Wednesday, November 30, 2011


In the midst of all of yesterday's drama, I didn't get a chance to introduce you to another new arrival.

Her name was already Pollyanna - and I loved it - so that is what she will remain as! She's approx 4 weeks old and was born to a merino x rex mum and a texel dad (or it might be the other way around!). Nevertheless, she has the approximate 3/4 long curly genes to the 1/4 short curly genes - the same mix as Ruby and Liam's babies. It doesn't seem like she'll get particularly long curls, but only time will tell.

I just love the cream/white combination too. Nothing prettier than soft pastel colours, crimped hair and a sweet little face!

Ginger's Bitter-sweet Birth

I was holding Ginger at about 11am this morning. She was huge, but her pelvic bone wasn't anywhere near full dilation yet. So I left her hanging out with Ripley, and took the kids out to the shops for an hour.

When we got home I just happened to glance over and see something brown and fluffy lying down next to Ginger. At first I thought it was Ripley - then it occurred to me that it must be babies. Babies that weren't moving.

I left all the shopping on the floor and quickly checked what had happened. It looked like the scene of a massacre: dead guinea pigs and blood and placentas everywhere. And a very bewildered looking Ginger sitting in the middle of it all. I quickly checked some of the still babies - they had the sacks over their faces and back, broken away around their tummy/paws, probably from struggling for air.

Two babies were moving. One was still partially in her sack, but her face was clear - probably a stroke of luck that saved her life. The other was already sitting up, and mostly clean. And was probably the first born. Two of the three dead babies were still warm. I had JUST missed it.

*** If you'd rather not see dead guinea pig babies, it's probably best to stop scrolling now ***

These three were perfect. The first was a little boy, looked like he was a gold and gold agouti Abyssinian (85g). The middle one was a little girl, ginger and white smooth coat (70g). And the third one was a big tri-colour girl (100g). All really good sized babies, and a beautiful mix of colours too.

There really is nothing more devastating than watching a mumma pig's tummy grow, and feeling the babies alive and well, kicking away over the long 9-10 weeks of a guinea pig gestation. Then loosing perfectly healthy babies simply due to bad timing!

If nothing else, this litter has just reiterated that even though I've been doing this for a LONG time, it doesn't mean I can prevent unnecessary deaths - even when they are preventable!

The two surviving girls have been named Gypsy and Grace. They're still not out of the woods yet, and Grace in particular is still looking quite fragile.


This is little Grace, she's a white Abyssinian coat with cream/cream agouti eye patches. She weighed in at 90g. She was also the only baby cleaned properly, so I think she was firstborn.


This is Gypsy. She's a mix of ginger, golden agouti and white. She has a stunning Abyssinian coat as well. She weighed in at 100g. All babies were really good sizes, and were almost half a kg in total.

And when I was taking photos of the girls this afternoon, I noticed that they both have a little patch of colour on the backsides as well! Too cute!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mite treatment progress

These are the photos of little Tabitha taken on the morning she arrived at the caviary with a decent case of mites. That was two weeks ago.

This is Tabitha today:

Her hair is visibly thicker, you can see where it has grown back in around her eyes, and all scaling/scabbing/irritation on the skin has cleared. We just have to wait for the rest of her coat to grow back in as well now.

And this was Xeraphina the day after she arrived. She was so tender and sore, and constantly chewing at her own skin due to the itchiness of the mites.

Xeraphina at the moment:

Xeraphina has taken a little more work to fix up, but is also coming right. Her coat has visibly thickened, and all the scabbing/scaling has cleared up as well. She still has a bit of a way to go, but I think we're on the home stretch!

Her little personality has started to shine through as well. Both she and Tabitha are LOUD piggies, but Xeraphina actually 'asks' to be picked up. Hard to explain, but if you've had a piggy like this you'll know what I mean. It's like she's calling for me, then when I pick her up she calms down, and just snuggles in (usually because I then find her a treat as well! lol, So I'm probably inadvertently teaching her to be loud, either that or she's teaching me to give her treats!).

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Weigh in with 45 piggies!

