Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Our newest arrival

Our little black Texel x Peruvian baby arrived this morning. Look how much her curls have grown! She has a real woolly feel to her. A lot more course than Liam (pedigree texel), so I will be so curious to see how she grows.

She is still as yet unnamed, but I will let you know when we choose one.

This week's weigh in

Here's the weigh in for Monday the 27/6/2011:

Sprout is 555g (gained 40g) - 11wks
Sparrow is 550g (gained 30g) - 11wks
Liam is 585g (gained 35g) - 12wks
Ruby is 700g (gained 5g) - 14wks
Ginger is 730g (gained 60g) - 14wks
Kobe is 705g (gained 75g) - 17wks
Alice is 625g (gained 45g) - 19wks
Beeno is 625g (gained 50g) - 17wks
Alba is 645g (gained 25g) - 17wks
Custard is 935g (gained 40g) - 4.5yrs
Subi is 1kg (lost 35g) - 2yrs (Nursing Bonnie)
Bonnie is 395g (gained 65g) - 3.5wks old
Galaxy is 650g (gained 25g) - 26wks
Sheba is 585g (gained 75g) - 22wks
Crumble is 845g (gained 15g) - 30wks

Total piggy weight 10.130kg (total gain 280g across 15pigs).

You can see how much Bonnie has grown in the last month as well. Here is a photo of her at only hours old, followed by one of her at nearly a month old. She's catching up to her mum so fast!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

We're back from the vet

We just got back from the vet trip. Ruby's eye was close to rupture, but not quite there. So it looks like it can be saved. She'll be on antibiotic eye cream and paste for the next week. (which is surprisingly expensive!)

This is her good side.

This is the sore side. It looks a little green due to the stain the vet used. Apparently there is an ulceration on the eye itself, and the red bit is the flesh trying to grow over it to heal.

A bit of special treatment for a while and we should have her looking good in no time!

Ruby's Sore Eye

The good news: Subi's sore eye from this post is looking great. A couple of squirts of breast milk over the last few days and it's cleared up nicely.

The bad news: Ruby's has gotten worse. Much worse! I actually think the eyeball itself has ruptured... I've popped a pic up, so be warned, it's pretty yucky. The poor little thing is acting perfectly fine (in true guinea pig form!). But we will definately be making a trip to the vet first thing tomorrow. With toddler and baby in tow... not what I had in mind for my monday... thank you very much produce place that sold me crappy straw!

Mind you, I can't blame the produce place entirely. I did see that it was crappy quality - and still bought it. Then I saw just how crappy it was when spreading it out in the cage - but still left it there. So this is just as much my fault.

Oh, and I was giving little 3.5 week old Bonnie a cuddle today and noticed she had a tiny sharp shard of it stuck right in one of her eyes too! Luckily the eye wasn't damaged yet, and I managed to get it out. But that was the final straw for me (pardon the pun).

So the girls have been upgraded to fleece, towels and newspaper! I have no idea if this set up is going to be practical. And I'm a little sad that I have to take away the straw. They really loved burrowing under it. But I think with the addition of a few more hidey things, it will be just as much fun for them. And a hell of a lot safer!

Oh! And - in that same produce shop trip we bought a bail of 'Prime' hay. I went to pull some off to feed the pigs this morning and promptly got a hand full of prickles. On closer inspection the whole bail is riddled with some kind of prickle/burr weed. And the prickles are huge, and sharp. In the photo below you can see a small scattering that I went through by hand, pulling out all of the burrs. That took about an hour! So as much as I hate to waste things, I think this bail is going to need to be binned. The last thing I need is the guinea pigs getting prickles stuck in their mouths!

I had Custard and her 3 sisters for four years without any hay issues. And I used to buy a bail every month and pack the cage full of it!

Anyone else had any experience with a hay product that won't injure guinea pigs!?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Lamington Galaxy (aka Gaga)

The pig with the crazy name sure is photogenic! It seems that every time I've visited the mansion with camera in tow, she's the only one I manage to get good shots of!

Well, her and little Bonnie there. I think Bonnie was a reluctant participant though. She just chose the wrong cuddle sack to hide in! :P

Damn straw!

On the weekend we took the kids to the local produce place to buy another bail of hay, some straw and some more piggy mix. The bag of straw we picked up looked a little inferior, but we were in a hurry as kids needed sleeps, so we just paid for it anyway.

When I was cleaning out the mansion on monday, and scattering the new straw down in the lower level (the pigs just LOVE making tunnels through it, and hiding in it!), I got to see just how crap it was! Instead of the lovely big fat pieces of straw we usually get, it looked like it was just the dregs that had been swept up off the floor! All the pieces were short and spiky and there were lots of bits of rubbish - dirt, leaves etc all through it as well. I was a bit pissed off, but it was all I had so I had to leave it. (It was either dodgy straw or dirt!)

