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Could really use some guinea help!

skidskutter

New Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Dec 13, 2011
Messages
2
Hello,

Forgive me, I have never joined a forum in my life, and I have a minimal idea of what i'm doing but me and my other half could really do with some help with our two new arrivals.

After weeks of research and reading, my bloke and myself decided to get a pet. We found out that guinea pigs prefer to be in twos, and they are happy for a cuddle on the sofa as well as a run around the floor from time to time so we went and invested in a beautiful pair of male guinea pigs as they sounded like the perfect pet.

However, a few hours after getting them home, signs of world war three started breaking out. Skid, at first seemed fine. He was happy and calm and curled up with skutter in a ball in their hidey hole in their cage. however, as the evening went on it appeared that skutter had decided that he had enough, and wanted skid out of the hidey part of the cage. Every time skid got close to the entrance of the hidey hole, he would get chased out again by skutter.

Me and the other half proceeded to get the air bed out and sleep beside them for the night should the worst happen. (As you can imagine, i have 2 grumpy guinea pigs, and now a grumpy other half)

We put a hay roll in the cage to offer the barged out piggie a different hidey hole, and filled another food bowl with a bit of grub so they didnt feel the need to compete as much.

We had a bit of rough night, with lots of teeth chattering but it didnt seem too bad. This morning, skutter, had seemed to have gained control of the entire cage and was chasing poor skid around trying to hop on to him at any given opportunity!

They seemed to calm down throughout the day, and now we are approaching bed time all hell seems to be breaking loose again, though the shoe is now on the other foot and skid is being the litte pain in the neck.

There is alot of teeth chattering on the go, and on occasion, they are jumping at each other. they are making funny squeaking noises, and showing off their big manly teeth. They are ruffling their coats up too.

We were told that they are about 12 weeks old, and we have been led to understand that this essentially male puberty. I just want to know if this is likely to get better as the symptoms seem to be a little more serious than other piggie rows that i've seen posted on other sites.

I dont want to be unfair to either skid or skutter, and I dont want to give up on either of them considering they are taking it in turns to be as bad as eachother.

Any advice would be appreciated. Should we try and interact with them ourselves or will that stress them further?

Should we keep them together for a week or two and re asses the situation?

Do we try and get them out for a run around and a break from each other or will this cause more stress for them?

help. please. because i really need to sleep.

Many thanks,

A rather stressed out skid and skutter mother =)
 
Rumbling and mounting is normal, it's the teeth grinding and blood shed that you really have to worry about. When you do see fur flying everywhere and visible blood, it's time to separate the two. Most likely they're both pigs who wan't to be the leader of the herd. There are a lot of methods people have made that can bond two pigs who disliked each other. One that I can remember now is to bathe both of them together, giving them the same scent and may be to scare them a little and give a sense of bonding moment, extreme cage cleaning is also required to neutralize the scent. You can google more about this, so far this is the only advice I can give. :)
 
I'd like to suggest that you did the right thing with offering the extra bed and feed bowl; make sure there are at least 2 of everything at opposite ends of the cage, definitely if you came home with only one hidey you need more. A shoe box with more than one set of entry and exit holes for fast get away is ideal. They both must feel as they have a place to sleep or they could fight over the one hidey they have as you've seen - a display of territorial claim.

Rule of thumb seems to be until or unless there is bloodshed they should be given time, space and enough of everything to sort it out amongst themselves because introductions should only ever happen once.

If you brought them home together did they know each other previously?

Maximus von Lichtenwalder is my single (at the moment) foster pig so I am not the last word in "how to bond piggies" I am just continuing my search into threads about bonding and relaying what I've read over and over again.
 
Welcome to the forum! Sounds like you've had a noisy introduction to pigs!

First of all, how large is your cage? Two males aren't going to coexist very well in a small cage, particularly not at the age yours are. Click on the Home button above to find a page with information on recommended cage sizes. With boars, bigger is always better.

Make sure you've got two of everything in the cage -- hideys, water bottles, pellet dishes, feeding bowls, and that they're spread around the cage. That way, no one pig can guard everything. Be sure that the hayrack is big enough that they can both eat without getting in the other's face.

Take out any hideys that don't have both an entrance and an exit -- you can use shoeboxes in the meantime, and replace the others after they're getting along. Just cut the bottoms out of the boxes and cut holes in the end, and you're good to go.

As long as they're not actually biting each other, let them alone. They can grumble, nose off, strut, hump and nip all they want as long as no one is bleeding or no one is being harassed to the point that he can't eat and is losing weight.
 
Thank you all very much for responding. Its reassuring to know that although they are behaving like brats this is pretty normal.

Unfortunately, they do not seem to be calming down at any quick rate. At times we find them in a hidey together getting on okay...and bed time comes round for me and my other half and all hell breaks loose all over again.

So far, no blood has been shed, and we took them out this evening to give their cage a clean out. We kept them apart (absence makes the heart grow fonder...i hoped) whilst playing and they seemed okay. Skid was rather brave and contemplated hopping off the sofa on a couple of occasions, and skutter decided to hide under all the awkward objects in our flat, but other than that, all was well. They seemed to respond well to having a bit of a stroke and skid seemed particularly fond of burrowing in my armpit.

Me and my bloke are going to try and have a nights sleep in our own bed tonight depending on the behaviour of these two piggies, and hopefully in a few days i can post some good news about my new arrivals.

Thank you all for your kind help and advice (though i'm not looking forward to bathing these two)

Please, if anyone has any more ideas on how to help them bond let me know, as I dont think all is quite rosey in camp yet.
 
I am a new piggie owner myself. My piggies still wants to rumble and chase my other piggie around. I have read not to be concerned unless they are actually fighting. Try having 2 hidey houses. I have 2 houses, 2 food bowls and 2 water bottles. This way they can get away from each other if they want to. Hope they get use to each other soon!
 
They haven't hurt each other... I'd suggest that you let them be, Get some sleep in your own space away from them.

It won't help them reach a calm contented space if you are stressed and directing stressful feelings towards them... remember they are very sensitive nervous prey animals and might well be feeding off your own angst... and the pressure coming to them about the bonding. They will be picking up how you and your bloke are feeling and they will be reacting to that... they may be mirroring that stress. Take away the idea of anything needing to be quick... and breathe!! They are doing okay by the sounds of things... if there cage is big enough for both they will reach and agreement at their own sweet pace in their own sweet or bratty way.

how big is your cage? if the cage is too small you solution might be that quick and simple...space...??
 
Don't separate them, even while you're cleaning the cage. Unfortunately, absence doesn't make the heart grow fonder with guinea pigs -- it just means they start the dominance sorting-out all over again when you put them together.

They may not calm down for a year -- they're teen-aged boys. Ever had any experience with those? Just let 'em be unless you see blood or one is losing weight. You are weighing them regularly, aren't you?
 
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