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Dominance New cage seems to have made a big difference.

inky rose

Active Member
Cavy Slave
Mar 18, 2012
I've just set up the new cage that I finished yesterday.I've added a towelling forest (I didn't have fleece) and the boys love it.Before moving them into the bigger cage I was getting lots of dominant behaviours (rumble strutting and noises, lots and lots of low rumbly noises) and I think squabbling. Now there is a lot less of that and when Howard starts to rumble strut, Bernard just leaps or bouncesaway- very similar to when he popcorns- or turns around and chatters, at which point Howard backs off. I'm hoping this is a good sign and just normal young pig behaviour. I suspect they are approaching adolescence. I haven't quite worked out who is dominant but I think its Bernard, as Howard tends to follow his lead, trailing him around the cage with his head down or keep his head lower when they are face to face. But then again Howard will try and take food off Bernard, and is challenging more. They still try to fit in the same sleeping cave together rather than one in each, so I think they have bonded well. There is so much more to their behaviour than I had realised. Big thank you to everyone who has posted their cages and cage ideas. It has helped to make my piggies much happier. They have both been popcorning like mad tonight (Bernard popcorns alot but I hadn't seen Howard do it up until now). So once again a big thank you
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I'm so glad to hear that your new cage has made a big difference. Bigger is always better! lol

Do you have any pictures of the boys and their new digs? We'd love to see them.

(PS-watch the towel forest carefully and make sure they don't chew on it. Since towels are stringy, you don't want fibers getting caught in their throat if they decide it looks yummy)
Yay!!!!!!! glad it worked out for you. Post pictures please. I just love seeing cages.
It's off to the fabric shop after work. I'll post pictures tonight when i get back.
Here is the new cage. I now have a fleece forest. The runs allow it to be folded away. However, Howard does not approve of it being pushed back. The pigs seem to love fleece. When I bought the cage I couldn't find the cubes so I used shelving instead. I Put the hay loft in tonight but think I will lower it slightly so they can get to it more easily.

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Thanksyou. I think I'm finally happy with it.
Looks Great!! You did a splendid job.
Great job on the cage. I think the hay loft is a good height.
Last night the piggies were very hyper, zig zagging through the tunnels and lapping the cave at amazing speed. They didn't appear to be chasing each other, as they were going opposite directions. I figured just playing (hope?). I think I'm still a bit worried about the dominance behaviours. The reason I joined the forum and changed the cage was a small bite I found on Howard's rump (over a week ago now). It was clearly teeth shaped, small and healing well. I had noticed lots of rumbly noises (the drrrrr noise I think- sounds a bit like a cat purring fast and loudly) coming out of the cage at night but wasn't sure if they were agressive or friendly- I had only heard only ocassional teeth chatters or grumbly noises from Howard. Then I saw the bite and was very concerned. I watched them more closely and noticed Howard would approach Bernard and rumblestrutt and make the low rumbly noise. At other times Bernard would make a rumbly noise at Howard's approach. Or they would both lift their heads and circle. Bernard has always appeared to be the more dominant, exploring first, eating first and exhibiting mounting behaviour. There have been no more bites and there has been a major decrease in the rumbly noises, but they still occasionally circle or appear to face off. I dont want to interupt them working out their dominance as I've read its important that they get it sorted. I guess i'm just worried about misattributing their behaviour. Play for agression or agression for play. Luckly popcorning is easy to identify. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
It doesn't matter whether it's for dominance or for play. As long as no one gets hurt any more, and each one is getting all the food/water they need, they are fine.

It can take week or even longer for pairs to settle down. And even then when they get excited (like a cage change or cleaning!) they may still do the rumbling thing.
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