I found this video while searching through some archives and felt like sharing it with you. I made this for my lip-syncing class (animation). it's a very basic model that I made and it's fully voiced by myself- though inspired by a good friend of mine. So for the sake of a bit of fun... enjoy.
In many ways the Mulbring show was an eciting time. I knwo I failed to present my animals well, I had planned to pull foreign hairs all of saturday but things went awry and I had to forgo the foreign fossiking to put more time into grooving out the guardies. It was a bit embarrassing to also be presenting the judge with a couple of pregnant sows. if I had taken the time to prepare them right I would have known they were pregnant; so I felt a bit foolish.
But I was asked to judge the pet show and that was a lot of fun. Exhausting but great... funny how those things go together. I hope to judge the pets again- I probably will... hmmm Loftus is coming up....
it was a highly successful day in other ways too. I had taken a group of young boars to sell and managed to sell almost all of them, with one being sold for delivery to Loftus and the last two being sold the monday after the show it worked out incredibly well. The funds went straight into doing abulk order of food so they have just paid for themselves as far as dry feed goes for the next few months. With the home grown goodies for wet food and a 20 year old mulberry tree begining to shed they are getting a good diet.
suprise of suprises though was getting these two photos from one of the adopting families. This is what it's about, that look of delight on kids faces as they play with their new pets. Photos like these make it all worth it so with umost joy and gratitude I've been given permission to add them to my site.
I'm so much more relaxed about the guineas these days. Before I was taking notes on just about everything, birth weights growth weight gain, sizes at meaning and, for some sows, tracking their 'seasons'. All to make sure they were growing well and doing okay. But lately i've just sort of left them to it. At first I was annoyed that university was pulling me away from the cages too much but sitting down today with some weanlings I realise that the stud is thriving. Perhaps I was over-managing them... and the more i tried to manage them the more trouble i seemed to be having.
For the simple lifestyle they lead and their (what I had thought was a) pretty substandard diet it seems to have hit the nail on the head. Only two babies this year were under 90g at birth (and they were in a litter of 5). I weaned some abby X babies today- technically a little early- but they are almost 300g ea. I'm going to brag for a moment that a satin sow had her first litter yesterday at 16 months old. She wasn't supposed to be pregnant (A satin sow has to be pretty damn nice before I'd risk her) but the babies are big bold and healthy. Clearly I am doing something right.
Somehow it's taken the pressure off. for the horrible time I was having before I am bouncing along now thrilled to be where I want to be... having some financial issues sorted has helped with all this too. It's funny but despite the numbers they aren't costing me as much as you would have expected. The budget diet I 've had them on seems to be a better diet in general for them. They aren't fat by any means and only a few are in show condition but i've always preferred the "fit" look. It's nice to just sit back and enjoy the hobby for what it is
below: A few days aold and they are already calm, and a little floppy, to handle
It's really has been too long. This BLOG was meant to be a sort of online journal but what with computer issues, connectivity issues and a lot of distraction on my part (uni wise) I ended up completely forgetting about this. I suppose it hasn't been too bad in the sence that at the end of 2014 I picked up static lice and early 2015 the dreaded running lice. I has taken more-or less this long to eradicate it. but now that i have I can show a whole lot more... and I will.
The stud is a couple of years old now and the lines are begining to stabalise. It is now that larger issues with the line are beginning to appear. For example in the golden agoutis I have had only light issue finding nice boars to use (though I had to accept a couple with great ticking but bad crests) but I have been able to source decent sows, thus I was been forced to keep each and every sow born regardless of quality to breed back into the program. So now I have an issue where the babies produced are either nicely ticked boars (many with poor quality crests) or badly ticked sows. The nicest ticked sows I have come with red spots; Sandra (on the home page) was no acception. It's going to be another generation or two at least to breed out the spots and improve the general quality of the sows being born here.
We've had a couple of shows for this year so far. I've made a real push to get my Gold/Lilacs on the table. So far i've had all get 1st place, at both shows but at Queenbeyan the BOB went to Phil- for reasons that weren't really clear. Having had a good look at the BOB winner I can see it's merits. I'm quite sure all of mine had better feet. That said I did prefer it's general conformation and the even-ness of the undercolour. It's funny really because I remember in the article I had published on argentes that I advocated having a slightly pale undercolour to 'richen' the appearance of the ticking. And now I've been beaten by exactly that- It makes me smile. But I need to remember that Fireworks, who won BOB before, wasn't at this show due to a small abscess on his side. it's hard to know how things may have gone if he was in the lineup.
With the argentes I'd focussed my attention to breeding out the gold faces and ear folds. The result of this has been to breed in a darker undercolour instead so there's still a lot of work to be done on this to, still try and breed out the heaviness of gold of course, breed back to the evenness of undercolour. You can see it, in the photo, how dark his face is compared to his body.
below; Darwing Fireworks, gold/Lilac Argente BOB March 2015
Well, shock horror gasp...
The results of the show yesterday were entirely backwards of what I had anticipated.
My money was banked behind Agenda who came up with ticking too pale to get her anywhere despite her lovely crest , type and shape.
And the shock of all shocks Jasper did remarkably. I had thought of her as the token, first Darkwing Argente on the table. I certainly didn't pick her as BOB material or to get best Ticked baby in a lineup of several- including Golden and Silver Agouti....
Jasper had too much gold in her face, her eyes are small and she has a pale streak up her nose... uneven ear pigment.... too pale in the ticking for a baby... er I think that about covers it. She's a fantastic pig though personality wise, confident, purry and companionable... She's also possibly the only baby I'll get from Savannah.
