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Thread: Adding 3rd Pig to Female Pair?

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    Cavy Slave GinnyandRoxy's Avatar
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    Adding 3rd Pig to Female Pair?

    Hello! I have two female piggies who are both between a year and half and two years old. They have been together for about 8 months now. The two of them tolerate eachother, but they aren't exactly close. I was considering getting another female pig to add. I heard that female pigs have less issues with dominance, so would a 2 by 4 grid with a 1 by 2 loft cage be large enough? Would adding another pig be okay or just make things worse? And if it is okay, what age would you recommend? Thanks ahead of time

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    Cavy Slave Oreocookies123's Avatar
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    Re: Adding 3rd Pig to Female Pair?

    Get a young, passive-aggressive female around 2-3 months, so no fighting breaks out. And remember, the bigger the cage, the better. I would recommend a C&C cage or Midwest cage, since cavies need a lot of running space. Hope this helps!☺☺

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    Cavy Slave PandaPiggle's Avatar
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    Re: Adding 3rd Pig to Female Pair?

    Adding a third pig is always a gamble because it can be a happy little herd or it can result in three pigs who hate each other. It's less of a risk with girls, but there are never any guarantees. Also some pigs are very fond of each other but they don't show it like humans would, so I wouldn't worry if yours aren't nose touching and cuddling and whatnot. None of mine are cuddly with each other but they're perfectly happy without cuddle buddies.

    If your two female pigs are both over 1 year old, then making a compatible match is all about personality. Adding a baby is usually easier in the short term, but it can come back to bite you if the baby grows up to be dominant and fighting with the older dominant pig. Adding an adult over a year is a little harder up front but once it's done the bond should be solid. The trickiest additions would be pigs in the 5-6 months to 1 year range, because they're often full of attitude... but again it's all about personality, because some of them don't get the adolescent attitude.

    If you get a third then your cage would just meet the minimum requirement (lofts don't count) so it should be okay although it's not ideal.

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    Cavy Slave GinnyandRoxy's Avatar
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    Re: Adding 3rd Pig to Female Pair?

    Okay, I'm glad to know our cage would meet the minimum requirements. If I do add another pig, I will definatly give them more floor time. I'm thinking I'd probably get a baby (If I can find one) but I was wondering about older pigs. If I got an older one, would that be a problem? One of my girls is very dominant, so I'm not sure if that would work out.

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    Cavy Slave GinnyandRoxy's Avatar
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    Re: Adding 3rd Pig to Female Pair?

    Okay, I will try to find a young pig. Would it be okay if I got a pig who was just old enough to be separated from it's mother? At our local humane society, the babies are always very young.

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    Cavy Slave sallyvh's Avatar
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    Re: Adding 3rd Pig to Female Pair?

    I wouldn't do it personally.

    I had two sows who were around 2 years old and the opportunity came up for me to rescue a 4 week old sow. I picked her up from the SPCA and tried introductions that night and it was pretty bad. I thought my older girls were very docile but they hated the baby. I did introductions correctly and they had a 2x5 C&C but it ended with the baby getting a decently deep shoulder bite. I decided to separate them as they clearly were not getting along and I ended up finding a different companion for the baby and I now have two pairs.

    It was not an enjoyable experience though and I wouldn't do it unless you are very prepared for 3 pigs that will not get along any more. It was very stressful for me and although it has worked out with me having my 4 pigs I still cannot recommend doing it at all.

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    Cavy Slave jayval's Avatar
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    Re: Adding 3rd Pig to Female Pair?

    Quote Originally Posted by GinnyandRoxy View Post
    Okay, I will try to find a young pig. Would it be okay if I got a pig who was just old enough to be separated from it's mother? At our local humane society, the babies are always very young.

    By any chance are you in NJ?! We are trying to adopt out our our single female gorgeous brown abby who is 9 months old. She needs a friend.

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    Cavy Slave SquigglyPigs's Avatar
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    Re: Adding 3rd Pig to Female Pair?

    I have 3 female pigs. The first two were together for about 6 months and then I introduced Nim. The introduction was pretty bad. I followed the correct introduction tactics (no hideys to get stuck in, neutral place, food and hay distractions, etc) but my existing two pigs even started fighting. All three of them hated each other and one of them got bit on the nose and I had to treat a bleeding scratch on her face. I separated all 3 of them and was completely discouraged. The next day, I tried again. This time everything went fantastic! I wonder if the little bite was all it took to establish who was dominant. They now all live together in a 2x4 with a 1x4 loft.

    Be prepared for two of them to bond and the third one being left out. My 3 girls all get along, but only Evie and Mu cuddle and love each other. They just tolerate Nim, who is always wanting to cuddle with the other two. Poor baby. I'm now considering getting a 4th just so she won't be so lonely!

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    Cavy Slave surlypiggy's Avatar
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    Re: Adding 3rd Pig to Female Pair?

