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Behavior Adopted male couple - aggressive behavior normal??

ingrid98684

Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Jun 29, 2012
Messages
10
We brought home two male guineas (Sparky and Speedy) on four days ago - got them from a local family who indicated no longer had time to care for them. This family wanted them to stay together, and I understood they were compatible. For the first four days, Sparky seemed to be the more submissive of the two and more skittish. They would hide together in their igloo and I didn't witness anything that looked like aggression. There were times when they would kind of hop on each other - somewhat like mounting but also up around the head/shoulders - usually it was Speedy who was in the dominant role. I assumed this was playing. No arguments over food or space that I could see. Their cage is quite large - I did a C&C that's about 3 grids by 3 grids and gives them more than double the living area they came from. Late this evening Sparky started a session of teeth chattering and aggression towards Speedy. I watched for several minutes and his level of agitation seemed to increase. I didn't see anything that would have caused the aggression (issues over food) although perhaps it could have been due to Speedy hogging the igloo? Speedy seemed like he just wanted to sleep (prior to the fracas, he was lying in the entrance to the igloo). I finally separated them as I was concerned one would hurt the other - Sparky was aggressive in trying to get back into the main cage, pulling at the bars. Thirty minutes later now, he's still down there at it. I'm a newbie to guinea pigs and wondering how serious this is - do I need to be concerned? Or should I just let them sort this out on their own? What is going on? Help? Ideas? I'm kind of freaked out.
 
How many hideys do you have? General rule of thumb is one per pig plus one extra, though I know my three are ok with just three and dont argue much over space.

Don't worry to much about argueing though, its normal especially fOr boys. Seperating should only be done if there is serious injury and blood. Mine are in a 16sq foot cage, with more the enough room and they still get annoyed at eachother one minute then sleep together the next. I would put them back together, and leave them to work it out.

Do you know how old they are?
 
I don't know their age. I just went down to check on them again and things seemed calmer. Speedy was nosing around the enclosure where Sparky was - both seemed to want to be reunited (that's me anthropomorphizing) so I put them back together. Chattering started back up again almost immediately but not as furiously as before. They have one igloo which they have been content to share for the last four days. As far as I know, that's all they had before. I put in a paper bag with hay inside thinking Sparky might need some "alone time" but he's totally ignoring it. Sparky keeps going into the igloo (where Speedy is already bedded down), chattering, coming out, wanting to go back in again, chattering, coming back out. I'm afraid to go to bed myself and leave them to their own devices. I have split the cage with some extra grids I have - should I reunite them and just see how things are in the morning?
 
Yes leave them together. And keep a bag or something in and get a second hidey at least soon. They are in a new enviorment so it'll likely stirr up the domanince battle and one hidey could make it worse. Even if they ignore it at the start one still might end up useing it. Seperating them just causes stress which can make the fighting worse. They'll be ok. Guinea pigs get really loud if they get hurt, so you'll hear them. But everything you've listed sounds normal to me, both from what i've read and my personal experience.
 
Sparky seems very interested in Speedy's rump and within the igloo is trying to mount (I'm assuming that's what he's doing) and putting his nose up by Speedy's rump. Is this sexual behavior or typical in working out dominance issues?

Have searched the house for a small box or anything that might be of interest as a hidey hole and can't find anything. Will have to stop at the pet store tomorrow. Hopefully that will help.
 
Yeah thats normal, one of mine gets rather mount happy sometimes. They just have to work out who is in charge again. An extra hidey will help especially if it has two openings, so they cant get trapped. I have a ferret hammock my boys love. It has its own stand so i can move it around the cage. Its like a bunk bed so they can be close without being in eachothers faces.
 
My two males got along for over a month and then the teeth chattering started. Unfortunately mine were unable to work out there differences and ended up fighting. They both now have there own cages and live happy lives. Its strange though they get along perfectly fine outside of there cages. Hopefully they are able to work it out.
 
I did end up finding a box. Speedy was finally driven from the Igloo and after a couple of minutes of being chased around, entered the box. Sparky went into the igloo and appears to be calming down. So hopefully everyone will be comfortable for the evening with their own space now. Whew! Thank you so much for sharing your insight. Hoping for a quiet and uneventful night.
 
No problem! My boys have scared me a few times, especially after i added my third and saw them yank tuffs of hair out but thanks to the advice i've seen here i knew to leave them and everything worked out. I think boys just like to cause trouble. ^.^
 
Your boys got along after hair was ripped out? Can I get your advice then...all the fights I have witnessed were the boys flying towards each other and hair being pulled out although one morning I woke up to find one guinea pig with a scratch down his nose to his mouth. I separated them but they lived next door to each other with only a grid separating them. I recently built a bigger cage and planned to put them together again they fought immediately. There are females in the cages above there's...should I try to put them together again or leave them be. Its weird but all of our guinea pigs seem to prefer to have there own cage.
 
My two teens would jump at eachother and i found one with a nose scratch but it never went beyond that and the jump attacks only lasted a few days. With the hair pulling I had just introduced my Bear to the younger two. Odair went after Bear after a bit and pulled out hair and continued to argue the loudest for a few days but they are now best friends and often sleep near eachother. I just gave them time and let them get a few little scratches.

I have heard that having males around females can sometimes cause issues as the males will smell the females and they will react accordingly even if they cant see the girls. I dont have experience with that though, i only have my boys. You could try having them in another room, if thats an option for you. Or put the boys on top and girls on bottom? I've seen people sugges those before.
 
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