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Thread: Feeling nervous - Today is introduction day for Randy, Snickers, and Lucy!

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    Cavy Slave CavyChrissy's Avatar
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    Feeling nervous - Today is introduction day for Randy, Snickers, and Lucy!

    So today we are going to introduce our new little neutered boy Randy to our adult sows Lucy and Snickers (both age 4). I know he's only been in quarantine a week, but that has been cut short by my husband (the one who claims guinea pigs are silly pets, but keeps playing with them and sneaking them extra lettuce - I swear Snickers practically holds her front paws in the air like a toddler who wants to be picked up because she knows hubby will take her to the fridge for a snack!). He keeps playing with Randy and letting him smell the girls and the girls smell him. I'll be holding one of the girls and hubby tries to add Randy to my lap - sheesh, no no!

    I've been reading and reading, including that article that bpatters always references. We're going to prep the bathroom soon - new fleece (that will later be sewn to cage liners), water bottles, hay pile, veggies, no hideys.

    Guess I'm just venting my nervousness! Wish me luck!

    Snickers
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    Lucy
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    Randy
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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Feeling nervous - Today is introduction day for Randy, Snickers, and Lucy!

    Is the quarantine for the neuter? If so, a week is not nearly long enough. He needs to be kept separate for at least three full weeks, preferably four.

    Besides, a pig that has had surgery doesn't need to be in a cage with other active pigs until the incision is thoroughly healed, lest he develop a hernia through the incision.

    Please do NOT put this pig in with the others.

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    Cavy Slave Soecara's Avatar
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    Re: Feeling nervous - Today is introduction day for Randy, Snickers, and Lucy!

    Reading the OP's other thread https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum...andy-(pictures!) Randy was already neutered when she adopted him from Critter Corral, though if the neutering took place less then three weeks ago he may not be completely sterile yet. Given he is from a reputable rescue there is a much lesser risk in breaking quarantine.
    Last edited by Soecara; 09-27-15 at 08:56 am.

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    Cavy Slave CavyChrissy's Avatar
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    Re: Feeling nervous - Today is introduction day for Randy, Snickers, and Lucy!

    Give me a little credit here @bpatters. I understand others come here without researching (and that must be super frustrating!), but I said I did my research and I've been an active user learning a lot here.
    @Soecara is right, Randy was neutered by the vet months ago. We just got him a week ago and were quarantining to make sure he didn't have any illnesses.

    So we are an hour in to the intros and have seen the expected rumbling, butt sniffing, butt dragging, some chattering, and one attempted mounting. As I was guessing, Snickers is trying hard to be the dominant. But both Lucy and Randy both are not giving in so easily. They did all get tired out a bit ago and all laid down for a rest. Lucy and Snickers actually laid very close together, which they NEVER did when it's just the two of them in their regular cage. Felt bad for poor Randy on the other end by himself. Now they are all back up and squeaking and chasing again.

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    It's cool having young Randy because he actually popcorns and runs, which my old girls don't really do!

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    Re: Feeling nervous - Today is introduction day for Randy, Snickers, and Lucy!

    Your pigs are so cute! That is so great you adopted him, I hope they get along well I love watching popcorning piggies!

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    Re: Feeling nervous - Today is introduction day for Randy, Snickers, and Lucy!

    Thanks @PenelopePig ! I was lucky to find this forum when I was researching getting pigs and learned about guinea pig rescues - I had no idea there was such a thing! Randy actually came from a Critter Coral foster home that was only 15 minutes away from me.

    Now we are at 1 hour and 45 minutes. Lucy seems to have submitted and keeps her head low. Snickers and Randy are still figuring it out. They are all starting to look pretty exhausted!

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    Re: Feeling nervous - Today is introduction day for Randy, Snickers, and Lucy!

    Ok, so need some advice on if I should leave them together. They stayed in the neutral bathroom for over 4 hours - they seemed to settle down after about 2, it just took me a while to clean out the cage. By the end of the 4 hours, they were all laying down in separate areas and not bothering each other. So we moved them to the cleaned cage. They have been in the cage for about 3 hours now and Snickers is still going after Randy. He is trying to mind his own business, but every 15 minutes or so Snickers will just go at him. She has pulled out 5 or so chunks of fur from Randy The last one just now had Randy screaming (different and more panic sounding that the squealing from most of the day). Meanwhile, Lucy is just try to get some rest in a pigloo (don't worry, all pigloos have an extra big entrance that I cut in them). A few times Snickers has gone over and rumbled at Lucy, just to make sure she's still submitting, I guess.

    As a write this, now they have actually all settled down and are each resting in their own pigloo. Good grief, I think I need a drink...

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Feeling nervous - Today is introduction day for Randy, Snickers, and Lucy!