This morning while I was checking the girls over, I noticed that both Ruby and Subi had one sore eye each. I am assuming they have had straw-poke incidents, and the eye has gone all weepy and opaque (exactly like the photo above of a piggy called 'Cookie' I found on google). So far it's only those two. I took them inside, checked the eyes for foreign objects and applied some antibacterial eye cream. I have no idea if this is going to help them, or if the damage has been done now, but I figured it was worth a try. If that doesn't work I'll try breast milk. I managed to clear up a nasty case of conjunctivitis in Custard a few months back with a few squirts of my milk! :P Sounds really gross, but it actually works!

Here's Monday's Weigh in:

Sprout is 515g (gained 50g) - 10wks
Sparrow is 520g (gained 20g) - 10wks
Liam is 550g (gained 15g) - 11wks
Ruby is 695g (gained 25g) - 13wks
Ginger is 670g (gained 10g) - 13wks
Kobe is 630g (lost 10g) - 16wks
Alice is 580g (gained 10g) - 18wks
Beeno is 575g (stayed the same) - 16wks
Alba is 620g (gained 5g) - 16wks
Custard is 895g (gained 20g) - 4.5yrs
Subi is 1.035g (lost 35g) - 2yrs (Nursing Bonnie)
Bonnie is 330g (gained 60g) - 2.5wks old
Galaxy is 625g (gained 25g) - 25wks
Sheba is 510g (gained 20g) - 21wks
Crumble is 830g (gained 35g) - 29wks (?)

Total piggy weight 9.850kg (total gain 530g across 15pigs, average gain of 35g per animal. Some had double that, some had losses)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Little Black Texel

Check out this sweet little piggy. She's only a few weeks old, and was born a little premie - but what a cute little face!

We've been looking for a little all-black girl to complete our piggy family. And when she's ready to leave her mummy and sister she will be coming to stay with us.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A bit of my own sewing

I managed to track down some soft polar fleece blankets at K-mart yesterday for a bargain $3 each, so thought I'd have a play around at making a few more cuddle sacks for the pigs. Now that the old sacks are suspended from the roof, keeping the openings open, they are getting used everyday! Each morning I have to go in and tip out the collection of poos in the bottom of them all! I'm glad they're using them though.

This one is just like the cuddle sack's I purchased from The Creative Cavy. Only I didn't think about my measurements as well as I should have, and mine ended up a little shallower with a much fatter roll (and I was too lazy to finish the edges!). The super-stuffed roll top has helped it stay open though, you can see little Miss Alba quite well in there without anything propping it up. I still suspended it from the roof of the cage like the other bags though, as it will get floppier over time and trampled from use. This one took about 15mins from start to finish.

Then I thought I'd be a little more adventurous and try a triangle design with wire support. This took about 2 hours - stop and start due to baby related distractions! I just cut three rectangles, and sewed them long sides together to make a triangle shaped tube. Then I cut two triangles to fit the ends, sewed a circle in the middle of one and cut out the inside. Sewed the triangles to the ends of the tube and turned it out through the circle hole.

Then I bent together a frame out of wire making sure the sharp edges were tucked in and wrapped around so the pigs can't hurt themselves, positioned it inside of the house, and then sewed around the seams to keep it in place - also making sure no raw edges were exposed. I'm happy with this design, but I'll need thicker wire if I do it next time, it's still a little floppy.

Here is Custard doing some modelling for me. She seemed to like it. When I put it in the cage though, Alice claimed it as hers. :P

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Byron meets the girls

I thought Byron (my 4month old) might like to hang with the girls on the grass this afternoon. They thought he was very curious indeed...

... but I think having ten of them surround him was a bit much! :p Well they are such scary things :P

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday weight in, now with 15 residents!

Today's Weigh in:

Sprout is 465g (gained 60g) - 9wks
Sparrow is 500g (gained 70g) - 9wks
Liam is 535g (gained 45g) - 10wks
Ruby is 670g (gained 75g) - 12wks
Ginger is 660g (gained 50g) - 12wks
Kobe is 640g (gained 40g) - 15wks
Alice is 570g (gained 5g) - 17wks
Beeno is 575g (gained 25g) - 15wks
Alba is 615g (gained 15g) - 15wks
Custard is 875g (gained 15g) - 4.5yrs
Subi is 1.070g (gained 30g) - 2yrs (Nursing Bonnie)
Bonnie is 270g (gained 75g) - 12days old
Galaxy is 600g (first weigh in) - 24wks
Sheba is 490g (first weigh in) - 20wks
Crumble is 795g (first weigh in) - 28wks (?)

