I just dropped the price of
the permaculture playing cards
for a wee bit.

 

 

uses include:
- infecting brains with permaculture
- convincing folks that you are not crazy
- gift giving obligations
- stocking stuffer
- gambling distraction
- an hour or two of reading
- find the needle
- find the 26 hidden names

clickity-click-click

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guinea pigs as meat... my journal as i go  RSS feed

 
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kadence blevins wrote:
Tokunbo Popoola wrote:how much time did it take to get them ready? I was thinking of a kinda cuy/pig tractor system? with adding aged hay.



get them ready for what exactly? haha you mean butchering or grow out time or...?

I would like to try a tractor system but with how things are right now and the way the land here is I cant do one. though I have many ideas for ones.
not sure what you mean about adding aged hay. mine get hay and cut forage constantly. whatever they don't eat gets used as bedding which then goes into a compost pile or onto plant areas.



yes grow out weight. I say old hay (but what i meant was hay).. Id like to raise emu's and have been looking into getting the to "pasture" more .. it was suggested that mixing fresh grass clippings and ferment grass clippings along with seeds and things will help transition them to long grass grazing. so my brain was there when i said old hay sorry.

The tractor system kinda hurts my brain because i know they need to eat that soft pellet to get all the nutrition for there bodies. Also the larger cuy seem to be "over inbreed" i wonder if that can be fixed.. i mean they breed pretty quickly so i would imagine a good breeding program should be able to fix that issue..

 
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Tokunbo Popoola wrote:
yes grow out weight. I say old hay (but what i meant was hay).. Id like to raise emu's and have been looking into getting the to "pasture" more .. it was suggested that mixing fresh grass clippings and ferment grass clippings along with seeds and things will help transition them to long grass grazing. so my brain was there when i said old hay sorry.

The tractor system kinda hurts my brain because i know they need to eat that soft pellet to get all the nutrition for there bodies. Also the larger cuy seem to be "over inbreed" i wonder if that can be fixed.. i mean they breed pretty quickly so i would imagine a good breeding program should be able to fix that issue..



ahh I've never heard of that. no problem I just didn't know what you meant by old hay.

as to grow out weight, i'm not sure. the process seems to commonly be about:
2wks old, separate from moms into groups by gender
about 4months old butcher/sell off meat boars and organize breeding groups for sows.
2/3 years old retire sows and switch in younger ones.

soft pellet?
you mean eatin the poops for healthy guts or pellet feeds?

"over inbreed"..? only the ones from south American little villages where they are kept in houses run around and no controlled breeding at all are the badly inbred ones. line breeding can be very good you just have to make sure you cull hard for what you want.
 
kadence blevins
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this is the "large bred" sow. pic from day before yesterday. due date early as 6/20. i'm guessing she will have 5. she is bit bigger then the one that had 4 and one side is bigger then the other, so that's my guess.



himi sow, sister to the one that had the 4babies. so hoping she follows her sister and has 4! due date early as 7/4.



the whole group

 
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Enjoyed reading through your thread here. I've been thinking about doing this since watching Bizarre Foods. Really wish I could get a source for larger sized gps. I'm in central ks and everyone I can find that raise them around here are for pretty little pets.

Been thinking that if I did this I would sprout trays of wheat grass. We have plenty of wheat.

Do your cats pester them a lot?
 
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We've got 3 adults, now, but still haven't had a chance to eat one. Our older sow gave birth the other day. She had 4 cute little ones. Ours don't seem to get very big, and I haven't been able to find any of the meat breed.



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kadence blevins
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Drew Salsbury wrote:Enjoyed reading through your thread here. I've been thinking about doing this since watching Bizarre Foods. Really wish I could get a source for larger sized gps. I'm in central ks and everyone I can find that raise them around here are for pretty little pets.

Been thinking that if I did this I would sprout trays of wheat grass. We have plenty of wheat.

