Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Why is one of my 6 month old female guinea pigs biting my 8 week old guinea pig?

  1. #1
    Cavy Slave
    Joined
    Jan 20, 2015
    Posts
    34
    Thanks
    3
    Thanks
    1 Rec'd/1 Post
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    2 Post(s)

    Why is one of my 6 month old female guinea pigs biting my 8 week old guinea pig?

    Okay, so I had two 6 month old female guinea pigs originally, and decided to get another play mate for them both from Pets At Home (where I originally bought these two). I bought an 8 week old female 3 days ago, and I placed her within the cage of the other two females after cleaning the entire cage out with fresh sawdust and hay/food/water.

    I left the new guinea pig to bond with the other females and get used to her new cage (this being on experience, that females can be put straight in with other females, rather than boars being put straight in with other boars as females will be more welcoming and don't fight. Only boars...) - This hasn't happened to me, but the other way round... When I used to have a boar, I put another boar straight in with him and they got on PERFECTLY! So this isn't always the case...

    Anyhow, as I went to check on my 8 week old guinea pig (her name is Toasty) I noticed she had been bitten by one of the other guinea pigs on the ear. She was hiding in her bed at the bottom of the cage while the other two (Angel and Dusty) were at the top in their bed... She had been kicked out of her bed!

    I took Toasty straight out and put her in a spare cage of mine (currently... She's actually in a hamster cage (this is pretty massive just saying, so she has a large space to run around in) as she'll be able to fit through the bars of our other cage, considering she's the size of a hamster...)

    I went to Angel and Dusty's cage today, and tried to introduce one at a time to Toasty. I took Dusty out first, and sat on my bedroom floor with both Dusty and Toasty to introduce them... Though Dusty wouldn't have none of it and tried biting her again... I placed Dusty back in her cage and tried with Angel, and it was a success...

    Problem being is, Toasty currently thinks Angel is her mother and keeps trying to feed off of her (this doesn't seem to bother Angel, but I do stop Toasty from doing it)

    The major problem I have now is what do I do? I'd really like to have them all three together, though I cannot do that with Dusty being mean and biting Toasty. This can't be dominance considering Dusty never done this when Angel was placed in her cage when I first got them both at 8 weeks old.

    Also, whilst I am here... Toasty refuses to ear her pellets, she'll eat her hay and refuses to drink out of her bottle unless she's on my lap and I'm feeding her. She took two pellets from me today, which was great! I had 5, but she only ate two. She's very tiny (yes she's 8 weeks old, but Dusty and Angel weren't her size at that age).

    I really do hope someone can help!
    Here is a picture of all three of my guinea pigs (they will be in different photo's):
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	10012436_411380592373256_7126858886580686194_n.jpg 
Views:	2554 
Size:	130.6 KB 
ID:	71961
    Dusty on the left< >Toasty on the right. (Managed to get a quick picture of them both together...)
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	250516_411695649008417_5227208151885652699_n.jpg 
Views:	712 
Size:	145.8 KB 
ID:	71962
    Angel is pure black one and Toasty is tri-colored.

    I have no idea as to why Dusty bit her, and I really would like to hear your comments as to why she bit her.

  2. #2
    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2009
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    29,115
    Thanks
    189
    Thanks
    7,330 Rec'd/5,842 Posts
    Mentioned
    2050 Post(s)
    Quoted
    3926 Post(s)

    Re: Why is one of my 6 month old female guinea pigs biting my 8 week old guinea pig?

    Dusty probably bit her because she saw her as an intruder. And it can certainly be considered dominance. Any new cage arrangement, new cage mate, phase of the moon, you name it, can trigger dominance struggles.

    There are some pretty well-established ways of introducing guinea pigs -- a good one is at http://guinea-pigs.livejournal.com/3002707.html.

