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4 Sow Pack And 5th Girl Coming This Weekend

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Leeni

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I'm really exited and happy that I'll be getting a new hairy lady this weekend :yahoo:!
This lady is one year old (turned one actually yesterday) and I'm told she is quite active and and a typical happy aby personality :). I'll collect her on Saturday noon, and she has already undergone quarantine. I'm wondering how I should do the introduction. Should I give her some time to relax before going to a large roaming area with others? And will I skip the first step since there are five piggies? I can't hold them all in my lap at once, it would mean problems though my girls are bonded; they like their space.
 

Wiebke

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Please let the new girl get her bearings in a pen/cage next to the others first; take your time with that step and see how the girls interact. The more relaxed a newbie is, the better the chances of a smoother introduction.

Then do the introduction in a neutral space that is not part of the usual territory, ideally when you have a full day or two to keep an eye on proceedings. It doesn't matter whether you put your new girl in first or last. Have a big flat plate of hay in the bonding area, but nothing else. Acceptance should happen pretty quickly (or not at all), but then the sows will move straight into the dominance phase and the newbie will be passed down the hierarchy in the next few days. Let the girls work through the roughest bit in the bonding pen/room and move them all to the newly cleaned cage when they are relaxed. If tensions stay persistently high, but there is no outright fight, separate for a night and start again in the bonding pen on the next day. I would strongly recommend to remove any hideys with just one exit until the dominance phase has passed and things have settled down nicely. In my experience, a group dominance phase takes around two weeks in all until the dominance has been worked out and the new hierarchy has been established. If your new addition has aggression or fear-agression issues, you may need more time to patiently or persistently work through it. If the sows can't settle together, you may have to look at alternative solutions.

https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/introducing-and-re-introducing-guinea-pigs.38562/

Here is a picture of an typical group bonding of mine:
IMG_0583.JPG
 

Leeni

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Thank you for the advice @Wiebke :)! I'm going to put girls in a pen like in your pic once the newbie has calmed down. I have the whole weekend plus next week too to see how the introduction is going. Dominance phase took quite long when Mimmi came, I hope things will go smoother this time.
 

Leeni

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Thank you, Flutterby :)! Fingers crossed...
 

Leeni

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Fei is in the house :)! She is so lovely! Fei has been stealing veggies from other piggies mouths, she is a witty little piggy. Introduction went really well, domination from other girls is very mild. Eukko has taken a special liking on her and has been sleeping right next to her. I've never seen her doing that before. I'm relieved that everything is so good so far :).
 
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