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Thread: Bonding adult female and young female, maybe getting along but not sure?

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    Cavy Slave SuperK's Avatar
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    Bonding adult female and young female, maybe getting along but not sure?

    I've had my pig Penny for a little over a year now and finally found another young female a couple weeks ago, who I've named Pepper. Quarantine was over and I introduced them today. At first I was really pleased with how it was going. Penny was following her and popcorning and they just seemed pretty excited. They did good for about 20 minutes and then the teeth chattering and rumblestrutting started.
    It never got to the point of needing to be separated but it was pretty stressful to watch. Pepper followed her around and a couple of times she took a chunk of Penny's fur, but I've always heard that if there isn't any blood or serious fighting to just let them sort it out so I just watched ready to break it up. They kept doing this for a while and as time went on they calmed down more and more. Penny would start squeaking when Pepper got close to her but after an hour or so she stopped trying to chase her as often and they mostly stood around eating hay but I could tell Penny still didn't want her being too close.
    They eventually settled down and hadn't really bothered each other at all for about 30 minutes so I put them back in the (completely cleaned) cage. So far it's been fairly peaceful but a few minutes ago Pepper came into the loft and butted Penny in the nose and kicked her out of her favorite sleeping spot.
    I'm still keeping an eye on them and I've yet to see any serious fighting but I'm still worried about them being in the same cage together. Is my fear unwarranted? Does this sound fairly normal or should I separate them? I've only ever had one experience trying to bond guinea pigs which didn't turn out good so I'm nervous about this but don't want to separate them unnecessarily and undo any progress.
    It was also unexpected to me that the younger one ended up being the dominant one.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Bonding adult female and young female, maybe getting along but not sure?

    It all sounds very normal to me. However, you need two ramps to that loft so that one pig can't trap the other one up there. You can block it off until you get another ramp made.
    in
    How large is your cage?

    If they've got enough room, everything should be OK. But don't put a lot of furniture in there, and especially don't put in any hidey with only one door. You can break up the lines of sight in the cage by stringing fleece strips across or clipping pieces of fleece across the corners. "Out of sight, out of mind" helps in introducing pigs.

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    Cavy Slave SuperK's Avatar
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    Re: Bonding adult female and young female, maybe getting along but not sure?

    Yeah I took away access to the loft after that incident. They're in a 2x4 cage. I've got some cardboard hideys with 2 openings. 2 water bottles, 2 piles oh hay, etc. So far so good still but ready for this introductory phase to be over. As much as I tell myself not to project human emotions onto animals, I still feel awful for my Penny.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Bonding adult female and young female, maybe getting along but not sure?

    Don't put more than two hideys in, and orient them in different directions so they can't see the other pig when they're in one of the hideys.

    Where in Mississippi do you live?

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    Re: Bonding adult female and young female, maybe getting along but not sure?

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    Where in Mississippi do you live?
    Northeast MS, Tupelo area.

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    Re: Bonding adult female and young female, maybe getting along but not sure?

    Okay they've been together in the cage for an entire day. Still no huge fights but Penny's pretty much exclusively stayed in their kitchen area because every time she comes out and gets too close to Pepper, she nips at Penny and chases her off. How long is this behavior supposed to last? I got woken up a few times last night to Penny wheeking really loudly but neither of them are injured. Should I be concerned about leaving them alone if they're still doing this over 24 hours later? I have to go back to work tomorrow so I can't watch them.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Bonding adult female and young female, maybe getting along but not sure?

    I think they're fine. You might try putting a teeny tiny drop of vanilla on both noses and tails -- that way they'll both smell alike and it may confuse them into getting along a little better. But everything seems perfectly normal so far.

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