Do your cats pester them a lot?


the area of the barn they were in, the cats cant get in.

unfortunately I thought it was 110% critter proof but it wasn't. I lost 9 GPs ): the survivors are inside now. its not a very good setup but i'm working on setting up something better.
current count is 1 boar, 5 sows, 3 young boars (1 keeper), 3 young sows (all keepers). if I can swing it I may be getting some more adult sows from someone but money is tight.

i'm currently buying wheat for feeding out. I sprout it but having problems with mold with it hot and humid now so feeding it out at about 2 days after soaking. they gobble it up though.

as for larger GPs unless you want to invest at least $800 in buying from out of country..... just stick to breeding them up. buy large ones from your area and do what you can. that's what i'm doing and most others who are trying this.
Abe, congrats on the starting! might not be what you want exactly but its a step (:
I bought the one pair from Georgia, you can try messaging him on youtube. here is some of his GP videos:





 
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long time, no update. sorry guys things have been crazy with family and job searching and everything going on. so here is an update (:

large bred tri sow ended up havin trips. you saw the preggo pics... here is the morning I found her and babies pic:






the white/silver is a boar and the two tri-colors are sows, black/red/white and redagouti/red/white.

himi sow had trips. himi boar, himi sow, red/white boar. sadly the sow had aspirated some of the birthing fluid and died the next day but the other two were great. red/white boar is still here and the himi boar was sold with his mom.




 
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the only survivor baby of "The Great Coon Massacre" was the cinnamon agouti sow. survived by hiding inside the cement block, was still squished back to the wall fearful when I gathered up the survivors and took care of the dead.


and her next to her mom, the silver sow.


the red/white boar from the sold himi's last litter here. probably going to breed him back to his aunt (my keeper himi sow) and then sell him or butcher him.


the white/silver agouti boar from the large bred sows last litter. he is growing good and I am thinkin of keepin him back as secondary boar. breed him back to his mom and hopefully get some creams.


the black/red/white sow from large bred sows last litter


the red/red agouti/white sow from large bred sows last litter


silver sow and himi sow had each had a litter on 8/9/13. silver had twins and himi had trips. red is silvers babies and blue is himis babies in the pic.



current indoor setup, sow and baby pen and smaller growout boar pen. main boar is is a huge like 20gal "bucket" (its like a huge plastic pot really and don't worry, plenty of space for the lone boar while the sows get a break)



 
kadence blevins
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so here is my list of current GPs...
keywords here... abby = swirly fur... American = smooth short fur... longhair = has longhair... teddy = a shorthair type that is rough bristly fur...

boars:
main red american (from leon)
white/platinum agouti American (red x tri sow son)
red/white abby (red x himi sow son)

sows:
himi abby
longhair (tryin to rehome her)
tri American (from leon)
abby-teddy (new, proven mom, currently in with red boar)
cream abby (new, proven mom, currently in with red boar)

young sows: (all will be first breedings before end of the year)
cinnamon agouti American (red x silver agouti sow daughter)
red/black/white American (red x tri sow daughter)
lil himi abby (red x himi sow daughter)
red/white abby (new, traded for)
"black" agouti American (new, traded for, looks black but really dark agouti will get lighter with age)
red/white/red agouti abby (brother of boar I butchered x tri sow daughter)
white/cream/lemon agouti abby (brother of boar I butchered x tri sow daughter)
silver agouti/white American (brother of boar I butchered x tri sow daughter)


the red boar is still going to be my main boar. he is staying until he breeds so much that he is bred all the sows several times. so as long as I get a new sow and have a spot for him he is staying around.

his son, the white/platinum agouti is to be the next main breeder.

the red/white abby boar will be bred to the himi sow (his aunt) and the red/white abby sow when she is old enough and then i'm gonna sell/trade/eat him.


