciding I think. I'll know if they've used it in the morning because it will be full of little piggy poos!

I took another Cuddle sack out to the Love Shack Trio as well. These guys were a little nervous of it, so I let them have some time in the pen with it to get used to it's smell/presence. When I cam back later Alba was nestled up snug inside, so I think it has been accepted!

Monday, May 23, 2011

My Cuddle Sacks Arrived!

Look what arrived today!!! My bulk order of piggy cuddle sacks!

They are so cute, and so well made! And, biggest bonus of all - the guinea pigs love them! I've never seen these three sit so still and calmly ever!

I put one out in the cage today to see how it would hold up. Custard claimed it as hers and spent ages in there, guarding it from the very curious sniffs and nibbles of the other ladies.

If you're interested in buying one of these for your piggy pal, check out the shop: The Creative Cavy.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Some special news

Today's Weigh in:

Sprout is 315g (gained 35g) - 6wks
Sparrow is 355g (gained 50g) - 6wks
Liam is 395g (gained 65g) - 7wks
Ruby is 520g (gained 50g) - 9wks
Ginger is 530g (gained 60g) - 9wks
Kobe is 530g (gained 50g) - 12wks
Alice is 485g (gained 20g) - 14wks
Beeno is 465g (gained 30g) - 12wks
Alba is 520g (gained 40g) - 12wks
Custard is 895g (gained 5g) - 4yrs
and Subi is 1185g (gained 50g) - 1-2yrs

Total piggy weight 6.195kg! (total gained 460g!!)

Everyone is doing really well at the moment. Beeno and her crusty ear are looking great, Sprout still has a bit of hair loss, but is better than he was, everyone is gaining weight and having fun!

When I picked up Subi today though, I thought she felt considerably fatter than last week. Almost pregnant feeling. But I dismissed that thought because I'd had her for at least a month now in an all girl cage... then I felt her belly move!

She's definitely pregnant! And probably about 6-7 weeks along too. My guess for a due date is somewhere in mid June. I'm so excited to have babies coming so soon! But at the same time I'm a little annoyed at the breeder I got her from. She stood there lecturing me not to get her pregnant for at least 5months so she could have a break as her last litter was only the month before I adopted her... Who knows what the father looked like as well! This will be a little surprise package litter!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Piggy Castle

With it getting colder and colder at night here now, I decided to buy the pigs another house/igloo thing to hide in. I found this massive 'small animal castle' at our local pet store. I figured at least 3 or 4 of them could snuggle up in here together.

Alice had other ideas.

She moved in. Claimed it as her space. Had a bit of a lye down and wouldn't let anyone else in! This girl will be challenging Subi for top spot before we know it!

I thought this was a cute photo too. I've been so worried about Oliver (our Beagalier) getting to the guinea pigs that I've been tying him up when I have them on the grass. The last few days I've had the time to watch him though, so I let him be free. He knows not to pounce and run at them. So he's taken to lying down next to the pen and sticking his tongue through the bars. (I have no doubts that he's trying to taste them!). What I find bizzare though, is that the guinea pigs really don't seem worried by him at all. Alba even came right up to him and had a good old sniff before scampering away.

Meanwhile, if I was to even walk near the pen they all scatter in different directions!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


I had a bit of time in the middle of the day today when both of the kids were asleep at the same time. So instead of frantically doing some bear making, I decided to sit out with the guinea pigs and take some photos.

How cute are these little noses. They belong to Liam, Alice and Alba who are currently cage-buddies. I got to see a little bit of their personalities too. Alice, who looks like butter wouldn't melt in her mouth (if guinea pigs ate butter) is really mean! It started raining so she sat in the doorway to the shelter and nipped anyone who tried to get in!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The pigs made pigs of themselves!

Today's Weigh in:

Sprout is 280g (gained 40g) - 5wks
Sparrow is 305g (gained 70g) - 5wks
Liam is 330g (gained 30g) - 6wks
Ruby is 470g (gained 95g) - 8wks
Ginger is 470g (gained 80g) - 8wks
Kobe is 480g (gained 75g) - 11wks
Alice is 465g (gained 65g) - 13wks
Beeno is 435g (gained 35g) - 11wks
Alba is 480g (gained 35g) - 11wks
Custard is 890g (gained 25g) - 4yrs
and Subi is 1130g (gained 60g) - 1-2yrs

Total piggy weight 5.735 kg! (total gained 610g!!)

We had a good week this week. Everyone gained. And most of the gains were huge!!! Little Ruby packed on a massive 95g! That's a 25% body mass weight gain. Or in human terms, like an average 60kg woman gaining 15kg in one week! (Granted - some of that may have been a full bladder/full tummy). Still - one pretty good weight gain, and over half a kg of extra piggy mass this week. It feels good to know all those fruit and veg and hay and grass are going to good use :).

Beenie and the ear fungus!

What a delightful title that one is!

I'm happy to report that Miss Beenie and her crusty ear are doing much better. After the ear didn't respond to the mite treatment last monday, I did a bit more research and decided that it looked most like a fungal infection. I had a bit of anti fungal cream left over in our medicine cabinet, and have been smearing her ear with it every day since wednesday. This is what it looks like now! AMAZING!

I should have taken a before photo. That would have been even better. If you can imagine that pink area covered in a white, dandruffy crust - then you'll understand how much healthier she's looking. It's funny though, because the infection and treatment seem to have taken the black pigment out of her ear skin.

