Piglets – Just Not the Right Sort!
You’re probably aware that we’re impatiently waiting for our first litter of Berkshire pigs to arrive. We’ve been told we’re probably in the last week or her pregnancy now, so let’s hope so. It’s been a very long wait!
But we’ve had some other piglets born – guinea-piglets. Two litters of three each have arrived, thanks to Cleo and Cupcake, the mothers.
One of these piglets is Pico Pig, the tiniest baby guinea-pig I have ever seen. He’s about a third of the size of his brothers, sisters and cousins, and they’re not huge since we seem to specialise in producing small guinea-pigs. We joke that we’re on our way to producing nano-pigs.
Twice Pico has pushed his way through the small gauge wire on their cage. I wouldn’t have thought it was possible, but he can do it! We’re trying to help build him up with some doses of sugary water to make sure he’s got enough strength to get hold of mum’s teat occasionally. Guinea-pigs only have two teats yet generally produce more than two babies. Fours and fives are quite common. So not a very good design and one which puts the weaker babies at a disadvantage. We tried milking one of the mums (we’ve milked alpacas and llamas, so why not a rodent?) but it didn’t work. However, Ruadhri announced that the milk was very sweet after he licked his sticky fingers. We’ve also tried holding Pico to his mother’s teat but either she’s too stressed to co-operate or he associates contact with us with the sugary water now and isn’t that fussed about getting any milk.
We’ll just have to see how he gets on. He’s very tiny but he seems fairly tough so fingers crossed he makes it. We have guinea-pigs to spare and then some, and we’re not soppy about our animals, but we’ve got to give the little guy a chance.