[Our very adoptable 'Sadie', now 4 weeks old. Check the Available Page for all current adoptable pigs]

The weigh in for Saturday the 26th November 2011:

*** Liam's Love Shack ***
Liam is 955g (gain 5g) - 33wks (7.5m)
Crumble is 1055g (loss 45g) - 1 year old (Happy Birthday Crumble!)
Elodie is 725g (same) - 17wks (4m)

*** Romeo's Roost ***
Romeo is 425g (gain 50g) - 8wks (1.5m)
Lavender Mist is 650g (loss 30g) - 15wks (3.5m)

*** Malakai's Quarters ***
Malakai is 745g (gain 25g) - 17wks (4m)
Millicent is 680g (gain 30g) - 17wks (4m)
Molly is 610g (gain 20g) - 15wks (3.5m)
Sparrow is 980g (loss 20g) - 34wks (8m)

*** Violet's Arrangement ***
Violet is 640g (gained 10g) - 19wks (4.5m)
Pooh Bear is 1035g (gained 5g) - on loan

*** Girl's Mansion ***
Alba is 920g (loss 10g) - 39wks (8.5m)
Alice is 870g (loss 5g) - 42wks (10m)
Chloe is 390g (gain 50g) - 8wks (1.5m)
Custard is 960g (loss 50g) - 4.5yrs
Demi is 480g (gained 60g) - 9wks (2m)
Galaxy was 965g (loss 15g)- 46wks (10.5m)
Ginger is 1445g (gained 70g) - 36wks (8.5m) - (Heavily pregnant, due approx 2/12)
Ivy is 500g (gained 35g) - 9wks (2m)
Jasmine is 425g (gain 50g) - 10wks (2m)
Leilani is 950g (gained 60g) - 23wks (5.5m) - (Pregnant, Due approx 30/12)
Lotus is 500g (gained 40g) - 9wks (2m)
Peppa is 1095g (gained 75g) - 1yr
Ruby is 980g (gained 5g) - 36wks (8.5m)
Sheba is 1035g (gain 5g) - 44wks (10.5m)
Subi is 1160g (loss 20g) - 2.5yrs
Tigerlily is 460g (loss 10g) - 9wks (2m)
Twizzle is 510g (gain 20g) - 9wks (2m)
Yeti is 860g (loss 20g) - 25wks (5.5m)
Zinnia is 490g (gain 20g) - 9wks (2m)

***Re-homing/Foster Pigs***
Rafia is 740g (gained 20g) - 12wks (2.5m) - (pregnant, due approx 8/12)
Tabitha is 250g (gain 15g) - 4wks - (treating for mites)
Xeraphina is 390g (same) 7wks - (treating for mites)

***New Mums***
Lulu is 585g (gave birth) - 13wks (3m) - (nursing)
Anthea is 110g (newborn)
Amity is 120g (newborn

Bonnie is 950g (gave birth) - 26wks (6m) - (nursing)
Bella-Donna is 140g (gain 15g since birth) - newborn
Bethanie is 140g (loss 10g since birth) - newborn

Phoebe is now 710g (loss 15g) - 32wks (7.5m) - (nursing)
Noah is 205g (gained 55g) - 2wks
Nixie is 185g (gained 35g) - 2wks

Delilah is 665g (lost 40g) - approx 1yr - (nursing)
Sadie is 260g (gained 25g) - 4wks
Suri is 270g (gained 20g) - 4wks

Everyone seems to be doing really well. A few losses, and a few gains, but we're pretty much on the right track. Noah and Nixie are little fire-crackers! They're a bit like the 'spoilt brats' of the girls group, getting away with outrageous things like sitting smack-bang in the middle of the grain bowl! All the other babies hang back at the outskirts, taking their turn once the girls have lost interest.

But Noah and Nixie aren't like the other babies! lol. They are definitely their mother's children!

We have some exciting news too, Leilani has been confirmed pregnant, approx 5 weeks. I've been keeping an eye on her for the last few weeks, but wasn't sure until today. She's always been a little chubby! She spent a fortnight with Malakai before I got information from her original breeder that her background is actually pedigree texel x pedigree coronet. That changed my plans quick smart - and she was taken from her stay-over with Malakai, and moved in with Liam. The problem with this is that the 'change over' happened exactly 5 weeks ago! So I won't know who the daddy is until the babies are born. Both boys have very different genetics to offer, so I'm thinking it should be pretty obvious. I'm secretly hoping they're Liam's, but if they're Malakai's it will be his first litter which will be nice too.

And lastly, our mite infected pigs are doing really well. Xeraphina (shown below) and Tabitha have no bald spots/scabbing/scaling anymore, and their coats are already growing back in. One more week or improvement and they'll be able to join the rest of the ladies in the mansion! (I'll do a more detailed post on their progress later in the week.)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Lulu's baby girls - Amity and Anthea

I've had Lulu inside for the last few days. I thought she might have delivered around the same time as Bonnie (tuesday), but she didn't. So I've been patiently waiting, and watching and trying to keep up with her crazy appetite.

