Welcome to the Guinea Pig Manual. But others describe what sounds like a different creature. Not to mention, you can actually raise hundreds of guinea pigs in an area as small as your back garden. No skimping on plentiful grass hay, fresh water, and vitamin C. The guinea pig diet is mainly hay; we’re talking about 80% hay. Make sure your guinea pigs have access to fresh water all the time, and if it’s from a bottle make sure it works and your guinea pigs are able to extract the water. Whilst I am not veggie, I can see their point. Who knows. Sometimes the reason why guinea pig stops eating lays in the actual product that your pet is avoiding.In a majority of cases guinea pigs stop eating vegetables because they are fed with excessive amount of treats and pallets. Here you will learn all about guinea pigs: how to feed them, handle them, about their behaviour, how to choose a cage, bedding, about their health, social life, and much more – everything you need to know about guinea pig care in one place. The consensus seems to be that no matter your opinion on eating guinea pig from a moral point of view, the quality of the cooking tends to be make or break when it comes to enjoyment.Â. We will have to feed them cuy and convert them! “Winging the World is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.”, The Environmental Impact of Eating Guinea Pig. Some vegetables can be provided few times a day, some few times a week . The steady amount of produce in your guinea pig's diet means that you need to be conscientious about removing uneaten fruits, veggies and other perishable foods before they spoil. Some people are purely vegan, and vegetarian and don’t eat meat or animal products at all. In just months, such a collection may have doubled in size. Jason Woods, the nonprofit's Americas regional program assistant, says guinea pigs — which he says usually weigh no more than 2 pounds — are twice as efficient as cows at turning food, like hay and compost scraps, into meat: To render a pound of meat, a cow, he explains, may require 8 pounds of feed. Guinea Pig Sounds . They take up less space and people can produce their own meat. In fact, archaeologists believe that guinea … A dying guinea pig will become very weak and unable to feed or water himself as his death approaches. With all of the current focus on preserving the environment,  some activists are trying to market guinea pigs as a carbon-friendly beef alternative. As you would expect, guinea pigs require much less food which makes them more cost-effective to raise. A 750 pound steer can forage on grass alone if needed. The animals go for $17 a plate, each cuy splayed down the middle like a lobster and served with a front leg and a back, an eye, an ear and a nostril. Hey I’m Sheree, the awkward British wanderluster behind Winging the World. Oka marinates and deep-fries his guinea pigs for a dish called cuy chactado. 147 GIFs. Eating roasted or fried guinea pig is an ancient tradition in parts of South America, and still common today. We love the outdoors and train our dogs to explore the wild places with us, off-leash, as can be seen here: https://jumpshare.com/b/GniZ2SuBmyixVVwxzqII I am actually based in Norfolk too – how funny! After all, having dogs as pets didn't stop me from trying that meal in Cambodia. You should eat guinea pig meat because it is good for preventing arthritis, it enhances brain function, it has cancer preventing properties. The skin is extra salty and is fried to the point where it cracks as you cut it. Sort: Relevant Newest # eating # chewing # guinea pig eating # chewing # guinea pig # cute # halloween # costume # pirate # guinea pig But here, in the Andean mountains of Ecuador, guinea pigs aren’t treated as cuddly companions; they’re bred, boiled and deep-fried for dinner. Guinea pigs at a farm for the animals in Puno, Peru, where they're considered a delicacy. We have never eaten guinea pig, but will not hesitate to try if it is offered. Guinea pigs on the grill Keep it fresh. Guinea pig (Cuy) is a delicacy that is very typically associated with typical Peruvian cuisine but it is also eaten throughout other countries of South America such as Ecuador, Colombia and Bolivia.. Not only is the meat very good for you health-wise but there are also huge environmental benefits to farming guinea pig over cattle. I do worry about what people will think when they find out. They are docile, which makes them much easier to farm then larger animals. This can include antibiotic therapy, but sometimes surgery may be recommended. From a personal point of view, I would definitely recommend Cuenca’s restaurant ‘Tres Estrellas’ in which to try guinea pig. hide caption. The Little Rock-based humanitarian organization Heifer International, which assists communities in enhancing their economies and streamlining local food production, is also promoting guinea pig husbandry in Peru, Ecuador and Guatemala. The best we have ever done is this: https://jumpshare.com/v/ittYvQWPE9Kg9FCStsUQ?b=QiHas2GLri1UyPaeVVFH A change in pelleted food brands or