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Guinea Pig Discussion Popcorns, wheeks, and all else piggy.

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post #16 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-26-2005, 07:32 PM
 
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Where did you get these guinea pigs from? What do you know about their background, genetically? Genetic diseases, etc? How many generations does their pedigree go back? And how many shows have they competed in and won?

If you can't answer these questions, you are not ready to breed your pets. How would you feel if, due to genetic diseases, the babies were all born ill, or dead? What if your sow died in labour? I know that it is harsh, but if you are breeding BYB or petstore piggies, it is highly likely.

Also, do your cousins already own pigs? If not, how much research have they done? How much money do they have saved up for vet visits... which are almost inevitable if the pair that you are breeding are from a petstore, BYB, or anywhere other than a breeder that gave you SHOW quality pigs, not pet quality pigs. If they don't own pigs, they can't have one each. As I'm sure you know, guinea pigs, with very rare exceptions, NEED companionship in order to thrive. Personally, I feel that it is cruel to keep them alone.

Please, PLEASE leave breeding to the people who know what they are doing, who have studied genetics and have good show line pigs and only breed healthy guinea pigs. Just because your pets look healthy doesn't mean that they don't have an underlying health problem that may be passed on to the babies, and I am sure that you don't want that to happen. I am also sure that if your cousins want guinea pigs enough, they will be able to find a rescue that has guinea pigs. Some rescue centres would be happy to arrange transport if they feel that the piggies will be going to good forever homes.

Also, please don't be offended by this post, or any others. I am very passionate about rescuing, and write this only to educate... why breed and buy while shelter animals die?
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post #17 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-26-2005, 07:48 PM
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*Putting my mod hat on*
We need to remember that we should make this more about factual problems that can occur and not attack the user for asking questions. We're here to educate, not belittle.

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post #18 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-26-2005, 07:52 PM
 
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Sorry, then... however, I still don't see my post as an attack, nor in any way belittling.

Oh, by the way, ran out of edit time... if you are intent on rearing babies, or getting babies to rehome... how about fostering/adopting a pregnant sow?

Oh, and how come I got an email through saying that someone had posted a reply (the post said something about how a litter and the mother died) but I can't see it on here?
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post #19 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-26-2005, 07:59 PM
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I wasn't speaking to anyone in particular, just simply posting a reminder in a usually heated subject.

Likely, the reply is awaiting moderation approval. If you'll remember, we moderate the first 10 posts of new members.

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post #20 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-26-2005, 08:06 PM
 
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Oh yeah... I didn't think that I'd get the email telling me what the post said though.

That's what I love so much about this forum. No trolls!
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post #21 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-27-2005, 02:33 AM Thread Starter
 
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ok i get all of that i have looked it the paper & the shelters & breeders i am not breeding 2 breed & my family is behind me.
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post #22 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-27-2005, 08:50 AM
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If you are not breeding to breed, then what are your reasons? What are the strengths and weaknesses of your stock? How to you hope to improve the offspring of this pairing with this breeding? Have you found a breeder to mentor you should things go wrong? Do you have your vet notified and an emergancy fund set up with atleast $500-$1000 in it? How do you plan on screening potential owners for your babies? Are you prepared to keep them ALL if no suitible homes are found (family members are often the worse caretakers. Siblings/cousins often just want one because you have on. Saying no to family is very difficult, are you sure you can?) If you are truely ready to breed, then my questions will not be offensive and you should have no problem answering any of them.

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post #23 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-27-2005, 09:52 AM
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Man,

You all are pretty harsh.


It's evident that everyone is VERY passionate about their pigs, but it's coming across as very confrontive. ...almost mean. And that's what is, when you ask these insinuating questions. Your trying to demean the person, or make them feel stupid. "...Like I know the answer, and you don't.."

It's not the way to educate people. If you drive them off, they'll never learn anything from you.

I have to say I have a lot respect for Candigirl101 for partaking in this conversation after a couple of posts. I would have blown you guys off and gone somewhere else.

She came asking a question and got attacked (and yes, they look like attacks to me).

A gentler touch might be in order, offer options ...

If she just wants more piggies, suggest shelters, or breeders looking to get rid of excess stock.

If she wants to breed, warn of the pitfalls but be supportive. Let her know how much time, trouble and money it costs to be a responsible breeder. Paint a realistic picture.

