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Introductions Has anyone ever had a failed introduction work the second time?


Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Feb 9, 2012
So the first introduction of our two pigs was a total failure. They are two females, approx 5 yrs old and 4 months old. We followed all the Guinealynx instructions including a buddy bath. I had to divide the 4x2 cage to seperate them because of serious fighting. I know a 2x2 is not big enough for each pig so I really want them to live together, if it'll work. Has anyone had success with a 2nd introduction when the 1st was a disaster?
What kind of behaviour are you considering serious fighting? How are they acting through the bars of the cage now?

Some pigs just don't get along with one another and it has to do more with their seperate personalities mixing. Some pigs are better off by themselves their entire lives. It all depends.
Well, there was no blood drawn, but my older pig was pretty aggressive. And she was getting more aggressive the longer they were together, rather than calming down. They will occasionally rumblestrut now and bite on the cage bars, but they seem to ignore each other more than they used to. I switch them each time I clean the cage and no one seems to act possesive of a cage side. Both have lived with other guinea pigs before.
You can always try introductions again if they seem to settle down a bit.
Was she keeping the younger pig away from food or trying to block her inside a hidey house or something? Normally, people say if blood isn't drawn and they're both eating, you should let them work it out. Rumblestrutting, teeth chattering, and mounting are all normal behaviors when asserting dominance.
How was your younger pig reacting to this aggressive behavior?

[I'm not an expert but have put together quite a few couples in my days. lol]
She was trying to keep the younger pig away from food, but the little one would just come and eat when the other one was hiding. In retrospect I think I needed two hay racks besides the two food bowls. What happened was the older pig shoved all the hideys together on one side so the little one couldn't get in them and then chased her all over. Eventually the little one jumped in the hay rack (a bent grid) and the older one sat under it snapping at her feet. My husband seperated them then; thought it was just too stressful for the little one. Both pigs seemed stressed really.

So basically, my question is, does anyone think it's worth another try? Or do two pigs who don't like each other from the beginning not usually change their minds?
I would give it at least one more shot. Wait a few weeks with them separated through the bars and watch. If they stay like you said they were, a little more calm, then go for it.

One thing I try to do is after a "buddy bath", [if it went well!], wrap them up side by side in a towel and just sit with them on your chest for a little bit. They dry off via each others body heat a little, are snug and comfortable, and super close to each other.

[GuineaPigCages.com] Has anyone ever had a failed introduction work the second time?
[only if they do ok with the bath, of course.]

Super clean their cage, wipe down grids and coroplast with cleaner or water/vinegar mixture. Rearrange hideys after cleaning them. And yeah, keep the 2 food dishes and 2 water bottles. you could turn your U-shaped hay rack on it's side[zip-tie the top two corners to the grid and it holds fine]. It gives 2 access points and won't let them jump in it[that's dangerous for their feet]
Yes, people have successfully done second introductions. But it sounds like you separated them when there may not have been any need to.

Read Guinea Pigs Social Life -- the introductions section is about halfway down.

Try the introductions at a time when you've got plenty of time to let them run around in a neutral area, and when you've got plenty of time to observe them in their totally cleaned cage.

Take the hideys out unless they've got both an entrance and an exit. You can drape fleece or towels over the corner of their cage so they can hide but still get away if they're being harassed. Instead of adding another hay rack, just put a couple of piles of hay on the floor of the cage, or put it in brown paper bags.

And then, when you put them together, let them alone unless one of them is being bitten or over the course of several days is being harassed to the point of losing weight. Rumbling, chattering, sniffing, chasing, mounting, etc. are all perfectly normal behaviors.

P.S. Bent grid hay racks are dangerous -- pigs can get their legs hung in the grids and break them trying.
Thanks everyone. I did think we might have seperated them too soon. The aggression was increasing though, not the other way around.

@bpatters - Re: bent grid hayracks. I have it hanging horizontally. Is that what you were thinking of? How would they get stuck?
Also, is fighting normal? They were just a ball of fur rolling around at one point. They actually fought in the bath and right after too.
No, fighting is not normal, and is sufficient reason to separate. You don't want anyone to get bitten -- bites often abscess, and can be hard to clear up.

If they jump in a hayrack and one or more legs goes the grid, and then they get startled, a leg can get broken that way. Or if they're trying to jump out of the rack and one leg slips down through a grid hole, the weight of the pig can break the leg.

I like Bed Bath and Beyond's utensil holders better than any of the six or seven other things I tried. The holes are large enough for the hay to stick out, too small for a head to get stuck, and too tall for the pig to get into. Here's a picture:
Thank you! So if they are/were fighting than I'm probably out of luck? I might try a neutral area again, but they have fought every time they have been together. That's why we tried the buddy bath. Which I guess didn't really work.

What about a bent grid turned upright? Would that be safe? I'm trying to keep hay off the fleece, so I could put a small container under an upright grid instead.
Anyone have any thoughts on my last post?
Yes, you can bend a grid in a 'U' shape and mount it so that the length of the grid runs vertically, like I did for my pigs (I don't use anything to catch the hay, but a pie tin with shavings would probably suffice):

[GuineaPigCages.com] Has anyone ever had a failed introduction work the second time?
My two girls I introduced to each other on four separate occasions! I never tried a buddy bath because frankly I didn't do my research enough to know that was a possibility! But I did house them in a 4x2 with a divider down the middle and they would sit for hours biting the bars and digging at the floor trying to get to one another.. Probably lived 2 months that way, then one day while I was at work my cat had some how gotten into my bedroom (I keep my bedroom door shut 24/7) and caused a ruckas! Fortunately for me my cat is full grown but very petite, and her head is FAR to small for her body for what ever reason so there is no way she could manage to lift them off the ground (although I am sure if she truly wanted to do some damage she could..), I think she just probably had her arms in the cage batting at them, but they both ended up jumping out of their cage (a C&C on the floor, to me though thats an impressive jump!) and they hid themselves underneath a sweatshirt I had taken off and tossed onto the roof of their cage. I have no idea how long they stayed like that, I was gone about 6 hours.. but after examining them to make sure they were fine, only probably a little shaken up from the traumatic ordeal, I realized they were going to be able to live together so I stayed up aaall night building a larger C&C for them to live in! They rumblestrutted and mounted each other frequently, I dont think they ever did really sort out the dominance issue, but nobody seemed stressed or upset so that was good enough for me :)
I did end up buying 3 water bottles however, and one of those split cat dishes where one side was for cat food and the other for water, that way they each had their own and there never was a reason to fight! unless of course someone ate faster than the other.. :p But thats just from my personal experience, its definitely true some pigs just aren't meant to be, but it is still possible even with those types.
I had to seperate 2 of my male pigs because they both jumped up in the air and flung themselves at each other for a serious battle. I was right next to their cage tending to my other 2 boys in the cage next to them so I was able to seperate them before any real damage occured. I had them in a 5x4 grid cage and just divided it down the middle. They stayed like that for a few months and just recently I reintroduced them but had built a 7x4 grid cage and they seem to be getting along. They aren't snuggle buddies or anything but they do hang out near each other and I've found them sleeping within 4 inches of each other. They only have fleece forests and boxes with at least four entrences/exits. Here is an old picture of the fleece forests I made for them(back when all 4 boys were first introduced) https://www.guineapigcages.com/threads/67935/
Good luck!
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