dominant behaviour?

Ester

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Hi everyone
I am new to guinea pigs and have two sows which have been with us for less than a month. The older one is about 3 months and the other one is a month younger. Their hutch is outdoors and I have a cosy 'beehive snuggle' bed for them for night time, which I put bedding and snuggle pads in to make it warm for the night. the two of them used to snuggle in there at night, but in the last few days the older piggie is not letting the little one in! Has anyone come across this, really don't like the idea of the little one being left out in the cold, literally! And how did you deal with it. Thanks.
 

Julie M

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its usually a good idea if you have at least a bed for each piggie as they dont always like to share. Its totally normal behaviour for a dominant piggie to claim certain beds etc as theirs and they dont let the under pig in.
 

Ester

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Thank you, I will try that. There are two floors to the hutch and I put a second bed 'downstairs' but neither of them like to go there! I will try to put second bed upstairs.
 

Wiebke

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Hi everyone
I am new to guinea pigs and have two sows which have been with us for less than a month. The older one is about 3 months and the other one is a month younger. Their hutch is outdoors and I have a cosy 'beehive snuggle' bed for them for night time, which I put bedding and snuggle pads in to make it warm for the night. the two of them used to snuggle in there at night, but in the last few days the older piggie is not letting the little one in! Has anyone come across this, really don't like the idea of the little one being left out in the cold, literally! And how did you deal with it. Thanks.


Hi!

It is unfortunately a human misconception that all guinea pigs love to snuggle up at night, perpetuated by the (human) demand for cute pet videos. While a few do, most will sleep nearby but apart.

Your girls are still right in the middle of the post-intro dominance phase, which lasts about two weeks on average. Chucking the underpiggy out of any prime real estate and off any food bowls is par for the course of establishing and reinforcing the hierarchy that is at the core of any guinea pig group.
Please make sure that you always have everything in twos (huts with two exits, bowls for serving 50g of mixed but preferably green veg and herbs plus 1 tablespoon of pellets per piggy per day) and 2 water bottles protected from direct sunlight and frost, as well as access to the unlimited supply of hay (80% of the daily food intake) that cannot be blocked.

Also make sure that your hutch has got a cover for nights and is out of rain, wind during the colder months with night frosts between September and May. You also need to bring your guinea pigs inside in temperatures over 25 C as hutches and runs exposed to hot breezes are death traps.

Please take the time to carefully read these information links so you can care for your girls properly and avoid them falling ill or dying:
Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics
Sows: Behaviour and female health problems (including ovarian cysts)

Long Term Balanced General And Special Needs Guinea Pig Diets

Hot Weather Management, Heat Strokes and Fly Strike
Cold Weather Care For Guinea Pigs

All these guides are part of our comprehensive New Owners guide collection, which specifically addresses all the areas we get the most questions and concerns about from new owners. It also helps them to learn what is normal and what not, understand behaviour and how to safely interact with them (including how to avoid freak jumps and falls) etc. but it also teaches you a spot of very handy piggy whispering. Worth bookmarking and using as a very helpful resource over the coming months. The guide format allows us to update our information at need. The full and even wider information can be accessed via the guides shortcut on the top bar.
Here is the new owners collection link: Getting Started - New Owners' Most Helpful Guides
 
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