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Behavior Teeth Chattering

Louiseareynolds

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I have 2 male piggies, about 8 months old. We've had them about 6 months and they've been great in the cage together. Now and again a bit of chasing or jumping on each other but it's rare. I've heard teeth chattering before from a few weeks ago when one piggie was having meds for a chest infection and they were getting annoyed with me trying to get one of them out of the cage.

So anyway, I've just noticed them teeth chattering at each other today. They'll do it for and minute or so and then charge at each other. I can separate them by going to the cage because one is scared of me and runs away. Now about 10 mins later they're just happily eating. I'm just concerned about what if I'm not there to stop it.

I don't normally sit in the room that I'm in today so I am wondering if they sometimes do it and I just don't realise. I'm also not long back from a week holiday where I just had someone coming in to feed them so they spent a lot of time alone. They're normally alone all day while I'm at work. Sorry for long post!
 

bpatters

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How large is your cage? Lack of space is the main reason for guinea pig aggression, particularly with males.

They're in the big middle of puberty. You can't stop the squabbling, and shouldn't even try. You should give them plenty of room and let them work it out.
 

Louiseareynolds

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20170322 212248

Excuse the mess but it's this size. Is there a point at which I should worry and intervene? I thought this would be a problem earlier on and not when they're so used to each other. Thanks.
 

bpatters

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It's not big enough. No pet store cage is large enough for two pigs, much less two males. They need more room because they're more territorial.
 
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Louiseareynolds

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Oh dear. What kind of space do they need? I don't really have the ability to do anything other than a cage. I've looked at multi level hutches but have seen mixed advice about whether they're appropriate or not. Everywhere you look people give you completely different advice!
 

bpatters

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The space requirements on this site are endorsed by the SPCA. Look at the Main tab at the top of the page and investigate cubes and coroplast (C&C) cages. You'll see measurements like 2x4, 2x5, etc, but those are GRIDS, not FEET. Grids are 14 inches on a side, so they're larger than cages measure in feet.

Also, those are minimums, and boars always need more room.

A hay loft is ok as long as the pigs have a large enough flat area to run around in.

As far as places to get advice, the two best comprehensive sites around are this one and Guinea Lynx. Other sites have some specialty information, such as on introductions, sexing, etc. But this one and GL are moderated pretty closely, so if someone is dishing out incorrect information, they'll get called on it quickly.

One problem with your cage is that shelf at the end takes up a lot of floor space, and one pig can trap another in it. No hidey in a guinea pig cage should ever have only one door. That's just an invitation for the trapping pig to get its face slashed by the trapped pig. Your cardboard box also takes up a lot of room. Look at the photo galleries for fleece forests, and see if you can figure out a way to get that shelf out of there until you can manage a bigger cage. Just be aware that you do run the risk of injury as long as they're in that cage.
 

Louiseareynolds

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Thanks for the advice. I do intermittently remove the shelf as I prefer them to have different hideys but they've always been happiest hiding under there but I'll sort that out asap. The cardboard box isn't in the cage. That was one of the boxes I brought them home in and I'd just let them into the cage.

It's upsetting that they're allowed to give the advise in pet stores because space is an issue and knowing that they required the room we never would have bought them because obviously I wouldn't want to put them at risk. I also wasn't aware or the male issue. I wouldnt have bought males knowing that either.

Would these kind of hutches be ok? 41O7WKma3L SY400 51KeU0yQZL SY400 51Xcz9T9j1L SL1500
 

lissie

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I'm sorry you got bad advise from the pet store.

None of those cages will work. Guinea pigs are ground dwellers, and prefer large flat space to run laps.
 

Louiseareynolds

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I'm a bit at a loss to what I'm going to do. Unless they're moved outside I don't have the option to take up more ground space and I'm not sure they'd have a suitable place outside without worrying about moving them from in to out. I'm shocked that this is such an issue when pet stores are selling these products to people and the majority of them will be stuck only being able to use cages.
 

Louiseareynolds

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I'd assumed the last cage would be suitable because I know of someone with 4 year old males happily living in it. I guess that's possibly just luck that they're not territorial?
 

lissie

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Can you move your furniture around to make space for the cage?

If you put the cage up on top of a table, you'll be able to store lots of stuff under the cage.
 

bpatters

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What people don't realize is that pet stores are NOT in the business of giving you accurate advice about your pet. They're in the business of selling things, and the more they can sell you, the happier they are.

Let this be a valuable lesson learned early in life -- whatever it is you want to buy, do a LOT of research first, and make sure you get your information from reputable sites. You'll save yourself a lot of grief AND money.
 

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