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Behavior Have one pig left, deciding if I should keep my new pair?


Cavy Slave
Oct 29, 2007
A little background, I've had guinea pigs for 10+ years since my original pair, and have adding one every few years so I always have about three, sometimes four. I had two pigs but one passed away a week ago, the remaining is about 4 years old. I decided to get another pair as companionship and so they would have each other in a few years when that pig passed.

So now I'm debating if that was a good idea ... I had them in quarantine for a few days, I know I should wait longer, but so no obvious signs of sickness/scratching. I introduced them in a neutral space and after about an hour or two of sniffing/teeth chattering/nipping at ears/etc they seemed to find their place and that has stopped. My older pig wasn't the dominant when I had three pigs, but the dominant one passed so she became it. She doesn't really seem to care for the new pigs, and seems to like terrorizing them. At times they can be side by side, but then she'll decide to chase them away - there is no chattering, etc. Sometimes she'll go out of her way leaving her house to chase one away, then going back.

The main reason I got the new pair was for company, but my old pig doesn't seem to appreciate them, and I'm not sure it's good for the little pigs. They do seem to like my big 30x90 cage when the older one is asleep and would probably be great by themselves. I also have the issues of noise as they're being chased around with my apartment neighbors.

I'm thinking my old pig just isn't one who really needs/wants companionship and if it would be best for all involved if I brought them back and they could find a new home, but I'd like to hear any input. It's been four years since I've gotten a new pig, but I don't recall this situation introducing her.
I'd let them alone for a while. If no one's being bitten, there's no need to separate them. Your older pig may never be best buds with the younger ones, but probably will still enjoy their company eventually.

But 30x90 what? centimeters? inches?
Thanks for the reply. I may be jumping the gun a bit, just concerned it will be harder to find a new home/more stressful the longer I wait if it comes to that. And of course with the neighbor issue it could end up losing all the pigs or even my apartment in a worse case scenario if they don't settle down soon. It's a 30x90 inch cage - 2x6 grids.
Jason your older pig might just still be in her grieving process and not appreciating the youngsters because of her emotional state at the moment. All animals have the receptors for emotion that humans do and they work in exactly the same way, but we've been conditioned to believe that they don't feel emotion like we do, now that science-myth frontier has been forever broken we know that they do indeed grieve, feel resentment, and joy in the same chemical way we do...

Consider that your older pig may be going through her grieving process, she has lost a long term companion and on top of that has to cope with younger new additions to her world.

I know losing your apartment is a consideration, but consider also that if it came to that worst case scenario you might even move to a place with more tolerant neighbours. I guess the biggest question you are asking yourself is do you want to "keep piggies in your world"? or are you thinking that you might like to "get out of piggies"?

I wish you and your three piggies good luck in your decisions.
Also, I'd take out the familiar hideys and replace with cardboard boxes with at least two exits. Pehaps your older pig is still thinking she'll see her old pal in a hidey and not a young newcomer. Like seeing some stranger in your spouse's recliner LOL. It wouldn't hurt to try it.
@Duffinvt what a good idea!! I'll remember that one for future!! LOL!
There were quiet most of the afternoon and she just started chasing them around for 5+ minutes. Took a quick video at the end below ... I think they were tiring her out, too old to keep up with the kids, but was still chasing them around. I moved her temporarily

Don't remove her unless she's biting the others. They're working out dominance issues, and taking anybody out of the cage just interferes with that process. Let them alone unless somebody is being bitten or chased so much that she can't eat and is losing weight.
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