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Female Bickering

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Chelseaspiggies

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Hey :). I got two sows yesterday. They are my first guinea pigs so I'm fairly new to this. My white sow (shes 12 weeks) is being a bit mean to my younger sow (8 weeks). They have the same dad so are near enough sisters and have spent a lot of time together. They surely have enough space but the problem is that the youngest sow always wants to snuggle in one hidey with the older one. Whenever she tries to, she gets kicked out and by the loud screech she makes I'm guessing the older one hurts her somehow. There is no bloodshed but I feel sorry for her as she just wants a snuggle buddy :(
 

Wiebke

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Hi and welcome!

What you are witnessing is typical dominance behaviour as your two girls are establishing a hierarchy in their new home; that is integral to guinea pig society. Rest assured that your little girls is NOT being hurt. Her screeching is submission wheeking and translates as "Don't be mean to me!"

Please make sure that your girls have a hidey and a bowl each, ideally a body length apart, so the dominant girl can't hog it all. chucking the underpiggy off the privileged spots is part of establishing the top spot.

The good news is that once the hierarchy is established, your girls will be friends again although things can become lively if they have a strong season.

You may find this thread here helpful to understand what is going on: https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/sow-behaviour.38561/

We have got lots of information threads for new owners at the top of our various Care sections which may be of interest to you in the coming weeks, but you may find these one here most useful to get started:
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/how-do-i-settle-shy-new-guinea-pigs.36239/
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/how-to-understand-guinea-pig-instincts-and-speak-piggy-body-language.117031/
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/recommendations-for-a-balanced-general-guinea-pig-diet.116460/
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/cage-size-guide.120795/
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/guinea-pig-body-quirks.58854/
 

Chelseaspiggies

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Thank you so much for your answer. I'm reassured now I know that this is normal behaviour and nothing to be deeply concerned about. My mind was everywhere worrying about having to seperate them but now I know the little one isnt being hurt I know I dont need to.
 

Gemmas1987

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I've just got a baby to go with my adult, adult mothered her during the introductions but in the cage the baby's learning slowly how far she can push but if the older dominant is doing lilttle nips when she gets too close around her food mostly, should I be worried? I've got. 2 of everything but the baby wants what the adults got and to cuddle. They do share a pig loo nicely though .
 

Freela

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Wiebke summed it up really well. As awful as that shriek sounds, it's submission and not pain. It sounds like they are working out their hierarchy and the dominant pig is setting some ground rules. They may have these little scuffles forever, especially if the dominant pig has a really forceful personality. We had Linney and Sundae together as a bonded pair for almost five years and still had the odd tussle when Linney decided she wanted the pigloo to herself or something like that. Now that we have Sundae and Hadley, it's much harder for us to tell who the boss is (though I suspect it's Hadley. Sundae clearly has no desire to be the boss of anyone, ever! LOL!) But it's more obvious in some pairs than others.
 

Sar

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This sounds a little bit like my two.de

Fudge is definitely the dominant one, she's also the biggest & is the older of the two. She's still very skittish so it's funny to see her rumblestrutting around and bossing Biscuit about. Biscuit must love Fudge though, as during floor time will follow her round and if Fudge is in a tube, Biscuit will sit right outside it like a body guard.

They're currently laying side by side in their housey bit.
 
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