Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Eirwyn's hair cut

 Eirwyn's coat hasn't grown back in very well since she had her litter 5 months ago. So we selected her to be the 'guinea pig' for our new summer clippers. I'm not a hair dresser, nor have I ever had to clip an animal (it's always been a scrappy looking scissor job in the past!)... so this was a bit of a learning curve! Plus, being 99% white, Eirwyn gets filthy! So I thought this might make it a bit easier to keep her cool and clean over summer... 

After about 20mins of slowly slowly, bit by bit - we got there! There was a lot more hair than I though. This girl really does have decent density - especially those rump curls. I almost needed proper sheep shearers!

 She should feel a lot better coming into summer too. Now I just have to pluck up the courage to do the rest of my texels... :S (I wonder if there would be a use for guinea pig 'wool'!?) 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Texel plushies

FINALLY got our last batch of texel plushies finished! These are handmade soft-sculpture guinea pigs that we design/sew in very small batches here at Sirocco Cavy Stud. 

In fact, this will be our last batch as we won't be purchasing this leather again. After some further research looking into finding a new supplier, I realized that I cannot establish that this product is farmed in a humane way (it's actually far more likely that it isn't, coming from the Mongolia/China region where real fur is mass produced in shocking environments). So we will use the gorgeous fur that we have had sitting in our stash for the last few years, to honour the animals that it originated from. But we will not be assisting this industry any further. 

Almost all of the texel plushies shown below have found new homes through our facebook page...'s only 'Daffodil' - shown below - that is yet to find a new family. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Update on Evangeline

(Evangeline as a newborn). 

Evangeline is 10 weeks old now, and looking amazing. I thought it would be fun to do some update shots of her coat to show how far she has come since she was born back in August

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Xeraphina's gorgeous (surprising) bubs

Xeraphina's litter has been muchly anticipated around here. We were expecting a litter of curly bubs. But that's not what we got! 

She went into labour at about 3am on Tuesday morning (23rd October). I heard the squeal and popped out of bed to check her ( my pregnant girls sleep next to my bed at night when they're close to delivery so that I don't miss anything. Some girls give birth so quietly that I sleep right through it - others, like Xeraphina, could wake the dead with all their noise!)

By 3:15am the first bub had arrived. By this stage my 3yr old daughter Chelsea had woken from the commotion and joined me sitting next to the cage to watch the miracle unfold. First born was Teenie, next was Talbot, third was Tamsyn and last was Taffy. Once I was sure Xeraphina had finished, and was just cleaning her bubs we left her be and Chelsea and I went back to bed. 

I hadn't even thought to check their coats at this stage - I didn't expect anything other than curls, and all bubs look a bit curly when wet. But the next morning it was very clear that this litter were all straight-coated!

These are some photos I managed to take of Gizmo the morning his bubs were born as well. There is no denying his curl. And there is no doubt in my mind that he was daddy to the bubs. He and Xeraphina have lived in an exclusive relationship since July, never parting each others sides until I felt the first movement from Xeraphina's bubs. 

So these are the little guys we got. Teenie will be sheltie coated. 

Talbot will be peruvian/sheba looking. 

and Tamsyn and Taffy will be coronet-looking. 

Usually when a curly guinea pig is bred to a curly guinea pig, the only option for the resulting offspring is curl - as this gene is recessive and is all the parent animal has to pass on to their bubs. The fact that we've gotten straight coated bubs in this pairing means that the gene giving Gizmo his curl is genetically different to the gene giving Xeraphina her curl. I had heard of this happening occasionally through Australian guinea pig breeding urban-legends, but have never seen it first hand. 

This has left me a little stumped though, because if Gizmo's curl isn't genetically compatible with my other curly-coated sheba looking girls... then it puts a bit of a further challenge into my curly-sheba breeding program. We will need to do a little more testing, and try Gizmo with another curly girl of different lines, but I suspect the result will be the same. Maybe we'll end up with two different curly sheba lines?! lol 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Bubba updates - Molly and Fleur's litters

Molly x Rocket's bubs are now 2.5wks old and growing up so beautifully. Little Madeline is pictured above - the little lady we've decided to keep on the off chance that she might be carrying her grandma's curly gene. It's not very likely two generations of straight-coated pigs on, but she's too gorgeous to let go. (My name is Emma, and I am addicted to Guinea Pigs! lol)

Melba is above and Macie below. Both on hold for lovely families. Little Melba had a minor incident last week when she wriggled out of my hands after the bath all the pigs get twice a month. She landed awkwardly and I was so worried that she'd really hurt herself. But within 10mins she was running around with her siblings and mum like nothing had happened. I think it took me a lot longer to recover! 

