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Need advice on baby situation.

ShawnInRP

Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Jan 30, 2012
Messages
7
I am new to these forums (although I got the idea to build a C&C cage from here!) but am hoping someone can give me some advice. My family and I purchased 2 female guinea pigs in December. Turns out, one (Trixie) was pregnant. And come to find out, the other one (Cappuccino) is also. Trixie delivered last Friday morning. All 4 are healthy and very friendly and have no problem interacting with us or Cappy. Cappy was getting along with the babies and cuddling with them and what not, but she started getting aggressive towards them late Saturday. She always seemed to be the dominant one when it was just her and Trixie, so I am guessing this is just following suit. I got very concerned though when I saw her bite a baby's ear and throw it. I thought it was a one time thing, but she did it again, so I had to remove her from the C&C cage and put her into their original 'starter' cage from the pet store for the safety of the babies. I didn't want to do this, but I do not want the babies hurt, especially considering they are only a few days old and can't defend themselves.

I am considering giving the males (once determined) to some responsible friends so they can have a good home and not continue reproducing. My concern is how I should handle Cappy being a bully. Considering she has babies on the way as well, I do not want to stress her out, but I do not want to wake up one moring and find a baby severely hurt or worse. Is it the right thing to do to put Cappy in her own cage? It is right beside the main cage so they still talk and see each other through the bars. I just don't trust her around the babies. I want the best for all my guineas, so I don't know if I am doing more harm than good. ANY advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!!
 
You've done exactly the right thing. You don't say how large your cage is, but it's possible that combination of too many pigs in the same space and Cappy's hormonal state are causing her aggression. Putting her next to the others is a good solution.

Do, however, watch her carefully when her own pups come. It's extremely rare for a guinea pig mom not to take care of or to be aggressive to her babies, but it has happened. And you don't want her to treat her own the way she's treating these.

How pregnant is Cappy? If she's fairly close to delivery, the smaller cage may be ok, as she'll move less and less the larger she gets anyway. But if it's going to be a while, you might want to see if you can fashion some sort of larger cage, or put grids around the small cage and leave the door open so she can get out and around for some more exercise.
 
Thanks bpatters! I feel better knowing I'm not causing more harm than good. The C&C cage I built is 2 floors, open top. Bottom floor is 2x3, top floor is 1x3. I have (well, had) food, water, and hay on both floors. By the looks of Cappy, I am guessing she is still 2-3 weeks away from delivering, but I'm basing that off of her size compared to Trixie. I know it's not totally accurate as she could have a smaller or larger litter than Trixie did though. I am thinking her cage is not too tiny for just her right now. It is about 1 1/2 ft. by 3 ft, and her and Trixie originally shared that cage and got along in there. I will probably end up expanding the C&C so Cappy can move back in, as long as she gets along. I was thinking it might be a good idea to try to move her back in once the babies are a little bigger. Maybe this would deter Cappy from picking on them so much. I definitely wanted to keep her close to the others so she doesn't feel completely excluded and start having more animosity towards the others.
 
I agree on cage space. When I clean my girls cage, I have to put them somewhere that is spacious or else my bigger girl will pick on the little one. She doesn't do this in their 4x4 C&C cage so I'm pretty sure it's because they are enclosed in a small area during cage cleaning. Try and see if expanding their cage helps. As mentioned aboved, it could be totally hormonal.
 
Thanks Kitty! Now I just have to figure out where I am going to put a bigger cage, and convince my wife :( ! I definitely have to do something, I want to keep them all happy.
 
You should be able to convince your wife! Get her roses and ask ask politely :) let us know how it goes!
 
Good luck with the wife! I've done four expansions/remodels and each time mine was pissed! I may have been less then truthful with the exact sizes :). She wasn't really happy about the size, or our pigs for that matter, but now she agrees the bigger cage has totally change the pigs demeanor and attitudes for the better. If your a a-hole like me just expand and have her deal with it over time. Or be a gold husband and explain the situation and possible remedy!

Good luck with the babes and the wife!
 
Okay, I finally have an update along with hopes for more feedback on something. Trixie's babies are 17 days old. She had three girls (Brownie, Jumpy, and Houdini) and one boy (Chatty, the runt). Cappuccino had her babies the following Wednesday, so they are now 12 days old. She had one girl (Cupid-has a heart shaped mark on her) and one boy (Zorro-looks like a letter in his patterns). I kept them separated for a few days but let them play together. The babies all got along, but Cappy still wasn't too happy. I finally expanded the cage to 5x2 first floor, 5x1 second floor (yep, wife caved in). When I put them together, Cappy was still biting ears, etc, but she stopped after a few hours. She is now pretty happy. Still the dominant one, but nicer. Problem solved, right? No! From everything I've seen and read, boys shouldn't need to be removed until about 3 weeks, but I noticed something. Zorro, all of 11 days old (yesterday), attempted to mount Trixie a few times which I broke up immediately. I did the math and realized it was 16 days after Trixie gave birth, which I believe is their cycle, so she is in season. I immediately moved Zorro and Chatty (don't want Zorro to be lonely) to the smaller cage right beside the mansion so we don't have more baby pigs. Now Zorro and Chatty have supervised visitation with their mommys so they can get some milk but not get into any trouble. Does this sound like the right thing to do? I didn't want to separate them so early, but Zorro is clearly more developed than Chatty and seems to have some intentions with Trixie! Chatty still squeaks for her mom, but I'm worried about putting him in with the girls, and I don't want to have just Zorro on his own in the other cage even though he doesn't seem to mind. Any feedback and advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 
Also, it seems that Cappy is even more calm after removing the two boys, and having a food/hay area on both floors. She doesn't bother Trixie's babies much any more, but she picks on her own a little bit which I find a little odd!
 
Humping at 16 days isn't any problem -- the males aren't potent until about 21 days. He's just getting an early start. He's capable of having an erection, but no sperm until later.

Actually, I read somewhere that the earliest known impregnation of a female by a baby male happened when the baby male was about 24 days. But I don't know who wrote that or how good their record keeping is, so I'd stick with 21 just to be on the safe side.
 
So you think it's safe to keep them together for a while longer? I didn't check for an erection, but I was under the assumption that his actions were a sign that he was ready to do his thing and didn't want to chance it. As much as I love guinea pigs, I don't want to have more than 8 running around. I'd have to get a new house with more bedrooms so I can make a whole room their habitat! I guess the other factor is that it has been more than 12 hours, so Trixie shouldn't be in season anymore, right? I might not have remembered that correctly so I figured I'd throw it out there.

Thanks a lot for your help!
 
If they're 16 days old, you've got 5 more days free.

Does RP stand for Ridley Park?
 
Thanks! And yes, it does stand for Ridley Park!
 
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