Friday, July 29, 2011


Yeti is by far my most unusual guinea pig. And by far the most challenging to photograph! Especially as she is not just black. She has that tiny bit of white on her nose, and a hint of chocolate by her ear... just enough to throw off my camera!

She is packing on the weight at the moment too which is awesome to see. And I think the illusion of her size is increased due to all that fur! It just explodes in every direction with cottony-wooly-puffy goodness.

She's a bit of a loner personality-wise though. She tends to be found having a snooze on her own in one of the igloos, perhaps avoiding confrontation with the bigger girls? But she handles being caught and cuddled a lot better than some of the others (the worst at this is probably Ginger! She has a wiggle technique that makes it ridiculously hard to hold onto her!). She has an appetite to rival that of the bigger girls too. She's always right there at dinner time, right in the middle of the food. Usually sitting on something someone else wants to eat!

I was showing some of the pigs to my hubby and bubby Byron this afternoon while they had tummy time on the trampoline. He was blown away by her crazy hair too. (He doesn't see them every day like I do). Byron was only mildly interested in the little black ball of fluff. I handed the heavily pregnant Crumble to hubby to hold while I took Byron for a moment. He was amazed to feel the babies moving around in there. And not the least bit worried about it. Yet, when I was pregnant it freaked him out to feel the kicks and rolls! Go figure hey. Pregnant guinea pig = OK. Pregnant wife = freaky!

Monday, July 25, 2011

More pregnancies

The weigh in for Monday 25th July 2011:

Sprout is 455g (gained 55g) - 15wks
Sparrow is 730g (gained 35g) - 15wks
Liam is 730g (gained 60g) - 16wks
Ruby is 770g (lost 40g) - 18wks
Ginger is 835g (gained 35g) - 18wks
Kobe is 690g (gained 5g) - 21wks
Alice is 735g (gained 10g) - 23wks
Beeno is 775g (gained 50g) - 21wks
Alba is 740g (gained 5g) - 21wks
Custard is 965g (stayed same) - 4.5yrs
Subi is 1.055kg (lost 10g) - 2yrs
Bonnie is 620g (gained 45g) - 8wks
Galaxy is 790g (gained 35g) - 30wks
Sheba is 790g (gained 20g) - 26wks
Crumble is 1055g (gained 30g) - 34wks
Yeti is 340g (gained 20g) - 8wks

Total piggy weight 12.075kg (total weekly gain of 360g across 16 guinea pigs, which is just over half of last weeks gain or approx 22g per pig)

Everyone did pretty well this week. I am so relieved to watch Sprout slowly put some weight on. It seems crazy to me that he and his sister Sparrow can be so far apart in size, yet both had the exact same start in life. There was a second curly haired bub in the litter adopted by someone else. I wonder if that pig has had similar health issues, if it was linked to the curly gene, or if Sprout was just the runt?

Sheba was feeling particularly pudgy today too. I'm 90% sure she's got some bubs in there too. She's not as fat as Crumble, but definitely more fat than just blubber. So looks like she may have been knocked up before she came to live with us too! It will be nice for the mum's to have their litters together, and good for the babies to have other's to run and popcorn with. I'm very excited.

And the picture for this weeks weigh in is Ginger modelling the cozy house I bought for the pigs from the Cavy Cottage. It comes with a cushion insert, but I ended up taking it out and cutting out the bottom off after some destructive pigs decided to try nibbling the lining! It now lives in Sprout and Kobe's cage, helping to keep them extra warm at night.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Confirmed Pregnancy

I gave Crumble a little cuddle this afternoon, and her tummy give me a little kick back! We have a confirmed pregnancy! :D I'm so excited to see what her bubs look like (and if I can feel movement, I don't think these are Liam's babies, so dad is a mystery). Liam's yet to actually do his job of 'stud'. There's lots of action but no deed!

So we should have some cute little sheltie x bubs in approx 3 weeks!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Sprout is on the mend

I think Sprout might finally be feeling better. His weight has slowly been creeping back up and is now sitting at about 430g. Even Kobe put on a little bit. I let the two of them have the day on the grass in the puppy pen so they could fill their bellies to the brim.