Last night I checked her and she just seemed different. Hard to say what it was, maybe a little more lethargic/relaxed - depending on how you look at it? I decided to bring her birthing box into the bedroom, so I'd hear her if she started to go into labour during the night. I heard something at about 5:30am, and sure enough - she'd gone into labour, but done it all without me! lol. There were two very wet, very big babies snuggled up next to her.

We all went back to sleep for another hour or so, then I weighed and sexed them this morning - two little girls!

This is Anthea. She weighed in at 110g (a VERY healthy runt!). She's jet black with a golden band part way around her middle.

And this is Amity. She weighed in at 120g. I weighed Lulu as well, and she's only 585g now. That's the equivalent of an average 60kg woman giving birth to a 12kg baby. (not 12lb, 12KG!). Lulu has done incredibly well - and unassisted too. Guinea pigs are incredible!

Amity is a roan guinea pig, meaning she's probably best not bred with. She is has stunning markings though, and will make a gorgeous pet.

I am so glad I decided to bring Lulu home from the pet shop for the duration of her pregnancy, she has been a joy to have around. Amity, Anthea and Lulu will all be available for their new homes in the week before Christmas. I would strongly recommend that if you are planning a guinea pig as a Christmas gift, do your research now and make sure you're prepared (cages, water bottles, food, knowledge!). I've seen too many 'impulse purchased' guinea pigs go to homes where the basic knowledge about what they can and can't eat was still unknown. (I have some information on the top of the blog (or click here), or a quick google search will help immensely too.

If you are interested in any of these gorgeous ladies, feel free to email me at Their adoption fee will be $25 each, and the babies will come with a birth certificate, and all three will come with a bag of our grain mix.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

mohair baby guinea pigs

I've been messing around with a 'baby mohair guinea pig' design this week - this is my journey in pictures!

Design attempt no. 1: (not really what I was aiming for)

Design attempt no. 2: (tried to simplify the ears, but still not quite right, eyes too big?)

Design attempt no. 3: (now not only are the eyes not right, but the ears are just weird! - too simplified now, will try adding more detail next time)

Design attempt no. 4: (added hand sculptured nose/eyelids. But the eyes look a little too sleepy, nose sticks out too far)

Design attempt no. 5: (changed the ears again, lowered the nose and pulled back the eyelids. Much better, but now the face is too narrow and rat-like!)

Design attempt no. 6: FINAL DESIGN! (Now this one I am happy with! Added whites to the eyes, and changed the head gusset slightly to fatten the face. At last!)

All of my prototypes/proper plush guinea pigs are now listed on etsy too.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Bonnie's Baby Girls

Bonnie finally popped!

Two gorgeous little girls, born sometime between midnight and 6am this morning.


This is Bethanie, she's the bigger of the two sisters, weighing in at 150g. She's a stunning mix of cream, white and lemon agouti (black base, cream tip). She will be staying here!


And this is Bella-Donna. She is the 'runt', weighing in at a massive 125g! She too has some stunning markings in gold, white and 'cream agouti' (which is really just a dilute agouti, black base, gold tips). She will probably be looking for a new home, but I will hold off on officially placing her on the available page until I've had a chance to observe what the coats are going to do on the two girls. If you are interested in Bella-Donna if she should become available, let me know (

And just for comparison sake - this is a photo of Bonnie at only a few hours old as well, born back in May this year. Isn't it incredible how quickly they grow!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sprout's new home, and Romeo's growing hair

I had to make the decision to re-home Sprout recently, as he's not quite what we're looking for in terms of the direction we wish to take with our breeding program. He produces stunning babies, but lacks the coat length we're trying to work with. Thankfully he was very quickly snapped up and went to his new home this morning. Little Olivia went home too, in separate carry-cases! I'll be excited to see Sprout in his new home. He's come so far this year, from his rocky start as a tiny baby, to his infestation with mites and fungus, then his mystery illness that saw him loose nearly half his body weight/almost pass away... to the stunning, muscular big man he is today.

So with Sprout's departure, that leave young Romeo in charge of his own cage. He will be getting to live with a lady friend from today as well - though I doubt he'll figure out what to do with his appendage for a bit longer yet (it took Liam a good three months!).

These are some photos of Romeo's coat at the moment. He's 7 weeks old and just stunning!