cutting back on pelleted food must be discussed with your veterinarian. Surely though, as a meat-eater that is ridiculous? Guinea pig food is essentially dried vegetation. Changes in diet can have a serious impact on guinea pig’s health. At this roadside food stand and many others like it in rural Peru, the house specialty is roasted guinea pig to go. Since then, demand has climbed every year, according to Carlos Atorga, who opened Urubamba in 1976. Phil Whitehouse/via Flickr As I am carnivore, eating only meat, animal products and animal fat, I have no qualms about what meat I eat as long as it tastes good. The fact is that if you eat meat, you should accept that it comes from an animal. (You can’t be any more useless than me.) Middle-class foodies with a taste for exotic delicacies are also ordering, photographing and blogging about guinea pig. ... Peru, we knew that part of our culinary adventure had to be cuy or guinea pig. The sinewy meat was dry and sparse, and I went away hungry. For many of us living in the UK and US, guinea pigs don’t get our mouths watering. I envy you your ability to travel the world. Changes to a guinea pig’s diet must be done gradually. hide caption. It seems to me that through eating guinea pig we may not only reduce our carbon footprint but also become a little more open-minded about our neighbours as well. Our guinea pig feeding guide is our version of “The Eatwell guide” which is a document produced in the UK that shows how much we should eat every day. Cutting down on fruits or treats are likely starting points. A traditional food, Guinea pig (called cuy in Peru) has been served whole on special occasions since Inca times. They can be kept in backyards, or in your home. The average price of a guinea pig between two people in Ecuador is around $25. Urubamba, a Peruvian restaurant in Queens, wasn't serving guinea pig at all eight years ago. Guinea pigs make a variety of sounds or vocalizations, some of which most owners will recognize. 2018 has been a year of firsts for me. This could then lead to stomach pains and digestive upset with your guinea pig. It is all about Guinea Pigs! History of Guinea Pigs. However, it was only once the South Americans began to bring guinea pigs into Europe that they first became pets. Whilst there is evidence to suggest Europeans have never commonly eaten guinea pig, that is not the case in South America. As for all the meat-eaters out there, I struggle a little with their outrage. In the United States, most guinea pigs intended for human consumption come from Peru as whole, frozen, hairless rodents in plastic bags. "Guinea pigs don't require the land that cattle do. Your guinea pig may also have trouble eating. I know that it isn’t going to be for everyone but I believe that there are only benefits to be had by putting guinea pig on the menu. A lot of sugar in a guinea pig’s system could affect their gut by over-producing too much of the bad gut bacteria. Now, Urubamba customers can expect cuy on the menu about one weekend each month. You can make his passing less uncomfortable by offering him water from a spoon, syringe, or water bottle. The good bacteria is a guinea pig’s gut is essential for breaking down and digesting complex foods, such as … This type of poop is usually smaller than healthy poop. The only meat we eat at present is wild game, and we want our own source of eco-friendly meat. 49 shares. Now, the rodents are increasingly showing up on plates in the United States. The guinea pig or domestic guinea pig (Cavia porcellus), also known as cavy or domestic cavy (/ ˈ k eɪ v i /), is a species of rodent belonging to the family Caviidae and the genus Cavia.Despite their common name, guinea pigs are not native to Guinea, nor are they closely biologically related to pigs, and the origin of the name is still unclear.They originated in the Andes of South America. For all of the vegetarians that have just clicked the back button on their browser and all the meat-eaters crying ‘savage’ from behind their computers, allow me to explain a little bit about the history behind eating guinea pig and why eating guinea pig could just save the planet! V let the warthog for thirty six hours, as we were told it has a very gamey taste. Eating guinea pig in Ecuador With their big innocent eyes, cat-like whiskers and soft fluffy fur, guinea pigs make for great family pets. Dogs eat grass all the time. Corn is a filler is a lot of dog foods and my dogs love carrots as a snack. Neither would speak on record, but each said they are now importing more guinea pigs than ever before. As we have seen from looking at the history of eating guinea pig, these little critters have been eaten for generations. Widespread consumption of guinea pig would certainly be one way to offset this damage. This winter we managed to get a 35kg warthog, which we cut up and packed into the freezer. He says the nose, ears and fingery little hands are the best bites of all — but Oka removes the animals' extremities to avoid offending sensitive diners. Guinea pig, (Cavia porcellus), a