oh and i'm trading the two boars from tri sows last litter for two sows. roan carrier abby and an abby. both bred to a nice roan abby boar.
in the pet/show world roans are awesome so I might be able to sell off nice roan young ones for good prices if there are any show worthy ones. the boar they are bred to is a grand champion from Canada (:


i'm gonna have to separate out into different pens soon for splitting the boars into breeding groups of what sows I want with them... so I need to make into three breeding pens and one growout pen. and still leave me the "huge bucket-tote" for young boars... *shew* how am I gonna do that?! x.x

just wrote out probable breedings and dates for up until December! woohoo! gonna end up with 15 sows and 3 boars by the time all the current keepers are old enough! that'll be just the breeders! woot!
and counting out and writing down approximate due dates they stretch on until 2/6/14 how's that for planning ahead?
if i kept goin like this i bet i could imaginarily expand my herd with most likely breedings and keepers for years ahead!
 
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kadence blevins
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new guinea pig digs (: 1boar and 9 sows. hopin to sell off most of the sows and get an older boar cause I don't think this one is matured yet **grr!!** hoping they are all bred but its not lookin like it right now. two were due this week if they had been bred last go...
i'm keepin an eye out for a new adult boar and i'm gonna wait a bit and closer to due dates when I can tell for sure sows aren't bred i'm gonna be sellin off most of them. get down to just the bare minimum that are out of what I got from GA. then later on if those ones don't come up bred I may even sell them off and just wait a bit and save up to make the trip down myself and buy up a group of stock from him.





 
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figures, just when I decide to downsize some sows... this happens... *sigh* he covered her once before this too but I hadn't had the camera ready for that one. the sow he breeds in this video is the roan carrier so I guess that means she wasn't bred.. noting the breeding in my journal and looks like she'll be stayin. new due date appx 12/28/13.

 
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yeah, be careful on that board. I saw your posts, and I can tell you, people will get crazy about you letting your animals breed. They don't like breeders on that forum. Also, they seem to want people to have a guinea pig vet on hand and buy pellets and stuff. I've seen it mentioned several times that guinea pigs should never be outside and should have a pelleted diet. They obviously would get mad if they knew you were eating them, so leave that part out.

Some of these pet forums are truly fanatics. And they have some terrible device. Like surgery on a guinea pig! WHAT?!?!?! do not do that, put the poor animal down, out of its suffering, don't operate on a rodent.

so with the operating on them, usually that's a pretty noninvasive procedure involving bladder stones, second domestic(pet) guinea pigs live on average seven to nine years, depending upon breed. the cuy live three to five. i personally know someone with a hamster that has only been handled when transitioning the cage from the pet store, and it's 18 years old. she got it when she was six. stress does a lot to these animals, and breeding them calmer(as pets) has lead to longer lives as well. that site is pretty fanatical, but the operating isn't like if they have cancer or kidney failure or something, it's mainly the bladder stones. and nine years is a reasonably serious pet. sure, it's a rodent, but... it lasts longer than most relationships do. if you're raising cuy, obviously that's silly, but it's worth pointing out that the biggest cause of bladder stones(which usually happen right around nine months of age) is when someone doesn't transition from high calcium for growth alfalfa pellets to timothy hay pellets. same goes for other veggies. sorry if i came across as rude, i just wanted to explain the like... lifespan basically. i mean, i keep oscars and turtles, and oscars are "just a fish" but they live right around fifteen years normally, and they're aware of the world outside the tank. if my oscar got sick from something i could have prevented, i'm gonna do my best to help it get better, because i'm not eating it, and it could have lived another ten to twelve years if i had provided for it like i should've, you know?
 
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Riva Gustafson wrote:and nine years is a reasonably serious pet. sure, it's a rodent, but... it lasts longer than most relationships


Holy smokes... I almost stopped breathing with the scare you gave me... I really wonder what would be of your existence had the previous generation (aka dad and mom) condoned such practices... I'm still a little light headed from reading that but let's go to what matters...

Since this old topic was already dug out and I ended reading through the whole thing better leave a few gems for posteriority.