  3. #3
    Cavy Slave AmberCalzone's Avatar
    Joined
    Mar 01, 2014
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    637
    Thanks
    127
    Thanks
    128 Rec'd/107 Posts
    Mentioned
    46 Post(s)
    Quoted
    81 Post(s)

    Re: Why is one of my 6 month old female guinea pigs biting my 8 week old guinea pig?

    1) If the baby is trying to nurse off of your older females, she is much younger than 8 weeks. The pet store lied. Pigs are WELL weaned by 8 weeks old. Your pig's mom would have naturally started weaning her at 3-4 weeks, so if she were 8 weeks she wouldn't be trying to suckle.

    2) Please don't buy from pet stores in the future, look into adoption <3

    3) You need to quarantine your new baby for 3 weeks before introducing her to your other girls. ESPECIALLY because she comes from a pet store.

    4) I have no idea who told you that girls can just be placed together... but that's not true. You need to go through the introduction process with girls, just as you would have to with boars. You can't just throw them in a cage together, even if you do a bedding change first.

    Introduction Process:
    1) Introduce your pigs in a neutral territory that none of the pigs have seen before. This puts them on an equal playing field.
    2) Monitor them for multiple hours.
    3) If after a few hours in neutral territory they seem to be doing alright, you can....
    Optional 4) Some people like giving "buddy baths". This is where you bath all your pigs together. The shared "terror" of their experience sometimes helps them bond, because they comfort one another. This also has the added benefit of neutralizing the pig's scents.
    5) Once they are thoroughly dried (if you choose to bath them), but them in the all in the cage together**

    **Cage: Has to be TOTALLY washed down, we're not just talking bedding change. The plastic and the bars need to be scrubbed. Anything washable needs to be thrown in the washing machine and drier (fleece tunnels, cuddle cups, snuggle sacs, stuffed animals, etc..). Anything that can go in the dishwasher (food bowls, hay racks, water bottles, etc) need to be washed. Plastic toys and houses need to be soaked and scrubbed. Anything wooden needs to be taken out of the cage completely, because you can't really wash wood... it can be put back in the cage after the girls are living together nicely. New food, hay, and bedding needs to be put in. Like, you are REALLY trying to get rid of any scent of your existing pigs from the cage.

    Chasing, humping, nipping, low amounts of chattering, guarding, etc... are all totally normal behaviors. Do NOT separate unless one pig is injured (i.e.: blood), or they latch onto one another and roll around in a bowl. Anything else is normal, even if it looks scary to us.

    Give them 2 places to eat (pellets, vegetables, water bottle and hay), on each side of the cage. That way guarding the food is less likely to happen.
    Take out all hide houses that only offer 1 exit... you don't want places where pigs can get trapped by another pig! Fleece forests or cardboard boxes (cut to have 2+ exits) are ideal hide houses for introductions.

  4. "Thank you, AmberCalzone, for this useful post," says:


  5. #4
    Cavy Slave
    Joined
    Jan 20, 2015
    Posts
    34
    Thanks
    3
    Thanks
    1 Rec'd/1 Post
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    2 Post(s)

    Re: Why is one of my 6 month old female guinea pigs biting my 8 week old guinea pig?

    Quote Originally Posted by AmberCalzone View Post
    1) If the baby is trying to nurse off of your older females, she is much younger than 8 weeks. The pet store lied. Pigs are WELL weaned by 8 weeks old. Your pig's mom would have naturally started weaning her at 3-4 weeks, so if she were 8 weeks she wouldn't be trying to suckle.

    2) Please don't buy from pet stores in the future, look into adoption <3

    3) You need to quarantine your new baby for 3 weeks before introducing her to your other girls. ESPECIALLY because she comes from a pet store.

    4) I have no idea who told you that girls can just be placed together... but that's not true. You need to go through the introduction process with girls, just as you would have to with boars. You can't just throw them in a cage together, even if you do a bedding change first.

