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Guinea Pigs

Discussion in 'Livestock' started by Prime, Feb 15, 2017.

  1. Prime

    Prime Well-Known Member

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    An interesting article in the News today regarding raising Guinea Pigs as livestock. I've been aware that this is quite common in Peru for a long time , and its only our westernized minds that may reject the thought.

    The breeding Cycle and growth rate Of Guinea Pigs may well put them on par with Rabbits.

    Any for a post fall possible resource maybe worth a though or two.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38857881


    Most people see them as fluffy adorable pets, but in Peru guinea pigs - or "cuy" as they are known locally - are a delicacy.

    In the past few years their popularity has really taken off and a boom in guinea pig farming is helping many peasant farmers living below the minimum wage to get out of poverty.

    You can hear them as soon as you walk into the dusty barn. The open cages are filled with hundreds of squeaking brown and white guinea pigs, waiting for their owner, Maria Camero, to fill up their red water buckets and give them corn.

    "In the past it was only people living in the mountains who bred guinea pigs but now we've realised it's a good business," says Maria.

    "You can start with something like $100 (£80) and that money quickly grows because by three months the guinea pigs can start breeding and they will have up to five babies, so the business grows fast."

    Maria and her family produce guinea pigs on a much larger scale now thanks to her son-in-law Alessio Cresci. The Italian fell in love with Shelia, Maria's daughter, and decided to move to Peru and build up their business.

    Maria went from looking after a few guinea pigs to being part of a team breeding hundreds.

    As well as supplying to local restaurants, they also sell and sometimes donate start-up kits to local farmers who want to get involved, consisting of a breeding pair of guinea pigs and the food and pens that they need.

    "I have a daughter who is 13 and I can afford to pay for her to go to a better school, I have also paid for my son to go to university and study to be a graphic designer. This business lets me do that," says Maria.

    Thirty dollars a month is the average wage for a peasant farmer. Many of them are now earning $130 a month, according to Lionel Vigil, the regional director of World Neighbours, a charity that helps them get started.

    The key to their success is the restaurant business, which can't get enough of cuy. Farmers can sell them to local restaurants for about $8 and to high-end restaurants in Lima for up to $13.

    "The Incas have eaten cuy for centuries, but in the past it was only farmers in the Andes still eating them," says Mr Vigil.

    "When they migrated to Lima they carried on, and little by little other Peruvians from different backgrounds started to get a taste for it and restaurants started to buy guinea pigs."
     
  2. lonewolf

    lonewolf Administrator Staff Member

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    for a prepper point of view, we don't need the larger animals as they would take up too much land, too much grazing and too much feeding, smaller animals are the key, Rabbits, Guinea Pigs, Chickens and any sort of poultry.
     
  3. Prime

    Prime Well-Known Member

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    I tend to agree - I think a Pony and a Goat although not large would be a worthwhile consideration if one found themselves on a Small Holding somewhere.
     
  4. lonewolf

    lonewolf Administrator Staff Member

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    yes but very few of us have a smallholding and will be growing and rearing in our residential gardens, we all have to start somewhere, so the smaller animals to start with, if at a later date post collapse we can untilise larger land holdings and therefore larger animals- if any are left that is- then all well and good.
     
  5. Prime

    Prime Well-Known Member

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    o_O
     
  6. Orange Lemon

    Orange Lemon Member

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    Pigs do not take up a lot of room , you will get 60 -70 kilos of decent meat after 5-6 months depending on breed , the only issue I can see is storing the meat after slaughter , but there are traditional ways to cure .I like chickens my self too , plenty of eggs , and cocks to eat young and old hens when they slow down laying . If you get your hatch in spring /early summer , they will start to lay late autumn /early winter , when the older hens stop for winter . I am talking trad utility birds here , mod modern hybrids .
     
  7. Prime

    Prime Well-Known Member

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    True - We used to raise a couple of pigs in a very small area ( out house ) when I was raised on a small holding and although during normal times now I wouldn't wish to for ethical and husbandry reasons those reasons would become overlooked into an event situation. Feed would be an issue however from what I remember.
     
  8. sheepdog bob

    sheepdog bob Member

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    If I remember rightly there was a period a few years ago when the TV gardeners were advocating grazing guinea pigs on sheds/garages with 'green roofs'. The idea was that the 'pigs were safe from predators at height and they would save you cutting the grass.
     
    Brownbear likes this.
  9. ystranc

    ystranc Well-Known Member

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    We have red kites and buzzards here, Ive seen foxes regularly running along the tops of high walls, they'd all be gone in a day.
    This is typical of TV gardeners woolly thinking.
     
  10. lonewolf

    lonewolf Administrator Staff Member

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    well at least they are thinking about it. which is a start.
     
  11. ystranc

    ystranc Well-Known Member

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    It's a bit like the idea of having floating duck houses on a lake in order to protect your ducks...foxes swim very well indeed if there's a meal in it for them.
     
  12. Cheapshots

    Cheapshots New Member

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    Rabbits and chickens would be better, more cold resistant and you get eggs as well as meet from chickens.
     
  13. mark wilson

    mark wilson Moderator Staff Member

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    We may be thinking to much on what we can have in the way of animals and not enough on keeping them. Fresh water,food and healthy storage. We would only get out what we put in.
     
  14. lonewolf

    lonewolf Administrator Staff Member

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    think small, post SHTF large animals will only be useful if you have a lot of mouths to feed, if like me you have only 1 or 2 people to feed then smaller animals will be required, smaller animals take up less room- we may not have access to large areas of land at least to begin with and so larger animals may not be an option.
     
  15. Offgrid hero

    Offgrid hero Member

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    I think guinea pigs are well worth considering their turn around time is good plus they are very easy to handle,I spent some time in Peru and have eaten them they serve them whole which takes some getting used to.
     
  16. lonewolf

    lonewolf Administrator Staff Member

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    yes I saw a programme on guinea pigs and I think in Peru some people have them running around inside their houses.
     
  17. mark wilson

    mark wilson Moderator Staff Member

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    Guinea pig would be a good source of food but farming them post shtf would not be as easy at present. Firstly! Daily tasks would double if not treble post shtf. Then for breeding you would need 3 separate breeds so not to inter-breed. They don't have a large life span so to be a valuable food source they would have to be large enough to make it worth wile. Possibly they could be let into the wild to live free? This is only my opinion I must admit a do not know much about this.
     
  18. lonewolf

    lonewolf Administrator Staff Member

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    i do not think guinea pigs would take up much time even post SHTF, a pen and a run would probably be sufficient.
    if you let them loose in the wild you'll never see them again, they'll scatter in all directions and go to ground.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017
  19. ystranc

    ystranc Well-Known Member

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    Important point Mark has raised about breeding stock. It is important not to create a situation where livestock becomes inbred.
    If you do slaughter larger animals and cannot use all the meat before it spoils you could think about trading it or giving it away in exchange for a favour or two. Maybe in the future a neighbour will have a surplus of something that you could use.
    I like the favours system, it's untaxable.
     
  20. mark wilson

    mark wilson Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree ystranc......Trade for favour to favour is my way and one of the many reasons I learn skills. Skills and knowledge post shtf of making anything is as valuable as money is today