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Bonding Seeking numbers advice on pigs' best interest.

DKFarms

New Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Jul 8, 2018
Messages
2
Hi, I'm new here, and don't know if this is the best place to drop this thread.
I have owned rabbits for several years, and I had a couple of guinea pigs LOTS of years ago. I am looking to getting a few pigs again, and am looking to get sows.

My question is, what will be better for them, having 2, 3, or having 4? I am looking to get them all at once (and going through proper intros, and quarantine, and the like) but I want to do what will be socially and psychologically best for them.

Thank you all very much.

Sue K.
 
I also have only had sows. The first pair I had were together since they were little, probably since they were a few months old. They would be by eachothers side 24/7 and would even sleep together in the same hut!
With that being said, I've heard that they get along better and its easier to introduce them the younger they are. Also I don't think a piggy will mind how many companions they have as long as they have enough room to run around and play.


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I personally like having pigs in groups, I think 4 is a great number for a herd of females. With that said, you need to be sure you have a large enough cage and sufficient funds for food/bedding/vet care.

I find with a trio you often have a pig that is a bit of a loner and will be excluded. With 4 that is usually avoided and they are more active than a pair. Another benefit is that they will always have a buddy.

One of the most stressful times of guinea pig ownership for me was when I had a pair and one of the girls died suddenly. I was heartbroken, my remaining guinea pig was feeling the loneliness and I was scrambling to find a suitable cagemate. Then, when I adopted another, they didn't get along and one had a nasty wound from failed introductions that required a trip to the vet. If you have a group of pigs, that whole situation can be avoided if you lose one unexpectedly.

Anyways, welcome to the forum! I highly recommend reading the links posted above. This forum has a wealth of information!
 
Hello and welcome to the forum! Definitely take the time to look over the information here, even from five years ago I have learned so much.

My thought process is best number of guinea pigs to adopt is the best number you can comfortably care for. I got used to my two sows before rescuing my boar. Had I started off with three I would have been overwhelmed. They took up a lot more time, money, and space then I was expecting. I grew up with them in way too small of cages so it was a wake up call making a properly sized cxc cage.

Speaking of, space is really important. It will be better for your piggies to have smaller herd but extra space, then a larger herd in the minimum space. I adopted all my guinea pigs as adults, individually, and I was able to bond them. I think mainly this is because I use all open hideouts and they have enough space (2x10 cxc) to get away from each other. They aren't particularly attached to one another so I haven't had issues with a loner.

With that being said if you do have the time, space, funds (and sanity hehe) for more guinea pigs then it is great having a herd. They have a lot of different personalities and it fun watching them interact together. It also is a huge relief not having to worry about them being lonely if one passes away.

So to sum up do what is best for you and it will in turn be best for the guinea pigs. I look forward to seeing your piggies!
 
All of the input has been most helpful. I was busy checking out the links last night. I used to raise show rabbits, in which housing is a whole different ball game there... but taking care of more than 15 rabbits was a pleasure and quite fun. The rabbit world is long gone, now, but my love for 4 legged fuzziness is still strong. I'm thinking now of either 2 or 4 sows, as I don't want the "odd man out" thing happening. The c&c cage isn't even built yet, and I won't be getting any pigs till ,I'd Sept, so lots of time to build, study more of the latest info, then adopt when the time is right.

I appreciate all of the responses.

Sue K.
 
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