My First Best in Show

BISWapak

Liberty Little Miss Jingles won Best in Show at the Wapakaneta Spring Show, under judge Don Peterson.  This is my very first Best in Show with cavies – and to win with a pig I bred is extra special.

Americans in Breeding

I picked up three new pigs (and found three pigs new homes) this weekend.  They are mine, but will eventually be returned or replaced with better offspring.  I’m pretty excited to see what sort of babies Mr. Jingles throws as he is a decent boar and the sows are pretty strong in his weaker areas.  They are also from the same lines so should be compatible.

The four seem to be getting along quite nicely, there are little scuffles here and there, but for the most part, they are content with each other.

The first sow is Lovey, a decently marked sow with a nice round head that I hope passes down to the offspring instead of Mr. Jingle’s more wedge shaped head.

The next sow is Lightfoot, who is a mismarked red (out of a red and a TSW).  She has lovely deep depth of color and her former owner is hoping that the deep red will pass on to the babies.  She has nice ears and a good head, but could use a bit better crown.

And last of all, we have Suzy, a beautifully marked sow with a decent head. She has a lovely pattern on both her back and her belly, but her ears are both high and small.

And, finally, Mr. Jingles, the first pig to be born at Liberty Acres.  This boy is adorable, spoiled, and somewhat famous.  He has nice markings, an excellent crown, good ears, but lacks in his head and hindquarters in my opinion.  Though he has three legs for a Grand Championship, he can’t be registered as I wasn’t given a pedigree on either of his parents.

I will be showing Mr. Jingles, Suzi, and Lightfoot both in their individual classes and as a Breeder’s Herd this weekend in Canada and I’m looking forward to seeing how they do and hearing others comments on them.

Spring has Sprung

Between the seedlings inside, the plants popping up outside, and babies popping up all over, I think it is safe to say spring has sprung.  And finally the weather agrees, with two lovely 60 degree days!

The plants in the basement are growing and growing.  I can’t wait to put them outside soon, but it needs to warm up a bit more.

Daffodils have popped up and should be blooming soon in the backyard.

Even the sedum mom dug up to save from our building project last year has begun to show green leaves.  I think the fact that it has been in the green house gave it a head start.  But it is nice since we lost quite a few pretty flowers around where our deck used to be.

The baby pigs are growing like weeds, they are getting bigger and bigger every day.

The baby rabbits are getting big too, I just weaned them today, their markings are coming in nicely, another month or more and I should be able to show them at their first shows.

The younger litter has their full coat of fur and I’m hoping to see eyes opening in the next day or two.  They are in the popcorn stage right now where they pop all over – you touch one and they all move!

Baby Peruvian

This blog is meant to be for rabbits and cavies, as well as gardening, in spite of the fact that all the posts so far have been about gardening.  But I have some exciting news in the cavy world, so my first non-gardening post will be about cavies!

This is Onyx, my black Silkie sow, who is obviously heavily pregnant.  Because of the bitter cold and my desire to keep a very close eye on her while she is so pregnant, she was moved into my bedroom for observation.  At about 8:00 a.m. this morning, I heard some strange noises coming from her corner of the room.  I hopped out of bed (that is one sure way to get me out of bed fast) and sure enough, her pelvis was wide open and she was having contractions.

After just a minute or two, I got the first glimpse of her baby.  Black, wet, and shiny.  It doesn’t matter how many babies I see born, there is something so special about seeing the miracle again.  I love hearing that first tiny gasp for breath after the sac bursts with a suction noise.  I love the sound of mom cleaning the baby all over and the little baby wiggling around.

This little one was especially cute and funny looking because her ears were both pinned on top of her head in the sack, so she looked very silly.  Mom quickly went to work grooming her vigorously and soon those ears were corrected.

After Onyx got a chance to clean her all over and was delivering the placenta, I had a chance to check out the baby.  She is an adorable little self black Peruvian sow with the biggest, brightest eyes I’ve seen in a newborn.  She doesn’t have any white on her and from what I can see has no faults either.  After a quick check over, I returned her to mom, who was finished giving birth – in spite of her big belly, she only had one baby in there.

I left them alone for the next few hours, but couldn’t resist getting a few more pictures of the adorable girl.  She is the first Peruvian born here are Liberty Acres, and I believe I will name her Liberty Ruvi One, or Ruvi for short.

Because all the previous babies I’ve had have been Silkies and Americans, it is a bit funny to see her messy hair sticking up all over.  She is so irresistible, I just have to pet her, and she likes to settle into my hand and just lay there.  I can’t wait to watch her grow up!

Cavy Treats

My guinea pigs get treats regularly, which they love.  When they hear the rustle of a bag, they wheek, in hopes that the bag might contain something special for them.

Today, I was passing out molasses, raisin, and oatmeal horse treats.  They come as three circles together as a triangle and I usually break them apart so each pig gets one section.

Sometimes when I pass out the treats, sometimes one pig is concentrating so hard on his neighbor getting a treat that he misses when I drop a treat into his cage. Because he is worried about what his neighbor has, he misses out on what good stuff I just gave him.

It made me wonder – how many times and I so focused on what someone else has that I miss what God has given me?

Operation: Dirty Piggie

My project for the weekend has certainly been an interesting one.  It started when I found out about some piggies in need of a home.  I discovered they were longhaired, and hadn’t been well-groomed for quite some time.  So “Operation: Dirty Piggie” was created with the goal of getting the piggies to the cleanest, most comfortable state possible, while preserving as much of their beautiful coats as possible.

The two piggies, Zero (black) and Zen (himalayan), before.
Getting the supplies ready.
Zero’s before profile shot
From the top, you can see that the front of Zero is relatively unmatted, but her behind is very matted.
Her backside was greasy from her grease
gland,which resulted dreadlocks in her fur.
Zen’s before shot
Because she is white, she had some
pretty bad stains on her bottom.
From the back, you can see Zen’s tangles.
From the front, Zen just has a general bad hair day!
Step 1: Finger combing.
Step 2: Combing
Step 3: Trimming matts off
Step 4: Bathing
Step 5: Another combing
Step 6: Drying
Zero’s after profile shot
From the top, there is some unevenness in the back from the trimming 
Zero’s fur now lays nicely
Zen’s after shot
“Are we done yet?”
From the top, she looks so much better
From the bottom too!
My first attempt at putting a pig into wraps, not horrible, but not the best 
Zen does NOT look impressed.