Monday, May 27, 2013

Kobe delivers FOUR big girls

This was the scene that greeted us this morning - a somewhat more deflated looking Kobe, and 4 big active bubs! As I scooped each one out in turn it was like a lottery draw! First one was a girl, second was a girl, third was a girl as well and unbelievable the 4th was a girl too! 

The last 4-girl litter we had born here at Sirocco was 6.5years ago - and the litter that our resident 'old girl' Custard came from. She is the last surviving sister. (so needless to say - this many sows in one litter are pretty rare!)


This is 'Cocoa'. She has the curl like mum, and is a gorgeous dark chocolate colouring with some brindled cream and a white front foot. She has beautiful big droopy ears and will probably end up looking rex-coated like her mum.

We think that the daddy of these bubs is probably the same as the daddy to Cupcake's litter 4 weeks ago due to the incredible similarities in coat type and colouring. If this is the case, there's a *chance* of long-coats in the bubs (as the suspected daddy-pig was longhaired and one of Cupcake's bubs developed a long coat). The difference here is that Kobe appears to be pretty muchly just a short-coated pig though - she doesn't have the longer butt-fluff that Cupcake has which is the giveway that a guinea pig is carrying a recessive long-haired gene. So because of that, there was a 25% chance that Cupcake would produce a long-haired baby (or 1 in 4, which is exactly what happened).

In this litter, if Kobe doesn't have a recessive long-hair gene like Cupcake, then none of the babies will develop long hair, even if daddy pig is long-haired. Kobe's short-hair genes will over-ride the long, and the most that would happen is the bubs might get a bit of funky butt-hair like Cupcake.

So that was a very long-winded way of saying, it's more likely that this litter will be short-coated!


This is 'Chilli' - the second curly-coated bub. She has a slightly different look to her curls, so i have a feeling there might be some rosettes in there towards her spine - a little like the ridge-back look that 'Princess' from Cupcake's litter had going on.

Chilli has the gorgeous tri-colour markings with a bit of a 'brindle' look through her rump'. I'm so curious to see how her coat develops too.


And this little sweetheart is 'Cate'. She too is the tri-colour patterning we've become so familiar with, and has the more 'Abyssinian' look to her coat - though it's just a few scattered rosettes doing this. She is actually a lot like Poppy from Cupcake's litter as well!


And last, but not least, we have little Clementine. She has the straight coat as well, but this time with a bit of a ridge-back look happening. Just a little flick of fur caused by a rosette near her spine. It'll be interesting to see if this gets more or less pronounced as she grows up too.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Nearing her due date

Sweet Kobe still hasn't popped yet. She's VERY big now though, and it's exactly 10weeks since she delivered her last litter (at her previous home). So she is technically due today. 

Often times larger litter sizes will need to 'cook' for slightly longer than smaller litters (like 1-2 bubs), so while it might be another day or two yet before we meet these bubs, I hope for Kobe's sake that it happens sooner rather than later. She's been so grumpy, and so tired. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Indigo and Violet's new sons

Both Indigo and Violet were due close together, and both carrying a litter from Sylvester (his first litters actually!).

Indigo delivered one big (120g) baby boy on Wednesday morning, the 22nd May. We called him 'Periwinkle' - and he has some quite pretty markings. I particularly love the white face/blue eye on one side.

We now play the waiting game as we watch this little man grow up. This is the first pairing between these two lines, so the resulting coat quality is unknown. At this stage he's looking quite good - nice shape, good density - biggest issue is the ear-hem on one side.

This seems to come through a lot of the Brisbane texel lines sadly. It's not a huge problem, and is purely cosmetic - and in my opinion it's more about the quality of the coat. But it is a 'fault', so we hope to eventually (probable years down the track at this stage!) get the the point where this has been bred out. Being a recessive trait though, it could be lurking in a line that shows no sign of it physically for many generations, then suddenly pop up again. So it will be a bit of a battle i think!


Then early this morning, Friday the 24th May, Violet delivered another BIG bub (130g) - another single boar litter! This little man we've called 'Maximus', or 'Max' for short.

Max is the same colouring as his brother Periwinkle (Lemon agouti, white and cream), but different placements of the markings.

We've had a few questions about what makes a guinea pig 'pedigree' recently too, so I thought I'd share a copy of Max's pedigree (click on the image to enlarge). It's basically just a record of the guinea pigs genetic ancestry - who their parents were, grand parents, great grandparents etc. It's particularly important when needing to prove the 'purebreeding' behind an animal for future breeding/showing. It shows which genetic lines the parents have come from - colours, when there have been show champions, where different breeds have been interbred (for example with sheltie/texel) and can show gaps in information.

It's also just really fascinating. :)

Proud Daddy Pig :) 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Celery Feast!

