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Thread: Currently having a rocky introduction. Help?

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    Cavy Slave
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    Currently having a rocky introduction. Help?

    Hello! I have 3 guinea pigs. 2 are sisters just under a year old, Skye and Daisy and I got them about 5 months ago. Over a week ago I adopted another pig, Peggy.

    Skye and Daisy are in 2 connected Midwest Guinea Habitat cages, so there is plenty of room for another pig. I found Peggy and she didn?t have a very good home. She was barely given any hay and was never given any veggies. Peggy now eats plenty of hay, but I am still working on getting her to eat veggies.

    I have never introduced pigs together before, so I did a lot of research and today was the today I introduced them. Between Skye and Daisy, I never knew there was a dominant one because they were always good with each other, never did the chin raising thing and were never aggressive. I always just assumed Daisy was the more dominant one because she is a more outgoing and Skye is very timid and always hides when someone comes around.

    So today I tried to introduce them. All of the pigs are in a brand new location with only some brand new bendy bridges and tube (so there?s a place to hide with 2 openings), lots of hay, and veggies.


    Everything was going good at first, lots of butt sniffing, lots of chin raises (by Skye, which shocked me) and all seemed okay. Peggy had also been by herself for the past year, so after being put with my other 2 pigs she started getting excited and was popcorning everywhere. After about 45 minutes the Skye started to get very territorial and would run up for Peggy and start teeth chattering, and then walk away. One of the times Skye went back up for Peggy she raised the hair on the back of her neck, did the teeth chatter, and lunged and pulled a few hairs off Peggy?s back. We did throw a fleece in there to break it up and they stayed in their separate corners for a while. Skye has been coming up to Peggy every so often, but the teeth chattering is lessening every time.
    Daisy and Peggy seem to be okay with each other for the most part. Peggy is a little scared of the other pigs now and Daisy keeps up to her and sniffing her and Peggy starts squeaking like she?s nervous.

    As of this moment, they have been in their introduction cage for 4 hours, supervised the entire time. Does this seem like they could go into the same cage in a while? Or should I separate them and try the introduction another time? My mom very kindly sanitized the cage and all the items that would go back in it incase I did end up putting them together. I?m trying not to lose hope, but it seems like maybe they shouldn?t go together right now. I plan on watching them for a few more hours though to get a better read on it, but I?m just at a loss as to what to do.

    Thank you for any advice!

  2. #2
    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Currently having a rocky introduction. Help?

    Definitely don't separate them -- you'll just lose all the ground you've already gained.

    Leave them together for several more hours. The last time I introduced a pair to a singleton, it took 11 hours before I was comfortable leaving them.

    Also read http://guinea-pigs.livejournal.com/3002707.html.

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


  4. #3
    Cavy Slave FailedFoster's Avatar
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    Re: Currently having a rocky introduction. Help?

    I second bpatters. Sometimes it just takes a very long time. Good luck! Let us know how it turns out!

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Currently having a rocky introduction. Help?

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    Definitely don't separate them -- you'll just lose all the ground you've already gained.

    Leave them together for several more hours. The last time I introduced a pair to a singleton, it took 11 hours before I was comfortable leaving them.

    Also read http://guinea-pigs.livejournal.com/3002707.html.
    That was a great link, thank you! I had read another very detailed post about introductions but it's great to see another post like this from another perspective!

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Currently having a rocky introduction. Help?

    Quote Originally Posted by FailedFoster View Post
    I second bpatters. Sometimes it just takes a very long time. Good luck! Let us know how it turns out!
    Thanks! I left them together for 7 hours and things had settled down. It's been over 2 days since they've been all together and I think things are settling down. The new pig (Peggy) it spending all of her time in the corner of the cage but I'm hoping that she'll start to join the others soon.

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    Cavy Slave FailedFoster's Avatar
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    Re: Currently having a rocky introduction. Help?

    Quote Originally Posted by butterflylover5 View Post
    The new pig (Peggy) it spending all of her time in the corner of the cage but I'm hoping that she'll start to join the others soon.
    I'm glad to hear things have settled down! For little Peggy, make sure she's still eating and weigh her to make sure. I know I've had issues with other pigs resource guarding in the past and weighing has saved my hide in some of those situations.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Currently having a rocky introduction. Help?

    Quote Originally Posted by FailedFoster View Post
    I'm glad to hear things have settled down! For little Peggy, make sure she's still eating and weigh her to make sure. I know I've had issues with other pigs resource guarding in the past and weighing has saved my hide in some of those situations.
    I'll do that tonight, thank you! She tends to hide in the same corner so I have been putting a pile of food over there just in case, but I'll still try weighing her. She still hasn't gotten the hint about the veggies yet, but hopefully soon!

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    Cavy Slave lilitsybell's Avatar
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    Re: Currently having a rocky introduction. Help?

    I had this issue when I was introducing my third pig to my other two (who had been living with me for a year at the time). The new pig would get into fights with them (pretty scary fights) and I would immediately separate them. I'm glad your experience is going better than mine was, haha! One way I got them to start liking each other was to put them in a playpen on the floor (a territory they don't go in, so there's no scent of piggies) and putting some peppers in. They would share the peppers and seem to be best of friends for a few hours at a time! Over time they stopped fighting and became friends. (:

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Currently having a rocky introduction. Help?

    Quote Originally Posted by lilitsybell View Post
    I had this issue when I was introducing my third pig to my other two (who had been living with me for a year at the time). The new pig would get into fights with them (pretty scary fights) and I would immediately separate them. I'm glad your experience is going better than mine was, haha! One way I got them to start liking each other was to put them in a playpen on the floor (a territory they don't go in, so there's no scent of piggies) and putting some peppers in. They would share the peppers and seem to be best of friends for a few hours at a time! Over time they stopped fighting and became friends. (:
    Sorry to hear the introduction process wasn't good! The new pig wasn't given any veggies so as of right now she's not eating any hoping she'll learn from the other pigs! New pig does eat hay and when I refill the hay morning and night they all gather around the pile so I'm hoping that will be their bonding experience. Thanks!

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