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Thread: Adopted a Possible Cuy/Silkie Mix?

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    Cavy Slave
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    Adopted a Possible Cuy/Silkie Mix?

    About 3-4 months ago, in November, we adopted our fifth guinea pig; a (1.5 year old) surrender from Petland. The only information they had was that it was a young girl caring for her and that she had been returned because she was supposedly very aggressive. They said she had come in covered in matts, and told us she was a peruvian. I named her Dima and she did end up being quite bitey. We are working to try to train her out of it.
    A month later we adopted a second surrender (1.4 year old) pig, much smaller and fluffier, and very different looking from Dima. It was pretty obvious that they were different breeds, both longhaired. It didn't take long to figure out that Dima was a silkie, and Ziggy was a peruvian.
    However, looking at Dima and comparing her to our other pigs and prior pigs, she is massive. She was 1300 grams when we got her (our second biggest, overweight pig being 1200) but didn't look unusually fat. She was somewhat skittish, but it's gotten better over time, and she'll even come up and let me pet her in the cage now. I had also read that female cuy tend to be very dominant over other females, and we've had a lot of problems integrating her. She is extremely aggressive towards some of the others. Paired with Zuko's apparent social anxiety (??), it's been impossible to keep them all together without having to keep either her or Zuko separate from the group.


    TL;DR: Dima's a silkie, but significantly larger than any pig we've had before. Also extremely dominant/bold against other females, and aggressive to people. Not overly skittish, and has colouring unusual for cuy.

    Is it possible she's got cuy genetics?

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    A very pretty pig.

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    Cavy Slave sallyvh's Avatar
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    Re: Adopted a Possible Cuy/Silkie Mix?

    I would think it's pretty unlikely she's a cuy or cuy mix. It's more likely she is just under socialized and in my experiences, it can be difficult to bond some guinea pigs who have been alone for a long time, especially since they were young.

    As far as weight goes, 1300g is large, but certainly not atypical. You will find many people with sows who are that size or larger. 4 of my 7 girls are larger than that and I wouldn't describe them as overweight.

    I'm thinking you just have a big, gorgeous and bossy girl here!

  3. "Thank you, sallyvh, for this useful post," says:


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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Adopted a Possible Cuy/Silkie Mix?

    Ditto @sallyvh. Thirteen hundred grams doesn't come close to cuy weight, and all but one of my sows has weighed that much or more. Also, the vast majority of cuy are shorthaired, and red or red and white in color.

    How large is your cage? Could lack of space be contributing to her difficulty in getting along with other pigs? Lack of space is a major cause of guinea pig aggression.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner ThePigAlchemist's Avatar
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    Re: Adopted a Possible Cuy/Silkie Mix?

    I've never heard of cuy having issues getting along with other pigs, either. I believe they generally socialize just fine but are skittish and afraid of humans.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using Tapatalk

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    Re: Adopted a Possible Cuy/Silkie Mix?

    @bpatters Currently, she and the peruvian share a 2x5 C&C cage (2 hay boxes, 2 food dishes and 2 water bottles), and the other two (6-8 years old and far less active) share a 2x3 plus one extra square. We keep one cage open all the time so that they have full run of the main floor, and we open their cages to eachother for a supervised visit once a week or so. I think the main problem might be that it's very possible neither of the new two have ever been kept with another pig. It's still a little worrying though; Dima tries to guard the food all the time, it seems, even with two feeding areas.

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    Cavy Slave sallyvh's Avatar
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    Re: Adopted a Possible Cuy/Silkie Mix?

    I would stop the halfway play dates. Either keep them together or keep them separate. Guinea pigs are hard wired to establish dominance any time they meet, so your continuous introductions and separations are likely to be adding stress to all your pigs and exasperating dominance issues.

    I would work on keeping her with whoever you want her to live with, set up the cage so there's lots of room to move, no hides with only 1 door and multiple feeding areas at opposite ends of the cage. Her behaviours may settle down as she becomes confident in her surrounding and grouping. It can sometimes take a while for pairs or groups to work out and really settle into their ways.

    In the meantime, make sure you're consistently weighing everyone and be sure no one is losing weight from her guarding.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Adopted a Possible Cuy/Silkie Mix?

    Also put up some fleece forests or some panels draped across the cage to interrupt the sight lines. If they can't always see each other, maybe things will be a little calmer.

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