    Introduction Process:
    1) Introduce your pigs in a neutral territory that none of the pigs have seen before. This puts them on an equal playing field.
    2) Monitor them for multiple hours.
    3) If after a few hours in neutral territory they seem to be doing alright, you can....
    Optional 4) Some people like giving "buddy baths". This is where you bath all your pigs together. The shared "terror" of their experience sometimes helps them bond, because they comfort one another. This also has the added benefit of neutralizing the pig's scents.
    5) Once they are thoroughly dried (if you choose to bath them), but them in the all in the cage together**

    **Cage: Has to be TOTALLY washed down, we're not just talking bedding change. The plastic and the bars need to be scrubbed. Anything washable needs to be thrown in the washing machine and drier (fleece tunnels, cuddle cups, snuggle sacs, stuffed animals, etc..). Anything that can go in the dishwasher (food bowls, hay racks, water bottles, etc) need to be washed. Plastic toys and houses need to be soaked and scrubbed. Anything wooden needs to be taken out of the cage completely, because you can't really wash wood... it can be put back in the cage after the girls are living together nicely. New food, hay, and bedding needs to be put in. Like, you are REALLY trying to get rid of any scent of your existing pigs from the cage.

    Chasing, humping, nipping, low amounts of chattering, guarding, etc... are all totally normal behaviors. Do NOT separate unless one pig is injured (i.e.: blood), or they latch onto one another and roll around in a bowl. Anything else is normal, even if it looks scary to us.

    Give them 2 places to eat (pellets, vegetables, water bottle and hay), on each side of the cage. That way guarding the food is less likely to happen.
    Take out all hide houses that only offer 1 exit... you don't want places where pigs can get trapped by another pig! Fleece forests or cardboard boxes (cut to have 2+ exits) are ideal hide houses for introductions.
    1. I had thought this, though I'm ringing up my local vets first thing in the morning on what I can do as she won't touch her food or anything, she'll drink from her water bottle only if I'm holding it on a slant. But this isn't very much, only like a few sips. And she'll not drink anymore and want to try and suckle off of Angel. Which I do try and stop her from doing.

    2. I was going to adopt, but my mother insisted on getting one from the pet store.

    3. Ahh! I did not know this! I've not exactly had sows very long, only past 6 months... And this was not the case when I first got Angel, as I placed Dusty straight in her cage after three weeks (they were originally cage mates) and they were fine...

    4. I was told not only by one of the pet stores I went to, but I've asked around at many places which my friends own, and they said they're able to be put straight in. Though, when I had my boars, they were put in together straight away without knowing each other, and they were fine...

    5. "Give them 2 places to eat" I've always got more than one place they can eat/sleep.

    6. Thank-you for this! I'll certainly do everything listed

    Also where you said about "Do NOT separate unless one pig is injured" E.G Blood... Toasty's ear was bleeding, so I soaked it down to avoid any infection and dried it off.

  6. #5
    Cavy Slave Kenna18155's Avatar
    Joined
    Oct 22, 2014
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    634
    Blog Entries
    3
    Thanks
    253
    Thanks
    147 Rec'd/108 Posts
    Mentioned
    44 Post(s)
    Quoted
    74 Post(s)

    Re: Why is one of my 6 month old female guinea pigs biting my 8 week old guinea pig?

    Please never buy from a pet store in the future. For every pig you buy, you condemn a sow in a breeding mill to have another litter, and you sentence another to death via euthanasia in a shelter somewhere. Look for a shelter, rescue, or rehoming ad instead.

  7. #6
    Cavy Slave pigmommy89's Avatar
    Joined
    Apr 01, 2014
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    1,015
    Thanks
    32
    Thanks
    221 Rec'd/184 Posts
    Mentioned
    40 Post(s)
    Quoted
    133 Post(s)

    Re: Why is one of my 6 month old female guinea pigs biting my 8 week old guinea pig?

