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Bonding Bonding concerns

Squiggles

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
May 29, 2018
Messages
82
So I'm a little concerned. I recently bonded my old pig (almost 6 next month, but healthy and still very agile) with a new one I adopted since he lost his brother back in November. They've been living side by side in a grid divider so they were able to see each other, but I hadn't had the time to bond them. I did the other day, and it went the usual, chasing, mounting, screaming, etc. I left them in there all day and by the end, they had pulled out one of the blankets to tunnel under and were under it together with no screaming. I removed the grid wall, after I had cleaned the cage completely, and of course the usual chasing and screaming began again, and I know that's normal, but that's not my concern.

My older pig is cornered. I have many rooms for them to be by themselves, but he used to sleep in his cuddle sack on the right loft, and now the other pig (who had no interest in the sacks before) has stolen it (again, I know, normal, dominant gets what he wants). I don't want my older one to feel left out, so I made sure wherever he is at the moment (I now expanded the area he's been staying in) I give him plenty of hay and his vegetables because if I put the vegetables out in the middle for the two of them, once the other pig approaches, he goes to hide after screaming. I know this is part of the process, but is this going to stress him and I have no choice but to put them alone again? I never had an issue like this since my pigs either came together, were babies, or instantly clicked (probably because in the past, they were sows). I just feel bad because my older pig was everywhere when the wall was up, the loft, upstairs all the time. Now he seems afraid to do anything. (It's been two days since they've been in the cage completely).

This is the current setup.

Screenshot_20240405_105915_Kasa.jpg




And this is where he is now

20240404_200929.jpg


Thanks for your advice always.
 
Was your older pig showing signs of depression or loneliness after the loss of his buddy back in November? If not, in my opinion, I would not stress him by changing his world and adding another pig to his life. If it were me, I wouldn’t want to spend my senior years living in fear of a housemate that threatens my access to food and sleeping areas. And if the dominance escalates, it’s the older guy who will be injured.
 
Was your older pig showing signs of depression or loneliness after the loss of his buddy back in November? If not, in my opinion, I would not stress him by changing his world and adding another pig to his life. If it were me, I wouldn’t want to spend my senior years living in fear of a housemate that threatens my access to food and sleeping areas. And if the dominance escalates, it’s the older guy who will be injured.
Aside from looking for him for a few days and realizing there was no more noise, not really. He ate fine with no issues, didn't lose weight or anything. I'm beginning to think I ruined his peace, but I also didn't want him to be alone for the rest of his life. I think it might be better to put the grid wall back up. At least then he had peace and went whenever he wanted on his side, and was still able to say hi through the grids. I thought them sleeping next to each other by the grids all the time meant they wanted to be friends. Guess I may be wrong.
 
I had 2 sisters from a rescue that were supposed to be bonded and they acted the way yours are. It was awful for them. One was so traumatized she screamed every time the other one moved. When I put in a grid to separate them it took a few days and they actually stretched out and slept out in the open. I don’t know how long they had been forced to be together, but I felt so bad for them.

You’ll have to decide what to do, but if it were me, I’d put the grid up so they have a neighbor and they can feel safe in their own space.
 
I had 2 sisters from a rescue that were supposed to be bonded and they acted the way yours are. It was awful for them. One was so traumatized she screamed every time the other one moved. When I put in a grid to separate them it took a few days and they actually stretched out and slept out in the open. I don’t know how long they had been forced to be together, but I felt so bad for them.

You’ll have to decide what to do, but if it were me, I’d put the grid up so they have a neighbor and they can feel safe in their own space.
I did put it back, and once I did, he came out. I felt so bad, and then last night I was petting his hair back and I felt a rough patch by his ear. Somewhere along the line, he must have bit him. It was very small, but his ears are both smooth, so that's how I noticed it. Now I know why he was so afraid, and I feel terrible not knowing. He seems to be doing better, but now I worry if the new guy might miss his companionship (or, someone to chase up and down and attack), but I don't see any signs of that yet. Also, I think the shelter got his age wrong. He's supposed to be 1.5 years old, but the fact I noticed that he's still growing (length wise), I think they made a mistake. If he's under a year, it would explain why he's so wild.
 
I did put it back, and once I did, he came out. I felt so bad, and then last night I was petting his hair back and I felt a rough patch by his ear. Somewhere along the line, he must have bit him. It was very small, but his ears are both smooth, so that's how I noticed it. Now I know why he was so afraid, and I feel terrible not knowing. He seems to be doing better, but now I worry if the new guy might miss his companionship (or, someone to chase up and down and attack), but I don't see any signs of that yet. Also, I think the shelter got his age wrong. He's supposed to be 1.5 years old, but the fact I noticed that he's still growing (length wise), I think they made a mistake. If he's under a year, it would explain why he's so wild.
I applaud you for approaching this logically and presenting a calm demeanor. That isn't always easy when it's one of your own. I'm a healthcare professional and am accustomed to handling crisis situations, but I know that as I held one of my cavies when he was apparently dying, it was heartbreaking.

Don't feel bad about not immediately being aware of the apparently serious situation. The important thing is that you acted on it and restored the peace. You are obviously a sensitive, devoted Mom. and your boys will pick up on that.
 
It sounds like you resolved the issue for your older guy, and that’s the important thing. It’s not always easy recognizing what’s going on between two pigs when they first meet.
 
So far it's been good, but I'm worried my new guy has been spending a lot of time in his house. I hope I didn't mess it up more, but they were technically only together like that for two days before I had to throw in the towel and put the grid back up, so I don't think that's enough time to upset him? If worst came to worst, I would get a new cage, not as big of course, and put my older guy in there, and get a friend for my newer one... but then again, he might bite him as well.

I found another cut inside the ear, saw a bit of dried blood, but that one and the one on the outside of the ear are already healing. I've been putting a bit of saline solution on it. Is there anything else I should put on it?
 
You can use a little Polysporin on the ears and rub it in well. It contains antibacterial ingredients to prevent infection and keeps the skin soft so it heals.

I don't know how long you've had the new guy, but it's normal for them to kind of hide out for a while and get used to a new environment. As long as he's coming out to eat and drink, that's important. Scattering veggies around the cage so he has to forage might be a good idea. I have a snuffle mat and snuffle ball for mine so she has something to do. Otherwise she'd just be lazing around in a hidey.
 
Now my older one has been going to the grid wall and rumbling and then pulling on it. I told him you either learn to fight back and show him you're the boss, or you stay behind this wall. You can't have both. Pigs 😵‍💫
 
When I had the two sisters, one would do that to try to intimidate the other, knowing they couldn’t get together. I put strips of fleece up on both sides of the grid and that took care of it. I think it was just seeing the other one that would set her off.
 

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