Friday, April 29, 2011

Liam, one week on

We've had little Liam for one week now, and he's already changed! His hair is at the point that it's long enough to start parting down the centre of his back! It's so thick and lush and beautiful.

Little Sprout, who originally looked as though he might have tighter curls than Liam, is actually growing more of a fuzzy coat. A little like zig-zag fur!

Liam is also one of my more vocal pigs. This is just a little of his complaining this morning when I took him out the back for a hair growth progress photo!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Happy piggys

Yesterday was miserable and wet, but the guinea pigs seemed quite happy! The cage has held up really well for it's first rain soaking. Even the open area downstairs stays quite dry. Which is good, or it would have turned to mud, and the pigs would have been confined upstairs!

These are just a few shots I took of them enjoying their greens. They're still a bit timid of people, but they are getting better. All of the individual personalities are really starting to shine now too.

Custard is the bravest, and tends to lead the way most of the time. That might have something to do with her many years of free-range life with us at our last house too.

Subi is bossy, grumpy, and a likes her space. She tends to avoid hanging out in the open when we're around as well, preferring her little igloo house. But will let us pick her up without any fuss.

Alice is a little firecracker. She's the only one who runs up and down the ramp at lightning speed all day. The rest either stay up or down!

Beeno is the most reluctant ramp climber. All the others file out and down the ramp in the morning, while she sits at the top looking out, but inevitably retreats back inside.

Sparrow is a funny little thing. She is half the size of the next smallest pig, but gets up and down the ramp without a worry. She's always tucked up next to one of the bigger girls.

Ginger is the sweetheart of the group. She's never in anyone's way, and will let me pick her up without a fuss.

Ruby is still really timid and scared. She and Beeno have taken to staying up the top while the others go downstairs. It's kind of like their hideout!

Alba and Kobe are yet to really let me see their personalities though. Kobe is a lot less timid now (Ruby's taken over that role!). And Alba is just Alba. A little stubborn I will admit. She was the last one to go upstairs last night, which meant I had to 'help' her up the ramp so I could close them in for the night. Oliver (our Beagle) got very excited when she was running around avoiding capture!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Ruby Ruby

I did my same old trick again this morning. I browsed through the 'guinea pigs for sale' listings online and found an ad for a 'texel female' only 10mins drive from my place.

I HAD to have her.

The owner was fantastic, and we organised for me to view her within the hour. I bundled up Chelsea (left Byron with Mark) and went to check her out. The property was amazing, and I have never seen so many guinea pig cages in one backyard before! The little texel girl was very sweet, so I agreed to take her. Apparently her mother was an expensive pedigree, but the lady who bred her never handed over the papers.

I decided to call her Ruby. Mark's not keen on the name, but I think it's perfect. Her hair is kind of like a cross between a rex and a texel in my opinion. Liam's is thick, and lush and soft - like I expect a texel's should be. Ruby's is more of a wiry fur, not quite as thick, and no where near as long. So it will be interesting to see how she grows.

I also decided to weigh all of the pigs today. It will allow me to keep an eye on their health, especially as most of them are still bubs themselves.

Sprout was 135g (maybe 2wks)
Sparrow was 145g (maybe 2 wks)
Liam was 215g (3wks)
Ruby was 295g (5wks)
Ginger was 315g (5wks)
Kobe was 325g (8wks)
Alice was 345g (10wks)
Beeno was 350g (8 wks
Alba was 385g (8 wks)
Custard was 900g (4yrs)
and Subi was 1070g (1-2yrs)

A total of 4.475kg of piggy goodness!

(this is probably really boring for you, but will be a great record keeping device for me! :P)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Video of Sprout and Sparrow

Thought you guys might like to see a quick video of Sprout and Sparrow having a little supplemental milk. I just love watching piggys eat, but watching babies drink from a spoon is infinitely cuter!

You can also watch them running around with Ginger as the babysitter in this video. Isn't all this new-fangled technology wonderful!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Three new girls

The big cage was looking a little sparse with just Custard, Alice, Subi and Ginger running around in there, so we called some pet shops this morning to see if they had any girl piggies. Out of the half dozen or so we called, only one shop had any guinea pigs. The rest had waiting lists!

So we bundled up the kids and went for a drive. The pigs the pet store had were quite lovely. There were two tri-colour rex-looking ones in one cage that I would have snapped up in a second - but alas they were already sold. We decided on a stunning white Himalayan-looking girl with longer than average hair, and called her 'Alba'.

We also adopted her sister, another white Himalayan, this time with mostly straight fur but a massive big spike/rosette on one side of her body, giving her a kind of 'licked' appearance! We called her Beenie.

And then we had to decide between an incredibly unusual lilac/silver argente smooth coat, or a golden and white agouti smooth coat. I picked up the lilac one and was about to pop her in the box when I noticed her ear was really badly infested and crusted. On closer examination I could see the infection travelled right down into her ear canal. I deliberated with Mark and the pet shop assistant for a little while, but felt it wasn't fair to the other girls to introduce any form of illness if we could avoid it. I really hope that pet shop does the right thing by her and treats her ear. I've been thinking about her and feeling guilty all day. She really was a stunning girl...

