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Introductions Can introducing guinea pigs use to being in pairs with another pair be a mistake?

piggydaddy1

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I'm starting to rethink my whole housing my two female adults with my two babies. When I first brought the babies home, the were popcorning and zoming around there cage and now that there living together with the adults, their whole demeanor has changed and they spend most of there time in there cage in a hyde. Also the adults seemed more happy as well and now even they are bickering back and forth. I know I can't introduce, unintroduce, and then reintroduce, but both sets seemed so much more happier when they were just living by themselves. I know stress isn't good for them and I want them to all be happy, but I'm not sure what I should do.
 

piggydaddy1

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True. Maybe once I have the play pen done tonight, the babies getting out for a while just the two of them will help.
 

piggydaddy1

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Houston we have a big problem

So I got home tonight, opened the door, and herd the loudest squeaking, squealing, sound from th guinea pig cage that I have ever heard. I ran over to find Olivia pinning Jasmine against one of the corners and nipping at her. I yelled at Olivia to stop and then I taped her on the nose very slightly which I know she hates and she got off Jasmine and ran into one of the igloos. I picked Jasmine up as she was shaking and wimpering and cuddled with her. I gave her some vegetables, while I checked her over an luckily no bite marks, open soars, etc and other to being very scared, seems unharmed. Once I realized that I had Sophia to worry about to, I took both of them and put a blanket down in my down stairs bathroom, put both hyde tents in there with a water bottle, hay and vegetables and closed the door. Once I calmed down, I realized that I was very very lucky and that I had to rebuild the babies 2 x 4 cage and that both pairs would live alone from now on. I just checked on both Sophia and Jasmine and the were back to popcorning and doing zoomies around the bathroom. I guess its a good thing that you guts suggested that I keep all the doubles including the coroplast since I never knew when I would need them again. This is not what I expected to come home to :mad: :mad::mad:.
 

Artista

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Re: Houston we have a big problem

Yeah, glad no harm done and good idea to keep them in pairs rather than all together.
 

sallyvh

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About a week ago I made posts and was in the same sort of boat as you. I have bonded sows that are about 2 years old and I then rescued a 4 week old female from the SPCA where I work and honestly introductions went kind of horrible. My adults chased the baby like crazy and there was constant nipping and squealing. I did introductions properly and had them housed in a proper sized cage for 3 (2x5). This went on for a solid 5 days and it definitely wasn't working, the big girls were getting increasingly worse towards the baby and then started to get upset with each other which I have never seen happen...

I made the decision to separate them because things were getting worse, not better and my girls were constantly chasing the baby even if she was across the cage eating from a completely different pile of hay/veggies. I returned my 2 year olds to their 2x4 cage and pulled out my spare midwest guinea pig cage to put the baby in. I was at a complete loss then as I knew I did not want to leave my baby on her own but my SPCA did not have any more guinea pigs. Fortunately though I found someone selling unexpected babies on Kijiji near me so the next day I went and met the people and saw where their guinea pigs lived and chose another baby girl to bring home.

I made the difficult decision to not quarantine as I am confident the new baby is healthy, I saw the other 2 in the litter and the mother sow and everyone seemed healthy. After much thought I came to the conclusion that it was better socially to introduce the babies (my original is now 5 weeks and the new girl is 4 weeks) and they would do much better together. I am however prepared for if they do turn out sick I have a Cavy vet to go to if necessary.

This has probably been one of the most stressful weeks ever but I am extremely happy with my end results. My 2 year old sows are back in their original C&C and are back to normal and 100% happy and the babies are doing excellent! I do think that separating mine was the right decision. Before my original baby was terrified to move in the cage and now she is very happy and constantly popcorning and munching on hay with her new baby buddy. In my situation this is definitely the best option and everyone seems very happy.

I would say if no one is getting injured it may be best to keep trying for a bit, I will say I did not try for very long but I just couldn't any longer. It's up to you to judge the situation though. If you have the resources and space for 2 cages and feel that everyone would benefit from the separation then it may be best. I know that my babies are extremely happy being with each other and my 2 older girls are very bonded cage mates.
 

