Guinea Pig Health |
A Guinea Pig’s Health can decline VERY quickly and they will try to conceal their illness, which is a survival instinct so they won’t get eaten by a predator, so by the time you notice your cavy is sick, he’s probably been concealing his symptoms for some time – this is why prompt medical care is extremely important. Always take notice if you see a change in your pig’s appetite, activity level, weight and overall attitude. If your guinea pig quits eating, get him seen immediately, don’t wait and see if he gets better, because he won’t! Below are some common guinea pig illnesses, but always consult your veterinarian if you believe your cavy may be sick. A vet needs to prescribe antibiotics immediately because this can be life threatening. It is rare, but occasionally a guinea pig could suffer from allergies causing similar symptoms, again your vet will need to be seen immediately to prescribe medication. A serious condition that needs medical attention immediately. These will effect the way your guinea pigs coat and skin look. Your guinea pig will most likely be scratching, have dry,scaly/scabby skin or it may be painful when touched. Your veterinarian can help determine what is going on and what treatment it will need. Guinea pigs need to be provided fresh hay, daily, to prevent the overgrowth of their teeth, pelleted food alone is not enough. If you ever notice your guinea pig having difficulty eating, or notice that his front teeth are over-grown or misaligned, you need to seek medical help, they will not wear them down on their own – your veterinarian can clip or file them down.
RAISING PIGS ON PASTURE
Strategies for Profitable Hog Production: Raising Pigs on PastureResearchers and farmers find that with small portable huts and good pasture, they can drastically reduce the cost of production. Producers are raising sows outdoors to allow them more space and access to fresh air and sunshine. Texas Tech University’s Sustainable Pork Program began studying intensive outdoor pig production in 1993 and, in 1998, built a research farm dedicated to exploring profitable, environmentally sound systems that are animal-, environment-, worker-, and community-friendly. Texas Tech researchers are evaluating production costs, behavior and environmental impacts, dust and microbe levels, and pork quality. Iowa studies also reveal the benefits of raising pigs on pasture. Results reveal outdoor herds save $3 less per pig in fixed costs than indoor herds. Lowered production costs lead to higher profitability. The main cost in a pasture hog system is supplemental feed, with grain accounting for 60 to 70 percent of the cost from farrow to finish. ISU researchers studying the feasibility of grazing sows on alfalfa found similar costs for raising sows in confinement versus grazing alfalfa in a managed four paddock rotational system. Pastures can be seeded or natural, and including leguminous plants like alfalfa in a rotation can improve nitrogen cycling and supply a nutritious feed for pigs. Raising pigs outside gives them access to mud, water and shade to cool themselves. Thanks to the low start-up costs, pasture systems create an ideal way for new hog producers to get started in the industry.
GMOs Cause Health Problems in Pigs
A recently published, cross-continental study of pigs and genetically modified crops shows that pigs were harmed by the consumption of feed containing genetically modified ingredients. According to the study, GM-fed female pigs had on average a 25-percent heavier uterus than non-GM-fed female pigs, a possible indicator of disease that requires further investigation. The level of severe inflammation in stomachs was markedly higher in pigs fed on the GM diet. The 168 newly-weaned pigs studied were housed in a commercial piggery and fed either a typical diet incorporating GM soy and corn or an equivalent non-GM diet. The pigs were reared under identical housing and feeding conditions and were slaughtered at the typical age of 5 months, after eating the diets for their entire commercial lifespan. Qualified veterinarians, who were not informed which pigs were fed on the GM diet, then autopsied the pigs. The pigs were kept in real on-farm conditions, not in a laboratory. The GM diet contained three GM genes and the GM proteins they produce. The new study lends scientific credibility to anecdotal evidence from farmers and veterinarians, who have for some years reported reproductive and digestive problems in pigs fed a diet containing GM soy and corn. Iowa-based farmer and crop and livestock advisor Howard Vlieger, one of the study’s coordinators, notes that he’s seen increasing digestive and reproductive problems in his livestock since GM crops entered the food supply. Vlieger also notices some animals become very aggressive after ingesting feeds containing GM ingredients.
Guinea Pig Floor Time
In addition to giving your guinea pig exercise, you have an opportunity to play with and bond with your guinea pigs. Ideally, you should spend some time interacting with your guinea pigs during floor time, especially if you have only one guinea pig. It can be challenging to continue to give your guinea pig proper floor time day after day, year after year. So while these guinea pigs are not litter-trained, per se, they in fact use the newspaper at their home base to potty, and we rarely pick up any stray poops and rarely break out the carpet shampooer because of floor time. For additional great ideas on floor time, please visit the Free Range page and see what others have done to make life very interesting for their piggies on the floor! Free range guinea pigs get to enjoy permanent floor time. Safety First! There are two major dangers to guinea pigs during floor time, one is wires, the other is getting lost or stuck in places they shouldn’t be. Many people want to know if it is possible to litter train a guinea pig. Litter training program #1Before you begin any elaborate efforts, put your guinea pig in your designated floor time area, and observe! Let them show you where they are want to go hide and potty. The carrier approach has the added benefit of having your guinea pig used to being in it for traveling or trips to the vet, although the carrier may or may not be easy to clean. When and how often to give your guinea pig floor time. Ideally, your guinea pig should get exercise every day. If you can give your guinea pig exercise twice a day, that would be great.