Bonding worries

LlamaPatronus

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I am currently trying to bond a new sow into my herd (of 2 sows and 1 neutered boar), and the new sow, Sprout, is very timid. The top sow groomed her a bit and is otherwise disinterested, but the other two keep rumbling and chasing her, and she just keeps squealing and running away teeth chattering. I know this is all normal behaviour, but I'm worried because every now and then my original 3 will calm down and either lie down or eat hay, but Sprout just sits frozen not eating or lying down and runs away if one of the others gets close. Does it sound like there's hope or does it sound like it's not going to happen for them?
 

Jamjarpigs

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How long have they been in together? Most likely the top sow isn't bothered because she knows she is top pig and doesn't feel threatened but the other two are making sure to put newbie in her place so they aren't bottom! Are they in a neutral bonding pen etc?
 

LlamaPatronus

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They're in a neutral bonding pen with nothing but a big pile of hay in the middle, they've been in there for about an hour and half now, but Sprout just seems so scared :(
 

Jamjarpigs

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Oh bless her :(

When I introduced my bereaved girl to my two new sows it took most of the day until I was happy to put them back in the cage, and even then it took a few weeks until they were properly settled. An hour and a half isn't long, but it sounds great that your most dominant girl has seemed to accept her! Keep it going as long as you can, it doesn't sound like they're outright fighting so its time to just wait and watch (as awful as it feels). Have you read the bonding and dominance guides on here?
 

Siikibam

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How long has Sprout been with you?
 

LlamaPatronus

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Oh bless her :(

When I introduced my bereaved girl to my two new sows it took most of the day until I was happy to put them back in the cage, and even then it took a few weeks until they were properly settled. An hour and a half isn't long, but it sounds great that your most dominant girl has seemed to accept her! Keep it going as long as you can, it doesn't sound like they're outright fighting so its time to just wait and watch (as awful as it feels). Have you read the bonding and dominance guides on here?
Okay, thank you, this gives me confidence! I have read the guides yes :)
 

Scooter Pie

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Aww, Sprout 💕

Did you have her a while on her own, and if so how was she? I remember when I brought home a new pig for my bereaved pig, and she was isolated in her own space a while, she was scared and not relaxed just from being in a new place.

Sounds like things are going really good actually! Sprout might just be scared in general 🤷🏼‍♀️ Good luck!
 

Siikibam

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How old is she? If she’s four months or older I would have given her a week to settle in first. If from a rescue then she can II’ve in a cage next to your others. If not she would need to be quarantined for two weeks. But if she’s younger than 4 months then bonding can’t wait.

That’s likely why she is behaving as she is, if she only came home today.
 

LlamaPatronus

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How old is she? If she’s four months or older I would have given her a week to settle in first. If from a rescue then she can II’ve in a cage next to your others. If not she would need to be quarantined for two weeks. But if she’s younger than 4 months then bonding can’t wait.

That’s likely why she is behaving as she is, if she only came home today.
Yeah, I feel like I should have given her a bit living side by side with the others, but that would have meant the other three being in a 3x2 and I thought I would be able to avoid that chaos by bonding them today :/

Do you think I should stop and put them next to each other for a week and then try again? Or just keep with it now it's started?
 

Piggies&buns

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Yeah, I feel like I should have given her a bit living side by side with the others, but that would have meant the other three being in a 3x2 and I thought I would be able to avoid that chaos by bonding them today :/

Do you think I should stop and put them next to each other for a week and then try again? Or just keep with it now it's started?
You can’t keep three piggies in a 3x2, not even for a short time, so that isn’t going to work.

How old is she? If she is younger than four months then they need bonding immediately.
 

LlamaPatronus

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You can’t keep three piggies in a 3x2, not even for a short time, so that isn’t going to work.

How old is she? If she is younger than four months then they need bonding immediately.
That's what I thought, she's around 10 months old, but an update: she's started eating hay with the others, so that's progress!
 

Siikibam

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I know it’s not usually done but perhaps cover where they are for now.

Was she from a rescue or elsewhere?
 

LlamaPatronus

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So, updates, she's eating hay, and she ate some veggies when they all got fed, and she seems a lot more relaxed an comfortable now! The others have stopped chasing her/trying to mount her/general dominance things, but she is still sometimes running away from them if they get too close
 

Siikibam

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All sounds normal. You can always leave them in the bonding pen overnight.
 

LlamaPatronus

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So, updates, it all seems calm now, and I think the bonding has gone well, but I haven't seen her sleep yet with the others, and she still runs away from them (although not as much)

Should I leave them overnight in the bonding pen, or do you think they're ready to go in the cage? I've cleaned the cage, and there are no hideys that don't have at least 2 exits, but I don't want to mess up what progress has been made
 

Siikibam

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Not sleeping with them is okay. Piggies don’t generally cuddle up. And remember it’s all new to her so she may just be a little bewildered. As for leaving in the pen, it’s up to you. How long have they been in there now?
 

LlamaPatronus

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Not sleeping with them is okay. Piggies don’t generally cuddle up. And remember it’s all new to her so she may just be a little bewildered. As for leaving in the pen, it’s up to you. How long have they been in there now?
They've been in there for around 7 hours, I wanted to give them as much time as possible :)
 
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