I also think Miss Crumble might be pregnant. She gained the most out of all the pigs at the last weigh in, and her belly is definitely ballooning. I can't feel anything hard, or anything moving yet. But we'll keep an eye on her. We've only had her and Sheba 5 weeks now, so I'm curious to know whether these are Liam's bubs or some unknown pigs bubs. I'm leaning more towards the possibility that she was pregnant when we got her though. She's one of my more demanding personalities, standing here at the door way to the mansion cage, asking to be let out on the grass.

This is a little glimpse of the mess they make over a few days! I think they're all pretty keen to get outside.

As soon as the door was open, they all made a mad dash for the best grass...

Monday, July 18, 2011

A piggy weigh in on my birthday

The weigh in for Monday 18th July 2011 (my birthday!):

Sprout is 400g (lost 110g) - 14wks
Sparrow is 695g (gained 65g) - 14wks
Liam is 670g (gained 3g) - 15wks
Ruby is 810g (gained 55g) - 17wks
Ginger is 800g (gained 50g) - 17wks
Kobe is 685g (lost 25g) - 20wks
Alice is 725g (gained 75g) - 22wks
Beeno is 725g (gained 50g) - 20wks
Alba is 735g (gained 70g) - 20wks
Custard is 965g (gained 40g) - 4.5yrs
Subi is 1.065kg (gained 35g) - 2yrs
Bonnie is 575g (gained 80g) - 7wks
Galaxy is 755g (gained 35g) - 29wks
Sheba is 770g (gained 105g) - 25wks
Crumble is 1020g (gained 80g) - 33wks
Yeti is 320g (gained 65g) - 7wks

Total piggy weight 11.715kg (total weekly gain of 690g across 16 guinea pigs)

So, as you can probably see, poor little Sprout has dropped further to a low of 400g. He's been sitting at this weight for a few days now without dropping any further so I'm hoping to see an increase soon. He is eating spontaneously, though not as much as usual. And he doesn't seem as listless. He has a decent set of lungs on him too, and scream/squeals when I take Kobe out to weigh her as well. These two are quite bonded I think. I'm a little worried at her second weight loss this week though. That's 30g lost over the last fortnight (which doesn't seem like much in comparison to Sprout's loss of 150g, but is still a bit concerning). She seems physically fine, so I'm hoping it's just a stress thing because her buddy isn't well and that she'll pick up when he does.

The rest of the pigs seem really good. They all spent the day on the grass again today, enjoying the winter sunshine. The babies (Yeti and Bonnie) gorge themselves on the grass! Come the afternoon when it's time to put everyone back in the mansion, their little bellies feel like they are bursting at the seams! Yeti's fur is getting longer and crazier. I have honestly never seen anything like her before. Liam's fur (my pedigree Texel) grows in long, soft ringlets/spiral curls. Yeti's fur is like black wool, growing in clumps/clusters. It's quite funky.

(I had to pop this photo in here too... I love it when the pigs all squish up. And yet again, Galaxy manages to get in the shot!)

I've been keeping an eye on Custard too. Her hair got quite sparse last week, but is growing back now. With her colouring, the new hairs start out a darker shade of cream, then get lighter as the hair gets longer/older. So the new patches of hair are quite visible. I've done a bit of reading about it, and I think she probably has an ovarian cyst. That would explain the hair loss, her continually doing the 'horny dance' to the other girls, and her pudgy belly. At this stage she seems comfortable and happy though, and the others tolerate her eccentricities, so I don't think it is worth stressing out an old girl like her to get it removed. We'll just keep an eye on her too.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

An update on Sprout

If I'm completely honest with you, I expected to find Sprout dead this morning. He did not look good last night at all. His weight had dropped to 460g (a further 40g in two days on top of his 60g loss the previous week), and he was just still and introverted.

This morning he looked much the same at first. I left him be for a little while, then I decided he was due for his antibiotics. So I got him out and weighed him. He had actually gained 15g. And his lumps have disappeared. He even walked around the scales, fought me a little harder than usual when I tried to get him to eat the antibiotic paste, then squeaked like crazy when he heard the bag for the salad greens rustle. Then he had a bit of a go at eating some food.

I checked on him just before, and his tiny hard mouse-like poo has been replaced by large, dark mushy poo, so I don't know it that's a good thing or a bad thing. Or even 'a thing' at all (or something you really wanted to read! :P). And I'm trying not to get too excited. Guinea pigs are notorious for looking like they're getting better, then taking a turn for the worse! So just in case, I took a few extra photos today... not much consolation, but better than not having any at all.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


What a huge day! I am exhausted. Monday's are clean out day, and with the relatively new addition of the fleece bedding for the mansion pigs, this becomes a huge task. Today was extra busy as Sprout needed a visit to the vet (he's not eating and has a number of cyst-like lumps under his neck), and Chelsea wasn't very well either!

