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Thread: problem between adult guinea and babies

  1. #1
    Cavy Slave
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    Careless problem between adult guinea and babies

    Peace everyone,

    This may be a lengthy post due to the nature of the issue.
    To put things in perspective, we had 2 young females right now they are about 8-9 weeks one of them was the more dominant and would pick on the younger one...when she wanted her to move but they never had any issues. No fur flying or aggression of any sort. Then we introduced an adult female age 2 about a week ago. They seemed to get along fine, the younger more dominant one tried a few time to show the older one...(her name is Darling,that she was boss.) That didn't go over well with Darling and she showed her teeth and that was the end of that. They sleep eat and even play together for the most part. When Darling wants any of them to move she nudges them out of the way...in an "I mean business" kind of way.
    Yesterday I noticed the least dominant one who usually gets along famously with Darling, test her boundaries by keep her nose in the air and not budging. Darling, watched her and would look away and ignore her, and then turn around and nip her. I checked for blood or any lumps and bumps and I realized it was nothing of the sort. So I didn't concern myself because they went back to licking and following Darling.
    My son came down this morning and said that he noticed that very same young guinea girl(she doesn't have a name yet), chattering quietly with Darling and then lift her nose in the air, showed her teeth and pranced in a circle...then Darling started grinding her teeth and chattering her teeth and she let out a loud squeak and lunged at the younger girl and nipped her on the nose. There was no bleeding or fur flying and no marks whatsoever. The younger girl ran to her corner, and the other young girl also had teeth chattering, my guess is fear not aggression?, but Darling lunged at that guinea girl too and tried to sit on top of her...and she tried to stay on top of her...my guess is she was showing dominance to the other one. The younger one got away and tried kicking wood pellets at her. Darling was chasing her around the cage and then she just stopped chasing her.
    When I came down, everyone sort of was acting normal...but I noticed that Darling seemed to be quite nervous and unsettled, even though it would seem as if she was the aggressor. I seperated them for a bit...just to give them a break. Not sure what to think of this, except that the younger girls are now testing boundaries with her..I know they don't need to be separated and later today I will be changing out the fleece, bathing everyone and putting them back. I would love to hear from all of you who are experienced with guineas and small herds. I have not ever experienced this and honestly didn't think that I would because they are usually all quite happy together.
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Administrator lissie's Avatar
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    Re: problem between adult guinea and babies

    How many hideys do you have in the cage? Do you have enough for each pig? Are there any hideys with only one entrance? If there is, I would take those out and replace them with shoe box cut out with multiple doors. You can also drape pieces of fleece in the corner to make a tent.

  3. #3
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: problem between adult guinea and babies

    okay, why do you ask and how does it relate? if this seems like a silly question..I apologize...I just didn't see the connection. I have a large piece of cloth that drapes over the top of the cage.. to act as a hidey, I have had others but they chew them up and soak them with urine. So I stopped until I can make them a few out of fleece.

  4. #4
    Administrator lissie's Avatar
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    Re: problem between adult guinea and babies

    Guinea pigs don't feel secure without a place to hide. If you don't have enough hiding spots for them, they will fight for the hiding spot.

    For the ones you have, they should be able to run through. When another pig blocks the other from leaving, it can cause a fight.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: problem between adult guinea and babies

    How large is your cage? Lack of space is a major reason for aggression between guinea pigs. Hideys with only one entrance allow one pig to trap another, and also cause squabbles.

    Assuming your cage is large enough (you need about 11-12 square feet for three pigs, at a minimum), just let them be. Don't separate them -- you just slow the adjustment process down.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: problem between adult guinea and babies

    okay thank you Lissie, I see that may part of my problem then. I better get that sorted and quickly. I didn't realize because I thought if they had enough covered space they would be fine for now. It seems like a very ignorant way to think.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: problem between adult guinea and babies

    how do I slow it down? their cage is in the process of being redone as I am waiting for my husband to finish the mdf board for the back it is only a tad smaller than the 2 by 5 and we are making it a 2 by 6 with an large upper level as well.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: problem between adult guinea and babies

    Guinea pigs are wired to establish dominance every time they meet a new pig, or even after they've been separated from their cage mates. They start the dominance-establishment routine all over again, and you wind up with more agitation than you would have had if you'd just left them together.

  9. "Thank you, bpatters, for this useful post," says:


  10. #9
    Administrator lissie's Avatar
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    Re: problem between adult guinea and babies

    When I used to have three pigs in the cage, I can't even use tunnels. One of them would block one end, and the other on another end, and the third pig trapped in the middle.

    I've also had pigs fight over the ramp. If you notice any bickering around the ramp, you might have to remove the loft.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: problem between adult guinea and babies

    Quote Originally Posted by lissie View Post
    When I used to have three pigs in the cage, I can't even use tunnels. One of them would block one end, and the other on another end, and the third pig trapped in the middle.

    I've also had pigs fight over the ramp. If you notice any bickering around the ramp, you might have to remove the loft.
    My hope is with enough space and appropriate hideys things will be okay.... they seem to be fine now and have been since the incident!

  12. #11
    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner pinky's Avatar
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    Re: problem between adult guinea and babies

    When you have multiples, the dynamics can change, even after they've established dominance. Last year, I brought in a new young female, Pinky. The dominant one, Ditto, was was immediately challenged by the other guinea pig from the original pair, Fish Fry. It was swift and over and done with. Fish Fry became very controlling with the other two and picked on Pinky a lot. She seemed almost compulsive about it but no one was fighting so I let them work it out. Ditto and Pinky established a bond and you could tell Fish Fry didn't like it. Recently, Pinky went through a phase where she was challenging both of them by mounting them when they wouldn't let her eat and they stopped bothering her. Neither picks on Pinky now and they all act like equals for the first time. I think she just had to show them she wasn't going to take any abuse from them.

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