But realize, she has just as much right to do what she wants as anyone here. You at least have the chance to befriend her and help her do it the right way, if shes going to do it.

If you drive new folks asking questions away, they'll end up in the company of people who don't care as much about the animals as you do. ...and in the end, the problems get worse ..not better. The animals suffer.

I will admit this is a hard way to go for folks who love animals and are more experienced with them.

When I hear of folks wanting a Macaw or African Grey for their first bird, my reaction is ..."What a dolt! Don't they know what they are getting in to?" The answer is No, they don't.

Candigirl101 doesn't sound like she has the experience you all have in GP's ...I sure don't.

Maybe she's not aware of GP's in shelters needing homes. Maybe there aren't any near her. There are none in any of the local shelters where I volunteer my time. In fact, I've never seen one in any shelter I've been in. ...and I visit three local shelters looking for and consulting on exotics on a regular basis. It may not be a common occurence near her, it's not near me.

I'd like to thank her for coming here and asking for help, rather than just getting a book and some advice from some idiot pet store person looking to sell more supplies.

JMO

Bob



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post #24 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-27-2005, 11:05 AM
 
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I know y'all are against breeding, well, most of you, but I've bred guinea pigs 3 times before and it went fine. I woke up and found a few shadowlike figures all curled around the mom. Hey, I could be wrong. Maybe I've been blessed with smooth pregnancies. I think its alright if there's absolutely no rescue shelters in your area (which there often is, maybe even a pet store has a couple rescue pigs), or if you're breeding to achieve a certain breed(like a Silkie), given you check for genetic clashes. (I heard that if you breed two albinos they'll end up blind or somethin like that)
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post #25 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-27-2005, 11:11 AM
 
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My questions were not in any way demeaning. If she is unable to answer them, she is not ready to breed. She posted here to learn. So I gave her those questions to help her. She needs to be able to answer those in order to evaluate what she finds and decide whether or not she is ready to breed, and whether or not her pets are suitable for breeding. I can't answer those questions for her, as I know nothing about the pigs. So no, I don't know the answers, and I can only hope that she does.

The post may have been harsh, but they were harsh facts which I feel were necessary. I could have simply insulted her and called her irresponsible, but I didn't, as that would have been both cruel and un-necessary... she came here to learn, not to be attacked. NOTHING in my post was a personal attack.

Again, she came here to learn. I am not here to attack people, but to educate and be educated. I did not post this in order to begin an argument.
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post #26 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-27-2005, 11:18 AM
 
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Yeah...it is hard work. A big commitment. I remember when one of my piggies got sick I swore I'd stay home from work to take care of her if I had to. She died at the vets office though...whichI hate to say was a good thing but I guess it was because I couldnt afford to stay home really.

Anywayz...we learn here by posting and asking questions. Plez dont be too harsh on new owners or even people who just dont know much. It can really hurt. Raising multiple piggies takes money,(plez be sure you are somewhat stable finacially before breeding) love, and sacrifice at times.
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post #27 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-27-2005, 11:25 AM
 
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It can also be very upsetting, if a baby that looks to be on the road to improvement suddenly deteriorates, or even if the mother dies during labour. I know that it is harsh, but it can happen, especially if you don't know that background of the parents.

I have raised a litter only once, when I was ignorant to the issue of overpopulation. I bought a 6 week old female from a petshop to replace the guinea pig that died (her friend was lonely). She was skinny, had mites, and turned out to be pregnant. Thankfully, other than the babies having mites, there were no major complications. However, knowing what I do now, about overpopulation and all of the things that could go wrong, I will never, ever buy from a petshop or breed. If, and it's highly unlikely, I ever feel the need to raise a litter, however highly unlikely that may be, I will visit shelters until I find a pregnant sow. I urge you to do the same, Candigirl101. You won't be contributing to the over population problem... you will be helping it, and saving lives.
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post #28 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-27-2005, 01:07 PM
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Spud,

I'm glad that someone of your age has the maturity to own pets responsibley. The fact that you have strong ethical feelings is obvious. You may not have meant your questions as attacks, but anyone reading them could certainly get that idea. I was affronted just reading them.

Asking questions that you know the answer to, but that the poster doesn't makes you seem superior and somewhat snotty. You aren't like that, and I'd hate to see anyone think that of you.

You are right, in that these are things a breeder should know, but if you post them as suggestions, they aren't as confrontive.

