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Eat Guinea Pigs!

 
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Location: Chihuahua Desert
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Got a pair of guinea pigs today to try them out. They are young, so I'll have to wait a while for them to breed. I'll post results.
 
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for anyone who subbed this thread and has since forgotten it...
i have another thread about raising GPs for meat and am doing it myself in ohio, USA.
here is the thread: https://permies.com/t/19371/rabbits/guinea-pigs-meat-journal

i have a few videos on them: http://www.youtube.com/user/girlwalkswithgoats/videos?flow=grid&view=0

here is a playlist of videos on raising them: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8E44gZrltbboZkjXrOp6JbKynsBZh9XL

i currently have 2 boars(males) and 5 sows(females). early next month i will be getting some 4-5lb bred GPs (1 boar and 2 sows) to add.
 
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sub'd until i get the chance to watch the youtube vids
 
kadence blevins
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my newest update on the GPs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mANm0eQ43iM
 
kadence blevins
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been busy. some update videos (links are in order) :

unexpected surprise!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ik8jEbMXyRo

babies everywhere!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbhrbBgxHN8

GP (and rabbit) update!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGfKxsifD3E
 
Devon Olsen
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very nice, a youtube comment said your babes showed signs of good genetics, thats good
did you go to different sources for your initial breeding stock to help ensure diversity?
 
kadence blevins
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Devon Olsen wrote:very nice, a youtube comment said your babes showed signs of good genetics, thats good
did you go to different sources for your initial breeding stock to help ensure diversity?



thank you (:

yes none of my stock are related. other then the babies obviously though i am getting a trio of large bred GPs next month about this time and they are somewhat related. but i have several ideas of how to spread the genetics around good so that they will have alot of diversity and i wont have to worry about tons of inbreeding. though i do have some linebreeding in mind for later on to possibly try depending on how the keeper babies growup.
 
Devon Olsen
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would you mind sharing your ideas for protecting diversity in your "herd"?
 
kadence blevins
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Devon Olsen wrote:would you mind sharing your ideas for protecting diversity in your "herd"?



i admit i hadnt actually written or drawn this out yet until i saw this. hahaha naughty me.
note that in all possibilities i would *always* be removing young boars into a boar pen or boar colony.

one idea is a several pen version.
pen 1: starter sows (4)
pen 2: keeper sows from sow #1
pen 3: keeper sows from sow #2
pen 4: keeper sows from sow #3
pen 5: keeper sows from sow #4
pen 6: keeper boars
pen 7: eating/selling boars
pen 8: eating/selling sows

if i would go this method then it would probably be setup like the crianza de cuyes farm videos with decent sized breeding pens and bringing forage and feeds to them. this method i would need to tattoo the boars or something to keep track of who was who's baby. for this i would probably have (since they have small ears) like left ear be S2 for sow 2, and right ear be B1 for boar 1. this way in the beginning at least if remember offhand which sow and boar is which then i can just look and see "ok this boar is from S4 and B2" or if i need to pick a boar for breeding pen 3 then i look through for ones not from S2.
or i could pick a really nice boar from S2 to see if that brings up even bigger/average/smaller piggles or also any certian coloring, to watch for roans and dalmations, which on one hand are expensive for good colored ones and on the other hand can carry deadly genes causing stillbirths and other things that will end up as dead piggles.

i'm not sure yet if i want to tattoo the sows as well or not. i think i'm leaning towards yes on that because if i start getting nice big piggles from certian sows or certian boars on a certian sow then i will want to replace other not as good producing ones with the better ones. so i will want to know which sows were from which starter sow.

alternately if i can make more pens then i could just add on with more pens. though i think i'll have more then plenty with that amount of pens! hahaha.



another idea would be if you want to run them in sow colony and boar colony style then setup some pens to put certian sows in for breeding. this would mean everyone would need tattooed or marked somehow if you want to really watch the genetics and make sure to not get inbred too much. and just record keeping who goes in the breeding pens with who. though i only have 3 sows together outside and i will honestly say i know my boys are from the himi sows (one baby each) but i dont know who had who because i just went out to find 2 more babies then i had before. that is the downside of this method.