Total piggy weight 9.330kg (total gain 2.430kg!)

The total gain this week isn't very accurate though, as that includes the addition of three new faces!

Nearly everyone gained really well this week though. The mansion girls are doing a lot better. I am a little concerned about Alice and Alba though. Quite small gains for them, and I had hoped that they might be pregnant - so would assume we'd see a gain if that was the case. Maybe guinea pigs go through a morning sickness stage at the very start as well though! :P Either that or they just had a not-so-hungry week this week.

Ruby and Bonnie are in form again though. Those two are going to be my porkers each week I think (must be something about the Rex gene! :P). And even poor old Sprout did well this week too. His fungal treatment is coming along beautifully - you can see a recent photo of him above. His hair has nearly all grown back. I ended up buying him some betadine spray (which he hates), but it is really helping. (I actually purchased one bottle, used it twice, then stupidly left it on the patio table where our puppy Oliver found it and chewed it up. So I had to purchase another... and they're not cheap! :P The new bottle is kept out of reach this time. I really can't imagine what Oliver would have wanted with a bottle of betadine... and a can't imagine it tasted very nice either! :P). I've also ordered some Malaseb shampoo to combat the fungal issue from another angle as well! I'm determined to get his coat back to it's former glory. Or at least free from bugs!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

And some more new additions!

Oh My Goodness - do I have some news to fill you all in on!!!

We adopted two more lovelies today! Meet Sheba (the Peruvian)

and Crumble (the Sheltie).

Sheba is just gorgeous, with a really spunky personality.

Crumble's personality is just like the Sheltie 'Flower Power Rouge' I had a few years back - gentle and sweet. When I put Crumble in the mansion, and the first thing she did was walk up the ramp and curl herself up in a cuddle sack!

I decided to try hanging the cuddle sacks so that the openings stayed open (idea courtesy of The Cavy Cottage where we adopted the funky black and white pig yesterday). You can see how much better this works for the girls too. Not all of them like the cuddle sacks, so we have 5 in there, so those who do can curl up in one, and those who don't can burrow under the hay or sleep in the igloos.

Oh, and after a combined effort by my hubby and my step-mum, the new black and white pig (see the last post) is now known as 'Lamington Galaxy'! A crazy name for a crazy pig! And goodness me does that girl have a fun personality. She is by far the most friendly of all the girls - actually seeking me out while I was sitting in the cage taking photos of them all so she could nibble my toes! The other's much rather keep their distance.

Here you can see Galaxy meeting all the ladies. She caused such a fuss! The noise from all the grunting and squeeking and wining was incredible. But it only lasted a few minutes, then they all lay down for a nap in the straw warmed by the winter sun. It was so nice in there I think I could probably have gone for a nap too!

I managed to capture a really sweet moment between Subi and her bub Bonnie as well. After all the excitement of meeting the new-comers, they lay down in the hay and Bonnie had a little feed. Subi is just the best mum. Some guinea pigs seem to get really stressed by pregnancy/birth and nursing (totally understandably!), but Subi has just taken it in her stride. Bonnie has packed on yet more weight too, nearly doubling her birth weight in 12 days!

More on the weight in the next post though :)

And I'll finish this massive post with a sweet photo I captured of Bonnie munching on some grain. I am constantly blown away by how independent guinea pig babies are... none more so than this little lady.

A new addition

We have another new addition to our piggy family! I haven't decided on her name yet... She's so funky she deserves a really cool name.

We adopted her from a fantastic shelter called The Cavy Cottage. She has the most unusual markings with her face almost exactly symmetrically black/white. She then has random patches of black and white and peppered bits all over her body, with lots of funky tufts. The first photo was taken by the shelter owner, while the second photo is her cuddling up to my sister-in-law this evening.

Just need to come up with a name now!!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Liam's amazing hair

I thought I'd share some photos of Mr Liam and his super dooper crazy long hair! (And it's not even a full coat yet!).

This is him at 3 weeks old, when he first came to live with us:

And this is him now! Check out those curls!

He is probably my most vocal, and my most placid piggy I'd say. As soon as I pick him up he surrenders and just sits in my hands. Most of the other's put up a bit of a fight before they just sit still!

And the boy can SQUEAK! I have this little video from his first days with us, and he hasn't changed at all. I had him inside one day during the week while the kids were having their nap, and he started his noise. I had to rush back outside and take him back to his ladies before he woke up the house!!!