Last Saturday we had to wake early for music. A few of the kids went downstairs ahead of me. As I was about to come down, Elaina runs to the stairs and yells up, "NUTMEG HAD HER BABIES!" I bolted down the stairs to see THIS:
Four brand new babies, still damp from birth. Momma had already eaten placentas, sacs and most of the bloody hay/bedding. Guinea pigs are prey animal so they will get rid of every bit of birth scent and blood. Nutmeg was still cleaning up the fourth baby. We had missed the birth by mere moments, as guinea pigs give birth very quickly and very quietly.
Look at those sweet babies! HOW did they all fit in her, though?! Ignore the brussel sprout, ha! That was leftover from the night before, and mom apparently hadn't eaten it. I tossed it and all the wet hay and wet bedding soon after this pic.
The first baby I held was the runt. He was struggling to get up and use his back legs. We named him Pepper, because he looks just like our ground pepper. His nickname is Squirrel, though, because he also looks like a squirrel, minus the bushy tail. (As an aside, the other boy I nicknamed Moose. Ten points if you get it.)
Mom and one of her daughters. Same coloring but this one is an Abyssinian (has rosettes, or swirls, in her fur) whereas mom is an American (smooth haired, no rosettes).
Babies' first group photo! We need to weigh them daily to make sure all are gaining, so we thought we'd get photos as well. We only had them out for a few minutes. Unlike other creatures, mom won't mind and won't reject them. To tame guinea pigs, it is actually good to handle them from birth.
This is one of my favorite pictures. She is always snuggling her babies. She is SUCH a good momma. They climb on her, they force themselves under her chin and under her body, they follow her like little ducklings around the cage... it is seriously the sweetest. I've never had a pet give birth.
And here they are! The boys are on top, the girls on bottom. Elaina named all of them. Pepper (aka Squirrel), Snickers (aka Moose), Licorice (aka Lefty), and Reese's (aka Chewy).
We are keeping the girls. The boys will be removed at 3-weeks-old and I'm already dreading it. They're going to cry for their momma but they can also impregnate her and their sisters at that age. We don't want to breed. They won't need Nutmeg's milk by that age, and they already eat solids, as of a few hours old. As far as what will happen with the boys... Daniel wants us to adopt them out. It'll be hard to let these babies go. We can't adopt them out until they're 6-8 weeks old so they'll still be with us for a bit longer.
They're 8-days-old today but we've all been sick so I haven't gotten them out for more photos. They're already a lot bigger and everyone was nursing and eating just fine, so I never needed to supplement.