i have another thread about raising GPs for meat and am doing it myself in ohio, USA.
here is the thread: http://www.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.
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 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.
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...