2 Brothers, Depression?

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Cherim

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Hi all, I rescued two piggies, Charlie and Alfie, 3 year old brothers a few days ago. Whenever we visited them at the sanctuary Alfie (the smaller of the two) came out, was more inquisitive, braver, and came up to us. When we got home they explored their cage (1mx1m) and seemed okay. I remove the front part of the cage and let them into a little fenced of area of the living room everyday so they have plenty of space and hiding spots. Originally Alfie began mounting Charlie, pursuing him, but yesterday Charlie tried to mount Alfie and has since been chattering at him and stealing his food. Alfie has become somewhat of a recluse and stays in his little house for hours at a time, and will only eat if i place the food at the door of his hut. I'm worried the larger space has caused a stir between them and they're fighting for dominance. At the centre they said they have always been together, and when we saw them they were always snuggling, now they sleep in separate huts. I'm worried Alfie has not taken this change well and that there is now a power struggle. Any advice?
 

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Hi all, I rescued two piggies, Charlie and Alfie, 3 year old brothers a few days ago. Whenever we visited them at the sanctuary Alfie (the smaller of the two) came out, was more inquisitive, braver, and came up to us. When we got home they explored their cage (1mx1m) and seemed okay. I remove the front part of the cage and let them into a little fenced of area of the living room everyday so they have plenty of space and hiding spots. Originally Alfie began mounting Charlie, pursuing him, but yesterday Charlie tried to mount Alfie and has since been chattering at him and stealing his food. Alfie has become somewhat of a recluse and stays in his little house for hours at a time, and will only eat if i place the food at the door of his hut. I'm worried the larger space has caused a stir between them and they're fighting for dominance. At the centre they said they have always been together, and when we saw them they were always snuggling, now they sleep in separate huts. I'm worried Alfie has not taken this change well and that there is now a power struggle. Any advice?
New territory demands a new hierarchy sort-out for any piggies, but especially boars. It is the most common factor that can sause fall-outs in adult and otherwise well bonded boars.

I would recommend to let them work through it as they are not in any acute danger of a fall-out, but if necessary remove any hideys with just one exit, so no boy can be "locked in" and to also serve any veg and pellets in small portions at least a body length away from each other. Make sure that Alfie still has independent access to hay and water.

It is hopefully going to settle down again in a few days; if not, you may have to reassess the situation and see whether they are happier with a smaller territory or having each their territory. It is likely that your boys are reacting so strongly because they have never had much space in their lives.
 

Cherim

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Alfie just came out of his hidey hole, and started eating some pellets, then he went up to Charlie and one of them (I think Alfie) made a very low grumbling noise for about a second, then went back to eating, Charlie didn't bother with him at all. We did notice Charlie barring Alfies exit from his house yesterday so we have pulled it away from the wall, and replaced huts with upturned ring binders so they're like little tents. Charlie is significantly bigger than Alfie (1.2kg and 1.7kg). i'm especially worried because I have to go away this weekend (Don't want to but its really important) and have arranged for family to feed/fuss them, but they wont be there 24/7. I will buy another bowl today and put them in opposite corners of the cage.
 

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Also Alfie keeps trying to sit next to Charlie, but he keeps head butting him away. :<<
 

Wiebke

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Alfie just came out of his hidey hole, and started eating some pellets, then he went up to Charlie and one of them (I think Alfie) made a very low grumbling noise for about a second, then went back to eating, Charlie didn't bother with him at all. We did notice Charlie barring Alfies exit from his house yesterday so we have pulled it away from the wall, and replaced huts with upturned ring binders so they're like little tents. Charlie is significantly bigger than Alfie (1.2kg and 1.7kg). i'm especially worried because I have to go away this weekend (Don't want to but its really important) and have arranged for family to feed/fuss them, but they wont be there 24/7. I will buy another bowl today and put them in opposite corners of the cage.
You may find the tips and information in these links here helpful. Please be reassured that your boys are still in the lower ranges of dominance behaviour and that it looks like they have started to settle down down again. Rumblestrutting is very mild, daily dominance behaviour. Alfie is just making a point here, but he is not making it forcefully. Just like a child when it is coming out of the naughty corner after a serious telling off! ;)

Dominance Behaviours In Guinea Pigs
Boars: A guide to successful companionship.
 

Cherim

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You may find the tips and information in these links here helpful. Please be reassured that your boys are still in the lower ranges of dominance behaviour and that it looks like they have started to settle down down again. Rumblestrutting is very mild, daily dominance behaviour. Alfie is just making a point here, but he is not making it forcefully. Just like a child when it is coming out of the naughty corner after a serious telling off! ;)

Dominance Behaviours In Guinea Pigs
Boars: A guide to successful companionship.
Thank you so much, I have been perusing the forum but had yet to come across these. <3
 

Wiebke

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Thank you so much, I have been perusing the forum but had yet to come across these. <3
We have got lots more information on behaviours and bonding at the top of our behaviour section.
All our information guides are located at the top of the various Care sections. It is worth having a browse through them when you have time... ;)
 
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