We went away for a night recently, and I wanted to be sure my pigs wouldn't run out of water. Each cage has it's own 250ml bottle, but on a particularly thirsty day they can get through that in 12hrs!
A lot of it has to do with the fact that the vast majority of their diet is dry - hay, chaff, grain etc, so it makes it very important for them to have access to water.

Thankfully the local grocery store was having a special on full celery bunches. I think they were $1.40 each, so I bought 4! lol Each cage got a couple of stems with leaves, and they quickly got down to the business of munching.

The happy side-effect of celery is that because it is something like 95% water, it acts as a vegetable-drink for them. A lot of the cages still had water in their bottles by the time we got back.

You do need to be cautious about feeding a lot of celery and other watery vegetables though, as pigs will often prefer to eat that over their hay/chaff and can end up with runny poo. Celery doesn't seem to be quite as bad for this as lettuce though, so is definitely the safer option!

You can see Sylvester and his lady-friends Tlalli and Opal in the photo above, and below we have a VERY pregnant Kobe. She is due this week, so it'll be interesting to see what she has. And I think she'll be feeling a lot better once those bubs are born too.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Fatty Boomba Pig

Snapped this pic of Kobe a few mornings ago. She's getting SO fat! lol. In her defense she is approx 9 weeks pregnant now (turns out she was preg when we adopted her too - about 3 weeks at the time so we had no idea!).

So we can expect some more surprise pet bubbas in the next week or so I'd say. She's become quite moody in the last few weeks, and has claimed the Plush Igloo for herself! This was our last one from the second batch too - so now I'll need to make some more so she has a back up one, and so I can pop some more in our store for you guys.

We did recently list these 'Double Decker' hammocks in our store, but only have 2 or 3 left now. Our pigs go CRAZY for these two, and try to all cram into them together!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

An update on Evangeline

Our gorgeous 'Evangeline' was born on the 14th August 2013 - exactly 9 months ago. This was her newborn photo with her mumma Elodie and her litter-mates. (Evangeline is the bub with the white face closest to the top of the pic). Her daddy was our gorgeous silver agouti texel 'Tex'. I knew this girl was destined for glorious things with stunning parents like this...


 A tiny newborn Evangeline - still a little wet!

 Evangeline at 6 days old. 

12 days old

almost 3 weeks old here

Evangeline at 5 weeks old - getting some gorgeous length already!

10 weeks old - and just stunning. Big droopy rose-petal ears, bold eyes and striking colours. 

For some reason I totally forgot to take any further photos of poor Evangeline between 10 weeks old and 9 months old! She had her first litter at 6 months, and did lose a lot of coat following that, but she was looking awesome before she littered so I'm annoyed that I don't have a 6-month photo for you guys!

These are the updated photos we took of Evangeline this afternoon. She's really looking good again - her coat has grown back to a really nice length and density and she's getting some awesome lift. She is a pet-sheba, which simply means that while she certainly looks like the sheba breed, she's not 'purebred' as we've used a texel parent to get her. We did this so that we could introduce the curl-gene into the sheba line. But, by using texel this is achieved at the expense of the second rosette gene.

As such, we now have a stunning sheba-style sow, who has the potential to produce a whole host of different offspring, depending on who she is mated to. Her first litter she was mated back to another texel, and produced a curly-sheba coated boar (our Asher), and two traditional straight-coated sheba-looking boars. Potentially we could also have gotten sheltie bubs and/or texel bubs.

We've retained her son Asher who is looking awesome, and very much like I expected a curly version of a sheba might.

Meanwhile we get to enjoy this stunning girl, and watch as her coat continues to grow out. Hopefully I can bring you another update in a few months and she'll really be in full coat!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

We have Babies! - Bambi's Triplets!

This was the surprise I woke up to this Sunday morning. Three gorgeous new bubs delivered by our stunning Bambi. It feels like we have been waiting FOREVER for a litter from Bambi. Her sister Blessing is still yet to fall pregnant, so we're lucky to have these bubs.

Bambi's update photos taken a few months ago. We have since trimmed her back to make delivery/feeding her bubs easier! They'd have a hell of a time finding her nipples under all that hair!

(Daddy Pig)

Our only little lady! Sadly, she was the straight-coated bub, but she is very pretty and will carry the curls, so is still a very gorgeous new addition to the stud. We called her 'May'. She will most likely look sheba-coated when grown up.

May has two little brothers too, both curly-coated sheba style pigs. Mowgli was the smaller of the two and has the nicer/larger ears, but not the best rosette placement.

Whereas 'Major' as a lot larger, has pretty good rosetting, but a fold in one ear. 

The ear-fold, or 'hem' thing has probably come through from some of the pedigree texel lines we used to introduce the curl. It's pretty rampant in the Australian/Brisbane pedigree texels. Which is annoying, as it means it's just another thing we'll need to try and 'breed out' of this new variety of pig. But it's hard to be annoyed when you've got a handful of cream/white curls in your palm. Seriously - how gorgeous are these guys as newborns!