    I'd like to point out that quarantine is pointless now that they've already been together. The baby may be sick, or she might just be too afraid to eat. Give her food and water close to a hidey so she won't have to eat out in the open. She might be wanting to nurse, or she might just be trying to hide under the older sow

  8. #7
    Cavy Slave
    Joined
    Jan 20, 2015
    Posts
    34
    Thanks
    3
    Thanks
    1 Rec'd/1 Post
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    2 Post(s)

    Re: Why is one of my 6 month old female guinea pigs biting my 8 week old guinea pig?

    Quote Originally Posted by pigmommy89 View Post
    I'd like to point out that quarantine is pointless now that they've already been together. The baby may be sick, or she might just be too afraid to eat. Give her food and water close to a hidey so she won't have to eat out in the open. She might be wanting to nurse, or she might just be trying to hide under the older sow
    She is definitely trying to nurse off of the older sow.

  9. #8
    Cavy Slave chloej's Avatar
    Joined
    Mar 22, 2014
    Location
    IL, USA
    Posts
    92
    Thanks
    27
    Thanks
    12 Rec'd/11 Posts
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Quoted
    15 Post(s)

    Re: Why is one of my 6 month old female guinea pigs biting my 8 week old guinea pig?

    I would say the vet is probably the best recourse to find out what to do for the baby so she eats. It's very bad if she eats nothing at all or very little so getting her to the vet for a checkup is the best bet.

    As for the adoption vs. pet store thing, Codieh already has the pigs, so reprimanding and telling them not to buy from the pet store in the future is pretty pointless. Besides, I feel like this change that we would all love to see - adopting instead of buying - is not going to happen on an individual level. We need to take the fight to the pet stores themselves rather than telling off individual people who don't know any better and have already bought the pigs or other pets. Just my opinion.

  10. "Thank you, chloej, for this useful post," say these 2 members:


  11. #9
    Cavy Slave Kenna18155's Avatar
    Joined
    Oct 22, 2014
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    634
    Blog Entries
    3
    Thanks
    253
    Thanks
    147 Rec'd/108 Posts
    Mentioned
    44 Post(s)
    Quoted
    74 Post(s)

    Re: Why is one of my 6 month old female guinea pigs biting my 8 week old guinea pig?

    I wasn't reprimanding. And yes, advising to adopt in the future will help--if they ever choose to get another pig IN THE FUTURE.

  12. "Thank you, Kenna18155, for this useful post," says:


  13. #10
    Cavy Slave
    Joined
    Jan 20, 2015
    Posts
    34
    Thanks
    3
    Thanks
    1 Rec'd/1 Post
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    2 Post(s)

    Re: Why is one of my 6 month old female guinea pigs biting my 8 week old guinea pig?

    Quote Originally Posted by chloej View Post
    I would say the vet is probably the best recourse to find out what to do for the baby so she eats. It's very bad if she eats nothing at all or very little so getting her to the vet for a checkup is the best bet.

    As for the adoption vs. pet store thing, Codieh already has the pigs, so reprimanding and telling them not to buy from the pet store in the future is pretty pointless. Besides, I feel like this change that we would all love to see - adopting instead of buying - is not going to happen on an individual level. We need to take the fight to the pet stores themselves rather than telling off individual people who don't know any better and have already bought the pigs or other pets. Just my opinion.
    Thank-you for this... I rang up my local vets, and they said there is nothing they can do? Just keep an eye on her and if she's still like it over weekend, to take her back to Pets At Home and ask them... And this was my local vets who said this! Shouldn't they HAVE to help? I've heard somewhere they can have kitten formula or Goats Milk? Should I try that and try weaning her myself if she's barely eating... I don't at all think her mother weaned her off/the pet shop weaned her off of her mother. So this means I'll more than likely have to hand feed her... In which I've been trying to do but she just won't have any of it...

  14. #11
    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2009
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    29,115
    Thanks
    189
    Thanks
    7,330 Rec'd/5,842 Posts
    Mentioned
    2050 Post(s)
    Quoted
    3926 Post(s)

    Re: Why is one of my 6 month old female guinea pigs biting my 8 week old guinea pig?

    No, she does NOT need kitten or goat milk. It is NEVER recommended to give guinea pigs milk from other animals.

