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Fighting One pig biting another!

AliciaS

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Mar 17, 2012
Messages
45
Well, I just had to separate my pigs. My boys were doing lap time today with our pigs when my oldest son realized that Bugsy had numerous bite marks on his back. As soon as I got home, the boys showed me, and I separated the pigs.

I just don't understand. These pigs have been together for months. Why Sweetie Pig is now biting Bugsy is beyond me. I noticed last week that Bugsy wasn't as active as he has been, but when I took him out of the cage I didn't notice anything unusual. I petted him like I always do, and I never felt the bite marks. How in the world could I have missed that many bite marks?

Anyway, so now Bugsy and Elvis are together and Sweetie Pig is by himself. Do you guys know if I'll ever be able to reintroduce them or is this pretty much the end? Sweetie isn't bothering Elvis by the way. Just Bugsy. Sweetie is now going crazy in his temporary home trying to get back in with the other pigs. :(

The boys are housed in a 2X5, they have two food dishes, three water bottles, 4 hiding places, 3 beds, and numerous toys including all the usual hay and fresh food places as well. I thought I had done everything possible to prevent this type of behavior, but I guess not. Really confused right now and worried about Bugsy. I'm going to keep an eye on his wounds and make sure he doesn't need a vet visit. Nothing looked infected. It just looks sore! Is there any time of ointment that can be put on him to prevent infection?
 
How old are all your pigs? Also a 2x5 is kinda pushing it for 3 boys, you might want to expand it on the side to maybe make it a 3x5, or something to that affect. You can also try three of everything, three food bowls, three water bottles, three hay piles, etc, and make sure that they are all far away from each other, so that no one can do any food guarding. Also make sure all of your hiddys have two ways out, this is because in the normal hiddys, one pig can simply walk in and trap the other so that they have no way of escaping a fight.
 
All the hideys do have two ways out, and the only thing that there aren't three of is the hay and the food bowls. I have two food bowls, and one very large hay bin. I know I"ll have to keep them separated until Bugsy heals, but do you know how long after that I should wait to try to reintroduce them or if I even should reintroduce them?
 
I think it would be ok to try once more, after you maybe make the cage larger. Also again, how old are they? You never answered that question. lol A big cage did wonders for my pigs' relationships, at first I had them in a 2x5, and they didn't get along too well, however when I expanded it to a 3x7 with a 2x2 kitchen area and a loft, they get along MUCH better and seem like best friends, compared to the nipping at each other, they even sleep all together in the same area every night. :love:
 
I'm guessing they are around 5 to 6 months old. They were pet store buys, so I'm assuming they were close to 7 weeks or so when I bought them.
 
Then they are most likely going through puberty, and that's why they have started fighting.
 
@AliciaS - i had a similar experience with my boys. it's been hard to find the right grouping for the 4 boys, but i thought i had found the best (not perfect) one. george is the boss pig and insists on proving his dominance regularly. there's regular chasing, teeth chattering and nose in the air stuff, but never and real fighting or bloodshed, so i thought it was ok enough. then one day i picked up kramer (the youngest and most passive of the bunch) and noticed several scabbing bite marks. i was horrified on several levels: that poor kramer was literally being picked on so bad; that i hadn't noticed before this (what a bad mom i am!); and what was i going to do now??!! well, they were in a 2x5 so i expanded to a 3x5, which helped only a little. they still scuffled a little. i weigh them all weekly to make sure everyone's eating (there are 3 of everything in the cage). the other thing i've just discovered is this: i have a bungalow that hangs about 4" off the floor of the cage, plus a tent with a second level. one of the places where apparently kramer feels "safe" is on a second level. it's hard if not impossible for him to be chased and nipped then he's 4" above george.

so, try all the above; realize puberty sucks for boy pigs and their parents; keep them together UNLESS there's bloodshed; weigh them weekly; and maybe try a second level and see if that helps them feel safer. i've been told that eventually they settle down (i have 2 in puberty and 2 seniors). good luck! keep us posted!
 
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