Farm, Garden and The Land > Live Stock, Critters and Aquaculture

Guinea pigs - not just for pettin....

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ChadK:
Warning: Don't read this if you are at all squeamish regarding cute little critters...

Just got back from a father-son camp where most of the staff of the camp are young guys, in their early 20's and quite crazy in a fun sort of way.  I think you can see where this is going...

The camp has a nature center, with lots of critters, including guinea pigs. 
The last night of the camp they have a wild game feed around a big old bonfire, great fun.  However, while talking to some of the staff the director came over and said we should go check out what was in the pot of a certain staffer.  After bugging them to tell me what it was I found out it was guinea pig, that some of the staff guys thought they had too many so they fried up a few.

It was quite tasty and found out from one of the guys who happened to be from Peru it is considered a staple in many villages like chickens.  Just thought I'd let you know what other protein options there are out there ....

simpleguy:
I think that's awesome!  I have heard of folks who caught Possums and fed them apples/fruits/veggies for a week or two and had them for supper, supposed to be good eats.  Also talked to some guys at a gun store I go to and they said Cougar was phenominal.  So, yeah, I'd be down for guinea.

bwachob:
I am glad to have read this post.  we ahve 2 guinea pigs that we cannot give away, now I know what to do with them.  I bet they would be a little better if fed fruits for a week or 2 as stated in previous post

dkr1974:
Here's a copy of a post i made elsewhere that is relevent to this subject...

Have you ever given thought to the use of micro-livestock to augment your family’s survival plan?

I was recently inspired by some travel shows in which tourists would visit certain places in South America and eat the local foods there.  One such food was Guinea Pig.  Out of curiosity, I did a little research on Guinea Pigs and came across an economic paper describing them as a perfect micro-stock.  They can be raised indoors (great for harsh climates) and fed with any vegetable table scraps or weeds/grasses from a typical suburban lot.

Once such paper described how a breeding stock of 20 females and 2 males can yield enough food to meet the protein requirements of a family of six.   

In addition, their droppings can be used to augment your compost for a more nutrient rich fertilizer for your gardens.

If our infrastructure ever went to hell, I imagine Guinea pigs being part of my family’s survival plan.

We already store enough food for 6 months.  Rather than looting grocery stores for a few more days of food (Like I imagine people would do), we’d go straight to some of the local pet stores and buy all the guinea pigs.  We’d raise them in our backyard (or indoors).  By the time our food stores started running low, we should have a nice ‘herd’ of the little critters to start augmenting our diets with a significant protein source.  Most likely, we’d have enough meat to barter with too.

I know a lot of people have misgivings about eating a “pet”.  Being an adventurous eater, eating them doesn’t bother me.  However, I imagine a lot of people would get past their misgivings when starvation started to set in.  The way I see it, they were considered food long before they were pets.

I’ve read stories of people from western cultures who already raise Guinea Pigs as a food source.  Mainly in the United States and Great Britain.  These are people who chose a self-sufficient lifestyle and are NOT of South American heritage.

Some other Guinea Pig facts…

1.   The young are born as fully formed miniature versions of adults. (Not pinkies like other rodents)
2.   They are 100% vegetarian.
3.   Droppings make great fertilizer.
4.   People in other nations, outside of South America, are currently raising them to augment their diets.
5.   They have one of the highest feed efficiency rates of any livestock.  It’s estimated that between 3.2 and 5.7 kg of feed can yield 1 kg of growth.
6.   Scientists have been successful in breeding fast growing, 2+ pound Guinea Pigs through selective breeding.

bwachob:
It never crossed my mind to use their droppings as fertlilizer.  I usually just can't get it out of the house fast enough.

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