though i think some ways to make it minimal inbreeding in this method...
1) run one boar for about a month with all the sows. then all the babies will be from that boar and you can tattoo them as being from him. then next you run an unrelated boar with the sows and do the same thing. this way you can at least keep track of the dads side.
2) run one boar for about 5/6 months with the sows. trade him out for an unrelated boar, another 5/6months. back to the first boar 5/6 months. back to the second boar 5/6 months. this way you dont need to keep records but can insure that they arent getting really inbred. though after 2 years you should probably think about getting a new unrelated boar or have the best of the best picked from your boar babies with those 2. but if you decide to go with your keeper boars then you will get more inbreeding though i dont think it would be too much until a few years in (like 5?) when you know everyone is related now and you need an unrelated boar.


another idea would be to have 2 sow colonies with all unrelated sows in each. then an unrelated boar in each. about every 2 months switch the boars from one colony to the other. another no record keeping option without too much inbreeding worry until several years in.

another idea would be 2 colonies like the last one, but keeping the one boar in each at all times. after 2 or 3 years you choose the strongest, biggest, healthiest of all the boars from each and put it as the breeder in the other colony. rinse, wash, repeat
you could also do this with 3 or more smaller colonies. that would make it longer before you'd really need new blood in them. and lets say you have 4 smaller colonies like this (say 2 sows per colony), you could take the boar in each pen and every 2/4 months just put him in the next colony over and that boar goes into the next one over, etc. then after you did this a while and had all the sows in each you could feed, then you pick the 4 biggest, healthiest, best of the best boars and off ya go again. i think this would be the best for no record keeping and least probablility of getting inbred.

 
Devon Olsen
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i responded in the other thread
 
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Crunchy Bread wrote: I know I also read that part of their diet is actually supposed to be supplemented by eating some of their own poop.  I have no idea how that's supposed to work, but there you go.  I'd be afraid that if they had no access to any poop ever sitting around they might actually have a nutritional deficiency.


Rabbits are supposed to do it too aren't they?
The deficiency would be vitamine B12. They synthetize it in the last part of the colon... as we do, but we say bye bye to our own B12!
Rumiants are more efficient, that is why they are the best source of B12 for us.

The guinea pig, cuy or curiel in south america, is eaten WHOLE. But the hairs. It means you get something balanced, because you get gelatine and thus glycine from the skin, that is the same weight as the rest.
You thus also eat the hormones that most of us have unbalance and lack, from eating thyroid and surrenals. I advise to eat the organs whole to get this. Glands were part of the diet before the rule to remove them in slaughter houses.
Also, as you can eat the meat the same day, you will get some glycogene from the muscles and the liver, and vitamine C from the liver.

The guts are also eaten. The small one is just washed, and pressed between fingers to empty. The big one is opened longitunaly so that it can be washed. But for sure it still has B12! You fry them and they become like noodles...

 
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I've had one while i was in Peru. It was okay, nothing particularly special. they do cut it in half length wise and grill so you have to be okay with seeing and eating everything hands/feet/head etc.
 
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I couldn't do it, I like to maintain a separation between food and pets for my own conscience, which is why I wouldn't raise lop-eared rabbits for meat, as those are the sorts that I have had as pets.
 
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I recently ate guinea pig for the first time and it was delicious. Kind of like duck but with a sort of pork-skin-esque shell. I would really like to get into raising these for food. I had a guinea pig as a pet as a child and it never got nearly as big as the one I ate (even though it was over fed for sure and the one I ate was raised like a free range chicken) so I wonder about getting genetics from the pet store vs from legitimate food grade south american lineages.
 
s. lowe
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I skimmed over the thread and may have missed it but does anyone here have a good source for proper food sized GP genetics? Or do we just have to get to breeding our own US food grade piggies? I'm in northern california and more than willing to drive to oregon, washington, nevada, or idaho to scoop up good genetics. I'm also happy to work out shipping if someone has them. Otherwise I may just have to start out at the pet store.
 
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stephen lowe wrote:I skimmed over the thread and may have missed it but does anyone here have a good source for proper food sized GP genetics? Or do we just have to get to breeding our own US food grade piggies? I'm in northern california and more than willing to drive to oregon, washington, nevada, or idaho to scoop up good genetics. I'm also happy to work out shipping if someone has them. Otherwise I may just have to start out at the pet store.



I've been getting a few threads going on raising guinea pigs for meat over on the rabbit talk dot com website. Personally, I have a friend who raises a herd to feed large reptiles. I have eaten two of his and I find them quite tasty. His GPs more like the large European size guinea pigs rather than the South American cuy size breeds. I would call one a small meal but not a large meal. I will try to get a dress-out weight for them. There are about 4 or 5 people on RT who have eaten home-growen cuy in the past.

