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Introductions Problems bonding new pair to a guinea pig

nsudac

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Until recently I had two guinea pigs, both female. Sadly one of them died a few weeks ago, so I've been on the lookout for a new companion for the one left behind.


Today I went to a rescue centre, took my guinea pig along, and they matched her up with a pair of females. Admittedly the bonding process wasn't very long but they justified this with "females always get along fine"... apparently not the case.


Since I've got them home both of the new arrivals have been picking on my existing guinea pig. My guinea pig is very timid and so has largely ignored their dominant behaviour (head butting, teeth chattering, occasional lunges) but it's now got to the point where they have commandeered her hidey house and won't let her in, and she's just spending her time in the other corner of the cage - somewhat defeating the original objective of getting her companion(s).


Can anyone offer me any guidance as to whether this situation is likely to get any better? I don't really want to take them back to the rescue but will be tempted if my guinea pig is going to be confined to the corner of a cage she previously had the run of :(


Thanks for any advice
 

Threepigsnacuy

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Could you introduce them over a period of several days in a "neutral" space? When they get along fine in the neutral space, you need to thoughly clean the cage with a vinegar water solution, rearrange the cage, and add lots of hay to distract them. As long as the other pigs don't restrict your pig's acsess to food and water and there is no blood, leave them together when you can watch them, it will likely get better over time. If all else fails, do a buddy bath.
Also, what size is the cage? Cage size can play a huge role in piggies getting along.
 

My_3_LittlePigs

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Also, they should each have their own hidey house. With 2 exits so a piggy can't get cornered in there.
 

RainbowGuinea

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I've had a similar problem with my old piggies. It helps to make your own hideys that provide lots of openings. You want to make sure their is lots of space so if anything does happen. That gives the pigs a chance to separate themselves from each other. I wouldn't separate them like ThePigAlchemist said. The pigs will sort things out. Try introducing some new toys too. For my pigs, once they had something to occupy themselves with they all got along.
 

piggiepigpigs75

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Trio' stake work. How old are your piggies?
 

Threepigsnacuy

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My guinea pig rescue told me to introduce gradually, I guess they were wrong. Ignore my above post. :)
 

nsudac

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Thanks everyone for your replies.

Regarding cage size, to be blunt, it's too small. It's the biggest Ferplast one that Pets at Home sell but clearly too small for three guinea pigs. I've had a C&C cage on order for a while (4x2 with a loft area I think) and should be receiving it towards the start of the week. I originally intended to wait until I'd received it to adopt the new piggies, but after seeing how quiet mine had got after the death of her cagemate I thought it might be a case of "the sooner the better" for getting her some company - perhaps the wrong decision.

For the time being I've put two hideys into the existing cage (a couple of log cabins with the backs removed so there's plenty of ways in and out). The dominant female of the newcomers has claimed one of them and my original pig has claimed the other, with the other newcomer flitting between the two without causing trouble. So for now there's relative harmony :)

In response to piggiepigs75 - the new additions are both 18 months, my original guinea pig is 3-4 years - so she's getting on a bit and is far less active and boisterous than the others.

My worry at the moment is whether my original pig is drinking and eating properly as she seems to be spending most of her time in the hidey and only nibbling on hay if it's placed right outside the door. Is there anything I should be looking out for? Would it be worth weighing her every day?
 

lissie

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You should have at least two water bottles. Place them at the opposite ends of the cage, same as food bowls. This way the dominant pig won't be able to guard the food.
 

RainbowGuinea

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I would suggest weighing her every two days just to be sure she is eating. Just pay attention for feces that look raindropped shaped. It could mean one of them is dehydrated and isnt drinking. I agree with lissie in that you should put double food bowls and water bottles. Both my current boars still show dominace issues when it comes to food even when they are cuddly other times. I use two food bowls so that either way they both are eating.

Best wishes to you and your piggies :)
 
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