Instead of 'grilling' the person with the questions you posed, you might do better to speak from your experience as a breeder. Tell her how many times you've had pregnancies fail, or lost babies due to genetic problems.

Explain the work you went through to find the pedigrees and backgrounds of all the animals you have bred, ...and how you went about doing it. Tell her how much it costs to take these problems to the vet, ...or how hard it is to even FIND a vet that is competent with GP's. Give her an idea of how much you spend on vet bills.

Gentle suggestions coming out of experience are much easier to digest than having someone you don't know give you the "third degree". Questions asked like that are often misinterpreted in discussions like these.

The fact that everyone here is a nice person is what I like about this forum. But misunderstandings from miscommunications often wreak havoc on otherwise helpful threads.

As far as what she plans to do with the pigs, you might give suggestions, but asking her about her cousin's is really none of your business. You might suggest that informed owners are better owners, and that they should go to a good website or read a specific book in order to be better owners. But her animals are hers to do with as she chooses. Respect her, don't talk down to her or demean her family, I know I wouldn't appreciate it.

And lastly, I have learned ...at my own great expense, that using words like "cruel" in discussions like this can be the road to a flame war.

One person's "cruel" is not the same as someone elses. They may not keep animals as you do, but things are rarely "black and white" in keeping animals. Advise someone from your experience or knowledge that GP's always seem to do MUCH better when kept together. Singles don't seem to thrive. Saying it is cruel is your opinion. It's concievable there may be animals that do better as singles. There are always exceptions.

We are all devoted animal lovers here ...many of us are VERY passionate about our chosen animals.

NOTHING will get someones temper up on a board like this than to imply that they are treating their animals cruelly, or improperly. I know you didn't mean that, but it could easily be read that way.

I've said things like that before ..and regretted them afterwards. I've also had them said to me ..and reacted poorly. Hopefully we can avoid the anger that comments like that seem to bring out in us.

Bob



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post #29 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-27-2005, 02:10 PM
 
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I wasn't meaning to call her cruel... when I said that it is in my opinion cruel to keep them alone with occassional exceptions, I was assuming that she had pairs anyway. I do realise that cruel is a harsh word, and it was unlike me to use it - however, writing at 00:32, I wasn't really in a tactful state of mind.

And I don't know the answers to the questions that I asked. I am not a breeder, I feel that I am too young to breed and financially support a nursing mother and her babies, and I feel that there are plenty of guinea pigs needing homes already. But I do know that she needs to answer them. They weren't meant to be there to prove a point, although perhaps reading them it may seem that way. Again, that was not my intention.

I didn't so much want the answers about her cousin... but I wanted her to answer the questions herself and think about it. As with the other questions that were asked. If, after honestly answering them (not necessarily replying with the answers, but making note), she still feels that she can become a responsible breeder by breeding cavies from good show lines, and can screen prospective owners (including family) then I welcome her with open arms, as such breeders are few and far between. If, on the other hand, she cannot answer any, or feels that she may not be ready yet judging by how she answered, she can improve on that certain factor, eg buying show quality cavies from a respected breeder (not saying that she needs to... maybe her cavies ARE show quality and have good pedigrees). However, until that point, I feel it wise to carry on caring for her pets as just that... pets.

If she cannot for whatever reason answer those questions, and still choses to breed without improvement... then all I can do is wish her luck. As I think I said before (I know that I thought it... I wrote a post and then accidentally pushed the scroll on my mouse and it activated the forum jump and deleted everything that I had wrote), all I can do is educate her and tell her what I know. If she ignores it, that is her choice and I cannot force her to take my advice.

So THAT post was written with me fully concious, not half asleep.

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post #30 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-27-2005, 05:26 PM
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Yeh, I hate when the time of night or my state of mind "alter" my intended answers.

And the internet is such a poor medium for transmitting nuances of emotion. Reading and writing posts are so subjective ...by what we are feeling and expect to feel from the post.

I have seen folks driven from boards who came asking uninformed questions. I know how hard it is to pack twenty years of knowledge and feelings into a paragraph or two. Especially when you think the person my be heading down the path to a "less than desirable" place.

I think it speaks well of you that you, personally, feel that you are too young and inexperienced to get into breeding at this time. I find that personal experiences and choices are much more convincing when stated like you just did.

You're sharing, not attacking ...the best kind of communication.

Well done..

Bob



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