Bonding My 4 Sows

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ayemee

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Hello,

As some may know I now have four girls. The plan is (hopefully) to bond them all together.

The two new girls came from a lovely previous home and are in good health.

Peaches is very very bossy. Dolly is happy to let her be boss and just wheeks and runs away if she gets a bit too much.

I've never had to try and bond a small group before and I'm very nervous.

They're currently in the run with a divider so they can sniff each other. All are curious with only one teeth chattering from Peaches at Mabel through the bars so far.

I've read through the bonding guides but I'm still nervous. Any mini group bonding experiences and advice more than welcome!
 

Kerrie74

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I've only ever bonded a pair at a time! So I just wanted to wish you all the best and I hope everything goes well with the bonding :)
 

Wiebke

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Put a big heap of grass and hay in the middle, and make sure that you have more within reach.

Whether a group bonding works out depends largely on whether the two top ladies can sort out the dominance between them, as one of them will have to step down and submit.

You can separate overnight, but unless things blow up very quickly, you will have to give them plenty of time to sort out the dominance and establish a hierarchy. make sure that any new cage/pen/hutch is as new in look as possible, so you prevent the previous owners from feeling possessive. Put in hideys only once you are past the worst of any chases, nips etc. and rather use stools or opensided cardboard boxes in the meantime, so no girl can be cornered.
 

ayemee

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Thank you for the advice. I'm currently thoroughly cleaning everything to get rid of smells.

I think the main clash will be Mabel and Peaches as they are both the dominant in their couples. However Peaches displays her dominance a lot more than Mabel has ever done.

We will soon find out!
 

xxaimeexx

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My piggies had some dominance issues (I bonded a pair with a single) and that did take a while to sort out. Holly had been dominant over Squiggles(rainbow piggie) and Ruby was dominant over Connie. Ruby and Holly got along surprisingly well but Connie had a very similar personality to Holly and they clashed(they each wanted to hide behind one another). This led to Holly being left alone as she was quite scared of Connie. Eventually (and I was close to giving up for fear of injury) they started to get along. So my advice for bonding is just to keep a close eye and unless there are any injuries just persevere and a healthy piggie relationship should flourish! Good luck!:)
 

aimzer

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I hope it all goes well for you! I never thought my Daisy was overly dominant until I bonded her with Maple then I was surprised at how dominant she behaved! She seemed like a total different pig during the bonding! So I hope none of yours are like that and they sort it out quickly :)
 

ayemee

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My piggies had some dominance issues (I bonded a pair with a single) and that did take a while to sort out. Holly had been dominant over Squiggles(rainbow piggie) and Ruby was dominant over Connie. Ruby and Holly hit it off surprisingly well but Connie had a very similar personality to Holly and they clashed(they each wanted to hide behind one another). This led to Holly being left alone as she was quite scared of Connie. Eventually (and I was close to giving up for fear of injury) they started to get along. So my advice for bonding is just to keep a close eye and unless there are any injuries just persevere and a healthy piggie relationship should flourish! Good luck!:)
Thank you that's really helped put my mind at rest a little :)
 

xxaimeexx

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Thank you that's really helped put my mind at rest a little :)
Glad it helped! Yeah it actually took a week for them to settle and that was quite scary with the noise they made and how depressed Holly looked all alone in a corner, but now they are best of friends and can often be seen snuggled or eating in a little line!
 

Wiebke

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Thank you for the advice. I'm currently thoroughly cleaning everything to get rid of smells.

I think the main clash will be Mabel and Peaches as they are both the dominant in their couples. However Peaches displays her dominance a lot more than Mabel has ever done.

We will soon find out!
Best of luck! You can never tell beforehand whether a bonding is going to work out or not; that is the one big lesson I have learned in well over half a century of group and pair bondings. It all depends on the individual character mix and whether the top sows will settle together or not. Not all top sows will accept losing in a dominance face-down although many will.
 

ayemee

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Best of luck! You can never tell beforehand whether a bonding is going to work out or not; that is the one big lesson I have learned in well over half a century of group and pair bondings. It all depends on the individual character mix and whether the top sows will settle together or not. Not all top sows will accept losing in a dominance face-down although many will.
Thank you.

We will soon find out! I'm a natural worrier so all of this is making me on edge!

I'm going to get a stool as a hidey. Thank you for that idea!
 

Wiebke

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Thank you.

We will soon find out! I'm a natural worrier so all of this is making me on edge!

I'm going to get a stool as a hidey. Thank you for that idea!
Sitting through an intro and dominance phase is always nerve-racking, especially if it goes right up to the line. Thankfully, most sows are very careful to not step over it. It is not easy to not interfere. Only put them back into their new home together once the top spot has been decided and all sows are settling down. It can take more than one day. Usually things are more relaxed on the second day, if not, then you are either in for the very long haul or you have to think about calling things off, depending on just how bad it is.
 

ayemee

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Glad it helped! Yeah it actually took a week for them to settle and that was quite scary with the noise they made and how depressed Holly looked all alone in a corner, but now they are best of friends and can often be seen snuggled or eating in a little line!
That's fab! Yeah the loud wheeks and scuffling and teeth chattering makes everything seem so extreme!
 

ayemee

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All going okay so far. Mabel is asserting her dominance. Her and Peaches have had some chasing and teeth chattering but nothing too agressive as of yet. They've been together around just over half an hour.

image.jpg

Mabel seems to be chasing everyone to let them know she's top pig!
 

xxaimeexx

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All going okay so far. Mabel is asserting her dominance. Her and Peaches have had some chasing and teeth chattering but nothing too agressive as of yet. They've been together around just over half an hour.

View attachment 28407

Mabel seems to be chasing everyone to let them know she's top pig!
Looks good! Fingers crossed!
 

Wiebke

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Fingers firmly crossed. They are well into the dominance phase by now, so if it stays at that level, then everything should sort itself out.
 

Lady Kelly

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oooo sounding good so far! I usually use a small plate covered in small pieces (chopped extra small) of veg - a vast array and they usually all sit around eating and before they know it they've bonded without even knowing that there are extra pigs in the pen :))
 
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