Attempted Introduction/bonding When Badly.... I Think.

TheLottiediarys

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Hi guys,

I decided to introduce Baby and the new girls Anya and Aurora tonight.

I set up an area, and let them into it,
It started alright i suppose,
Baby waltzed right up to Anya and Aurora and did a bit of grumbling? She wasnt rumbling but it was a vocal kind of dominance noise i think.
I had some hay down, All was good,
Everyone was eating nicely, I even managed to get a few nice photos of everyone eating together.
Aurora was following Baby a bit, and Anya joined in the following, it was a bit like follow the leader round the area.

After a little while (a few minutes?) Baby went up to an area the new girls had been sitting in and i could see they had wee'd, And she smelled it a bit then started walking around the whole area smelling the ground?
And then i noticed Aurora did the same, she smelled the wee then went around nose to the floor smelling everywhere,

And Baby went back to eating and walking round, A bit more dominance behavior,

Then Anya went up to Baby and sniffed her bottom, And Baby didnt like it, She turned round and attacked Anya, And i just watched for a few seconds to see what would happen, And Anya sort of lifted her head up and looked at Baby and then Either Baby attacked Anya again or Anya attacked Baby, but either way they were both fighting, And it seemed pretty bad,
Anya tried to run away but Baby ran after her and attacked her some more, she was trying to bite her, And Anya was stuck up against the corner of the area and couldnt get away, By this time i had grabbed a towel and tried to cover them with it, but Anya ran away and Baby chased her into this long hut/shelf thing that has many exits, and i thought if they go in there i wont be able to stop her so i said 'No Baby' loudly and she stopped long enough for me to cover her partly with the towel and she looked round at me and bared her teeth? she had her mouth open and was looking a bit threatening to me, so i pulled my hands back a bit and got the oven gloves and went to pick her up but she was still looking very clearly like she would bite me, and i didnt really want that, so i put one end of the oven gloves dangling in front of her and backed her into a hut with one exit that i grabbed, and yelled for my partner to help me and we made a separation between the two sides that Anya and Aurora are on and Baby is on with the C and C bars.

She was still very aggressive when i separated them towards me, she was grumbling a bit as well.

I take it that was a very bad reaction?

Did i do the right thing separating them?
I read the thread on bonding and the attack looked very similar to the short fight on that, but it lasted longer because i couldnt get them to stop quickly.

they can still see each other though the bars, But i didnt want to touch any of them till they calm down.

They have lived for a few weeks side by side anyway, And in that time Baby has done a bit of rumbling but i thought she was just letting them know, has that affected todays events?

Also while i was writing this up they had a bit of a sound war through the bars of the separation,
Baby was rumbling at Anya and Anya was rumbling back and i was talking to them trying to calm everyone down and Anya chased Aurora a bit around the 'cage'
 

*kate*

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Was it a proper full on fight or more barging and moaning?

I worried at the weekend when Hettie and Colin were shoving each other and Hettie pulled fur from Colin's bum! Colin was also wheeking very loudly when Hettie went near him. But, it was normal piggy behaviour that only they understand!

The putting their heads up to each other is all about dominance, whoever puts their head the highest wins!
 

TheLottiediarys

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I don't know in my eyes it seemed like a fI'll on fight the way it looked

And when I looked at a video that was an example of a fight it looked the same? The video was on a thread about bonding one of the moderates threads
 

Wiebke

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Hi - sadly it doesn't sound promising. Your little one sounds rather fear-aggressive and has obviously over-reacted. :(Please split them. You can try them again in a week or two, but it is likely not going to work. Once sows have made up their mind that they don't like a piggy, they rarely change their mind.

Have you given them a couple of days or longer to get used to each other through the bars and Baby time to settle into her to the new surroundings?
 

TheLottiediarys

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They are split back into the original cages now.
They have been side by side in c and c cages for a few weeks now because of various sickness, Baby's foot getting swollen and Anya had an abcess so they were side by side for longer then intended.

Aurora seemed to quite like Baby which is sad
She was sort of looking through the bars of the cage at Baby when I put them back in there cages and I wonder if she liked her company even though it was short lived.

I might try again in a few weeks,
I'll be sad if they don't bond because Baby has been alone for a while now
And this is the second time she's been tried with piggies and it's not worked

She was originally with my group but they bullied her to poor health so I had to seperate her.

Is it possible this previous history caused her over reaction?

Is there anything I can do to help her
I know she wants to be with other piggies because she cries and cries when she sees them and can't get through to them
She did this when my group was inside in the winter and when the new girls arrived,

So I wonder why she's not got aggressive with Anya when she wanted to be with her a few weeks ago,

She is a very head strong guinea pig, but it only came about after she was seperated, before she was so timid and shy.

Maybe she has psychological effects from the bullying?
 

Cavy Kung-Fu

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When you say attacked and fighting, do you mean real bites and blood drawn? If so, please make sure to check them all over and treat any wounds.

