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Frustrated I have a bully


Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Oct 6, 2011
I recently adopted 3 guinea pigs. It’s only been 5 days and for the first 3 all they did was hide.

Now that they are settling into their new home I’ve noticed a problem. Stella (7m/o) is a bully!! She chases Ruby (4 m/o) all over the cage. I’ve seen Stella seek out Ruby, just to bite her on the butt.

Since they were so scared the first few days I didn’t want to traumatize them by taking them out and weighing them. I have a scale and will get stats on all three so I can monitor the situation, but it doesn’t look good. I emailed the rescue to see if they kept track of all the weights (but with over 50 pigs, I doubt it).

I have 2 hay racks at least a foot apart, but Stella tries to dominate both. She even “tries” to bully Goose (1 y/o), but he’s about double her size and just looks at her like she’s crazy. When I feed pellets and veggies I have 3 separate dishes. If Stella can see Ruby eating she’ll forget her pile and go after her. I also have 3 hideys and a tunnel. Stella looks for whatever hidey Ruby is in just to chase her out.

I’ve been using the tunnel to somewhat divide the cage in half. When I feed I try to get one girl on either side, so Stella can’t see Ruby at all.

I know pigs have to work out their issues, but Stella is interfering with Ruby’s ability to eat and rest in peace. What should I do? Should I give them more time to work it out or should I contact the rescue ASAP to either return Stella or maybe do a piggy swap?
I'd give it more time. I have a female that also seeks one out and tries to intimidate her. The one she picks on has always been the lowest on the guinea pig "totem pole" so no matter what guinea pigs were in there, she's always taken that spot. Just make sure there are enough dishes and water bottles for all of them. If you have to, put up a divider so the one gets a chance to eat. As long as the low ranked one doesn't fight back, it will probably die down and only happen occasionally. That's what seems to happen with mine and it seems like sometimes they actually coexist just fine. I separate only if they're really fighting.
How big is your cage? I agree with pinky and would give it more time. As long as no one is losing weight don't separate anyone. Let them work it out. Sometimes it takes months.
My cage is 3x5, so that should be plenty big enough. I'll wait things out and see if it gets better.

Crossing my fingers...
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