domesticated species of South American rodent belonging to the cavy family (Caviidae). I ate a quarter of a grilled guinea pig recently during a cycling trip in Ecuador. Across South America today, guinea pigs are known to the locals as Cuy. Of course, there are vegetarians are screaming in horror after seeing the photos of fried up rodents on this page. it was only once the South Americans began to bring guinea pigs into Europe that they first became pets. Whilst this is pricey in comparison to most local dishes, it is generally only eaten on special occasions and is considered to be a delicacy in these areas. Check for untouched or unfinished treats an hour or so after they’ve been offered to your guinea pig. This depends on your perspective. It is strongly recommended to remove … Whilst guinea pigs aren’t the meatiest animal you could choose to eat, there are a number of benefits to picking this dish over other kinds of meat. La Mar Cebicheria's Chef Oka says cuy is "very oily, like pork combined with rabbit.". A Taste of Peru: Eating Guinea Pig. It is not a recent development that has seen guinea pigs end up on the plates of humans. Most venison is rendered palatable by soaking it in a brine consisting of 1 tablespoon of salt to each litre of water. I finally passed my driving test (sadly not on the first attempt), I travelled to South America for the first time and had my first experience eating guinea pig. Header photo by Nestor Lacle under CC by 2.0 Flickr.com. The desire to maintain and protect the Amazon Rainforest is heavily impacted by the need for farming space, which has resulted in crazy levels of deforestation. I am currently installing a run in my garden to raise guinea pigs for our table (Norfolk, UK). At the time, he says, conservation groups were expressing concern about local ranchers clearing forest to provide pasture for their cattle — activity that was causing erosion and water pollution. It always amazes me how many people are willing to eat meat but won’t acknowledge the process which has to happen for the food to reach our plates. I came upon this just now, for which thank you. Guinea Pig Feeding Mistakes To Avoid. Woods says a guinea pig herd consisting of two males and 20 females can sustain itself while providing meat for a family of six. There can be a lot of reasons behind the same. I am the type of guy who would try anything as long as it looks good and I must admit they do look good. Whilst I am much more open-minded about my diet now, I will confess I don’t like eating things with a face. I have heard and read a number of reports from people who say it tastes amazing and plenty from those who say it is chewy and fatty. Guinea pigs at a farm for the animals in Puno, Peru, where they're considered a delicacy. It’s estimated that indigenous people in the Andes Mountains have been eating domesticated cuy (pronounced “kwee”) since 5000 BC. The Salt contacted several federal regulatory agencies, including USDA and Fish and Wildlife, but none seemed to track guinea pig imports. We are currently doing such immeasurable harm to our planet in the name of feeding ourselves which we could easily reduce through lifestyle changes. A guinea pig only needs 4. My motto is “if it lies on my plate long enough for me to stab it with a fork, I’ll eat it.” This is the way forward for our planet! That’s what adventure is all about though, right? "They were encouraging people to switch from cattle to guinea pigs," Miller says. To help start a home guinea pig farm, Heifer International typically supplies a family with one male and seven females. If your guinea pig has hair loss and is itching or scratching a lot, it may have lice or mites. She says the meat can be tough and stringy. Several dozen people became ill after eating guinea pig meat at a Minneapolis food festival earlier this month. I completely agree that sustainable meat sources are the future and raising your own is probably the best way to go. I spend my time wandering from one place to another without a clue what I am doing. Like with pork in Ecuador, the animal is sometimes blow-torched prior to cooking to remove the hair.Â, Having always appreciated how cute guinea pigs are, I wondered how I would cope with trying to eat one. In San Francisco, Diego Oka, a native of Peru and the executive chef of La Mar Cebicheria, serves imported Peruvian cuy every summer around Peru's July 28 Independence Day. 1. Yes, that little hamster-like creature you had as a childhood pet is somewhat of a delicacy in the Andean highlands and has been a traditional part of the Peruvian and Bolivian diets since pre-colonial times. Here you can find my travel stories (and blunders) and maybe you’ll want to try winging it too! At least they’re consistent in their non-meat consumption.