Bickering!

SianE88

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Hello, I’m new to the page! I have 4 new baby piggies 3 from one litter and 1 from another litter, they’re all a little bit snappy as of a few days ago? Is this normal? They normally bicker more around food time or when they’re all trying to snuggle together! The one from the other litter is a few weeks older than the others so they’re around 11 weeks and about 13-14 weeks! I’m hoping this is just hierarchy bickering and nothing serious! How would I tell? Is it worth me taking them to the vet to be checked over and sexed properly, I’ve just been told they’re all girls! But wouldn’t no 😬
 

Wiebke

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Hello, I’m new to the page! I have 4 new baby piggies 3 from one litter and 1 from another litter, they’re all a little bit snappy as of a few days ago? Is this normal? They normally bicker more around food time or when they’re all trying to snuggle together! The one from the other litter is a few weeks older than the others so they’re around 11 weeks and about 13-14 weeks! I’m hoping this is just hierarchy bickering and nothing serious! How would I tell? Is it worth me taking them to the vet to be checked over and sexed properly, I’ve just been told they’re all girls! But wouldn’t no 😬
Hi and welcome!

Do you have boars or sows and have you double-checked their gender upon arrival?
New guinea pigs: Sexing, vet checks&customer rights, URI, ringworm and parasites

The post-intro dominance phase lasts about 2 weeks on average until the hierarchy is fully settled.
Please take the time to read our comprehensive bonding guide, which also covers the dominance phase with the typical behaviours you have to expect to help you judge whether things are normal or not. The guide is also helpful for learning to spot key behaviours for social interaction as group life is dynamic and not a static concept, so there is always a certain amount of bickering etc. going on. Teenage is the worst time for both genders but please don't expect a 'happy ever after' at any time of life!
Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics
 

Piggies&buns

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It’s essential you know their sexes - boys can make babies from 3 weeks of age and girls can get pregnant from 4 weeks of age so if they are mixed sexes then there is a real chance of pregnancies occurring.

You will need to ensure they’ve got enough space, while character compatibility comes first and is the key to a successful bond, if they dont have enough space, then bickering can occur - For four females to live together you will require a cage measuring 210cm x 60cm (7ft x 2ft) or a 6x2 c&c cage (or a cage with equivalent floor space).
 

SianE88

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Hi and welcome!

Do you have boars or sows and have you double-checked their gender upon arrival?
New guinea pigs: Sexing, vet checks&customer rights, URI, ringworm and parasites

The post-intro dominance phase lasts about 2 weeks on average until the hierarchy is fully settled.
Please take the time to read our comprehensive bonding guide, which also covers the dominance phase with the typical behaviours you have to expect to help you judge whether things are normal or not. The guide is also helpful for learning to spot key behaviours for social interaction as group life is dynamic and not a static concept, so there is always a certain amount of bickering etc. going on. Teenage is the worst time for both genders but please don't expect a 'happy ever after' at any time of life!
Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics
Thank you I shall have a read!
 

SianE88

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It’s essential you know their sexes - boys can make babies from 3 weeks of age and girls can get pregnant from 4 weeks of age so if they are mixed sexes then there is a real chance of pregnancies occurring.

You will need to ensure they’ve got enough space, while character compatibility comes first and is the key to a successful bond, if they dont have enough space, then bickering can occur - For four females to live together you will require a cage measuring 210cm x 60cm (7ft x 2ft) or a 6x2 c&c cage (or a cage with equivalent floor space).
Thank you for your reply! I’m going to call the vets Monday to be 100% sure, we have one female who lives alone, and she’s happy, spends most her time sat on the sofa downstairs. But these babies are totally different, they have a children’s Wendy house outside and at the moment they’re the size of large hamsters so they’re still super small, so there’s plenty of room for them to all be separate :) once bigger we have a huge run that attaches to the house and a little garden area they have at the moment attached to the house :) I’m just super concerned they aren’t bonding! But if it takes over 2 weeks then I guess I should give it a tad longer!
 

Wiebke

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Thank you I shall have a read!
These guides are part of our much wider practical and helpful new owners information collection, which addresses all the areas that we get the most questions, concerns and cries for help from new owners - and we don't just gloss over all the tricky little details that tend to trip up a newbie! The guides format allows us to keep our threads updated, unlike any book. You may want to bookmark it, have a browse and use it as a helpful resource: Getting Started - New Owners' Most Helpful Guides

You can access our full information resource on an even wider range of topics via the guides shortcut on the top bar but are welcome to ask any questions you have in our Care sections at any time. Our Chat section is there to show off your piggies and chat about things.
 

Wiebke

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Thank you for your reply! I’m going to call the vets Monday to be 100% sure, we have one female who lives alone, and she’s happy, spends most her time sat on the sofa downstairs. But these babies are totally different, they have a children’s Wendy house outside and at the moment they’re the size of large hamsters so they’re still super small, so there’s plenty of room for them to all be separate :) once bigger we have a huge run that attaches to the house and a little garden area they have at the moment attached to the house :) I’m just super concerned they aren’t bonding! But if it takes over 2 weeks then I guess I should give it a tad longer!
Have you considered seeing how your single girl is when she meets the (female) youngsters though the grids of a run?
Guinea pigs are group animals but of course you cannot just stick them together like that. However even determined singles in most cases profit from interaction through bars or mesh.
Here is our thread about singles in various situations; the caviour challenges they pose/face and how you can best go about it.
Single Guinea Pigs - Challenges and Responsibilities
 

Siikibam

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I would try and sex them yourself (see the guide above) rather than waiting till Monday. Where did you get them from?
 
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