PeDreTea – Guinea Pigs

From the very beginning, after arrival, we started to work with guinea pigs. We were talking about it with 8th Life even before coming here, so that we take care of them and in return, we can have some for food. You can find more information about them as a food in here.

So very quickly we got responsible for picking the food for them, and even when it was taking us 4 hours a day and we were really fed up, we were still bravely going out to the field with a sickle to get 3 bags of greens. A week later it turned out that it should be rather 4 bags. Few weeks later, piggies were still multiplying like crazy, so now it takes around 6 bags a day for them to not be completely hungry. Even with a scythe, it was too much for us. Now, after a month it takes us 30min to get one bag, approximately. I must admit, the task of picking the guinea pig food became too much for us, it was the only thing we were doing all days and there is not even so much meat in those little animals.

We have too many guinea pigs – that is certain. Also, we now have few generations in one cage, so they interbreed, which should not be happening. We have to kill some of them and do the population check, so we can actually control their numbers. That is certain. So, we started to build new cages for them, so we can have comfortable space for all of them while moving and after and also, the old ones ale falling apart.

Just after we started, the rest PeDreTeans arrived and, because most of them are vegans and the rest doesn’t want to eat guinea pigs anyway, we decided not to focus our energy on it. We were working half of the day on the cages and the other half on picking food for them and our energy was needed to help with more important things – like the kitchen or garden.

Luckily, we are not alone in here. Guinea pigs belong the the 8th Life community, with Jose being the one responsible for animals in general. We had a meeting and settled that we will not be taking care of the guinea pigs, only sheep and chickens. Just, once we have a new tool for cutting metal, we all get together to finish the bloody cages. And then, if someone wants guinea pigs as food, we can still contribute by picking the food. Jose estimated that it takes 10 bags for one guinea pig to grow enough to be ready to harvest, and so that is the price for them.

Right now, we can focus on our biggest priorities – kitchen and garden.

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2 thoughts on “PeDreTea – Guinea Pigs

  1. Hey hey,
    I’m Bram, also working with the Integral Permaculture Academy (from the Netherlands). I loved your article and would like to respond with one of the permaculture principles: the problem is the solution.
    You could start off by eating a bit more meat! Or butcher some and trade the meat (or stock, or jerky, or…) for some veggies. Or take a crate of them to the market and see if you cannot sell them off 🙂
    Also, you can look into checking their population growth. Look up how to determine the sex of guinea pigs online and seperate the males from the females. If my memory serves well I’ve done it when I was a kid, and I believe its possible before they are sexually mature (which is super young btw, hence the population explosion).
    I empathize with you on the killing part, it is always hard and if starts to become less hard its important to check in with yourself. But eating beings that used to be alive is part of nature and humans are not exempt from that cycle.
    Good luck to all the Pedreteans and I’m looking forward to read more! 🙂

    Like

    1. I am ok with killing them. I actually described it on my personal blog what kind of mystical, beautiful experience is that. Giving death in a loving way is like giving life and it seems thay I am not the only one who feels like that.
      But we need to wait for them to be big enough, there is not much meat in them anyway. We killed 6 lately and there is more than 30 waiting to grow.
      We did the population check, telling the difference between males and females is actually quite easy, even in the young ones. We separated males and females, we will start working on new cages for them as soon as we get a new grinder 🙂
      Thank you!

      Like

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