boy guinea pig fighting with girls

samuelmorris

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hi, I'm new to this forum!
i have three guinea pigs called munch, nibbles and chewie. i got munch and nibbles, my girls, last year from a pet shop as i was uneducated at the time as to where to get them from. they were never really the best of friends and they sometimes fight but they tolerate each other. munch is much bigger and more dominant than nibbles. we recently upgraded them to a massive 18 sq ft cage and they seem happy. theyre not the most cuddly but theyre friendly enough and they dont like to be picked up (they run away when we go to pick them up) but we get them out every day anyway.
in february we went into a local pet shop to get some food for some of our other pets and we saw a single guinea pig who looked very skinny, had no friend, no toys and no water or bedding. he looked ill and i couldnt stand to leave him there so we decided to save him from there and bring him home. he was always very skittish and nibbly and no matter how much we handled him he was always nervous. we got him castrated last month and the other day we tried to introduce him to our girls (after a month of scent swapping and having their cages next to each other). they fought for a bit and we thought they were just doing their mating rituals so we left them but took chewie out overnight so they didnt hurt each other. we put him back with the girls the next day and later that day we noticed that nibbles had a cut on her ear and lip so we took him straight out again. he is still so skittish and the girls seem more scared than usual. the girls also seem to fight between themselves a lot when he is with them, and he fights them. i dont know what to do now because chewie hasnt got a friend and we dont have enough space to get another boy, but he always fights when we put him in with the girls. does anyone have any advice? should i jist keep him seperate in a different cage? will he be ok to live on his own?
thanks!
 

Siikibam

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When you first introduced them, did you just put him in the cage? And when you have tried again where have you done it?

You say fighting but what exactly do you mean? Describe each of their behaviour because fighting is quite distinct and can’t be mistaken for dominance behaviour. Read the links I’ll put below and think whether their bond is okay or won’t work out.

Depending on your setup, you could stack the cages and have Chewy in a cage above the girls with a friend. If you do decide to go down that route then please take him to a rescue that offers dating. It’s best to pick his own friend. If you g back to a pet shop then have a plan B in case they don’t get on.

If the girls don’t like him there’s nothing you can do about it. They have to accept him rather than the other way round.

Lastly, if you’ve decided to bond them you can’t then keep taking him out and putting him separately for the night. It’s stressful and each time you do that they have to start all over again the next day.

I’ll put some links in my next post. Read them through and have a think.
 

Bill & Ted

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Hello and welcome
Sorry to hear your piggies are not getting along, I think you need to have a read at the correct way to bond your piggies on neutral territory. Bonding needs to be done on the floor on a clean fleece or blanket where all three piggies meet on neutral territory. Here’s a link full of info on bonding
Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics
Good luck x
 

Tigermoth

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If he was only neutered last month then he might not be “safe” yet as it’s less than 6 weeks. I’d be inclined to keep them separate for 10 weeks pregnancy watch now especially as you’ve seen humping. Then decide what to do.
 

samuelmorris

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When you first introduced them, did you just put him in the cage? And when you have tried again where have you done it?

You say fighting but what exactly do you mean? Describe each of their behaviour because fighting is quite distinct and can’t be mistaken for dominance behaviour. Read the links I’ll put below and think whether their bond is okay or won’t work out.

Depending on your setup, you could stack the cages and have Chewy in a cage above the girls with a friend. If you do decide to go down that route then please take him to a rescue that offers dating. It’s best to pick his own friend. If you g back to a pet shop then have a plan B in case they don’t get on.

If the girls don’t like him there’s nothing you can do about it. They have to accept him rather than the other way round.

Lastly, if you’ve decided to bond them you can’t then keep taking him out and putting him separately for the night. It’s stressful and each time you do that they have to start all over again the next day.

I’ll put some links in my next post. Read them through and have a think.
thank you for the quick reply! before they met the girls and chewie had a smaller 8 sq ft cage each. their cages were next to each other and they always spoke and chewed the bars. we got the larger one so that they could meet on a neutral territory. when they first met it was in the new cage and at first they were just chasing each other around which i think is normal. but then chewie and nibbles started jumping at each other in the air, chatting their teeth really loudly and biting at each other. they would creep up on each other and fight unprovoked, and they would make loud rumbling and sneezing noises, so we took him out and put him in his old cage, and put it on top of the bugger cage. the second time we put him in there it was a massive fight between the three of them and when i took him out there was fur all over the floor. i guess all of that combined with nibbles’ injuries made me think it was a proper fight.
we actually have a guinea pig rescue close by so i might go down to try and get him a friend. i didnt even know it was possible for them to make their own friends! i’ll make sure i have a look into it. thank you!
 

Siikibam

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Had the new cage been lived in by the girls or Chewy at all? As for the second time, you can’t just put them back in the other cage - it’s seen as an invasion of territory by the resident piggies. If they’re going for each other then I’m afraid it doesn’t sound good.

Keep him near the girls for now as he still needs that interaction. Have a look at the rescue locator and see which ones you can contact.
Rescue Locator
 

samuelmorris

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nope none of them had lived in the cage beforehand but the girls have it now on their own. i think we’re going to keep an eye out for rescues, although I'm not sure how likely it would be to get a single boy?
thank you everyone for your advice. i was wondering if you could give me some more advice just on how to make chewie less skittish and more friendly? he lives above the girls right now but I'm going to find away to have his cage next to them again. his cage is 8 sq ft which i know is small but I'm working on making it bigger. he has a tube and a hidey house and some chew sticks as well as a plush toy, and he has fresh food whenever he comes out. he comes out every day for at least 45 minutes but usually an hour. he always runs away when we open the cage and he doesnt like being held. is that just because of how we found him in the pet shop, because he lives on his own or is it just his personality?
thanks again!
 

Siikibam

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Some piggies will never like being handled. if he doesn't like it then just leave him to his own wanderings. It's really important he lives next to the girls - interaction is much more than living in the same space. How long has he been with you? Try the whispering tips as well. Just be aware that it could take a long time for him to get used to you, and he may never like being held or picked up.

Rescues won't list single piggies on their sites, and sometimes don't put all piggies up. Email several and see what they say. You can also consider bonding him with a sow or two.
Rescue Locator
Understanding Prey Animal Instincts, Guinea Pig Whispering And Cuddling Tips
 
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