bsilver11

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Hello! I'm a fairly new guinea pig owner (going on a few months) and despite reading a lot of things, something is still bugging me about what's going on.

I have one piggy tgat I've had for 5 months, and one that's a little younger who we just got 1 month ago. Two girls. The bonding went as expected; my older one was aggressive and asserted dominance while the younger one didn't fight back at all.

I went through the process of keeping them together but separated, then finally lowered the partition. For the most part it was fine but I've noticed this past week my older one always chasing, growling and making weird noises at the younger one who only hides or sits in the corner. Now it's gotten to the point where she's always in her house hiding until she wants food or water, cause the older one keeps bullying her.

They have a large cage, separate water, houses and hay. I've only just seen this come up and my guinea(s) aren't showing any sign of being sick (I check their eyes, breathing, etc daily). So my question is --- Is this normal? Should I be doing something or just letting it happen? Every time my big one comes at the little one I shoo her away. (I am fairly certain my piggies have established dominance, my older one is just bratty) . Any help would be appreciated!
 

Piggies&buns

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As you kept them ‘together but separated‘ for a while, their bonding process did not start when you think it did. It only started when you lifted the divider. After that, it takes a further two weeks for them to establish their relationship. Also, as the youngest one is under four months of age, they should never have been kept apart and should have gone through the correct bonding procedure and live together permanently from the very first day you brought her home.

The other issue is that if you simply lifted a divider and let the two piggies wander into each others halves, then that will be seen as a territory invasion and will cause problems between them. You cant ever put a piggy into the cage of another piggy - the correct bonding procedure must be followed.
They needed to have been put together in a neutral bonding pen for a day together For them to meet and sort themselves out. At the end of the day you needed to clean down the cage they were to live in thoroughly so it was also neutral, and then transfer them both to it to live together.

Please do not shoo the older one away

So it is possible she is behaving like this because she has seen her territory be invaded.
I would start all over again with them both in a neutral territory bonding Pen. No hides, just hay , and leave them to establish themselves, then move them to their thoroughly cleaned out cage . The guide below details further .

Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics

what you may be seeing might just dominance but you could be misinterpreting it Particularly as these two have only just been put together. Bullying is when one is never allowed to eat so you see it lose weight, constantly mounted, chased from hides, becomes depressed and withdrawn.
Bonds In Trouble

also, if you got the younger one from a pet shop, then there is always going to be a risk that these two simply aren’t compatible. There is always a risk of a failed bonding when you buy a piggy on spec instead of going rescue dating. I feel there are other things to look at first though,
 
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bsilver11

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As you kept them ‘together but separated‘ for a while, their bonding process did not start when you think it did. It only started when you lifted the divider. After that, it takes a further two weeks for them to establish their relationship. Also, as the youngest one is under four months of age, they should never have been kept apart and should have gone through the correct bonding procedure and live together permanently from the very first day you brought her home.

The other issue is that if you simply lifted a divider and let the two piggies wander into each others halves, then that will be seen as a territory invasion and will cause problems between them. You cant ever put a piggy into the cage of another piggy - the correct bonding procedure must be followed.
They needed to have been put together in a neutral bonding pen for a day together For them to meet and sort themselves out. At the end of the day you needed to clean down the cage they were to live in thoroughly so it was also neutral, and then transfer them both to it to live together.

Please do not shoo the older one away

So it is possible she is behaving like this because she has seen her territory be invaded.
I would start all over again with them both in a neutral territory bonding Pen. No hides, just hay , and leave them to establish themselves, then move them to their thoroughly cleaned out cage . The guide below details further .

Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics

what you may be seeing might just dominance but you could be misinterpreting it Particularly as these two have only just been put together. Bullying is when one is never allowed to eat so you see it lose weight, constantly mounted, chased from hides, becomes depressed and withdrawn.
Bonds In Trouble

also, if you got the younger one from a pet shop, then there is always going to be a risk that these two simply aren’t compatible. There is always a risk of a failed bonding when you buy a piggy on spec instead of going rescue dating. I feel there are other things to look at first though,



The little one is older than four months and I did that for 8-10 hours leaving them together in a neutral pen; then introducing to a clean home with things switched up. It's been fine for a month and just flaring up this aggressively where the little one won't play anymore in the cage. I'm going to try the bonding again from the beginning and hope that it works out!
 

Piggies&buns

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The little one is older than four months and I did that for 8-10 hours leaving them together in a neutral pen; then introducing to a clean home with things switched up. It's been fine for a month and just flaring up this aggressively where the little one won't play anymore in the cage. I'm going to try the bonding again from the beginning and hope that it works out!

Ok, i was just a little confused by the timeline of it all, why the partition was needed etc, and how long they have actually been in the same cage.
if they’ve been living together in the same cage, without a partition, for a month and now the older one is acting differently, then could it be that she is experiencing a strong season. You say aggressively, but if she is chasing, mounting, rumbling, then that isn’t aggression, its dominance and is a normal thing for an in season piggy to do.

is the younger one gaining weight well? If you are concerned that they are having an issue with their relationship then I would switch from weekly weighing to daily weighing to ensure she is being allowed to eat enough hay.
 

bsilver11

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Ok, i was just a little confused by the timeline of it all, why the partition was needed etc, and how long they have actually been in the same cage.
if they’ve been living together in the same cage, without a partition, for a month and now the older one is acting differently, then could it be that she is experiencing a strong season. You say aggressively, but if she is chasing, mounting, rumbling, then that isn’t aggression, its dominance and is a normal thing for an in season piggy to do.

is the younger one gaining weight well? If you are concerned that they are having an issue with their relationship then I would switch from weekly weighing to daily weighing to ensure she is being allowed to eat enough hay.

The season thing might be it! She won't bite or attack viciously, it's a lot of rumbling and moving her body around to appear bigger every chance she can get. She'll literally be all "rumbly" then she starts making "bubbly" type noises after. The younger one is gaining weight - she's eating on her own accord, regardless of the other piggy, and enjoying her veggies/hay daily. I have them in a play pen now with nothing but hay so we'll see how the rest of the day goes. I'll do the daily weighing just to keep on top of it from now on. Thank you so much for responding
 

Piggies&buns

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The season thing might be it! She won't bite or attack viciously, it's a lot of rumbling and moving her body around to appear bigger every chance she can get. She'll literally be all "rumbly" then she starts making "bubbly" type noises after. The younger one is gaining weight - she's eating on her own accord, regardless of the other piggy, and enjoying her veggies/hay daily. I have them in a play pen now with nothing but hay so we'll see how the rest of the day goes. I'll do the daily weighing just to keep on top of it from now on. Thank you so much for responding

in this case, just rumbling then I’d not be overly concerned. If she is in season, it’ll settle down after a few days. they are in season approximately every two weeks though so you are going to see a lot of it from both of them.
 
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