    For starters, take the pigloos out. You never want a hidey in a cage where one pig can trap another when you'd doing introductions. You can replace them with upside-down boxes (no lids) with holes in the ends, or with fleece clipped across the corners of the cage, or with fleece forests.

    Other than that, I'd leave them alone.

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    Cavy Slave CavyChrissy's Avatar
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    Re: Feeling nervous - Today is introduction day for Randy, Snickers, and Lucy!

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    For starters, take the pigloos out. You never want a hidey in a cage where one pig can trap another when you'd doing introductions. You can replace them with upside-down boxes (no lids) with holes in the ends, or with fleece clipped across the corners of the cage, or with fleece forests.

    Other than that, I'd leave them alone.
    My pigloos all have TWO entrances, as I mentioned above. So no one is getting trapped. Snickers just jumps at Randy when he doesn't see her coming.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Feeling nervous - Today is introduction day for Randy, Snickers, and Lucy!

    Sorry, missed the two-door pigloos.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner pinky's Avatar
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    Re: Feeling nervous - Today is introduction day for Randy, Snickers, and Lucy!

    Quote Originally Posted by CavyChrissy View Post
    Give me a little credit here @bpatters. I understand others come here without researching (and that must be super frustrating!), but I said I did my research and I've been an active user learning a lot here.
    @Soecara is right, Randy was neutered by the vet months ago. We just got him a week ago and were quarantining to make sure he didn't have any illnesses.

    So we are an hour in to the intros and have seen the expected rumbling, butt sniffing, butt dragging, some chattering, and one attempted mounting. As I was guessing, Snickers is trying hard to be the dominant. But both Lucy and Randy both are not giving in so easily. They did all get tired out a bit ago and all laid down for a rest. Lucy and Snickers actually laid very close together, which they NEVER did when it's just the two of them in their regular cage. Felt bad for poor Randy on the other end by himself. Now they are all back up and squeaking and chasing again.

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    It's cool having young Randy because he actually popcorns and runs, which my old girls don't really do!
    That photo is really cute! It reminds me of when I had a neutered males with a few females. Poor guy was often excluded but after awhile one of the girls seemed to like him. Give them a little time and they'll settle down. I think it was only a matter of a couple of weeks before my male stopped chasing and stalking them.

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    Cavy Slave CavyChrissy's Avatar
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    Re: Feeling nervous - Today is introduction day for Randy, Snickers, and Lucy!

    I like your photo too @pinky ! Poor little guy, all left out. I was surprised, I thought the girls would take to a male better than this. Maybe because Randy is pretty young?

    They spent the night in the cage, without anything major. Poor Randy lost several small chunks of hair to Snickers pulling at him. It's like a light dusting of snow with all the white hair in there! Snickers still chases Randy now and then. Poor old Lucy is just trying to mind her own business, but occasionally gets caught up in the action. Very few scuffles this morning, I think they are all still tired out from yesterday. Hopefully Snickers will lay off and Randy will come out of his shell. I dream of someday seeing all 3 little faces peeking through the grids and wheeking for veggies in the morning!

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    Re: Feeling nervous - Today is introduction day for Randy, Snickers, and Lucy!

    aww they are so cute. all the very best!
    and i m happy for you.

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    Re: Feeling nervous - Today is introduction day for Randy, Snickers, and Lucy!

    So we are at the one week mark and still not settled. Somebody tell me if they are ok: Randy has several bites on his butt from this week, which are scabbed over. A couple times throughout the week Snickers and Randy reared up and snipped and clawed at each other. They did again today and Snickers got a very small cut on the nose. Snickers chases him 5-10 times a day and there is a LOT of rumbling and some chattering. At first Randy always ran away, but now he sometimes stands his ground.

    On the other hand, Lucy and Randy are coming to accept each other. They sometimes eat at far ends of the same hay rack. And tonight they sat in the giant pigloo (two doors) eating veggies together for a few minutes. Randy will also follow Lucy around the cage (with his nose literally shoved up her rear) and she lets him for a few minutes. I can't tell which of those two is dominant over the other. But I don't care, as long as they accept each other!

    I'm just afraid Randy and Snickers might hurt each other. Do they normally fight hard for this long? Would more space in the form of an upper level help? Any ideas? I'm really hoping for a happy trio.

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    Re: Feeling nervous - Today is introduction day for Randy, Snickers, and Lucy!

    So sorry your having such a hard time. I don't have enough experience to help you but I'm sure someone else will. feel free to message me and vent if you need to ok.

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    Re: Feeling nervous - Today is introduction day for Randy, Snickers, and Lucy!

    Lucy's and Randy's starting to get along is definitely a good sign, I'd say they require careful supervision but all hope is not lost.