If not, then it might be normal dominance behaviour, as it looks super brutal to us. My Bella used to chase the babies and nip at them and sometimes looked like they were fighting but they weren't. The submissive screaming sounds like someone's being murdered though! When I tried to pick Bella up afterwards she'd look super pee'd off at me and chatter her teeth & raise her hackles at me. But I just stroke her little head and told her to stop being a cow and picked her up lol.

It's hard to tell without seeing it, but if they weren't actually biting each other then chances are it's not too much to worry about :)
 

TheLottiediarys

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It did look pretty bad, maybe I panicked a bit but we will see if it goes any better in future

So if they fight when should I intervene and when should I let it sort it's self out? Even when it looks nasty?

I got a bit crazy and checked everyone even Aurora who wasn't involved for wounds! But everyone is fine!
 

Wiebke

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It did look pretty bad, maybe I panicked a bit but we will see if it goes any better in future

So if they fight when should I intervene and when should I let it sort it's self out? Even when it looks nasty?

I got a bit crazy and checked everyone even Aurora who wasn't involved for wounds! But everyone is fine!
If they get into a major tussle, I would separate and stop for the day. If they do it all the time, I would not call the bonding off, as upsetting as it is. Sometimes you can work a fear-aggressive sow in over a longer period of time, splitting whenever the tension is going right up to the limit and the piggy in question is showing signs of getting worked up and ready to flip again. Wait until another day before continuing.
 

Cavy Kung-Fu

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Again it depends what you mean by fight, it sounds as though it wasn't a real fight if no one has any injuries? If it's not a proper fight then you should leave dominance behaviours to work themselves out, eg: humping, chasing, submissive screaming etc.

It's easier if you can upload a video of the interaction for us to say for sure. All bondings look nasty to me, but that's just normal piggy behaviour unfortunately!
 

TheLottiediarys

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unfortunately i don't have a video of the interaction. My phone went onto low battery after i took a few initial photos :/

I do think it was a tussel as Weibke said because it looked similar to the video on a thread about bonding that showed a video of a tussel, but it lasted longer,

I will wait until the weekend to even think about trying again,
I was alone for most of the attempt today, which didnt help, i will get my partner to be with me next time to help, he came home at the very end of what happened today!
But at the weekend we are both free,

I think i will attempt in a completely different room next time, the living room, so as much is different from this time as possible,

and i will re read everything i can find on bonding so if anything happens i dont panic as much as today, i think sometimes you read stuff but in the moment your head gets lost in it. Ill get Scott to read stuff too so we have two heads on it!
 

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I don't know in my eyes it seemed like a fI'll on fight the way it looked

And when I looked at a video that was an example of a fight it looked the same? The video was on a thread about bonding one of the moderates threads
If it really isn't going to work would it be possible for you to take her to a rescue to choose a friend for herself?
 

TheLottiediarys

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I did that about a year and a half ago, and the guinea she was paired with Taini turned on her a few months later and basically turned the group they were both part of against her as well :/ :/

But if it doesn't work I would be willing to try it
Recently all the rescues around me havent had any single sows to pair with her
And I can't have a male because I already have a male called Bear and i assume that in the winter when they're inside he would get agitated if he could smell another male? While he has his ladies?
 

TheLottiediarys

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Hi guys,

When i got home from work today i sat in and watched the guinea's interact through the bars of the cages today,
Baby is doing a lot of Rumble stutting at both new girls.
She is doing some loud teeth chattering, Aurora did some back but it wasnt as loud,
She dragged her bottom along the floor a bit,
She was very vocal towards Anya, lots of shouting contests,
and there was one point when Anya and Baby looked like they were having a head height contest and opening their mouths at each other and Anya put her nose through the bars and Baby lounged at her, It was very loud afterwards.

I dont know if this behavior is saying Baby wont accept the new girls if i attempt to bond again,
or if Baby is just attempting to put herself at the top?


What do you guys think?
Ill try to get a video, because this kind of yelling matches and strutting is happening a lot.
 

Cavy Kung-Fu

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It's hard to say without seeing/hearing it but it sounds like dominance to me. When I first bonded my lot there was a lot of that and I was a bag of nerves.

Even now they'll do the lunge at each other every now and then, it's not usually aggression it's mostly for show. If there's no blood involved then it'll just be normal. It just looks a lot worse than it is to us.

It may also be that Baby is protecting her part of the cage as that's her territory. On neutral ground it should be easier, then give the cage a real deep clean to remove scent and have all fresh bedding and no hides, 3 of everything spaced as far as possible. If you do put in hides later on I suggest cardboard boxes with 3/4 exits.

As there was no blood involved I'd say don't give up hope yet :tu:
 

Wiebke

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I did that about a year and a half ago, and the guinea she was paired with Taini turned on her a few months later and basically turned the group they were both part of against her as well :/ :/

But if it doesn't work I would be willing to try it
Recently all the rescues around me havent had any single sows to pair with her
And I can't have a male because I already have a male called Bear and i assume that in the winter when they're inside he would get agitated if he could smell another male? While he has his ladies?
My five "husboars" are all neighbours through the bars; each of them lives with 1-4 sows. They have worked out the hierarchy between them with what I call "boar hakas" (rumbling displays), but generally there is no problem as they have all got their own territory.