Riva Gustafson wrote:the operating isn't like if they have cancer or kidney failure or something, it's mainly the bladder stones


you mention surgeries, right? I've done cesareans and necropsies, surgeries, stitches, filing down of teeth, castings (it"s not castings, but I don't know the exact english for that) and such in guinea pigs... but then again that was decades ago while I was part of the veterinary hospital... nowadays in my home many times I stitch ugly wounds of fighting males and sometimes even have to improvise cesareans to keep the whole lot alive in cases of late breeding and countless other minute things, but that's me, because in my case I can. I hope none of my colleagues read this, but if I had to pay someone else to do it, I don't think I would... my wife's guinea pig that she keeps as her pet, maybe I would, but the others raised for meat, sorry to say, but no... only if it was justifiable.

kadence blevins wrote:sadly frank passed away (last year i believe) but elisabeth is still going strong (...) Like any livestock kept for meat- they need high protein feed to pack on the muscle and a bit of grain or pellets will help with the protein boost too


Frank was great guy... he did incredible things in his property, and the couple's luxurious mansion was built almost for free just by making the right decisions. And he also did those things with the fish and livestock and plants and so on and so on... wonderful environment to raise a family... And I know it because I was raised in a place like that.

But Elizabeth mentions feeding them high protein to pack up some muscle and most people do that through pellets since hay and similars have very low protein levels, mine are not very fond of artificial food but I used to give them corn for that effect and recently changed to spirulina.

R Scott wrote:Their free ranging capabilities are really interesting

I release mine in the garden and they know where the fence ends and even though they can pass trough it they never go to the neighbour's property and only go to the street if I put them there. The street in front of my home is littered with stray cats that glue their eyes to them like laser beams but don't get close nor touch them. The small ones are a different story of course... they would become a cat's meal, but adults are roughly the same size as 80% of the cats here except no tail and miniaturized legs... and then me or my wife call them and they come back home to sleep in their hutches. That and other things that they learned took only a couple of months of training and when the dominants are trained the others learn from them.

Grant Fulcher wrote:they are able to be free ranged in herds no cages or seperating b/c of fighting

Well, males fight and can kill each other... might not be through direct attack but through infections, especially in my case since I'm in the tropics and it's a highly boiling bacterial soup in here, besides their teeth are long and can open deep holes when they bite... Last time I put my hand between fighting guinea pigs the animal thought it was his rival touching him and bite my finger deep to the bone on both sides.

kadence blevins wrote:guinea pigs rarely jump and not high

Mine don't have the habbit of jumping for no reason either and are very quiet animals, but when they jump, they jump. The adults I have jump everyday 30 centimeters without problem just to get back into their raised hutches... And my wife's pet can jump even higher when under life threatening situations such as fire, earthquakes, landslides or escaping bath time.

Abe Connally wrote:If you could get the big ones (cuy), they might be efficient enough for folks that can't or won't raise rabbits.

The biggest problem raising guinea pigs for meat is not much their reproduction but rather their size, but they can be bred to become bigger...just like they can be bred to have the fur of a chosen colour... but they're not much bigger... 20% approximately.

I see all these pictures and most are of american guinea pigs which is a small breed of course, so it's obviously better not to start with them. When I started, I started with the absynian breed and if I take an adult and compare it to an adult sold at a pet store it's immediately noticeable that it's 20% to 30% bigger... in fact I have a store bought american outside... I'll go snap a picture of two fully grown adult males with approximately same age side by side just so you can see:



Just for reference, the piece of wood that guinea pig is leaning over has close to 30 centimeters in height, so bottom line... yes, the potential to grow exists but you have to do what has to be done... I look at guinea pigs like I look at relationships... they are not gonna get anywhere by comfortably sitting on a chair with arms and legs crossed... like most things in life, takes some sacrifice.