PiggieWigglies

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Re: Houston we have a big problem

I agree with Artista, glad no harm was done. So are the younger girls permanently being separated from Olivia and Dora?
 

piggydaddy1

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Re: Houston we have a big problem

I agree with Artista, glad no harm was done. So are the younger girls permanently being separated from Olivia and Dora?

After what I came home to, you better believe it. Next time I could come home to something much worse, and I would never beable to live with myself if I had the chance to seperate and didn't and one of the babies got injured or worse.
 

foggycreekcavy

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Any time you add pigs to an established pair there will be some upheaval. Pigs that previously liked each other may start fighting with each other. Sometimes, even if you remove the new pigs, the original pair may still not get along as they did before.

I say give it some time. Usually older pigs will come to accept the babies. I always like to have older pigs with babies anyway to "show them the ropes".
 

Artista

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Re: Houston we have a big problem

After what I came home to, you better believe it. Next time I could come home to something much worse, and I would never beable to live with myself if I had the chance to seperate and didn't and one of the babies got injured or worse.
Yeah, I wouldn't chance it even though no real damage was done. That could change. I wouldn't be able to leave the house with all of them together without worrying to death.
 

foggycreekcavy

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Re: Houston we have a big problem

Honestly, it sounds like normal getting to know each other behavior. That's what pigs do. Usually once it's over with things settle down.
 

PiggieWigglies

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[MENTION=13918]foggycreekcavy[/MENTION] I was expecting that with my older/younger pair of male pigs. Surprisingly the younger pig is the boss and the older is the submissive one but my older pig "shows him the ropes" when he feels pushed too far.
 

PiggieWigglies

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Re: Houston we have a big problem

They've only been living with each other for less than a week, so they are still new to each other, correct?
 

bpatters

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Re: Houston we have a big problem

I think I'd have left them alone. That sounds like normal dominance behavior to me.
 

piggydaddy1

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Re: Houston we have a big problem

Almost two. I realize that this could be part of the getting to know you faze or it coud be get the heck out of my cage. Sure everything could smooth over and all four are buddy buddy, but I could also come home next time to bite marks and gashes. I'm not taking the chance and I'm fine with seperate cages.

Also, Jasmine was shaking and was very scared when I took her out of there so It's also to make sure she feels safe where she is living.
 

Rywen

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Re: Houston we have a big problem

Oh my gosh, I'm glad you got home in time! Is it possible that Olivia is in heat and that's why she was being aggressive?
 

Artista

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Re: Houston we have a big problem

Almost two. I realize that this could be part of the getting to know you faze or it coud be get the heck out of my cage. Sure everything could smooth over and all four are buddy buddy, but I could also come home next time to bite marks and gashes. I'm not taking the chance and I'm fine with seperate cages.

Also, Jasmine was shaking and was very scared when I took her out of there so It's also to make sure she feels safe where she is living.

I'd feel the same way you do if I were in your shoes.
 

piggydaddy1

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Thanks everyone for your input. As you can see by the below pictures, Dora and Olivia have their cage back to themselves and Sophia and Jasmine are back in their cage. When I came upstairs for the night, everyone was munching on some lettuce and peppers I put in both cages to kind of help settle the situation a bit. Also this now allows me to give the babies parsley in the morning for the calcium and not have to worry about the adults eating it to. I can now get back to one bowl of vegetables per cage in the morning and one bowl in the evening when I get home from work.

Dora and Olivia

CAM00562

Sophia and Jasmine (both were in the hyde tent before I put the vegetables in there cage)

CAM00563
 

Starthecavy123

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Im sorry it couldn't work.
 

melynda

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[MENTION=13918]foggycreekcavy[/MENTION] I was expecting that with my older/younger pair of male pigs. Surprisingly the younger pig is the boss and the older is the submissive one but my older pig "shows him the ropes" when he feels pushed too far.

That's how mine seem to be shaking out too. Elliott is fully grown (no clue on age, he was abandoned). Poe is 8 months and is emerging as the dominant piggie. It's pretty funny watching him try to mount Elliott because there is quite a size difference. Also every time he rumblestruts, he popcorns too. It's durrrrr*pop!*durrrrr. I was in tears from laughing earlier watching him do it. Of course every time I go for my phone to get a video he stops.
 
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