You can kind of see her other ear in this shot. I wonder if it will go black again in time!?

Friday, May 13, 2011

A bigger run for the girls

After the last cramped attempt at having the girls on the grass in the little run, I decided to buy them a more spacious one. This is actually a puppy pen, but works really well for the pigs!

I sat with them for a while and managed to catch some lovely shots of Kobe and Ruby together. They're really similar in colouring, only Kobe has the gorgeous straight, shiny fur, while Ruby's is matt and curly. Ruby is supposedly a texel, but at this stage she is looking more like a soft coated rex. (which, from all the reading I've done, is what the US breed 'Teddy' is supposedly like).

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Poor Sprout

I've made the decision to pop Sprout into quarantine on his own for a while to see if I can get on top of his hair loss. It is definitely mites. I've seen this so many times. I'm thinking that last week's revolution dosage must have been too minimal. I've doubled it today, to see if that will kick them (mind you, that's still only 0.5cc!)

But I supposed it's not all bad. He gets a nice big bath tub lined with fresh newspaper, hay, Lucerne chaff, oxbow pellets, parsley, fresh picked grass and fresh veg all to himself!(and he gets to stay inside at night! It would be way too cold out there for him on his own!). Oh, and his very own 'Jatz crackers box to hide in!

So fingers crossed that this time next week I'll be able to tell you that the mites are clearing up.

I'm also hoping to get the pigs some of these awesome piggy snuggle sacks. Just waiting to see if I can get a bulk order with some pink ones for the girls, and a more masculine one for poor old Sprout! Click here to check out the MadeIt store where I found these.

Trying to enjoy the grass...

I let the girls have some time in the lawn cage yesterday. I'm letting the run around their mansion regrow a bit. (It is amazing how quickly 9 hungry guinea pigs can get through such a large patch of grass!).

The lawn cage was a little squishy though, and combined with my toddler Chelsea hanging around and making unpleasant high-pitched noises, the girls were a little antsy!

I also have an update on Sprout and his bad hair. After checking them last night, it looks like the treatment last week hasn't made much of a difference after all. (I actually found two big scabby spots on his rump). Amazingly Liam is still fine. But I don't know how long for... More revolution treatments today! :P

Monday, May 9, 2011

Monday weigh in

This is today's run down, with the weigh gained since last week in (brackets):

Sprout is 240g (gained 50g) - 4wks
Sparrow is 235g (gained 25g) - 4wks
Liam is 300g (gained 50g) - 5wks
Ruby is 375g (gained 35g) - 7wks
Ginger is 390g (gained 35g) - 7wks
Kobe is 405g (gained 25g) - 10wks
Alice is 400g (gained 25g) - 12wks
Beeno is 400g (lost 10g) - 10wks
Alba is 445g (gained 30g) - 10wks
Custard is 865g (lost 45g) - 4yrs
and Subi is 1070g (lost 35g) - 1-2yrs

Total piggy weight 5.125 kg! (total gained 205g!!)

Our porkers for the week are Sprout and Liam! Obviously things have been pretty good out in the bachelor pad this week! And it looks like Sprout is feeling a lot better after his mite treatment on Wednesday too!

I am a little concerned at the weight loss from Beeno, Custard and Subi though. Especially Custard. She's a lot older than everyone else and can't afford to loose any weight. The fact that Subi was less too though makes me think that maybe it was just a time-of-day thing. Last week I weighed them at the end of a day of gorging on veg! Today it was just before lunch time.

Beeno is young though, and should be growing steadily each week. I did notice that her ear is a bit crusty, and am wondering if she has a fungal infection. I'm going to pick up some anti fungal cream tomorrow, and see if that helps things.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Lunkarya Guinea Pigs

Have you ever heard of a Lunkarya Guinea Pig before? No? Neither had I until this weekend.

I was strolling down the archives of the internet a few nights ago when I stumbled across this incredible looking creature.

This is a Lunkarya Guinea Pig. They are a really new variety, developed in Europe around 1986, so not available here in Australia. They are kind of like Peruvian's with rough hair, from what I can gather. The babies are born looking a lot like texels/alpacas, but end up growing long, ringlet fur that sticks up in all directions due to the roughness of the fur. The rougher the better in this breed apparently!

I'd love to get one!!! This website has been fantastic for information about these guys, and heaps of photos too.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Sprout's bad hair

Poor little Sprout...

I think he might have mites. I did notice a tiny patch of missing hair above his eye when I purchased him two weeks ago, but didn't think too much of it, especially as the hair grew back within days.

But the evidence is unmistakable now. This is his coat the day after he came to live with us:

This is his coat now:

He's a raggy looking little critter now! And the surprising this is that Liam, who shares a cage with him, is perfect! Beautiful, thick, wavy coat. I think it says a lot about the quality of the start to life Liam had versus Sprout. Sprout was sold WAY too early, so missed out on the immunity boost he would have gotten from suckling. It also explains why he didn't gain as much weight as his sister Sparrow in the last weigh in. (she's fine by the way, which is a little odd!).

So all of the pigs got dosed up with the appropriate amounts of revolution for kittens/puppies medication. Guinea Lynx has an awesome website with information on the treatment of mites in guinea pigs. I was able to use their calculations to get my drug doses right. Technically Sprout and Sparrow are a little too small to be dosed, but it needs to be done before the poor little guy gets any worse!

So fingers crossed he'll be feeling a lot better soon.