What the Three Little Pigs Can Teach Us About the Secrets to Health and Healing
To understand the secrets to health and healing, I had to revisit a conference I attended in Las Vegas, where I heard a talk from Dr. James Chestnut. His paradigm of health is very congruent with most of what I try to live and share with others. Several key points that he made during that talk have stuck with me as I try to understand why some of my patients are ill and how I can guide them towards better health. We have historically believed that the reason we became ill was due to bad genes, bad germs or bad luck.
We are starting to understand that our environment can express certain aspects of our genes. The short version is this: epigenetics is the science of how our genes get expressed and are affected by environment and lifestyle. Our genes are the equivalent of the blueprints of your house. The food you eat, your quality and duration of sleep, your ability to manage stress, and your activity level will affect the way your genes are expressed. People need to understand how to control their own health.
If you believe that you just ‘catch illness’ or by treating only your symptom you have solved ‘the problem’, then you lose self-control over your health. Trying to treat your body for adapting to the environment will never correct the problem. Lowering your blood sugar with medication will never correct the problem which is completely preventable.
What Not to Feed Pigs
By Mel Dickinson – As important as it is to know what to feed pigs, it is just as important to know what not to feed pigs. This gives homesteaders and farmers a lot of freedom in what they feed their pigs. This can be done by using commercial feed, working with an animal nutritionist, or using a feed ration guide to help make sure all dietary requires are met for the optimal well-being of your pigs. Rules vary from state to state and some states prohibit supplemental feeding to those pigs being sold as pork. What not to feed pigs is anything moldy, slimy, or rotten.
Feeding raw meat to pigs can transfer diseases such as foot and mouth disease. Eating raw eggs can interfere with the biotin absorption of pigs. Free-range pig farming allows pigs to eat fresh grass, bugs, and roots. What not to feed pigs from the garden are unripened tomatoes, raw potatoes, raw sweet potatoes, parsnips, celery, celery root, parsley, onions, avocados, and rhubarb. Another thing to keep in mind when deciding what can pigs eat out of your garden is to make sure they eat a variety of produce.
We have had pigs that wouldn’t eat raw zucchini, which of course is a big summer produce item from our garden and markets. Whether you are new to raising pigs or have been doing it for years, it is always helpful to have a written list of what not to feed pigs on hand.
Understanding Your Guinea Pig
Guinea pigs are very friendly creatures, with a lot to say for themselves. They will make this noise to greet you, and to welcome the food you are bringing them. This is made when they meet a new guinea pig for the first time, especially in a boy meets girl situation. If there is any bickering between guinea pigs then this throaty rumble may be accompanied by some teeth chattering. Then there is the background of chat as they communicate with each other as they feed, made up of little squeaks and chirps, no doubt talking about food!
When behaviour goes wrongGuinea pigs are social creatures, and will rarely fight with each other. If there is not enough food around one dominant female may start to bully the others. If there is disagreement within a group of females it is important to provide several food bowls, and tubes to hide in. It is also worth considering introducing a neutered male who will take control of law and order. If there is a lack of food, particularly a lack of hay, then dominant guinea pigs may start chewing the coats of the others.
This is known as barbering, and the culprit will be the only one left with flowing locks! Barbering can also occur if the guinea pigs are bored. So provide them with plenty of hay and let them take lots of exercise and they are unlikely to start chewing each other.
My Guinea pig is laying on it’s side and is barely breathing, is she going to die?
With the symptoms you described they do seem serious and I would say she is near death. Seven years is a long time for a Guinea Pig – so her body is probably just giving up on her. I would always absolutely recommend taking her to the vet, if there is nothing they can do for her they at the least can euthanize her so she doesn’t have to suffer any more than she has to. If you choose not to take her to the vet, warmth is always the best thing you can offer an ill animal. Keeping her warm will relax her tense muscles and allow any of her energy that would have been used keeping her body warm to be used on other things.
If she is not able to move at all, you may want to attempt to get water in her through your finger or a dripper. If you are going to do this – make sure not to give her too much otherwise she may not be able to swallow and she will suffocate. If she seems to visibly take down the water well you can then give her a little more. There isn’t anything you can do otherwise – just keep her as comfortable as possible. You seemed to take care of her very well if she has lived this long.