Akane has raised the larger cross breed South American X European guinea pigs for raw pet food (not eaten them herself).  Akane no longer has them, but she would like to raise them again, when/if she can find a place farther away from no
 
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Crunchy Bread wrote:I saw a setup one man designed which suspended GP cage over a fishtank to recyle their poop instantly.   Much as I like the idea of not having to muck out a stable of them, I know I also read that part of their diet is actually supposed to be supplemented by eating some of their own poop.  I have no idea how that's supposed to work, but there you go.  I'd be afraid that if they had no access to any poop ever sitting around they might actually have a nutritional deficiency.

But then again, I only know what I've read.  I never even raised a hamster.



This came up in a facebook group about raising gp's for meat as well and people said that they consume this special type of poop directly from their rectum (or from one of their colleagues') so mesh floors are not causing any problems with this.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Martijn Macaopino wrote:

Crunchy Bread wrote:But then again, I only know what I've read.  I never even raised a hamster.



This came up in a facebook group about raising gp's for meat as well and people said that they consume this special type of poop directly from their rectum (or from one of their colleagues') so mesh floors are not causing any problems with this.



I have read the same.
Hamsters are another species, though the names are often used one for the other!
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Martijn Macaopino wrote:

Crunchy Bread wrote:But then again, I only know what I've read.  I never even raised a hamster.



This came up in a facebook group about raising gp's for meat as well and people said that they consume this special type of poop directly from their rectum (or from one of their colleagues') so mesh floors are not causing any problems with this.



I have read the same.
Hamsters are another species, though the names are often used one for the other!
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Update on the hair removing, in the butcher forum
https://permies.com/t/69297/critters/Removing-hairs-tanning#737236

The skin is very rich in the amino-acid glycine, that we often lack when we eat too much muscle meat. It is worth eating skin!

Then about cooking the cuy when you have it with the skin:

- you can grill it directly like this. The amount of skin make it worth keeping the skin, and that is the traditional way to do in the Andes. I learned it there. They even take the time to clean the guts...

- If you want to really not waste anything, then there are a lot of bones, and most people waste too much.

- Whatever way you cook it, you would want to separate the meat and keep the bones with the rest of meat. And make a good broth! Of course in familly or alone, you can also cook the bones you have chewed so it is up to you. I would just boil averything just after the eating. I boil with new water several times, and I still get some good taste, and of course the nutrients. Meat is rich in minerals, not only the bones.

I very often remove the skin after removing the hair, and cook the skin separately, to boil it for broth. Then cook the rest, eat the easy meat, and put the rest in the broth. They are so small that you want to eat everything.

- When I stir fry them, then finish the cooking with a lid, with either ghee or coconut oil, I let them cool, debone with my finger, put the meaty bones in the broth, and the meat back in the juice. It is so easy then to eat! But always care for remaining little bones, like when eating a fish!

- Honestly when the meat is so fresh, if you dare this, try it raw.... it is good and tastes different and LESS STRONG. Then in that case I eat what I can raw, and directly turn the rest into a broth.

- You can always eat the stomach, it is very easy to clean. I advise you to give fennel as a last meal, it will indeed be nicer for doing the job, and also some taste can stay. There is no toxicity of the stomach, it is very fresh.

- I eat the organs first, and the liver at least is something that can be eaten raw. Remove the gall bladder fo course. Take care to remove the bladder too. Then eat all the rest too, or in broth if you are sensitive.
For guts: you can keep as much of the fatty conjunctive tissues or throw all away. But you can go to the point of cleaning the guts.

- So, special part for guts, as I learned in Peru: Open the colon, the last part, and clean inside. The small gut can be just pressed between fingers to remove a bit of inside, and then cleaned without opening. Throw away the part that is very big because full of gas at the beginning of the gut.

When you have separated the thin upper gut, plus the opened colon, clean this and remove excess water, and fry it. Better than chinese fryed noodles.... but big job. Well, i guess you obtain vitamine B12, that is valuable!
 
Leonard Shatner
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The original post on this thread has an embedded YouTube video of an Australian Couple, The Fekonias. The video was from 2008, over a decade ago. I was able to contact Elisabeth Fekonia who now is a consultant for people interested in permaculture.

After contacting her through her website, I found that her husband died some years ago. After loosing her husband, she is no longer raising guinea pigs.  She does have fond memory of the experience and she wishes me best of luck in my guinea pig adventure.
 
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