But because we had to leave her behind, we decided to adopt the golden agouti girl in her place. We've called her Kobe. She is probably the most timid of all of our guinea pigs to date. She's going to need a lot of love and handling to bring her around.

We got home (popped the kids to bed for their nap) and re-checked the newly adopted girls. They got photos taken and nails trimmed, then they got to meet the existing ladies. There was a flurry of excitement, lots of bum-sniffing and a couple of nips from Subi (she's the boss, and she wants the newbies to know it!), but they're all snuggling together like long lost friends now. I feel so happy when I go and sit with them for a while.

It's even nicer when I get to do it on my own... We kept Chelsea outside of the cage for the introduction of the new girls so as to minimise stress. Here she is trying to climb the perimeter fence!


Meet Liam. He is our newest little bundle of trouble! Mark drove an hour north of here to collect him (then an hour back again!). His name is 'Glenjolie Liam', he's a pedigree Texel guinea pig, and was born on the 4/4/2011. So he's still quite young, but heaps bigger than Sprout and Sparrow who were adopted 2 days ago (and who are apparently 4 weeks old!).

Liam is now living inside with Sprout and Sparrow until they're all big enough to move outside. Sparrow will go to live with the girls in the Big cage, while Sprout and Liam will live in the bachelor pad - a two story cage Alice and Custard lived in previously.

Until then though, I'm making the most of having them so close by. Here they are all snuggled up on my lap while I edit photos and post blog updates!

The BIG cage is Finished!

This is the finished cage first thing this morning. We still had a fair bit of work to do though - building a perimeter fence to keep Chelsea and Oliver away, levelling the ground so it wasn't on such a huge lean, fixing the ramp in place, sealing up the many gaps in the closed in section so the rain wouldn't come in etc...

First step was the get the fence up. We're not that good at handyman stuff, so it doesn't have a gate. This is fine for Mark and I as we're both quite tall. But regular sized people will need a step ladder to get in if they want to see the pigs!

It worked perfectly! Excitable toddler and dangerous dog are kept out of harms way!

This is Mark fixing up a few weak spots Chelsea and Oliver managed to find for us!

Sitting back and enjoying the cage. You can probably see the two chairs we bought for inside the cage too - a big one for us, and a little one for Chels. She loves it!

This is a view from inside the cage. We've since added some extra grip to the ramp as the girls were having a bit of trouble getting up and down.

The enclosed section is really roomy and secure. If I was a guinea pig, this is exactly where I would want to live!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The new cage!

So we've decided to extend our guinea pig family! I am so excited. We had been trying to work out if we'd get chickens and have lots of yummy organic eggs, or get more guinea pigs, and maybe try and breed some unusual varieties.

Guinea pigs won!

We purchased a monster of a cage, which is actually a chicken coup, on eBay last weekend. It arrived today! My hubby got home early from work, we managed to get both kids down for an afternoon nap and set about putting the darn thing together. It was a mission and a half.

This was about 90mins into the process. We had to tie Oliver the dog up to his bed as he was getting a little excited and standing under our feet!

After four hours, and a couple of child-related interruptions, it is finally done. I don't have photos yet though, as by this stage it was dark! But I promise to take lots more tomorrow. I can't wait for the guinea's to move in!!

My favourite photos

As this is just the first baby steps for my new blog, I thought I'd post some of my favourite photos of my guinea pigs, past and present.

Here we have one of Custard's sisters, 'Sophie' hanging out in their old cage at our last house. She lived a long life, and only passed away a month or so ago at over 4 years old.

This is one of Custard's sisters, 'Sweep'. She got taken by a neighbourhood cat last year. She was so beautiful.

These two were 'bonus' piggies! I purchased their mum, a baby herself, from a pet shop, only to realise a few days later that her belly was moving! About a month after that she gave birth to these two gorgeous little girls, 'Milk' and 'Mondi'. Mondi was a satin throwback - very stunning. They found a new home with a co-worker's little brother.

These are all of our girls eating watermellon. From left to right we have Fifi, Sweep, Bundy, Sophie and Custard. The four fluffy girls are the babies-in-the-bowl in the picture at the top of this blog.

This is Custard (still alive and kicking!) and her sister 'Bundy' running free range at our last house. Unfortunately Bundy was attacked by a cat and had to be put down at the vet. After her death none of the piggies were able to run free range again after being able to do it for the whole of their lives - over 3 years! It was very sad.

This is Bundy as a little baby. From memory she was about 1-2 days old here. Such a sweetheart!

This is Bundy saying hello to baby 'Milk'.

And this is Custard jumping out of her old cage to have a bit of a run. Those 3 years of free range were so much fun, for them and for us!

Some of my plush guinea pigs

Got some photos of the plush guinea pigs to share :) I've called the design 'Stardust', and am in the process of popping them on bearpile if you're interested. I also thought I'd take some photos of the plush piggys with the new little babies I adopted this morning. The babies are silver agouti too, so it shows the real version next to the plush version really nicely.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Welcome to my newest blog, dedicated to the sweet little furry critters that are my guinea pigs!