Where People & Piggies Thrive

Newbie or Guinea Guru? Popcorn in!

Register for free to enjoy the full benefits.
Find out more about the NEW, drastically improved site and forum!

Register

Chewing Driven insane by piggo chewing bars

4boipigs

Valued Contributor
Cavy Slave
Joined
Feb 12, 2021
Messages
943
Maple Leaf (1.5 yrs old) lives in a divided cage with Talwar (8 months). Previously MLeaf lived in a divided cage with Trishula. The rescue tried to bond Talwar and Maple Leaf in Feb. We thought they were bonded, they fought a lot once home, and now they're divided.

Since they've been divided (over a month now), Maple Leaf has obsessive periods of chewing at the bars and digging at the bedding in an attempt to get to the other side. When I noticed this when they were first separated, I ziptied to the divider these plastic grids that are pointy and designed to deter cats. I overlapped them and figured Maple Leaf wouldn't be able to wedge his face thru the gaps and chew on anything. WRONG. He managed to find a way to chew on the plastic, and would tug and get under it. I decided to remove it when I found out he was chewing off the plastic pointy parts. Leaving just the grids again allowed him to get closer to Talwar, and he did calm down a bit and not chew as much.

Right now, for example, he is resting near the bars and not doing anything. Other times, he will go nuts at chewing the bars and digging, and I have to scare him away or raise my voice. They know when they hear a stern voice, it's time to stop. Sort of like you would with a dog.

Talwar, on the other hand, rarely chews on the bars anymore. He used to do it quite a bit when he lived next to Gungnir. Now when he decides to do it, I just firmly say his name and he'll think about it and stop.

Idk what else to do. I know this site has the 'wall of silence', but I'm not sure about using it since Maple Leaf shuts down when no pig is in sight. Plus with the way he digs, he would just find some other way to mess with the coroplast divider.

Any advice? I wish I could just bond them, but these boys made it clear that they don't want buddies.
 
Maple Leaf (1.5 yrs old) lives in a divided cage with Talwar (8 months). Previously MLeaf lived in a divided cage with Trishula. The rescue tried to bond Talwar and Maple Leaf in Feb. We thought they were bonded, they fought a lot once home, and now they're divided.

Since they've been divided (over a month now), Maple Leaf has obsessive periods of chewing at the bars and digging at the bedding in an attempt to get to the other side. When I noticed this when they were first separated, I ziptied to the divider these plastic grids that are pointy and designed to deter cats. I overlapped them and figured Maple Leaf wouldn't be able to wedge his face thru the gaps and chew on anything. WRONG. He managed to find a way to chew on the plastic, and would tug and get under it. I decided to remove it when I found out he was chewing off the plastic pointy parts. Leaving just the grids again allowed him to get closer to Talwar, and he did calm down a bit and not chew as much.

Right now, for example, he is resting near the bars and not doing anything. Other times, he will go nuts at chewing the bars and digging, and I have to scare him away or raise my voice. They know when they hear a stern voice, it's time to stop. Sort of like you would with a dog.

Talwar, on the other hand, rarely chews on the bars anymore. He used to do it quite a bit when he lived next to Gungnir. Now when he decides to do it, I just firmly say his name and he'll think about it and stop.

Idk what else to do. I know this site has the 'wall of silence', but I'm not sure about using it since Maple Leaf shuts down when no pig is in sight. Plus with the way he digs, he would just find some other way to mess with the coroplast divider.

Any advice? I wish I could just bond them, but these boys made it clear that they don't want buddies.
Something similar happened to me as well. I had two boars, one about two years old the other about one year old. We boarded them over the Christmas break last year, and when we got back home, they just fought and fought, mostly the older one picking on the younger one. Like you, I separated them with dividers, but the younger one kept on chewing on them, because he wanted to be with the older one. Whenever they were reunited, the fighting resumed. I reached out to the adoption agency, and they said, as long as there’s no blood being drawn this is normal behavior. I was still quite concerned. I decided to try reuniting them beginning with short periods, and then for longer periods like overnight. I also held them both on my lap together at the same time, and after a couple or three months they finally started getting along better. I hope you can figure out what to do with your two guinea pigs, because it is sad when they really want to be together but end up fighting. I hope this helps.
 