    The baby is likely eating more than you think, or she'd have already died. Make sure there are hiding places in the cage, and put food and water next to, or in, them. She'll learn to eat what the other pig eats.

    Are you weighing her daily to make sure she's actually losing weight?

  15. #12
    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner MrWhistles's Avatar
    Joined
    Mar 16, 2012
    Location
    Central FL
    Posts
    4,129
    Thanks
    807
    Thanks
    764 Rec'd/556 Posts
    Mentioned
    256 Post(s)
    Quoted
    827 Post(s)
    Items for Sale

    Re: Why is one of my 6 month old female guinea pigs biting my 8 week old guinea pig?

    Are you sure she's suckling and not just trying to hide under Angel. One of my pigs is more skittish, she tries to burying herself under the dominate girl.
    Mr. Whistles - Adopted Dec 21 2008 - Passed August 2012, unknown causes
    Little Lady - Adopted August 2012
    Brave Korra - Adopted August 2012 - Passed March 2013, Post-op surgery complications to remove a bladder stone
    Sweet Pea AKA Sweetie - Adopted October 2013 - Passed September 2014, Vitamin C absorption disorder.
    Sugar - Adopted January 2014

  16. #13
    Cavy Slave
    Joined
    Jan 20, 2015
    Posts
    34
    Thanks
    3
    Thanks
    1 Rec'd/1 Post
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    2 Post(s)

    Re: Why is one of my 6 month old female guinea pigs biting my 8 week old guinea pig?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrWhistles View Post
    Are you sure she's suckling and not just trying to hide under Angel. One of my pigs is more skittish, she tries to burying herself under the dominate girl.
    Yes, I'm sure!

  17. #14
    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner MrWhistles's Avatar
    Joined
    Mar 16, 2012
    Location
    Central FL
    Posts
    4,129
    Thanks
    807
    Thanks
    764 Rec'd/556 Posts
    Mentioned
    256 Post(s)
    Quoted
    827 Post(s)
    Items for Sale

    Re: Why is one of my 6 month old female guinea pigs biting my 8 week old guinea pig?

    Okay
    cause, I'll be honest. This doesnt look like a pig that shoild be suckling. She doesn't look like shes 4 or less weeks old. I don't think she needs any milk. That's just my honest opinion.
    Mr. Whistles - Adopted Dec 21 2008 - Passed August 2012, unknown causes
    Little Lady - Adopted August 2012
    Brave Korra - Adopted August 2012 - Passed March 2013, Post-op surgery complications to remove a bladder stone
    Sweet Pea AKA Sweetie - Adopted October 2013 - Passed September 2014, Vitamin C absorption disorder.
    Sugar - Adopted January 2014

  18. #15
    Administrator lissie's Avatar
    Joined
    Jan 25, 2009
    Location
    Bay Area, California
    Posts
    9,334
    Blog Entries
    3
    Thanks
    1,338
    Thanks
    2,341 Rec'd/1,698 Posts
    Mentioned
    491 Post(s)
    Quoted
    1005 Post(s)

    Re: Why is one of my 6 month old female guinea pigs biting my 8 week old guinea pig?

    If the baby is not eating on her own, you may need to hand feed her Critical Care or pellets mush. (not milk)
    See this page:
    http://www.guinealynx.info/handfeeding.html

  19. "Thank you, lissie, for this useful post," says:


  20. #16
    Cavy Slave
    Joined
    Jan 20, 2015
    Posts
    34
    Thanks
    3
    Thanks
    1 Rec'd/1 Post
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    2 Post(s)

    Re: Why is one of my 6 month old female guinea pigs biting my 8 week old guinea pig?

    Quote Originally Posted by lissie View Post
    If the baby is not eating on her own, you may need to hand feed her Critical Care or pellets mush. (not milk)
    See this page:
    http://www.guinealynx.info/handfeeding.html
    Okay, thank-you very much.

User Tag List

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •