With the recent post or two about guinea pigs (cuy), I thought I would repost one from the past. I did a little research while we were in Costa Rica on how to be have a cuy ranch.
I love that NPR had an article about guinea pigs. I am eager to try one, as during my two trips to Peru I have never had the opportunity. I always thought they would taste like chicken, since every unusual meat seems to have that taste. The article indicates otherwise. Some descriptions of the taste seem not so good, others more interesting. According to the article, to feed our family of six I will need two males and 20 females. With that number, I have a sustainable herd of guinea pigs. However, it is not clear to me how often I can eat a pig – is it sustainable if I have one every day or just one a week? Also, how much land do I need to maintain the herd? I think before I get started I am going to have to do a little more research. (I just discovered through the Tree of Life website that the guinea pig female reaches sexual maturity at 2 months of age, and the male at 3 months of age – however Wikipedia states that males reach sexual maturity at three weeks and females at four weeks. Also it appears the average litter is 3 pubs, but the largest on record is 17. I bet that was on large mama guinea pig!). Are there any livestock experts out there who can give me tips on guinea pig husbandry?