Monday 11/7/2011

(2am feed for Byron)
Wake at 5:45am - feed byron, dress byron, shower, make breakfast
7:00am - Byron back to bed, put a load of washing on, check emails
7:45 - Byron and chelsea awake. Chelsea has nasty cough. Make bottle and breakfast for chelsea. Ring vet for appt for Sprout. Take out washing, put on another load. Google cough syrup for 2 year olds.
8:45 - Byron getting grumpy, attempt to put him back to bed.
9:15 - Byron still crying. get him out of bed. put him, chels and sprout in car. Drive to shops.
9:20 - Pop into pet store. enquire about 20kg bad of guinea pig mix. Still not in despite telling me it would be in last week.
9:30 - Buy cough syrup at chemist
9:40 - Buy lunch/dinner provisions at coles.
9:45 - Bundle kids back in car, drive to vet
9:50 - Bundle kids out of car and into pram, balance sprout in box and push everyone up the ramp to the vet
9:55 - Sprout is examined by vet. definatly emaciated. Lumps on neck are apparently enlarged glands. Might have infection in this throat. Given antibiotics and energy paste.
10:15 - Bundle everyone back to car after paying $70 for third vet visit in a month.
10:25 - Back home. Quickly feed an exhausted byron. Put him to bed. Give sprout some energy paste.
10:45 - Take two washed loads of clothes to clothesline. Re-position grass run for girl pigs. Weigh 11 girls and put them in grass run. Start cleaning cage (remove dirty fleece, pull up soggy towels and bin used newspaper. clean out hidey houses/ cuddle sacks). Hose down dirty towels and fleece. Soak dirty cuddle sacks. All the while managing chelsea as she follows me around winging.

12:00pm - Go inside for lunch. Give Chelsea some cough medicine.
12:30- put Chelsea down for a sleep, Byron wakes. feed Byron - milk and solids. Put on another load of washing. Play with Byron. Change two of his pooey nappies.

1:30 - Put out load of washing. Start putting new fleece back in cage. Chelsea wakes. Play on the trampolene with both kids for 5mins, until chelsea's bouncing gets too rough. Relocate Byron to his chair. Continue setting the mansion back up. Sort through more hay to remove prickles. Head around side of house. Clean out Liam's House and Sprouts House. Weigh Liam, Crumble and Sheba. Fill side hutches with sorted hay and veg. Pacify Chelsea as she follows me around with a bottle of poster paint and a paint brush. Put Liam and girls back. Feed Sprout some more energy syrup and antibiotics. Put him and Kobe back. Put side gate back on its hinge after chelsea slammed it a bit hard. Lock side gate.

3:00 - Put Byron to bed. Change chelsea's pooey nappy. Put on her painting smock. Set her up with paints and paper. Put girls back while she paints. Take some photos of newly cleaned cage to have something to show for the day's efforts. Take dry clothes off the line. Put forth load washing on.

4:00- Byron awake. Put out last load of washing. Close up girls for the night. Feed the dog. Pack up painting stuff. Take photo of art work for future reference. Give chelsea a snack. Sit down to reflect on the craziness of the day. Decide to document it in this blog post.

4:30 - Mark comes home. Mediate fighting between Chelsea and Byron as they both try to sit in my lap at once.
4:45 - Byron back to bed. Mark heads back out to buy some juice and a chap stick for my extremely dry lips. I start cooking dinner. Chelsea does her best to make cooking dinner impossible.
5:15 - Cut thumb while making dinner. Mark gets home again. Put band-aid on bleeding thumb.
5:20 - Eat dinner. Feed Chelsea. Try to minimise amount of Chelsea's dinner that ends up on the floor.
5:30 - Shower Chelsea. Dress Chelsea in her PJs, try not to bleed all over her clean clothes.
5:45 - Byron wakes. Feed Byron - milk and solids. Change another pooey nappy. Shower him. Dress him in his PJs (again avoiding the blood!). Put away washed clothes. Mark makes Chelsea a bottle.
6:30 - Make Byron a bottle. Put Chelsea to bed. Feed Byron his bottle.
7:00 - Put Byron to bed. Eat LOTS of chocolate! Inspect hands that are so dry and cracked they feel like sandpaper. Thumb has finally stopped bleeding. Decide not to do washing up as thumb will definitely start gushing again. Upload today's photos to computer. Finish blog post. Breathe.

