Several months ago, we purged our backyard of all male guinea pigs.
I won’t go into details, but the males are very pig-like and self-consumed in their respect and treatment of females. It was time to give the females a break from being barefoot and pregnant. (Well, at least pregnant.) It was a little hard for me to say goodbye to Ben, the herd’s patriarch, but I found a man with a young son outside of Walmart after 10:00 p.m. one night who offered to give Ben and another male a new outdoor home. The two male guinea pigs were busy at the time munching on the vegetables I had put in the box, that they were oblivious to what was occurring.
(I’ll always remember hearing (and can picture) when Ben climbed into a split open pumpkin and ate and ate and ate, until he couldn’t move. Had I seen that, I probably would have cut him off, for his sake.)
Anyways, after we found the males new homes, we had just three adult females and three small babies left. I won’t name names of the young person who assured me that the three babies were female (because I know he would not like it). Tragically, one night a cat came into the backyard and the three little ones ran for their lives all the way around the house into the front yard where two were killed. My precious Oreo (double stuff) lost her life that night.
The next day, hiding under the large trash can on wheels was the remaining baby, a tri-colored one named Taffy. Turns out that Taffy was actually Tyrone! When the adolescent “Taffy” began exhibiting “Tyrone-like” behaviors with her mother and aunts, and the adult females remained slim, people told me that Taffy could indeed be female and that kind of behavior is present in the animal kingdom. Well, several months later, and a cold month, no less, all three females were exceedingly pregnant. So, officially Taffy is Tyrone.
In prior litters, we had lots of black and black and white babies. But now with first Darlin, and then Tyrone, we have lots of tri-colored babies. Beauties! Tyrone is a beautiful male, and I hope to find him a good home.
After a couple short days, the babies are eating solid food competing with the adults for the guinea feed and vegetables. I bought a plastic Igloo shelter for them as the first two females gave birth during a marathon cold rain we had for a few days. Coco, the last
female to give birth, gave birth inside the Igloo with most of the other adults and babies inside there with her. I saw one of the aunties helping Coco clean off one of her newborns. I got two nice pictures of one of Coco’s babies by holding my camera down near the entrance of the Igloo. Both of them are mostly white. I haven’t disturbed them to get their picture as they haven’t ventured out of the Igloo yet, where the 4 and 5 day old babies are running around like they own the place! I’m glad my investment in the Igloo was a big hit. The prior nest boxes have all been cardboard shoeboxes. But with three days of hard rain, Rivers found the babies underneath the collapsed shoe box, so I upgraded them.
I had shared in a prior post, that the first few guinea pigs were originally bought by Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha and lived in her backyard, but had then been moved to my backyard.
Eleven is a lot of mouths to feed. (Twelve, when you add Diesel, who gets pieces of banana every time he shows up at the back sliding glass door rising up on hind legs and looking so cute, I would challenge even the hardened person to not give in.) They like fresh fruit and vegetables as much as I do. It is rewarding, though, to watch the new little ones run around with abandon and squeal in delight. How lucky they are to be cage-free guinea pigs with lots of space. Well, that’s it for now, will provide updates…