A single boar or a husboar (a neutered boar living with sows) is not a problem; they can live happily next to each other and within sight of each other. It is a boar-boar bond that can be de-railed by sows in season.

Here is a snap from yesterday evening of my Barri and his new sow-wife Briallen having a nap together with big husboar Pioden having a dominance lie-in with new boar on the block Barri through the fence - just to mark the extent of his territory. Pioden is top of the husboars and has four sows of his own (Maelog's widows), by the way. Just to show you that piggies can work in a far more subtle and peaceful way than you'd expect. ;)
IMG_4988_edited-1.jpg

This is my piggy room. The layout of the pens has changed a bit since I took the picture, but there are four husboars living in close proximity without murder and mayhem!
IMG_2111_edited-1.jpg
 

TheLottiediarys

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I wasn't aware that Boars can live with females and see each other with out the causing issues, so that's good to know
Maybe Baby would benefit from having a husband?

We will see
I am tempted to try to bond the new girls with Bear and Lottie who live outside at the moment because they are both laid back friendly piggies, Lottie is very submissive and Bear being a male isn't likely to challenge Anya for the top spot, he's quite laid back himself also,

Both Baby and Anya have very strong personalities so maybe they won't bond because of that?

I'm feeling nervous and reluctant to try to bond Baby and the new girls again incase someone gets hurt, but I just don't know, Baby seems very agitated still by being able to see Anya through the bars, lots of loud chatting and rumbling with some lounging through the bars.

I don't know if that's because Baby is trying to set up herself as the most dominant or because she wants to full on fight with Anya?

I might try again tonight and if it doesn't work I won't try again.
 

Wiebke

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I wasn't aware that Boars can live with females and see each other with out the causing issues, so that's good to know
Maybe Baby would benefit from having a husband?

We will see
I am tempted to try to bond the new girls with Bear and Lottie who live outside at the moment because they are both laid back friendly piggies, Lottie is very submissive and Bear being a male isn't likely to challenge Anya for the top spot, he's quite laid back himself also,

Both Baby and Anya have very strong personalities so maybe they won't bond because of that?

I'm feeling nervous and reluctant to try to bond Baby and the new girls again incase someone gets hurt, but I just don't know, Baby seems very agitated still by being able to see Anya through the bars, lots of loud chatting and rumbling with some lounging through the bars.

I don't know if that's because Baby is trying to set up herself as the most dominant or because she wants to full on fight with Anya?

I might try again tonight and if it doesn't work I won't try again.
Baby seem to have really taken against Anya; you are right, she is dominant. Ideally you find Baby a companion of her choice via rescue dating, whether that is a submissive neutered boar and a baby girl. I would not try to put Baby and Anya together.

Give Anya time next to your other pair to relax and get to know them. She is likely to be very wary of other piggies for a while after the number Baby has pulled on her.
 

TheLottiediarys

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Baby seem to have really taken against Anya; you are right, she is dominant. Ideally you find Baby a companion of her choice via rescue dating, whether that is a submissive neutered boar and a baby girl. I would not try to put Baby and Anya together.

Give Anya time next to your other pair to relax and get to know them. She is likely to be very wary of other piggies for a while after the number Baby has pulled on her.
Yes I can imagine Anya might be a little nervous after this, I will give her some time anyway, is there a way for her to get used to them without side by side cages? Bear and Lottie are outside at the moment, it would be a little awkward to try to set up another c and c cage in the animal room, but I will do if I have to...

I have already contacted a rescue near me and asked if they have any males and if I could bring baby down to see if she likes any of them, I have explained her history fully to the rescue so they know her background as it might be important to know when selecting boars or possibly females for her to try. Although at the rate I don't think she will bond with a female but it's still possible.
 

Wiebke

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Yes I can imagine Anya might be a little nervous after this, I will give her some time anyway, is there a way for her to get used to them without side by side cages? Bear and Lottie are outside at the moment, it would be a little awkward to try to set up another c and c cage in the animal room, but I will do if I have to...

I have already contacted a rescue near me and asked if they have any males and if I could bring baby down to see if she likes any of them, I have explained her history fully to the rescue so they know her background as it might be important to know when selecting boars or possibly females for her to try. Although at the rate I don't think she will bond with a female but it's still possible.
Here is our list of recommended good standard rescues; these are the ones we can guarantee for that you are in safe hands. Please be aware that anybody can call themselves a rescue in this country, without licensing and inspections and the results can be accordingly - some rescues are simply dire. :(
If you want to use any other rescue, please enquire about mandatory quarantine, pregnancy watch and how vet care is handled. Any good rescue will also want to conduct a home check and make sure that their new piggy is safe and kept in surroundings that comply or surpass minimal welfare standards.
Please make ABSOLUTELY sure that Baby is not meeting any boar that is not 6 weeks post neutering operation!
Guinea Pig Rescue Centre Locator
 
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