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Aggression I'm torn

snistopher

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I have two guinea pigs, ages 8 months and 11 months, and I can use some advice. I've tried various 'introductions' with them, and even had them in a nice sized cage for awhile (2 x 5 on the bottom, 2 x 3 on top), and it hasn't gone exactly smooth. When they were in the cage the first time, the youngest (Doodles) ended up getting some bite marks on his rear end, and subsequently I separated them. Since then, I've tried to get them together, but they're still rumblestrutting/teeth chattering/snipping at each other. The strange thing is, in the beginning it was the oldest (Diamond) who was the aggressor. After being separated, now the aggressive one is Doodles (he's seriously trying to mount Diamond, which is obviously due to Doodles' adolescence).
Then came the last time I 'introduced' them, and things seemed to go pretty well. After an hour or so of what I felt was improvement, I decided to entirely clean the cage, including all items therein, and try the cohabitation once more. Ooops. After a few hours, they went at it again, and Diamond ended up getting a cut lip (nothing too horrible, but still...blood was drawn). So now they're once again separated.
Unfortunately, this has saddened Doodles quite a bit, where he's constantly chewing on the grids (I've tried vinegar, to no avail). Diamond is rather content without being harrassed, which I can't say I blame him (I'm still in disbelief about the role reversal in all this). The problem I have is the cage they're currently in:

IM001838.jpg


Diamond is in the bottom 2 x 5, and Doodles is in the top 2 x 3. Given this current set up, it's difficult for the gp's to see/smell/slightly touch each other, which I feel is causing undue stress (particularly to Doodles). Should I construct a differant cage where they'll be able to see each other better? (I was thinking on 2 2 x 3's next to each other with a 1 x 2 loft for each) Or should I keep trying, perhaps even do the bathing thing? (which I've yet to try, but I'm going to do regardless for each pig, just to clean them up after the many skirmishes). What I'm really getting at here is, how long do you keep trying to 'introduce' them before you come to realize these are just two cavies meant to be separated? I would really appreciate any insight into this, simply because I really do feel helpless and naive with this situation....

Thanks :)
 

Froggirl009

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My friend (username: Jasper_hale) Had two piggies that didn't get along. Then she gave them a bath together and it just clicked. The two guinea pigs get along great. So, I would try the bathing thing first before you make a whole new cage.
 

DenverCavyLover

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Buddy baths worked for me!!!
 

snistopher

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Thank you for those last two posts :) I will try this during next week. Would you recommend using a kitchen sink, or would a bath tub work better?
 

Paula

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Probably wouldn't matter for the pigs, but a kitchen sink would no doubt be more comfortable for you.
 

snistopher

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Probably wouldn't matter for the pigs, but a kitchen sink would no doubt be more comfortable for you.

That's that what I would think, but I've read a few people say they've bathed their cavies in the tub. Guess it's just a matter of (human) preference :cheerful:
 

ferndalezoo

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I do all intros in the bathtub. It's easy to clean, and is definitely "neutral" ground. If they fight, I can turn the water on to distract them, and if that doesn't stop it completely, it's easy to jump straight to the buddy bath.
 

Froggirl009

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My friend used the bathtub.
 

4piggers

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Food always seems to be a bonding moment in my house LOL.
I give the a huge salad, and no one cares that someone else is around as long as they eat.
 

Froggirl009

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You could also put a towel on the floor, put the guineas on two different sides of the towel, and put the food in the middle.
 

snistopher

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Food always seems to be a bonding moment in my house LOL.
I give the a huge salad, and no one cares that someone else is around as long as they eat.

That's the one moment when they really get along. They'll be chasing each other all day, nipping and rumblestrutting, but when the food comes out, they sit side by side and eat like they're best friends. The only thing that would be more bizarre is if they said 'grace' before the plates are served :p
 

4piggers

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That's the one moment when they really get along. They'll be chasing each other all day, nipping and rumblestrutting, but when the food comes out, they sit side by side and eat like they're best friends. The only thing that would be more bizarre is if they said 'grace' before the plates are served :p



HA lol
 

snistopher

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I've been wanting to update this, but I wanted to wait a few days after they've been together :cheerful:

Last Wednesday, when I went to clean the cage, I decided to try one more time and see if they get along. So I placed them in their 'play area' and after a five minute period of chasing, they calmed down and seemed to once again get along. While cleaning the cage, it appeared that they were almost civil to each other (for lack of a better description). I figured I'd open the cage up once more, but I decided to try something differant: I removed their hideys. Instead, I placed a cozy in there, and I also placed a square sitting area made of timothy hay, which Diamond is particularly fond of.
After they went in, they did the usual chasing, but then Diamond became quite content just sitting in his hay seat, and even though Doodles ocassionally came over and rumbled and straddled him, there was no fighting. And since then, they've been together and actually quite happy :tearsofjo (I've since put one hidey back, and added another cozy, which seems to be working out well. But I removed the hay sitting seat, only because it had gotten quite gross from Diamond's poops.)

If all remains well, I think my problem was that I didn't give ample time for their introduction...I should have slowly introduced them, and kept the cage closed off until they were somewhat comfortable with each other. I've read on the homepage that sometimes introductions can take weeks...I should have taken heed to that advice :expressio

Also worth adding: Guinea pigs are a lot of work. But it is so worth it :p
 
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