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Introductions How long should I keep them together/should I separate?

CherryGumBall

Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Apr 21, 2011
Messages
9
Hi guys,

So at the current moment, I'm trying to introduce my new guinea pig, Patches, to the previous 3 bonded girls. I just gave the two girls that were having the most conflicts (Patches and Maybelle) a bath, and cleaned the entire cage with fresh sheets and put some hidey huts so they can hide if they needed to get away during this introduction. Previously for the past week I had split the cage between the four of them, but they always saw and sometimes chattered at each other. But now, all the pigs are more or less relaxing. It's been about an hour and a half since I put them in the same cage. Whenever one gets near Patches or visa versa, the chattering starts. They usually have a nose face off and rarely lunge, but no blood (only a little tuft of hair came out) yet. They're currently just chattering and squeaking at each other now, but Patches keeps doing the loud yawn/baringteeth. Like I said, it's been about an hour and a half. If they were going to bond would they have done it by now? Is there something I'm missing? And also is there a way I can tell when they have bonded? And last question. How long should I keep trying this before I give up or see results?

Thanks guys,
CherryGumBall
 
I say seperate them before anything serious happens...better safe than sorry right? :)
 
Hey,

I agree that I would rather be safe than sorry, but I want to know if this is the sort of thing I want to try again, or I should leave them separated. They have a fair space to run around in (2x7) and I have no problems getting more room for Patches, but I would just love for them to get along.

I just don't know if Patches is just antisocial in general. The girls are all standing and eating in front of each other with less than a feet's difference, but when it comes to the girls sniffing Patches, she'll start to freak out and chatter. And when Patches goes to one of the girls, they're fine until they try to sniff each others' behinds. There hasn't been much chatter lately and I've seen a couple of the girls just laying down, relaxing. (Melody, Amy and Patches) they essentially don't have much of a problem unless one invades the other's space.

Should I just separate then permanently and give up?

Cheers,
CherryGumBall
 
You should keep them together, even if they are rumbling, etc. Only separate if there is blood, or someone is really hurt, or if one is keeping another from eating and drinking. It can take some time to settle dominance issues. Some pigs that have been together for years still rumble at eachother in passing. Make sure your cage is large enough to accommodate that many pigs and that there are multiples of everything in the cage so there isn't any fighting over something.
 
Like ellisa said, keep them together unless blood is actually drawn.

Have you seen this site? Guinea Pigs Social Life I found it extremely useful when introducing my boys. It might also help if you have two kitchen areas and use hideys that have more then one entrance so no one can get trapped in one.
 
I agree with ellisa. Here is a good page on intros and when to seperate.

Guinea Pigs Social Life

Oops! Posted at the same time.
 
Thank guys!

That really helped to calm my fears about this situation. As of the past 15-20 minutes no chattering, but they're all just lazing around, so atleast they're comfortable enough to relax around each other.

Thank you for that website as well! And I do have four huts and bowls and water bottles, so hopefully that'll be good. I don't have a separate kitchen area (though I am planning for one around Christmas) but I do place each food source in a separate area, is that alright?

And finally, how long should I wait before it's alright to leave the room? I dont want them to hurt each other, but I am quite hungry. :)

Thanks again,
CherryGumBall
 
Sounds like you're doing everything right! They may just not be immediate friends, but sooner or later they hopefully will be! I think you're safe to leave the room if they are all relaxing. If anything major happens you should hear screams. As we all know, piggies can be very loud! Good luck!
 
Thank guys!

Thank you for that website as well! And I do have four huts and bowls and water bottles, so hopefully that'll be good. I don't have a separate kitchen area (though I am planning for one around Christmas) but I do place each food source in a separate area, is that alright?

Having bowls and hay in different areas counts as having different kitchen areas, in my opinion. :)
 
Sounds like it is going well! Go make yourself a sandwich you've earned it! =D Show some pictures when you get a chance!
 
Hi guys,

Thank you all very much for the advice! It made me feel more confident, I've finally gone and gotten dinner and I haven't heard anything yet. I checked on them a little while ago and they don't look like they've been squabbling too bad. :)

I have yet to separate hay, but everything else is in their own area.

And you guys asked for pictures, so here some are! Pardon the poops and the messiness, I did the cage really quick before I washed them all, laundry's still going so their last hidey isn't out yet. :)

How long should I keep them together/should I separate?How long should I keep them together/should I separate?How long should I keep them together/should I separate?How long should I keep them together/should I separate?How long should I keep them together/should I separate?
Patches is the patchy one. (In the puzzle hidey)
Melody is our resident Mohawk lady. (Brown with a Mohawk)
Maybelle is our blondie. (Usually hiding under their chair)
and Amy is the long haired redhead. (In the fourth photo you can see her fur peaking out)

(Kudos if you get where Amy and Melody were named after!)

Thanks again guys!
 
My Benny Boy has a mohawk too! He looks like a cross between your Patches and Melody. =D

How long should I keep them together/should I separate?
 
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