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newest guinea pig

So this is our new little guy, his name is ferdinand. should I spell it "fur-dinand"? ha ha, no.

We got him like a month ago or so? And today for the first time we let him graze in the same pen as our other piggies. When you've got a herd, especially a herd of males, there's a careful sequence of introductions... an initial total quarantine period, then side-by-side divided quarters, then introduction on neutral ground that nobody feels like they own. Since it's September in Kansas, it was a perfect day for grazing on the lawn.

We kinda got ferdinand to even out our herd and get us back to four piggies after we lost Pinky last spring, it's felt empty since Pinky died, we're so used to cutting lettuce cores into four quadrants but with only three piggies, where's the last one go? The funny thing is that pinky was sort of the appointed "head wheeker"... the one who'd make the loud piercing squeaks to really get our attention when it was food time. And ferdinand, either by luck or by knowing that this was the open job, has just jumped right in there!

I also tried a new experiment... Judy always barks like CRAZY from the back gate when we're in the front yard with the piggies, I thought she was just being annoying or jealous but after my reading up on herd breeds, I figured what the heck, see what she'll do if she's out with the piggies. She doesn't try to eat them in the house, why would she try to eat them when they're outside? Well it worked, not only did she not bark, she spent most of the time stationed right there by the cage, sniffing and keeping watch. I always worry about neighborhood cats when the guinea pigs are out front... not anymore!

It comes in handy, because I was in our unfenced front yard with SIX small creatures to keep safe, which made for long list of priorities...

1) Keep Josie from hurting herself, due to the tragic fact that the most valuable little thing has the fewest survival instincts
2) Keep Josie from hurting the animals
3) Keep the dog from stepping on a guinea pig - she proved that she wouldn't eat them, but still jumped right into the pen a few times.
4) Keep the guinea pigs from hurting each other, since this was Introduction Day.
5) Keep the dog from being distracted and bothering a passer-by, she's still kinda bad about that, I do my best to call her back but she tends to only come back after she's greeted every living thing that crosses by our house.

Actually when I look at that list, I'm amazed it all went well.

Okay, I know I should put pics behind a cut but just one more, look at Jabba's adorable piggy face, he's so happy!


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 9th, 2012 12:27 pm (UTC)
I like his colouring... and they are cuties!
Sep. 9th, 2012 01:48 pm (UTC)
cute pics! Judy looks like she's got some shepherd in her, based on her face shape. She's gotten big! (Josie too, all I can see are knees ;)
Sep. 10th, 2012 01:40 am (UTC)
That's precisely what Pickle used to do when we had the ducks. If you held one out to her, she would look at it like it was distasteful. But if they were out and running around, fenced in the kitchen, she would bark her dumb head off if they weren't in a group.
Sep. 10th, 2012 03:04 am (UTC)
Your guinea pigs are adorable! :-D Judy is too, what a good watch dog.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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