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Thread: Will They Ever Get Along?

  1. #1
    Cavy Slave BaconAndEggs's Avatar
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    Will They Ever Get Along?

    I first introduced Bacon and Eggs about a year and a half ago, in April 2014. They seemed to get along okay, but I made the mistake of separating them over normal dominance behaviors, and put them back together a few weeks later. They were fine, not quite the content, bonded pair that we all wish for, and somewhat aggressive towards each other. Then, around 7 months ago, Eggs scratched Bacon's eye(not just the lid, but his eye)and so I took him to the vet where I was informed that they would have to be separated until Bacon's eye was healed. I kept them separated for seven months, because I blamed their fighting on Eggs just going into adolescence and figured that there would be no point in redoing introductions after only a week.

    Yesterday, I decided to have a go at introducing them. I'm fairly sure that I did everything right: neutral area, big pile of hay at the center, no hideys, I wiped down everything and washed their fleece, and changed the cage around completely. I have two of everything-two fleece forests, two food bowls, a pile of hay at the center of the-2x5-cage and hay in a hay rack at the other end, and two water bottles.

    I put them in the neutral area, and at first they were distracted by the hay. Then, Bacon decided to try and "assert his dominance" with Eggs. All behavior was normal, though there was some raised hair, and rocking back and forth as if they were about to lunge, but no big fights or anything. When they had both settled down and hadn't chattered or growled in a while, I put them in their cage and kept an eye on them. They chased each other for a while, but then both settled into a fleece forest.

    But then, when I went to see them later that night, I inspected Bacon and his face was all scratched up. Nothing extremely deep, but he was bleeding in a couple of places, especially around his eye. I cleaned off all of the cuts and separated them because one, I knew that, at this rate, Eggs was going for the eyes and my parents would not be happy if we had to take him to the vet again for his eye being scratched and, second, they were really starting to get into it. I checked Eggs as well, and found nothing, except for a small scratch on his back.

    So, now, I have a few questions:

    1. Was it wrong of me to separate them? Now, whenever they so much as see each other through the divider, they start chattering their teeth. In my opinion, they seem a lot happier alone, but I can't speak guinea pig so I'm not completely sure.
    2. Do you think they would be okay with grids separating them so that they could have interaction without being able to come in contact with each other?
    3. I understand that some boars are more likely to fight when they can smell females. My girl, Muffin, sits on a dresser above their cage. I'm not sure if her scent made it worse, because they acted this way before I separated them several months ago.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Moderator foggycreekcavy's Avatar
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    Re: Will They Ever Get Along?

    1. I don't separate if possible.

    However, what's done is done, and no use beating yourself up about it.

    2. They should be fine in cages next to each other, as long as each has an appropriate sized cage. Monitor their health and behavior.

    3. Yes, her presence could definitely be making them fight. Why is Muffin alone? She needs a companion.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner pinky's Avatar
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    Re: Will They Ever Get Along?

    I've found that when you do an introduction, you need to make it an all day event. Sometimes they'll start out fine but become agitated later on so it's important to be nearby....just in case. If you separate them with grids, they can still bite an exposed nose or foot that extends through or on the grids.

  4. #4
    Cavy Slave BaconAndEggs's Avatar
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    Re: Will They Ever Get Along?

    @foggycreekcavy Thank you for your answer! I'm hoping to expand their cage by another grid sometime, so that they can each have their own 2x3. Right now each has a 2x2.5. Also, Muffin is only alone for the time being while I get her living space sorted out, and hopefully not long afterwards. She was a surprise Christmas present, so I'm planning on making a double decker cage sometime soon.
    @pinky Thanks for the advice. I'm hoping that they will be okay seeing, smelling, and hearing each other, but can't get to the other. Maybe someday, a while from now, I will try to introduce them yet again, but if that happens it won't be for another several months or so.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Will They Ever Get Along?

    My boys are pretty happy separated by grids. They each have a 2x3 with draped fleece instead of hideys to maximize running space, and Cosmo has a 1x2 loft. I'd build one for Gus, but he has an injured foot and I don't want him climbing a ramp right now.

    I went through almost exactly the same thing as you, and Gus is still recovering. They chirp and rumble at each other through the bars, and they sniff and lay near each other, but after two introductions that ended in injuries, I just can't trust them together. I know it's possible that they could bite through the bars, but at least Gus can run away without being pursued if they have a disagreement. Cosmo seems to want a buddy more than Gus does. Even when they were together, he preferred to be alone on the opposite side of the cage.

    Your pigs will have a better life being able to hear, see, and smell each other than if you separated them entirely.

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    Moderator foggycreekcavy's Avatar
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    Re: Will They Ever Get Along?

    Quote Originally Posted by kairi26 View Post

    Your pigs will have a better life being able to hear, see, and smell each other than if you separated them entirely.
    I agree.

    I've had several males next to each other here at the rescue, and so far no injuries through the grids.

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