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Dominance one poor little pig


Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Nov 26, 2011
my 2 boys are almost 6 months old - kramer and dreyfus. i introduced a rescue in last sunday who is a 5 year old male named george. it hasn't been easy. lots of chasing, nipping, etc. a couple of the nips seemed pretty big - but no blood drawn. here's my question though: george has established himself as the boss. dreyfus still rumblestruts and noses him and there's the occasional nip and chase. the worst is between kramer and dreyfus, who were a nicely bonded pair for the past 5 months. now poor kramer is so terrified - all he does is hide in corners. :eek: george leaves him alone, but dreyfus chases him unmercifully and does alot of food guarding. i try to compensate and give kramer extra lap time, with veggies hand fed. their weight is ok - there are 3 food dishes, 3 water bottles, and 2 hay racks, with multiple little piles of hay around. at least 5 different hideys.
i just feel sooo bad for poor kramer - when i see him hiding, he looks sad, and i hate it when i hear him squealing and being chased by dreyfus. :weepy: any suggestions??
How big is the cage? Can you divide it with grids and put dreyfus in by himself on one side?
my C&C is 2X6. i could divide it. would you think that would be a temporary thing? when i first brought george home i had the cage divided with him on one side and the 2 youngsters on the other. what i thought people were saying in their posts here about introductions was that i SHOULDN'T separate them any more unless blood was being drawn. that each time i did that, and put them together again it was like a "new" introduction. bpatters, i'm really gateful for all the advice you and others have given. this is a bit nerve racking for me. i knew it was possible, but never really expected the new herd would act like this. so, if i divide george from the other two, then what? for how long?
so, if i divide george from the other two, then what? for how long?
I have never been through something like this, and I feel really bad that you are, but wouldn't it make more sense to separate the bully (Dreyfus)? Maybe after puberty he will calm down enough to be put back with the other two that aren't having any problems?
I wouldn't separate George. There's absolutely no guarantee that Kramer and Dreyfus will get along now the way they did before. If George and Kramer are doing ok, then take Dreyfus out of the mix.

You can leave them alone a while longer and see how they do, but keep weighing Kramer to make sure he's not losing weight. Or, if you think this is going to go on too long, then separate them.

The general rule is to let them alone and let them work it out. You'll just have to use your best judgment as to whether they're going to be able to do that, or if you're going to be able to stand it while they do so.
I would really try to leave then together and watch it, let them work it through. I have a feeling that Dreyfus was the boss when there were just two, and he's taking his loss in rank pretty hard. He's overcompensating with Kramer, really prooving he's still higher in rank. I know it's hard to see one being "bullied" a bit, but I really think Dreyfus will settle in to being secure with the new order, and it will improve. As long as no blood, and he's eating and drinking and such, just try to be patient. Good luck!
I personally think george is causing trouble because before he came dreyfus was in charge and kramer was comfortable with that. Now Dreyfus has to flex extra hard and intimadate kramer to feel like hes still his boss because nw george whose older has entered i thing george needs a seperate cage with a piggy his age.
it sounds like there's lots of way to go here. i guess i'll just keep watching and weighing and see how things go. but how long should i let this go on before deciding that they can't be together? thanks for all your advice - stay tuned - i'm sure i'll need help again! :sad:
just noticed something interesting. kramer, the pig who's getting picked on my dreyfus, has bonded a little with george (the newest addition). they've been sleeping near each other. and just a minute ago, it looked like dreyfus, with hackles up, was approaching kramer to pester him. george came over and got close to kramer, between him and dreyfus and dreyfus backed off,. then george and kramer sat together munching hay. these are such interesting pigs to watch. i just have no idea what it means, or what i can do to help all three get along.
Sounds like they're making progress. Whether you'll get through adolescence with Kramer and Dreyfus without more major squabbling remains to be seen, but at the moment, looks like George has things well in hand.
help!! bloodshed

my previous thread about my poor little piggy will give you a more complete background. basically, i had 2 bonded boys, almost 6 months old, and introduced a 5 year old male rescue a week ago. it's been very difficult - they haven't gotten along yet. they're in a 2X6 C&C, with plenty of hideys, water, food, and hay.
the latest is that tonight i went to give lap time to kramer, the smallest boy, who's been picked on alot this week, nd he had a bloody ear, with a couple of nip marks/scabs on his butt. :eek: i kind of think that has gone far enough. i need some advice about two things: since george is the main bully (he's the other 6 month old) should i separate him out from kramer and george? and secondly, should i think of this separation as temporary or permanent? should i try to re-introduce them later, or just figure that they're not going to get along and somehow plan 2 separate cages?
aside from cleaning kramer's ear gently, is there any first aid i should be doing? it's not torn, just looks like a bite that broke the skin.
so sad. . .:sorry:
Re: help!! bloodshed

Once blood has been shed, separate them. You need to. Treat everyone the same, don't be mad, but you NEED to separate them now.

I would personally try it again later. They need contact with others of their kind, so at least try again in a few weeks or less.

Good luck!
Re: help!! bloodshed

I would think that maybe since the two you had were doing fine together before you brought the new one in I would say maybe remove the new one and put the cages close together so maybe they can smell each other through the grids. I am not sure for sure. I have not had this issue. Hope this helps
Re: help!! bloodshed

get some betadine liquid and dilute a bit to treat the ear, wipe off any excess. Take the older 'new' boar to a seperate cage, you may try introductions again in a few days, neutral floor space and if it goes well then back to a clean unmarked cage again for obsevation. They well might never get along, good luck.
Please don't start new threads on a topic that's already under discussion -- it makes it very difficult to keep up with what's going on with your pigs.

I answered your question earlier about who to separate. According to your information, Dreyfus is now the aggressor. You have absolutely no guarantee that Kramer and Dreyfus will go back to being buddies if you take George out -- they may never get along again. Your old order is gone -- you can only deal with what you've got now.

If you know that Dreyfus is the one who bit Kramer, and that George and Kramer are getting along, as you said, then take Dreyfus out.

You don't have to think of the separation as temporary OR permanent at this point. You just need to figure out which pigs get along and which don't. You can put a grid divider in the cage and let them live alongside each other for a while and see what happens.
sorry - i really didn't know how to post this last update. thanks for fixing it. i have put divider in the cage and kramer and george are cozily next to each other. drefyus is by himself, and quiet. we'll take it day by day. thanks for your help.
Now Dreyfus can be the "poor little pig." He's probably thinking, "What did I do to deserve this? I just wanted to be a big manly boar!"
since i've separated dreyfus out, it's been sooo PEACEFUL!!! ❤️ there was some circle dancing and rumblestrutting between kramer and george (new herd, new pecking order). but right now, kramer is sleeping in her cozy which she hasn't done since george was introduced last week, and the other two are sleeping in their own hideys. :shhh: everyone ate veggies and hay. i know there was some suggestion about waiting and trying to re-introduce them later again, but honestly, i'm not really eager for that. the constant fighting was as stressful on me as i imagine it was on the boys. i know it's only been one day, but it's so much better like this. i'll wait a week i guess, before i reconfigure the cage to give dreyfus more room. right now he's got a 2X2 space, while kramer and george have 2X4. if it ends up that this really is permanent, do i really need a companion for dreyfus? he'll technically be alone, but it'll be a grid that separates him from the other two, so he'll see them and still kind of be part of the herd in a way. any suggestions about any of this? thanks!
if you plan on keeping him alone for a while id give him a 2x3 so just add a grid to each side.
I am a bit confused Jacqeline, you have been saying boys but you last post "kramer is sleeping in her cozy which she hasn't done since george was introduced last week" has me wondering
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