P for Pellets #AtoZChallenge

Percy
Percy

Hello and welcome to George’s Guinea Pig World.  I’m Percy, and I run this place with Kevin.  George set it up in 2009, which is before I was born.  I live in a nice cage next to Oscar, and his brother Midge lives next to Kevin.

Our A to Z theme is “Our Favourite Things”


pP is for Pellets

There are two kinds of pellets, and our favourite is the kind you eat (not the kind you poop).

They come in a bag with the name Harringtons on it, and it says ‘Optimum Guinea Pig Food, no artificial colours or flavourings and no added sugar, made in North Yorkshire.’  There are pictures of two piggies on the front, both of which look a bit like Kevin.  It always seems to me that pictures of guinea pigs mostly look like Kevin, with ginger cheeks and a white stripe down his face which goes over his mouth.  Why is that?  Is this a body image thing?  Aren’t black guinea pigs just as handsome?  Apparently red-eyed guinea pigs get a bad deal too, but Fred and George were red-eyed, and they were all-over ginger, too.  But anyway, I was talking about pellets.

Percy
Percy with pellets

They are nice and tasty and crunchy and good for our teeth as well as our tummies.  But we shouldn’t have too many or we could get fat.  Hay is best.  Or grass.  With pellets as a supplement.  Apparently.

Mummy says other brands are available, but she thinks we like these best.

I don’t like tomato, by the way.  Kevin loves it.  He would.

O for Oregano #AtoZChallenge

Percy finds the lavender
Percy finds the lavender

Hello and welcome to George’s Guinea Pig World.  I’m Percy, and I run this place with Kevin.  George set it up in 2009, which is before I was born.  I live in a nice cage next to Oscar, and his brother Midge lives next to Kevin.

Our A to Z theme is “Our Favourite Things”


oO is for Oregano

Oregano is a green or yellow or green-and-yellow herb, and it grows in our garden in lots of places, but I haven’t found where yet. It smells and tastes lovely. It’s definitely one of our favourite things to eat.

All the boys love herbs.  I didn’t really know about them before I came here, but we get herbs most days, especially in the summer when they come straight from the garden.  During the winter Mummy brings a bunch in with her rustly bags and puts them in a pot of water.  That’s usually dill or parsley, though.  Maybe they don’t grow oregano in the winter.

Percy's birthday party in the kitchen
Percy’s birthday party in the kitchen

Sometimes when we have birthday cakes they have dried oregano in them that’s been soaked along with the pellets.  They are delicious!

H for Hay #AtoZChallenge

Version 2 (9)

Hi, Kevin here.  We’re into the second week of the A to Z Challenge, and in case you’re just visiting, I’m a six year old ginger and white guinea pig.  This blog was started by Fred and George, Mummy’s very first guinea pigs.  She writes books about them too.

Our A to Z Challenge theme is “Our Favourite Things”


hH is for Hay

Hay is marvellous stuff.  It’s best straight from the bag, although Mummy doesn’t understand why clean looking hay that’s been in the cage for an hour or two needs to be supplemented with some from the bag.  Well, a guinea pig can never have enough hay (and neither can a rabbit or a horse for that matter).

Hay is great to eat, full of good fibre and tough stalks to help our teeth work properly.

With the help of George, Humphrey, Hector, Oscar, Midge, Victor, Hugo, Percy and me, here we demonstrate its uses. (mouse over the picture for the caption)

and, if Mummy can get it to work, here is a video of me eating hay. I’ve got a touch of conjunctivitis, in case you wondered about my weepy eye.

See more guinea pig videos on our Facebook page or on our Youtube Playlist

We had Grass!

Percy here.  Not much happened this week, except we said goodbye to Auntie Dawn’s Atticus, which was very sad.  We’re just waiting for news of whether she found someone else needing a good home yesterday.

The most exciting thing that happened to us was that Mummy brought in some fresh grass from the garden for us.  Here’s Midge enjoying his (and Kevin with his in the other photo).

Midge-grass

Lots of things happened!

Hi, Percy here.  Sorry I didn’t talk to you last week.  Maybe I slept through it.