Abe Connally wrote:they are very good at keeping rats and mice away

And cats also... rats are not my problem but at night I always had stray cats opening the windows from the outside of the house while we sleep to sneak into the kitchen and destroy and steal food and if I let the guinea pigs around the house it wouldn't stop a determined cat but it does scare most of them away and I stopped having such problems because they see something moving... which is one of the most intriguing things about guinea pigs because I never saw one sleeping... I've never even saw one with closed eyes... and I put enphasys on the word never.
 
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Jorge Fonseca wrote: which is one of the most intriguing things about guinea pigs because I never saw one sleeping... I've never even saw one with closed eyes... and I put enphasys on the word never.


I will second this. I believe they sleep with their eyes open, although I have very occasionally seen one close its eyes while sunbathing. I have crept up on a guniea pig with its eyes open, nudged it, and it jumped a mile.

In fact, I took one to a vet once, and he pronounced it blind because it "didn't have a startle reflex" as he poked his fingers at its eyes. I said don't be silly, it's not blind, guinea pigs don't have a startle reflex. Their natural reaction to danger is to imitate a small furry brick. He said "all animals have a startle reflex". We had to agree to differ.
 
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Hester Winterbourne wrote:a vet once, and he pronounced it blind because it "didn't have a startle reflex" as he poked his fingers at its eyes

Nooooo, really? lol...

"Menace response"/"startle reflex" is one of the standard tests when assessing blindness... in dogs.

What you need is a specialist. You got two options:

1) Either you find someone who is really, really, really good and is the best veterinary in the place where you live

2) or you have to find a specialist... a qualified veterinary ophtalmologist.

I had guinea pigs with partial blindness from cornial injuries since they have that habit of walking and pushing obstacles out of their way by using their heads, and sometimes the eyes pay the price.

Someone might bash me for derailing the topic since we shold be talking about guinea pigs for meat, but I really liked the conclusion "Let's agree to disagree, my friend", so comical... I would say that you are both right in your own ways.

Hester Winterbourne wrote:He said "all animals have a startle reflex"

Technically they do have "startle reflexes"... so the phrase: "guinea pigs have a startle reflex" is absolutly true... but if you wanna startle a guinea pig better use accoustic stimuli since they are extremely sensitive even to the faintest sound, but visually they have an incredibly horrible depth perception that makes them seem almost blind. Last time I checked, ophtalmology was common in a veterinary curriculum, but psychophysiology is a totally exotic area and I cannot imagine where anyone would fit that, maybe in semiotics or medicine of company pets... most times those things are learned when you specialize or through experience in internships. Bottom line, guinea pigs are not that vet's specialty.

Hester Winterbourne wrote:Their natural reaction to danger is to imitate a small furry brick

Still remember the first time I saw a guinea pig immitating a "furry brick"... and I was moving around him looking from every angle... 15 minutes without even blinking... after the first 10 minutes I was beginning to get really worried... it was super odd... not even a blink... totally petrified... and sometimes the neighbours also see that and ask: "Is it a stuffed toy or is it real?"

Oh, and by the way, kadence thank you very much for the recipes... the sauce is the really important thing.

kadence blevins wrote:cuy with a hot sauce
Cuy Picante Huanuqueño Style
Picante de cuy
Cuyes en salsa de mani
Fried Guinea Pig (Ayacucho-style)CUY CHAQTADO
 
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Fascinating thread! Looks like the rescues out west see a lot of cuy - almost a third of the available animals on the LA rescue page are cuy. (http://www.laguineapigrescue.com/) I'd guess there's even more of them to be found on Craigslist and such in that area, and you'd sidestep the intense interest that would come with adopting from a rescue.

So... which enterprising permie in the southwest is going to start collecting and breeding cuy? I bet it would make a nice side income.
 
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HI There - an interesting thread.

Forgive me if i've missed it in a previous post - but how would you kill these? I'm curious because it's not something i've done and i'm sure there's a humane way that i am unaware of?
 