    A month ago I added a 3rd sow in with my pair. Introductions went perfectly, but when I did floor time in the usual place, one of the original sows, Karma, got a little snippy. No biting or anything big, but she chased Ginger around and chattered at her. Ginger ran off and tried to steer clear of Karma. A week later, it was much better. After a month, Ginger now stands up for herself. There isn't fighting, but she doesn't let Karma push her around. Ginger and Piper get along well, and the relationship between Piper and Karma is the same as before.

    When I introduced them, Karma and Piper were 5 months old. I adopted Ginger from Craigslist. Her former owners got her from a neighbor and didn't know how old she was. I think she's pretty close in age to the others. The pigs do get snippy when they in heat, but I haven't had any problems. Just though you might like to hear about a good experience.

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    Cavy Slave Piggly12's Avatar
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    Re: Adding 3rd Pig to Female Pair?

    @GinnyandRoxy, Iím sorry to hijack your thread, I didnít really know where else to put this short of starting a new thread... But I have some questions about my trio that may be slightly relevant to your question.
    It seems like one pig of my trio is the 'leftover oneí, and might be happier if she had a friend and wasnít a 3rd wheel.

    I have 3 sister piggies. The 2 larger ones (Maple and Parsley) just about tolerate each other, while poor Clover is sometimes mildly picked on (Iím assuming she was the Ďruntí because she has lots of nips on her ears and is much smaller) and is sometimes pushed out of the way at the food dishes or hayracks (I have 2 of each; maybe I need 3) and often makes scared-ish sounding whines when the other 2 are coming near her in their Ďangry moodsí (rumble strutting, mounting, angry popcorning).

    Do you think this is because they were kind of forced to get along (being litter-mates), and didnít have a proper chance to establish dominance?

    Also, what are your opinions on getting a 4th? I have a 2x8 cage with an in-progress 2x2 loft, so size wouldnít be an issue.

    Should I maybe try giving the 3 of them a bath, then putting them in a clean cage? (I am reluctant to put them in a neutral area and do a full blown reintroduction in case this messes up their tolerance for each other)

    Sorry if the points in this post are jumbled; I canít seem to figure out how to word it better. Please tell me if something doesnít make sense, and I will attempt to rewrite it...
    Last edited by Piggly12; 06-30-15 at 08:33 am.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Adding 3rd Pig to Female Pair?

    I think it all sounds perfectly normal, and I wouldn't do anything except put more food dishes, hayracks and water bottles in the cage.

    I had two that were litter mates and lived together until one died at abut five and a half years old. They never cuddled, they never slept together, they whined when the other was in heat and in a bitchy mood, and shoved each other out of the way of the food dish.

    I'm not sure what you're looking for, here. Many, many, many pigs do just fine with other pigs in the cage without any evidence of so-called "bonding." Occasionally you get two who really seem to like each other, spend a lot of time together, groom each other, etc, but that's the exception rather than the rule.

    I think the only reasonable goal of introductions is that the pigs get along without trying to kill each other. If any closer bond develops after they've been together, that's just gravy. But not the meat and potatoes.

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    Cavy Slave Piggly12's Avatar
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    Re: Adding 3rd Pig to Female Pair?

    Thanks so much @bpatters! I was worrying that Clover was overly stressed over being the odd one out... Thanks for the reassurance! I think that Maple and Parsley are still trying to figure it out though - I can’t tell who is dominant, as neither of them will let the other mount them. I caught Maple licking Parsley’s ear the other day, and I read that that could mean that either of them are dominant...

    ETA: Actually, none of them will really LET another pig properly mount them; they run away into a tunnel.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Adding 3rd Pig to Female Pair?

    Sadly, no. �� but she sounds gorgeous and I would loove to provide her with not one, but 2 friends! Good luck though!!

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    Re: Adding 3rd Pig to Female Pair?

    Thank you for sharing your experience! My main concern is that my two current girls will start fighting and loose their bond that was so hard to establish, but I'm glad to hear that it is possible for it to go well. :-)

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    Moderator foggycreekcavy's Avatar
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    Re: Adding 3rd Pig to Female Pair?

    By the term "bonded", I think some people expect their guinea pigs to be all cuddly with each other, grooming each other and lying with each other. Most guinea pigs don't really behave this way.

    Any time you add a third, or fourth, or more guinea pigs to the mix, relationships can change. As long as there's no hardcore fighting, I'd call it good.

    One thing about the 1x2 loft, though. I don't like them for most pigs. Unless your guinea pigs get along like gangbusters, there's a chance for getting trapped up there.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Adding 3rd Pig to Female Pair?

    Thank you all so much for your help. I've decided not to take the gamble of ruining my current two guinea pigs bond (which now I realize is pretty strong). I also think we would need a bigger cage, which we don't have room for.

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