This week’s been very busy (apart from when Mummy’s been out all day, when I sleep a lot).

Firstly, we’ve had some very interesting food that we don’t usually have.  There were long thin crispy things called bean sprouts mixed in with cut up peppers and carrots and cabbage.  Mummy said it was a packet of stir-fry vegetables from the shop that was going cheap.  It didn’t make any noises that I could hear, though.  I’m not keen on peppers, although I ate quite a few of the red ones.  I liked the sprouty things and the cabbage a lot, and of course I love carrot.  Mummy doesn’t let me have much carrot as she says it makes me fat.  Anyway, we also had half a piece of baby corn, which was delicious.  That’s only for treats, too.  And we had some fennel bits, which we do often get as a treat because Mummy loves it too, and we get the bits she trims off when she makes her dinners with it.

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Then Oscar got a new bed!  It’s red and bouncy and he really likes it.  I told Midge about it when we had floor time on Friday and he sniffed and looked cross.  When I asked why, he said “I didn’t like it.”  It turned out it was his Christmas present, but he didn’t like it so Mummy gave him back his tent which made him happy again.  Now he knows Oscar’s delighted with the red bed I think he’s feeling jealous.  Mummy can’t win with those two.

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The big news is that Kevin broke his tooth again.  It was only half broken, but Mummy spotted that it was also wider apart from the other one than it should have been.  Apparently Fred did that once, and she was really worried and took him to the vet, who gave him an xray to see what was going on, and he went to sleep forever.  Then when Mummy heard that he just had a bruise between his teeth, which caused a swelling, she was even more upset.  So when she saw Kevin’s, she knew he had a bruise as well as a break, and just waited for the swelling to go down, which it did the very next day.  And now the tooth has grown back too.

But Mummy did some thinking about why Kevin should have broken the same tooth again, since he only did it in November, and she decided he might be bumping into something like Fred did.  She’s moved his water bottle and dish and cage wear about so there’s something soft when he comes down and turns the corner from his loft.  She thinks he might have caught it on his bottle spout. He’s not entirely happy with the new layout, but he says it’s probably safer, and Mummy’s very wise.

She is, and she’s looking after us all, even Midge, who didn’t like his bed. Midge is a funny boy. I like him, though.

Autumn Leaves

I’m getting a little confused by the things Mummy gives me to eat, so I asked Kevin to come and explain them to me.

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Here’s my breakfast yesterday.  I’ve had a little nibble, then gone off to eat my pellets.  The thing at the front with the blue-green leaves I think we had in the winter.  What’s it called, Kevin?

That’s kale, Percy.  Mummy grows it all year round, but mainly for the winter.  She was complaining about slugs eating the  small plants she’d put out, but I guess she has enough growing now to give us a leaf now and then.  It’s yummy isn’t it?

Yes.  Kale.  I like that. There are three leaves at the side, dandelion, which I love, then the smaller very tasty one, and the nice, slightly prickly one that’s upside down (with the silvery side showing).

The small one is the nasturtium, Perce.  It’s very flavourful isn’t it.  When the leaves get large I think they’re a bit hot, personally, but I like them this size.  The upside down one is raspberry.  I don[‘t think we’ll be getting them much longer.

Is that because winter’s coming?

That’s right.  I think that’s why we got that little bunch of carrot shoots that are underneath your raspberry leaf.  Mummy was very frustrated earlier in the year because she kept sowing carrots and they kept not growing.  Now she says that she sowed some more when she cleared the middle bed and put the kale plants and radicchio out, and now they’re absolutely surrounded by baby carrots.  She told me we’ll get little bunches like this until she’s got them tamed and in rows with room to grow.

That sounds good.  They’re very tasty.  The thing with the red stem we’ve been having for ages.  I liked it at first, but sometimes I leave it till later.

Oooh, chard!  I love chard.  I know Midge leaves his stems, as Mummy gives them to me in the morning when she cleans the cages.  She always gives him a chance, just in case he was saving it for a midnight feast.

Oh, does Midge do that too?  So do I.  Mummy gives my leftovers to Oscar.

Well, some things we like and others don’t, and other things others like and we don’t.  I gather you don’t like tomato.

Eugh, no.

Oh, I love tomato.  And blueberries – stop making that face, they’re yummy.

You can have mine.  And strawberries, too

I usually do 🙂  What do you think of the corn husks and tassels?

Those new papery things?

That’s right.  We only get those for a few weeks at this time of year.  They come from a shop in the village, and they get them from the farmer up the road.  They’re much better than shop bought – these ones even have green leaves on the end.

Well, they’re all right, I suppose.  Maybe it’s an acquired taste.

I suggest you acquire it as soon as possible, Perce.  Once they’re gone, it’s a whole year till we get any more, unless Mummy tries growing them again.

Does she grow this funny shaped lettuce?

The oak leaved one, yes.  Here’s another picture of it on Midge’s breakfast pile.  I think we finished up the plant today, as the stalk was in it.

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Oh yes, that’s a better view.  What will she plant instead?

Winter lettuce I expect, or more radicchio.  There isn’t much time left for things to grow to the stage where they’ll get through the winter.  But I think Mummy has some blankets to put over the tents she’s got on the vegetable beds to keep them growing a little longer before winter comes.

That sounds very complicated.

You’ll get the hang of it.  You haven’t mentioned the rudbeckia leaf.

Oh, I like those.  I’m glad she only gives us one each time, but they’re very yummy.  And the marjoram, too.

Did we have anything else today?  I’ve forgotten.

I don’t think so, only pellets and hay.  No carrots.  She says I put too much weight on when I get carrots. 😦

I don’t have a problem with carrots.  Unless I don’t get them, then I lose weight.  I wonder what we’ll get tomorrow?

I’m still eating today’s breakfast.

Really?  I’ve finished mine.  Do you want me to help you out with anything?

You can have my tomato.  Oscar doesn’t need it.

Thanks! (Slurp)

It’s August

Apparently it’s August today.  I don’t know how people tell the difference.  One day is much the same as any other, although sometimes it’s sunny and warm in the morning and wet in the afternoon, which means we can’t go outside.

Although we can tell the seasons.  It’s getting darker earlier, for example, so we know summer is getting older.  The purple tree in the garden which has nice leaves is starting to drop them, but Kevin says it always does that early, but it’s the first to get them, too.  And Mummy has started to bring us in whole pieces of plant.  Yesterday we had twigs with apple leaves on them.  Kevin says they are ‘prunings’.  Mummy cuts them off to make the tree a better shape for growing apples.  Sounds good to me.  We also get long bits of bean plant, and even beans! Those were very nice.  I’m not keen on bean leaves although Kevin likes them.  Have mine, Kevin.

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We see Mummy cut long bits off all sorts of plants but we don’t get all of them.  They aren’t good for us to eat.  I don’t know how Mummy knows.  It’s just one of those mysteries in life. This is a very old picture of George and Fred with a pea plant. Mummy says they look less than two year old there.  So it’s definitely ancient, because they would be nine years old by now.

August can be a hot month.  I hope it’s hot enough to go out but not so hot it makes the grass all brown. Fingers crossed.

Apparently I was supposed to mention Hugo last week.  It was his anniversary on Tuesday.  I didn’t know that, and I think Mummy was too busy to explain.  But his picture is up in the gallery now.  He looks very smart.  Mummy says he was a bit like me, but more swaggering.  Should I swagger more?

Have a nice August.

Big Breakfasts

Since I arrived in November, I got used to the things Mummy takes out from the white box for our breakfasts.  There’s usually celery, a few varieties of lettuce, or some cauliflower or broccoli, and there was dark green kale which was rather nice.  And carrots, and peppers and sometimes some other root vegetables. Sometimes Mummy would go outside and find us some fresh kale, which was really yummy.  And sometimes a few other leaves.

The last month we’ve been getting less and less from the white box, and more from the outside.  I have to say, I really like the leaves that come from outside, because they aren’t as cold and they’re much fresher.  Once we started going out in the garden I realised why.  They grow there!  They’re all around our runs, some of them under netting, some up poles and some against the fence.