And lastly, the rather unimpressive weigh in:

Sprout is 510g (lost 60g) - 13wks
Sparrow is 630g (lost 5g) - 13wks
Liam is 640g (gained 35g) - 14wks
Ruby is 755g (gained 25g) - 16wks
Ginger is 750g (gained 10g) - 16wks
Kobe is 710g (lost 5g) - 19wks
Alice is 650g (lost 30g) - 21wks
Beeno is 685g (stayed same) - 19wks
Alba is 665g (lost 55g) - 19wks
Custard is 925g (lost 60g) - 4.5yrs
Subi is 1.030kg (gained 15g) - 2yrs
Bonnie is 495g (stayed same) - 6wks
Galaxy is 720g (lost 5g) - 28wks
Sheba is 665g (gained 30g) - 24wks
Crumble is 940g (gained 30g) - 32wks
Yeti is 255g (gained 30g) - 6wks

Total piggy weight 11.025kg (total weekly gain of 5g across all 16 guinea pigs!)

Well, we had a crappy week this week! I wonder what went wrong. I've felt everyone else's necks for lumps like Sprout, but he's the only one with them. He's also the only one that has the emaciated feel and the generally unwell look. Hopefully this isn't something contagious that is just starting to hit them all... I'll keep you all updated as the week progresses. Finger's crossed it was just a one-off bad week.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Plush piggies

I've been busy sewing lately! Meet my latest plush pigs! This is Mishka the tri-colour sheltie posed next to Alice. She's available from my etsy store, and $10 from her adoption fee goes directly to The Cavy Cottage guinea pig shelter (where GaGa and Yeti came from).

Here we have 'Stardust II' the silver agouti smoothcoat next to my Sparrow, also a silver agouti smooth coat. Sparrow was a little reluctant to be a model, but we got there in the end! (She kept head butting Stardust and trying to hide under him!).

And lastly, a funky pink texel plush guinea pig named 'Candy' next to little Yeti. Again, Yeti wasn't real keen on posing. She has really made herself at home in the big cage and was super keen to get back there, so I didn't hold her up any longer.

We just did some posing with the plushies instead. So much more cooperative!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Fat Fat piggies

Here's the weigh in for Monday the 4/7/2011:

Sprout is 570g (gained 15g) - 12wks
Sparrow is 635g (gained 85g) - 12wks
Liam is 605g (gained 20g) - 13wks
Ruby is 730g (gained 30g) - 15wks
Ginger is 740g (gained 10g) - 15wks
Kobe is 715g (gained 10g) - 18wks
Alice is 680g (gained 55g) - 20wks
Beeno is 685g (gained 60g) - 18wks
Alba is 670g (gained 25g) - 18wks
Custard is 985g (gained 50g) - 4.5yrs
Subi is 1.015kg (gained 15g) - 2yrs
Bonnie is 495g (gained 100g) - 5wks
Galaxy is 725g (gained 75g) - 27wks
Sheba is 635g (gained 50g) - 23wks
Crumble is 910g (gained 65g) - 31wks
Yeti is 225g (gained 15g since wed) - 5wks

Total piggy weight 11.020kg (total gain 890g across 16pigs, with one newby addition!).

Wow, the pigs gained a fair bit of weight this week! Thats quite amazing. A special mention needs to go out to Bonnie who went from 395g to 495g in one week! That girl is going to be a big mumma when she's fully grown.

Ruby is looking heaps better too. Her eye is basically back to normal, and it was good to see her gain a little this week after nearly staying the same last weigh in.

Sprout is looking so much better too. All of his hair has grown back, and the scabby skin stuff (assumed fungal infection) has almost disappeared after his last bath in malaseb shampoo. I decided to give him another bath today, just for good measure, and because the weather was quite warm. He's currently rugged up in his bright green towel on my lap at the moment. He's stopped shivering now, and is just sitting there looking up at me with his big ruby-black eyes. There's something special about this boy... not sure quite what yet. But there's a bit more behind those eyes than the usual guinea pig...