    A loft could help but only if you make sure to have two ramps, don't want anyone getting trapped!

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    Re: Feeling nervous - Today is introduction day for Randy, Snickers, and Lucy!

    Quote Originally Posted by jaycriae View Post
    Lucy's and Randy's starting to get along is definitely a good sign, I'd say they require careful supervision but all hope is not lost.

    A loft could help but only if you make sure to have two ramps, don't want anyone getting trapped!
    Yes, definitely two ramps! I learned that lesson when I tried a kitchen with only one door.

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    Re: Feeling nervous - Today is introduction day for Randy, Snickers, and Lucy!

    So last night around 1 am I hear some scuffling from the pigs, then some squealing, then screaming! I go down there and Snickers is chasing Randy all around. So I sit to watch a minute and they rear up and snip and Snickers actually made a growling/hissing type noise! And she was still going to go after him more. So I decided to separate them for the night. I could not sleep if I thought Snickers might hurt Randy (more than she has, poor boy has bites all over his butt). I made a grid wall to divide my cage and put Randy on one side and the girls on the other. They eventually settled down and went to sleep.

    Today I gave them a buddy bath and blow dry (what a mess!). Put them back in the newly cleaned cage (no divider wall), all seems ok for 10 minutes or so, then they rear up at each TWICE in about a minute. I was about to throw in the towel (literally and figuratively!) and divide them again. But then oddly, they all back it down a few notches and just rumbled at each other for the rest of the night. Nothing worse. Now they are all sleeping (each in their own pigloo with 2 doors). At first I thought my buddy bath was a total fail, but now it seems maybe things are looking up!

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    Cavy Slave CavyChrissy's Avatar
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    Re: Feeling nervous - Today is introduction day for Randy, Snickers, and Lucy!

    And the drama continues... I need thoughts on what you would do. After a relatively quiet week with the pigs all living together (lots of rumbling, Randy attempting to mount, and some chasing), tonight we found that Randy has what I assume is a bite on his face and a new bite on his butt. The whole red area is a raw area, not blood running.


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    Not sure exactly when this happened today, as we were out a few times and just noticed this now. They've been together 2 weeks and we did proper introductions when we first put them together. Is there hope that they might still come to get along? Or at this point, is this a sign that Snickers and Randy will just never get along?

    My alternative is to separate Randy, but with a grid wall in between so Randy can still see and hear the girls. I just started building a loft that will be about 18 inches x 80 inches (about 1.25 x 5.5 grids). I was thinking that Randy would have the entire loft plus a ramp down to a small end of the main level (maybe a 1.5 x 2 grids area). There would be a grid wall separating his end. Then the girls would have the rest of the main level (about 2 x 4 grids). Then Randy could still "visit" the girls on the main level and have a big area to run on the upper level. I would make a lid on the loft to prevent him from trying to climb out. I guess I would also then need a lid on his end of the main level too.

    Is it time to separate permanently?

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    Cavy Slave CavyChrissy's Avatar
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    Re: Feeling nervous - Today is introduction day for Randy, Snickers, and Lucy!

    Excited to report an update! After my last post, I did decide to separate Randy. We divided the cage and he had his own space, but shared a grid wall with the girls. Through weekly weigh-in's I noticed that Randy was pretty close to the girls in weight, so I decided it was time for another try at intros. If you didn't read the history, Randy is a neutered male that we initially tried to introduce to our pair of females. But female Snickers was so dominant, she just bit the crap out of Randy constantly. So obviously I eventually separated.

    So here is the neutral space I made (I used those clear plastic chair mats from the office chairs under the fleece to protect the carpet):
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    They squealed constantly, then rumbled, some chattering. And a few fights like the one below (but they only lasted a second). Surprisingly, Lucy seemed to be trying to be dominant. She did the most chasing. Later on, she seemed to tire a bit and it seemed to be a stalemate. I still can't tell which one is dominant, but as long as they are not fighting, who cares!
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    In the meantime, I remodeled the cage (again!). I used to have a loft for Randy (an aprox 2x6 main level with a 1x6 loft). I took it off and moved it to the back of the cage. Here you can see how it hangs off the back (but with L brackets supporting it). I remember reading in another post that someone, maybe @bpatters , suggested that if you have a troublesome introduction to leave the cage as bare as possible. Don't give them anything to fight over. So no houses, no tunnels, nothing (at least for now). They at least have a roof overhead in the back section (this is the roof of the old loft):
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    So after about 4.5 hours in the neutral area we put them in the cage. There was some more squealing and rumbling. And a few chases, but nothing bad. So relieved! At one point they even all ate in the kitchen together:
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    And then Lucy had a rest:
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    And now I am ready for a rest too : )

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