The past three or four weeks we’ve been getting everything from outside.  And since Mummy said Midge and I needed to diet, we’ve not even been getting carrots, although there have been some carrot-like things on the end of some of the yummiest leaves we had.  I’m not sure what we’ve been eating, so I asked Kevin to explain.  Here he is with two breakfasts from last week.

On the left, the top leaves are runner bean leaves, which I love, but Percy and Oscar say they’ve had enough of.  There’s some lavender lying across, and some of one of the types of mint Mummy has.  There’s a pea shoot, and some oak-leaf lettuce from the garden, and an apple leaf, and I think we had a rudbeckia leaf as well.  That’s a big yellow flower with a brown cone in the centre (not a flat one that’s even bigger, that’s a sunflower).  We also had raspberry leaves that day but I must have eaten them.  The next day (on the right), Mummy rather overdid the pea shoots.  I think she pulled up a whole plant for us.  I ate quite a lot of it, but she eventually took the rest away.  We also have one of the other types of mint, swiss chard with its red stem, strawberry leaves, salsify leaves, lavender again (she knows I can’t get enough lavender if it comes in small portions) and I think she gave us a slice of carrot that day, which wasn’t from the garden.  The next day the carrot tops were from the garden with very tiny carrots, and we had curly endive, too.  Oh, Mummy also gave us a wildflower called nipplewort which grows wherever she wants to grow grass, but it’s very tasty and tastes a little like dandelion.  She gives us that too, when she has some nice leaves handy.  And a special treat is cucumber leaf, but at present she says there are cucumbers growing, so we mustn’t steal too many leaves or the plant will starve.

We also get fennel, parsley, oregano (two  types), and more wildflowers from the garden outside, like red clover and wild basil, and sow thistle (yum), and wild carrot, and vetch.

Is that okay, Percy?

Yes, thank you, Kevin.  With all that variety, I bet you’re not surprised I needed help describing it to you.

Yay! It’s February!

That means we might go out in the garden next month.  Some years we have, only for an hour or even half an hour, if it’s been dry, sunny and warm enough. We often do go out in March.  I don’t remember if we did last year, I remember it was cold and wet, or at least the grass was, in fact it was late April before we went out regularly.

Out with the snowdrops

Oh, Mummy’s found a picture that shows we went out for a short while in February 2015, just me and Dougall.  You can see the snowdrops in the foreground and the white stuff over the leafy plants to protect them from frosts.  And Dougall in front of our fleecy tunnel. I miss Dougall.

We haven’t had many frosts this year.  Just a few a couple of weeks back and some before Christmas. Mummy’s been bringing grass in from the garden for us, though.  It’s not as nice as it can be, but it’s not bad.  It’s beginning to taste sweet like it does in spring.  Some of it.  I think it depends what part of the garden she gets it from.  I like grass.  It’s my favourite.  I’m off carrots at the moment, they’re too hard to crunch.  Mummy says my teeth need attention and she’s going to take me to see Uncle Barry and Auntie Shirley soon.

Oh dear.

What a funny week!

It’s been a funny week because it’s been very noisy with wind and rain, then we had a very cold day and night.  And today we had fresh herbs and things from the garden, although they were funny too.  Oh, and we have some very funny pellets.  They should be the same Harrington’s Optimum as the previous bag (and all the ones we’ve had for years) but they’re HUGE and I don’t like them.  Mummy says she’s emailed the company in case there’s a mistake.

Mummy says its just a funny winter, and some of our wildflowers were growing, so we had dandelion leaves, clover, vetch and wild oregano.  We didn’t have much of any of them, except the oregano, as Mummy wanted to cut it before the frosts come this week.  She says we were very lucky on Thursday because our heating broke down, but before the frosts came.  That’s why we had the hot light in our room.  Mummy calls it a halogen heater, but I call it a hot light because it\s a very bright light that helps warm the room up.  Anyway, she was very happy because the man came and fixed it on Friday.

I’m having a few problems with my private parts at present, and if you don’t mind, I’ll keep it private.  Mummy checks my bottom twice a day to see that it’s getting better.  It feels a lot better.  Mummy is very kind.