Posted by Nougat (18.104.22.168) on October 26, 2001 at 02:17:51:
In Reply to: Re: How do you start breeding? posted by Robert on October 25, 2001 at 05:27:50:
I asked a friend who is a breeder to respond to your doubts. I also suggest you go to Rainbow Bridge where you will see a large amount of sows that died due to pregnancy complications and take a look at the emergency forum at Cavies Galore - Do a search on pregnancy, labour, stillborn, toxemia etc. I know there are many deaths due to pregnancy complications there.
Due to the fact that cavy pups are precocious at birth - ready to run, eyes open, fully haired and of a large size(proportion to mother) compared to the newborns of other mammals - a higher rate of pregnancy complications is to be expected with cavies.
I breed and show pigs, but in no way am an expert. I've only been doing this for two
years, but I can give you my experiences.
I have gotten most of my pigs from breeders. They have full peds, and I have become
friends with several of these breeders. These pigs are from good stock. Yet, even
though I take very good care of my pigs (which I will describe in detail) I have still lost
my fair share.
We lost Milkdud on her second pregnancy. She got toxic shock, only about 3-4 weeks
into her pregnancy. It's not the same as toxemia that can occur in the later stages of
pregnancy. She showed no symptoms. Was eating, drinking and fine in the morning, was
dead by dinner. The vet said she had a uterine infection, possibly from the act of
breeding, which was inpossible to determine until she showed signs of illness. At that
point, it still might have been too late even if we had been home that day.
I lost my grand champion sow Sydney on her first pregnancy. No idea what happened
with her, either the babies were too large to get out or one of them ripped her uterus,
but she was fine and eating at 11 PM, and when we went in a 7 the next morning, she
had bled to death without delivering a single baby. She was 9 months old, supposedly
the perfect age. I still have her mother and father and sister, who have had litters, so it
was nothing genetic.
We lost Bo due to our own ignorance. I was told she was a boar, so she went in with
the boars at 8 weeks of age. She died during an emergency c-section. All of the babies
were dead, they had ripped her open and drowned on her blood. She was our first
pregnancy, unplanned, and we had only had pigs for a couple months. This was indeed
our own stupidity.
As for the care, all my pigs have plenty of room. I bed them on white or pine shavings,
changed religiously. They all have unlimited orchard grass, veggies, and I supplement all
the sows on extra vitamin C and calcium. I have spent hundreds of dollars at the vets for
various problems, so I'm not adverse to rushing pigs to the vet. I also have access
(thankfully) to a great cavy vet.
They live in my house. They are handled always. Someone is always holding a pig or
two. I know that Milkdud and Sydney did not die due to our ignorance or their care. All
my breeder friends think I spoil my pigs rotten. They are right. They also win frequently
in the shows. They died due to my decision to breed them. Had they not been bred, they
would not have died. Period.
I have had twenty litters, and lost 3 pigs. That is over 10% mortality rate, which is rather
high for animals, but not high for guinea pigs.
As for the babies, all together we have had 63 live births and 6 stillborns.
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