Â. Eating Cuy (Guinea Pig) October 25, 2011 By Dave. We have and prepared right it is not bad at all. They're docile and easy to raise.". Good luck with both projects! Next up is a pheasant breeding project. You need to consider the yield of how many pounds of meat per pound of food fed to the animal. I am a vegetarian, and personally, i would rather people ate guinea pigs then cows. Share; Tweet; Pin; Cuy restaurants in Banos [E]ating cuy was high on my to-do list in Ecuador, despite having a guinea pig named Patches as a pet when I was a kid. Guinea pigs are cute and cuddly and eating one is like eating your pet dog. The guinea pig has many positive qualities that can’t be covered completely in this short article. I would say it is most similar to a good pork crackling.Â. Whilst there is evidence to suggest Europeans have never commonly eaten guinea pig, that is not the case in South America. Miller at The Nature Conservancy says guinea pig is "delicious, very tender and hard to compare to anything else" — not even chicken. Just by the by: I have a younger sister named Sheree, second name Kim. Monitor food intake and be aware of how any changes may have impacted your pet. I have been told by locals to avoid the rainforest regions and instead try Cuy in the Andes mountain range. Things as simple as moving the cage, introducing a new guinea pig, an upper respiratory infection, and even ectoparasites like lice can stress your guinea pig out enough so that it doesn't eat and develops ileus. Limit the guinea pig to one person each time. Gordon Ramsay Talked About Eating Guinea Pigs And Why He Can't Serve Them In The US "I am telling you now, delicious." The rearing of cattle produces a huge amount of greenhouse gasses, owing to the methane emitted by the cows when they release wind. Blend or mix a guinea pig "smoothie" that contains hay, water and ground up … That is, only let one person hold the guinea pig each time you get them out of the cage, especially if that person is a child. I am not sure sending guinea pigs out to pasture would be as simple. It is not a recent development that has seen guinea pigs end up on the plates of humans. Chef Astorga at Urubamba says cuy — which he describes as "about the size of a squirrel" — has "tender flesh and very tender skin." In fact, archaeologists believe that guinea pigs were first considered as a food source in 5,000BC! Remember that even dogs are eaten in many countries and guinea pigs have been a source of nutritious food for the Inca for centuries. I don’t know if guinea pigs eat less food than cattle. Tim and I decided to put Cuy in our Ecuador itinerary and try it in the city of Cuenca. For more strange foods you can try in Ecuador, check out this post on jungle town Misahuallí! She cooked some last night and it is delicious! Then there is the consideration of rodents in mass numbers developing diseases. According to activists, eating guinea pig is good for the environment. Owing to their size, cows require a huge amount of food to sustain them and allow them to grow to the size required for the meat market. The feet have hairless soles and short sharp claws. In Los Angeles, Helen Springut, co-founder of the adventurous eaters club Gastronauts, says guinea pig is a food worth pursuing only as a cultural experience. Guinea pigs are overly sensitive to being held, so limiting their exposure will keep them happier. The Wheekwell Guide shows what your guinea pig should be eating every day and which vitamins they require. Matt Miller, an Idaho-based science writer with The Nature Conservancy, says rodents and other small livestock represent a low-impact meat alternative to carbon-costly beef. For more strange foods you can try in Ecuador, check out this post on jungle town Misahuallí! Many diners eat every last morsel, literally from head to toe. It also includes the different food groups humans should be eating from. Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru are all countries which have seen these furry little rodents grace local plates for thousands of years. The animals — called cuyes in Spanish — are usually cooked whole, often grilled, sometimes deep fried. At one company, in Connecticut, imports have nearly doubled since 2008 — from 600 guinea pigs per year then to more than 1,000 today. 🙂. Miller, who is writing a book about the ecological benefits of eating unconventional meats, visited Colombia several years ago. It wasn’t until the Spanish came and started sending guinea pigs to Europe that the furry creatures were treated as pets. Very few of us feel comfortable eating something cuddly and even less of us feel comfortable watching our food be killed. A review of these common guinea pig care no-nos helps you avoid them so your guinea pig buddies live the good life. Usually it is dried alfalfa grass pressed into pellets and sometimes has other things like corn, carrots, and seeds. In the West, it would be fair to say we are all very removed from what ends up on our plate. Cuy is high in protein and lower in cholesterol making it arguably a healthier choice than many other types of meat. Believe it or not, guinea pigs originated in the Andean region (Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru) and were originally raised specifically for eating. 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