Agenda, I knew was pale in the ticking but I figured her other qualities would save her a bit as Crested are judged more on the crest than their ticking. I didn't get a good look at her competition so perhaps there's more going on than I would assume. I'm not complaining though. I'm aware that the ticking in my stock is too pale generally. I also have good competition all 'round which is a curious change to my Perth showing days when I was the argente loner most of the time. I need to convince Ducky to fall preganant to someone and carry her lovelly pigment down to the next generation. It's almost a crying shame for her to not be wooed by Ripley. He's the most lovely boar I've had since I lost Cory and Coda in 2006.
On a more positive note, for those who have met her, Giggles is looking large at the moment with a belly full of babies. A full Argente litter is expected and if Emporer can imprint his children with his "manly" shapely presence they may come out better than Jasper.
We've just had a mini miracle here at Darkwing.
Yesterday morning one of my lilac sows dropped two really pretty lilac sows. As I rearranged the cages to bring her and the other litters closer to the house I was struck by the intuition that something was very wrong with the sow. She looked fine and was tending her babies normally so I resolved that if she was looking poorly in the morning I would take her to the vet.
Well its morning and there was a third baby, a big one, in the cage with a third placenta. Somehow she hadn't delivered all of her babies yesterday. Ordinarily that would surely spell her doom... once the kindling had finalised i would have though the remaining baby would have died inside her, maybe it did but by some miracle she was able to birth it. The placenta was still fairly fresh so it would have occurred only a couple of hours ago so the last baby was born between 15 and 20 hours after the first two.
For a piece of trivia; cavies do not carry a litter of foetuses in the one birthsac. Each baby has it's own sac and own placenta so should a stillborn occur it won't damage or interfere with development of the others.
With a rather abrupt shift of the weather and a newly hayed sleeping box Sandra chose now to give birth- in the more awkward corners of her cage tonight.
born 40 minutes ago are three strong healthy babies- Go Sandra!
Photos taken with my Iphone
Plenty happening at Darkwing this week.
My special order of feed arrived so there was plenty of re-arranging of everything to find appropriate storage for it all, seven 60 litre tubs, a 20L feedbin and a few other containers later I am fully stocked. The Equus smell was instantly recognisable as I mixed in the chaff blend, I was high and happy for hours afterward smothered in feed and hay seed. The piggies are gorging themselves- particularly the sows. I'm keen to see what sort of difference it makes to their condition. I may yet have to add more cracked maize to give them a winter warmer boost. Next pay i'll special order in the sow pregnancy additives. Buying in thos sort of baulk has saved me enough money to splurge gently on some granulised rosehip. Once it arrives i'll try breeding Savannah again and see if the feed change improves her lot.
I'm seeing a loss of weight through most of the stock. It is a bit of a bother- with the intended show line up being reduced significantly but with any luck the sows might just breed easier. You'll see photos of Ripley below, looking all forlorn and lonely as he realises there are no girls in his temporary box. NOw that Song's babies are kicking i can assume he's done his job despite Ducky still not showing any signs of anything pregnancy wise.- Sorry Ripley but you had 10 weeks with them. If you haven't managed to knock them up it's time to give someone else a try.
It's funny really; I say that most of my piggies have lost a bit of weight but oh the bellies on these youngsters, particularly Agenda!
Now that it's getting colder the piggies are getting veggies in the morning too. I sat down with them yesterday (my sows pen) and joined them. The crested argente sow was more intersted in my cereal than the carrots so i threw some greens in there too. For now the extra veggies are light ones. I expect winter in Turrumurra to rival the winters of Margaret River so the feeding regime will get a bit heavier as it continues to get colder.
It's funny to see HiLight so skinny now that her babies are weaned but it's great to see Savanna growing her fur back and making a proud recovery. Tell you one thing though; since she got so sick she's been an absolute sucker for getting her crest scratched and rubbed.
I think she knows that Jasper is her daughter even though Sandra raised her because they are usually seen together as in the photo below where she's scavanged a piece of green and is sharing it. Jasper is a bottomless pit for food. Her cries can carry suprisingly far for a six week old baby.
Hard to believe that Jasper will one day pale out to look more like her mother- hopefully not that pale though. It always amazes me how much an Argente will change in colour between first born and about 6 months.
I swear I've had more bad luck in the past 6 weeks than I experienced in a single year of breeding over in Perth- though still not as bad as some times in South Australia. The crested agouti Dilute that HiLIght birthed died yesterday... had to be put down. The 3 week baby had eaten some sawdust, it caught in his throat and caused an infection. By the end he couldn't even swallow the poor thing. Our vet was sympathetic and told me that even if we'd removed the sawdust immediately there is no guarentee the injured esophagus would not have swollen and gotten infected anyway- possibly causing suffocation in the process. Knowing it as nothing i did wrong doesn't help my mood much. 3 litters, technically 5 deaths when i include the still borns- that's a horrid 50% loss rate. SAD FACE :(
It's hard to get back into cavies and be faced with such trials... can't help feeling like i've been cursed...
With another show coming up in a couple of weeks- Ronin's first- I'm going to keep this show team to giggles and the two satins- that will keep my hands full and free mu up a little to do some drawing for the club.
I'm not sure who's judging- please please let them have some patience- these argentes are a cheeky handful- never mind the satin one. Mind you lots of exhibitors quite like Giggles. tee