We're a little behind with our baby posts at the moment. You may have noticed in our last post that we've had quite a few pigs available for adoption. We made the hard decision to down-size our stud recently, and have been VERY busy allocating pigs to the best homes over the last few weeks. We were sitting at approx 60 animals. All had names (as you already know if you read this blog! lol ), all are loved, I know the genetic backgrounds of everyone - who mum/dad was, who were siblings, what genes they carry, personalities, who hangs out with who, who hates who, who like apples and capsicum, who prefers broccoli... but at approx 4-5hrs of feeding, cleaning and health checking a day and up to $400 a month in costs - the work load finally took its toll.
I think part of the problem was my reluctance to let our babies go to other homes, feeling like we were the only ones who could possibly look after them in the way they deserve and were accustomed to. But what I've learnt through the process of allocating pigs to new homes is that this was a very narrow-minded and childish view to have. There are so many of you out there that love your pigs just as much as we do, and who have incredible set ups for them. We have had no troubles at all placing 30+ of the pigs with amazing homes.
I just want to say a huge thank you to each and everyone of you who have adopted from us over the years, or more recently - it has been a pleasure to meet you all. Our babies (and older pigs) will always have a special place in our hearts, so we welcome any update pictures and emails. And I just want to make it very clear that we will take them back in a heart beat if you're unable to care for them anymore. (I hope I haven't said that too much! lol).
We should be sitting at a much more manageable level of approx 20 guinea pigs come Jan/Feb. We will not have as many litters in 2013 obviously (please be aware of this if you're currently on our wait list and missed out on pigs from our recent adoptions) - but will continue to work on producing consistent-breeding curly shebas / angora mini yaks and pedigree texels.
I wanted to write this post as a kind of 'warning' to those starting out in the world of guinea pigs - try not to get too excited and take in too many animals too fast. It's way too easy to do - they really are such incredible little creatures, and they come in so many shapes and sizes.... but try to reign in that 'collector' instinct, and just stick to a few special pigs. Nobody wins when there is over crowding. (the same applies for those of you starting studs - choose 1-2 breeds, adopt the BEST examples of those breeds that you can find from a trusted breeder, and stick to those animals. Do not out-cross lines, do not try to do every cavy breed, and DO keep your quality offspring!)
Ok - little rant is over! On to the baby photos! Here we have the two pedigree sheltie daughters born to Sirocco Genoveva and Saphira Blaise (see photos at the top of this post). This first sow is 'Sirocco Sundari'. She is a tri-colour (her other side has a lot more black!). She's newborn in the photo above, then 9days old, then 19days old (taken today). She's coming along nicely - but DID NOT want to sit still for photos today!
And this is little 'Sirocco Symphony'. She's predominantly white with ruby eyes and a small patch of agouti by her ear (possibly cinnamon). She's newborn in the photo above, 9 days old below, and 19days in the last photo.