Fiberglass wall on the inside of the chewer's cage.

I have ordered some. I hope it solves the problem. I don't like having to block their contact but Maple Leaf will NOT stop and I've had to position my couch next to the cages to shoo him from the bars. I understand chewing on the bars when Talwar is next to them, but sometimes he rumbles and chews when Talwar is elsewhere in the cage. His teeth look fine for now but the NOISE is so annoying!
 
Question! Could chewing be hormone related? He has days of going nuts and other days he is quiet. Example - Maple Leaf did nothing but chew on the bars yesterday. So far this morning, he is not doing it. He is the only one of 4 boys with this nutty behavior.
 
The plexiglass helped for a while but now he will stand up on the edge of the plexiglass and chew from there. I'm going to have to order the full sheets from GPigCages Store but the shipping for 2 sheets make the simple order $40. I don't want to deny them contact thru the bars but there's no choice.
 
Both Lowe's and Home Depot have them. You can just drill holes in them and secure them with zip ties.
 
Both Lowe's and Home Depot have them. You can just drill holes in them and secure them with zip ties.

I ended up just buying them from the GPig Cages Store. The smaller ones I can use zip ties on because I don't know how secure the full size squares will be when used in a divided cage. I have the top blocked off with cardboard so Maple Leaf can no longer stand up and chew.

I'm starting to think about trying to bond them again, just home this time. His front teeth are crooked now, which could be from the bar chewing. The last thing I want to do is spend $ on dental issues.
 
First, you could try providing more enrichment for Maple Leaf in his own side of the cage. This can include hiding treats and toys around his enclosure to encourage him to explore and keep him occupied. You can also try providing him with different textures and materials to chew on, like cardboard tubes or chew sticks, to redirect his chewing behavior.

Another option is to try and block his view of Talwar completely. You can try putting up a solid barrier between their sides of the cage so that Maple Leaf can't see Talwar at all. This can help reduce his anxiety and may prevent him from obsessively trying to get to the other side.
 
First, you could try providing more enrichment for Maple Leaf in his own side of the cage. This can include hiding treats and toys around his enclosure to encourage him to explore and keep him occupied. You can also try providing him with different textures and materials to chew on, like cardboard tubes or chew sticks, to redirect his chewing behavior.

Another option is to try and block his view of Talwar completely. You can try putting up a solid barrier between their sides of the cage so that Maple Leaf can't see Talwar at all. This can help reduce his anxiety and may prevent him from obsessively trying to get to the other side.
Thanks for the tips. I did get him a new hanging toy and hung it close to the divider. I don't have much faith in toys as my pigs rarely play or chew with them. He has a little wood captive ball toy and apple sticks. I've had a couple pigs enjoy chewing and throwing around the captive ball toy.

Unfortunately I'm afraid if I block his view of Talwar completely, Maple Leaf will shut down. He does badly with change and shuts down/becomes fearful if there is no other pig around.

The cardboard I placed on top of the grids has helped so far. He has found a couple little spots to nibble, but it seems to have stopped the behavior as he is unable to grasp the divider anywhere with his teeth. He hasn't chewed on other parts of the cage.
 
Have you tried bamboo sticks? All three of my piggies love to chew bamboo sticks and it takes a while to wear down the entire stick. Hope that will help keep Maple Leaf occupied.
 
I have in the past and I'd like to buy them again. I just set up the new windows and hope he can't find a way to chew around them. I hate seeing him pace and try to dig to get past them, but the chewing has made his teeth crooked and I'm not going to let it continue.
 
The new windows seem to be working. Maple Leaf was really frustrated at first and kept trying to find a place to grab hold. He did nibble a few times at the windows. I realized yesterday I haven't had to stop what I'm doing to ask him to stop chewing or fus at the divider.

He does still dig at the base and push up/move the fleece but I'm not worried about stopping that behavior.
 
Status
This thread has been closed due to inactivity. You can create a new thread to discuss this topic.

Similar threads

Top