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Adopting Time to Get a New Cavy?

SSLee

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Aug 30, 2017
Messages
280
I need some advice on my guinea pig situation. I've had two guinea pigs from 2017 - 2022 and three (Felicia, Lily, and Rumi) from 2022 - April 2023. During the period when I had three, it was a lot of work for me. It didn't help that I was and still am going through treatment for a serious medical condition. Felicia passed away in April and I had no plans to add a third pig.

Rumi is the alpha and Lily, my original piggy, has always been the submissive one. Lily is almost seven years old and does not move much. She mainly stays in her wooden tunnel but does come out for her breakfast, veggie dinner, and infrequently for hay/water. Lily will also move when I lift up her tunnel but the moment I put it back down, she runs back into it. I now put a hay pile near Lily so that she constantly has access to hay. However, Rumi always rushes over and eats from Lily's pile even though there are 1-2 other hay piles in the cage. She nips or chases Lily away when Lily comes out to eat from one of the other hay piles. Given Lily's age, I find this disturbing.

My original plan was find a friend for Rumi after Lily passes. However, because Lily stays under the tunnel all the time, Rumi is essentially alone. She mainly hangs around close to where Lily is.

Should I find a new friend for Rumi now so that she won't be lonely? I hate for Lily to go through the bonding process again, with the last bonding session being 7-8 hours. The last time, Lily was so terrified that she squeezed herself into a small gap in the bonding pen and stayed there for as long as she could. I've also thought about separating Lily into her own cage so that she won't continue to be picked on. The bonding would then be just between Rumi and the new pig. I have an extra 2x3.5 cage, which can go close to the larger one.

My family doesn't think I should cause myself more work while I'm going through medical treatment. However, I found that it really helped to have something else to focus on. I've also made plans for the pigs in the event my medical situation doesn't go well. A friend who also owns pigs has agreed to care for Lily for the remainder of her life and will help me rehome any other pigs. I've just paid their health insurance for a full year and set aside money for my friend to use in their care. Much less stress this way.
 
If you have thought this over and feel it's right and that your plans are solid, by all means go for it. You're no stranger to gpigs; they are in good hands.
 
I would get Lily into her own pen. It sounds like she’s being bullied and she’s fearful. At her age she’s vulnerable and needs to be protected.

I had two sisters for a short time that were supposedly bonded. One was bullying the other. The victim was hiding, she had urine stains on her belly lying in one place afraid to move. I felt so sorry for her.

I put in a divider and when she realized she was safe from her sister, she started taking naps out in the open. It was so good to see her stretched out unafraid. She was so happy to be protected she even started to popcorn and hop around. It was a huge change from her hiding under a blanket and whining all the time.
 
Thank you both for the input. Interestingly enough, Rumi's behavior towards Lily improved a little since I wrote the original post. I wonder if Rumi was in heat during the days when I saw her most intense bullying of Lily. Two days ago when Rumi was trying to chase Lily out of the bunk bed, I saw Lily snap back at her. And yes, I was rooting Lily on. During veggie time, I put a grid divider in the cage so that Lily is able to eat her veggies without Rumi stealing any. Rumi is the fourth alpha that Lily has had and the most dominant one.

I've started clearing out the area next to the cage so that a separate cage can be set up for Lily if needed.
 

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