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new piggy owner question

atreatre

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Hi there, folks. I'm a new piggy owner, came into it totally unprepared when a friend needed someone to adopt her piggy. Guessing Buttercup is about 10 mos old. Please be kind to me, I'm new and trying to do what's best, learning as I go. Everything I read said guineas are social. Followed I troduction protocols with a new friend, Inkwell, who I think is just about 4 mos old. Buttercup is dominant, and often snips at Inkwell, though has never actually bit her. Inkwell still gets terrified when I give them floor time together, but is also very interactive with Buttercup (they each have their own guinea house, located close to each other). I had Buttercup two weeks before I brought Inkwell home,and have both of them for just about one month. Is there any hope these two will ever actually enjoy playing together? Should I increase "together" floor time? Thanks in advance for wisdom you can share!!!
 

Amanda Marie

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Congrats to becoming a guinea pig slave!!! hahaha. I am a bit confused are they living together or separated? Nipping is completely normal and as long as no blood is drawn they should be fine. Floor time takes a while for pigs to get use to it, as they may be nervous and what not, just put plenty of places to hide and make sure its all pig safe. What cage are you looking to put them in together? C &C cages are one of the best cages out there and it gives the pigs plenty of space and things. If you have their permanent cage i would dedicate a full day or so to introducing them in a neutral territory then after several hours of bonding without any blood and if they seem to be getting along go ahead and place them in their permanent cage. Make sure that the cage is big enough as if the cage is small it can cause more dominance behavior and them nipping each other. Also a good trick to stop any food dominance is to put 3 food bowls, 3 water water bottles, and 3 hay areas so that if one pig makes the other leave they can still get food and water. Also i wouldn't put in any houses that have one exit, so put in places to hide with 2 or more exits, cardboard boxes with doorways cut into them work great. This will help your pigs feel more comfortable and keep them from being cornered and beaten up if it was to happen. I am not trying to scare you, or anything just be prepared. Look at other forums on bonding and you should do fine. Good luck, Pictures would be amazing they sound cute!!!!
 

atreatre

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Thanks! So far they are living in separate cages that I placed near each other. I'm working on building an enclosure they will both be able to access from their individual cages... I never seem to do things the easy way, lol. They are both adorable, in their own unique ways. I had NO idea guineas have such strong personalities! I am absolutely in love with these two little girls, which is a surprise to me, as I'm a big dog person. Pics soon!
 

Amanda Marie

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Awesome, that's cool, pics if cage when done would be cool to. Yes i have 5 Guineas pigs and all have distinct personalities. I am glad you love them. Good can't wait to see them. My pics are on my profile
 

bpatters

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You should not increase floor time, if it means you're repeatedly putting them together and then separating them again. They're wired to establish dominance, and every time you separate and then put back together, they have to go through the whole routine again. It's stressful for the pigs, and doesn't accomplish anything.

Here's the best advice on introductions I know: http://guinea-pigs.livejournal.com/3002707.html.

Leave them separated until you get a large cage made. Two cages joined by a common area won't do, as one pig can get trapped by another one. Just one big area, with some hideys that have more than one entrance/exit work best. When your cage is ready, put them in a large neutral area, no hideys, lots of food piles, and leave them be for several hours. While they're meeting each other, clean everything in the cage so that there's nothing that smells like either pig. Put them together, and leave them together unless there's all-out, bleeding war.
 

BaconAndEggs

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In all honesty, I too made the mistake of constantly separating and putting them together again, but thankfully they worked it out. I was extremely uneducated then(it was a year ago), and I freaked out because Bacon started mounting Eggs. :)

Anyway, as said before, make sure that you have a large enough cage-following the guidelines on the main page of this website-and introduce them once in neutral territory so that they can assert dominance for several hours. When no blood is drawn and they seem to be getting along peacefully, put them in their permanent, large cage. I would recommend seeing how they react to that too. And please keep us updated, we'd love to see pictures of your piggies!
 

atreatre

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Wow, thanks all! That's really helpful, and gives me much better direction for the enclosure construction! These guineas are gonna be in hog heaven (pun totally intended)!
 

BaconAndEggs

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Ah, who doesn't love a good pun? Haha. Please let us know of any questions you may have, we will all be happy to help. :)
 
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