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mark buxton there isn't a good hands-off way that I have found unless you want to mess with a diy CO2 setup. here is the video I did. I just wrung the neck and cut off the head. you can do a search on youtube and find a few videos from peru etc where they grab one up, look it over, and slice its neck open in a matter of maybe 30-40 seconds. personally I am too clumsy to do that! I was fine wringing the neck and knowing i'd do it quick and as painless as possible.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFF1T-qzALM

 
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we are crossing a Guinnea pig sow with a Kune Kune/Guinnea hog boar, looking forward to rereading this thread and thanks for the info.
 
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Ernest Rando wrote:we are crossing a Guinnea pig sow with a Kune Kune/Guinnea hog boar


Is that even possible? Or are you talking about a different speices that happens to share the same common name?
 
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Kune Kune is an actual pig that grazes and does not root, is there a guinea pig named after it?


I'm in Louisiana and have been looking for Cuy for years, or at least a really large breed of Guinea Pig, but haven't been able to find them. Some people seem to find them, mostly in California pet shops, but I don't know enough about the difference to know if they are Cuy or just mutated GPs. I'd be interested in trying to make a very large breed of Baldwin GP, since they are hairless...would be kinda cool, granted pelts are always useful but a Baldwin would make cleaning them ridiculously easy.


Anyone know of actual Cuy breeders in the US?
 
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mark buxton wrote:HI There - an interesting thread. Forgive me if i've missed it in a previous post - but how would you kill these?

I do like rabbits... a big whack in the back of the head... or grab by the legs and hit against a corner.

Burra Maluca wrote:
Ernest Rando wrote:we are crossing a Guinnea pig sow with a Kune Kune/Guinnea hog boar
Is that even possible? Or are you talking about a different speices that happens to share the same common name?

Perhaps what he's trying to say is something like this:
 
Colin Nelson
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I've met that kind, they are the best! The perfect yard pig...
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Me with a Kunekune in NZ.
 
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My experiences with Cuyes is primarily from Ecuador and Peru. (or you can use "Cuy" as a plural if you want, but I'm used to "cuyes") I've heard a bit about "improved" cuyes, and did hear something about these being available in the USA. I do not think they're a different species. Think about the sizes rabbits can be... Weird taste? There musta been something wrong with the prep or the recipe. Cuy is great. Muy sabroso! There were Aussie and Kiwi permies developing cuy forage systems, even using them in agroforestry systems, back in the 80's. Sure, you can use pellets as a supplemental feed. I'd get organic pellets if I did, but I figure any weeds that I have in the garden that they like would be good for them. Works like that for chickens and rabbits too in my experience. It's good to carefully try tree, bamboo and perennial leaves for browse too. Proceed slowly, offer choices and observe. She'll be right. I can cook rabbit, did it for an international restaurant on Orcas Is. in the 70's. And last year the Easter Bunny came to my house for Thanksgiving- he was delicious. But I like Cuy better by far. They taste lke little nutria! (Myocastor coypu) omly w/o the long tail....
 
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Thanks Kadence and Jorge.

I assumed it'd be that simple, but it's always worth asking if there's a tried and tested way that's even just a bit better.
 
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kadence blevins wrote:cuy are the light colored (i read that it is believed traditionally that the eating the dark ones is not good?? no idea on reasoning though. seem most all are white with orange/red/peach color.) and big bodied relatives.

cuy also i read tend to have ptylydactyly (spelling could be way off but bear with me here) which is having too many toes. meaning normally they have 4 toes on front feet and 3 toes on back feet,


The differences came from breeding, thus selection.
Here we have only the small ones, as it was started from pets. This spanish island is very latino for many costums.

My experience: I do select the ones with no black! Just slaughter and eat with the skin and you will understand why! It is not appetizing at all when you have black skin. Just imagine having black pork rinds...

Then I have also noticed some toes that should not be there, a small one on the side. It comes from inbreeding, as we do not go again to shops but those who want to start get them as a gift from others around. Some people stop because they are too much work for little result. I do not mean the breeding but the preparing.
 
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