And gorgeous Myron - perfection in a piggy! And surprisingly unclaimed by any new families yet. 

~ * ~

The bubs from Fleur x Malakai are doing really well too. I was a little worried that Jedi (shown below) wasn't gaining weight fast enough, but he's been the first bub to figure out how to get down the ramp in the girls mansion cage so he can follow mum around 24/7 now. (Usually the mums can pop downstairs for a break from the bubs if they need it. It takes most babies about 2-3weeks to get enough confidence to follow mum down. By which stage they really don't need to be feeding as often anyways). 

Also surprisingly, Java (shown above) is still un-spoken for by any new families. He and Myron would make such a handsome duo that I'm really hoping they can be adopted together. 

They'd be a brilliant introduction into caring for long-haired pets for younger owners wanting to learn more about showing the sheltie/peruvian/sheba breeds before actually attempting to show pedigrees. (long-haired pedigree guinea pigs can only be shown if their coats are whole - not cut, broken, chewed, damaged etc. As soon as this happens the animals pedigree show career is over. With pets the rules aren't so rigid, so you can have a bit more fun learning). 

And last, but not least - gorgeous little Jewel. So much like her Great Aunt Molly. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fleur and Malakai's beauties

I totally forgot to do the post for Fleur and Malakai's 4 little stunners! Fleur delivered on the evening of the 10th October. I was present for the birth and was able to help her out which was nice, as 4 babies was quite a lot for a petite little lady. You can see how huge they look sitting next to her in the photo above at only 12hrs old! 

(Malakai is the daddy, shown below) 

We have three little men (one sheba-coated boy, one coronet-coated boy and one sheltie-coated boy) and one little sheba-coated lady. Please note that these bubs are cross-breed pets. Mum and dad are both pet examples of their breeds (ie. have a mix of breeds in their histories too). In pedigree guinea pigs you cannot breed Coronet to Sheba and call the babies pedigree/purebred etc. This doesn't detract from their coat length or their eventual appearance though. These bubs WILL have gorgeous long coats. 

You can meet them below! :) 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Isaac and Imelda

Thought I'd show off how the twins 'Isaac and Imelda' are coming along. You might remember the post I did when they were born. Both mum and dad were rex x texel crossbreeds. Mum had the long coat (2 copies of the long-coat gene) and dad had the long butt hair, short front (1 copy long coat gene, 1 copy short). Statistically the bubs had a 50% chance of ending up looking like dad. But we wouldn't know what their coats were doing until they were a bit older. So I decided to keep them here to watch.

The bubs are now 4 weeks old, and looking so so beautiful. It's still a bit early to say for sure that they'll both be long-haired, but indications are that this is the more likely option. What we won't know now is whether their coats will stay nice and dense like this, or if we'll see any dropped coat/sparseness. So we wait and watch a little more, and just enjoy these precious little bundles of fluff!

Isaac at 4 weeks old. He's such a gentle boy too! So much like grand-dad Liam. 

And Imelda. She's got some amazing curl happening over her body, but is a little more sparse across her face. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Texel Plushies (toys)

We've been busy here over the last few weeks whipping up some new plush piggy designs. These are mini texel plushies made from genuine Mongolian Lambswool (real leather) with kid-mohair blaise/tummy and hand-sculptured glass eyes. The little lady in these photos is 'Ava'. She has since been adopted - but she was our prototype. 

Ava the plushie next to Sebastian our real pig! lol. 

Following the launch of the new mini texel design, we got a lot of interest, and a lot of orders for custom plushies. This was the first half of the batch. Eight gorgeous little texels all in a row. 

Only Winter is left available for adoption now. She is a dark-eyed white texel plushie. Her adoption fee is $60, with postage extra (usually $6-10 within Australia, $15-20 internationally). 
I currently have her listed for sale in our bearpile store. I don't think she'll be there long! lol

(other piggy plushies can be found in our etsy store, or feel free to email me at for custom requests. The cut off for Christmas customs will be the 1st November 2012)