Should I let them fight, despite her old age?

  • Yes, they need to fight to figure out hierarchy

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No, she is too old and it may endanger her life

    Votes: 0 0.0%

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Jesspiggies

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Hi guys, I had one sow (Berry, around 6 years old) originally and 2 days ago I took in two young sows (pumpkin, and Wednesday, both around 6 months old)

So basically, when they were first out together they were wonderful, they were eating together on neutral surroundings. I had a couple of bowls for them and some veggies, and also a couple of hideouts if a fight did take place.

Because they got on so wonderfully, we decided to let them all go into on cage (which belonged to the two younger ones) pumpkin (ginger one) was perfect with berry, she was comfortable eating with her and being beside her. Wednesday (black one) was the opposite. She was very territorial and chattered teeth at berry, to which berry chattered back. I was a bit weary but let them continue. They finally started a fight after chattering very loudly and huffing quite a lot also. I thought it was best to intervene, so I did and removed berry from the equation.

(Note: I completely disenfected the cage with piggie friendly spray and also used fresh hay to try to hide the smells)

I reckoned that she was just being very territorial about her home so I tried the neutral ground again.

I put them all in a run outside so they could munch on grass and also communicate with each other. They were lovely together, however berry was chattering a little, but did not follow through with physical contact. Wednesday responded to this by, what I assume is a submissive squeak and avoided berry.

Today I tried to repeat the process to get them more bonded, however when I put berry next to the younger girls closed cage, berry was chattering her teeth gave a big yawn and huffed a little, Wednesday just squeaked and ran away.

I know it’s very early days and they’re not going to get a long quickly, but with berry’s age I don’t want a fight to take place and her ending up very hurt or even worse.

I thought I’d put this here before trying to put them in berry’s hutch to see what anyone thinks.

( berry’s hutch is two levels and is outside)

Thanks in advance!

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Wiebke

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Hi guys, I had one sow (Berry, around 6 years old) originally and 2 days ago I took in two young sows (pumpkin, and Wednesday, both around 6 months old)

So basically, when they were first out together they were wonderful, they were eating together on neutral surroundings. I had a couple of bowls for them and some veggies, and also a couple of hideouts if a fight did take place.

Because they got on so wonderfully, we decided to let them all go into on cage (which belonged to the two younger ones) pumpkin (ginger one) was perfect with berry, she was comfortable eating with her and being beside her. Wednesday (black one) was the opposite. She was very territorial and chattered teeth at berry, to which berry chattered back. I was a bit weary but let them continue. They finally started a fight after chattering very loudly and huffing quite a lot also. I thought it was best to intervene, so I did and removed berry from the equation.

(Note: I completely disenfected the cage with piggie friendly spray and also used fresh hay to try to hide the smells)

I reckoned that she was just being very territorial about her home so I tried the neutral ground again.

I put them all in a run outside so they could munch on grass and also communicate with each other. They were lovely together, however berry was chattering a little, but did not follow through with physical contact. Wednesday responded to this by, what I assume is a submissive squeak and avoided berry.

Today I tried to repeat the process to get them more bonded, however when I put berry next to the younger girls closed cage, berry was chattering her teeth gave a big yawn and huffed a little, Wednesday just squeaked and ran away.

I know it’s very early days and they’re not going to get a long quickly, but with berry’s age I don’t want a fight to take place and her ending up very hurt or even worse.

I thought I’d put this here before trying to put them in berry’s hutch to see what anyone thinks.

( berry’s hutch is two levels and is outside)

Thanks in advance!

View attachment 74647
I think that the leadership question has now been sorted. Try them all in a large bonding pen when you have a couple of days and leave them in there overnight if necessary. It is always advisable to wait with moving to a cage until the leadership has been decided.
If Berry is in the end not happy with sharing her space with the two new arrivals (I have several older bereaved sows who won't), she will still be happy about having next door interaction and stimulation, and won't become depressed.

Illustrated Bonding / Dominance Behaviours And Dynamics
 

Jesspiggies

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I think that the leadership question has now been sorted. Try them all in a large bonding pen when you have a couple of days and leave them in there overnight if necessary. It is always advisable to wait with moving to a cage until the leadership has been decided.
If Berry is in the end not happy with sharing her space with the two new arrivals (I have several older bereaved sows who won't), she will still be happy about having next door interaction and stimulation, and won't become depressed.

Illustrated Bonding / Dominance Behaviours And Dynamics
Thank you for your answer!
Unfortunately I don’t have a bonding pen to try them overnight. Also I am unsure whether I would feel okay putting them together, with regards to her age. I know I need to let nature do it’s thing, but I don’t want nature’s thing ending up with berry dead, as she has been with us since born.

She was previously with her mum and sisters, but have since passed. So she’s been on her own for a couple of years, at least.

Another thing I forgot to mention is that berry’s hutch is two levels, however because of her age she is unable to go up and down the ramp quickly, so the younger sows may use this to their advantage?

I was going to try to put berry upstairs (where she always is), and out the two smaller ones downstairs and let them explore. I just don’t know how Berry will react when another Guinea Pig is in her territory as she’s never needed to display dominance or use any sort of rituals.
Thank you
 
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