Females sniffing and rumblestrutting

KaylaT4403

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So my guinea pig Penelope (female) has been rumble strutting near my other female guinea pig Luna. Whenever she gets near her she does it. She then chases her around the cage until Luna gets irritated and chases her off. Penelope is constantly sniffing her butt. Luna throws her butt in the air and keeps running each time Penelope's nose touches her. I was concerned at first but they aren't fighting. They sleep in the same bed together and everything. They chill together and all. I've read multiple things about this. In heat, eating poop cause of lack of vitamin c. And the others are aggressive but she's not very aggressive with it. Just annoying to Luna. Does anyone have a clear answer?
 

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So my guinea pig Penelope (female) has been rumble strutting near my other female guinea pig Luna. Whenever she gets near her she does it. She then chases her around the cage until Luna gets irritated and chases her off. Penelope is constantly sniffing her butt. Luna throws her butt in the air and keeps running each time Penelope's nose touches her. I was concerned at first but they aren't fighting. They sleep in the same bed together and everything. They chill together and all. I've read multiple things about this. In heat, eating poop cause of lack of vitamin c. And the others are aggressive but she's not very aggressive with it. Just annoying to Luna. Does anyone have a clear answer?
Hi!

How old is Penelope and how long have you had her? In the ca. two weeks after bonding arrival, this dominance behaviour.
If she is adult and is doing this behaviour out of season, I would consider ovarian cysts and have a her vet checked. Ovarian cysts can trigger a sow to behave like she is constantly in season even without any other symptoms of ovarian cysts appearing.
You can find more information on dominance behaviour and ovarian cysts in this guide here: Sow Behaviour

If you are worried that you have a mis-sexed pair: Sexing Guide
 

Little Piglets

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Flip her on her back (carefully cradle her and support her back; might need a few attempts if she fights it) and with one hand holding her, use other hand and carefully separate her genital area which is shaped like a "Y". The "V" part in the upper section of the "Y" has a membrane that dissolves/ruptures when in heat. IF ruptured, you'll actually be able to look into the opening vs. seeing just a thin skin line (resembles a wrinkle on a person). If ruptured or even crusty-looking around that seam, she's probably in heat. You should also see some clear secretions either in or around the opening, which would all mean SHE is ready/willing to be mounted.

If the seam is completely sealed and no crusting, etc. and it's probably lasting for several days or longer; that's what Weibke is referring to.
 

KaylaT4403

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Hi!

How old is Penelope and how long have you had her? In the ca. two weeks after bonding arrival, this dominance behaviour.
If she is adult and is doing this behaviour out of season, I would consider ovarian cysts and have a her vet checked. Ovarian cysts can trigger a sow to behave like she is constantly in season even without any other symptoms of ovarian cysts appearing.
You can find more information on dominance behaviour and ovarian cysts in this guide here: Sow Behaviour

If you are worried that you have a mis-sexed pair: Sexing Guide
I've had her about a week and a half now, they are young. I think it's probably dominance. She walks behind her slow and makes the sound.
 

KaylaT4403

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Flip her on her back (carefully cradle her and support her back; might need a few attempts if she fights it) and with one hand holding her, use other hand and carefully separate her genital area which is shaped like a "Y". The "V" part in the upper section of the "Y" has a membrane that dissolves/ruptures when in heat. IF ruptured, you'll actually be able to look into the opening vs. seeing just a thin skin line (resembles a wrinkle on a person). If ruptured or even crusty-looking around that seam, she's probably in heat. You should also see some clear secretions either in or around the opening, which would all mean SHE is ready/willing to be mounted.

If the seam is completely sealed and no crusting, etc. and it's probably lasting for several days or longer; that's what Weibke is referring to.
Thank you for the information! She's still scared of me because I haven't had her that long so picking up is still a no-no for her and I don't want to chase her. I think she's just trying to state her dominance.
 

Little Piglets

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From what I've seen, the one doing the chasing is the one in heat.

IF you were to literally drop a boar into their cage while she was doing that, she'd immediately getting mounted by him. IF the mounting was successful (intercourse and opening sealed with boar glue), she'd abruptly stop the behavior, even if the boar was immediately removed after "nature took it's course."

It might be a strictly dominance thing in some scenarios, though I've yet to see it happen from my 5 sows that are in a herd. Usually they just nip, whine/complain, or get in minor squabbles during the hierarchy routine, to a few circle chases once in awhile between hold-outs not wanting to give up rank, though one of them would run and back into a corner, then alternately stomp her rear feet as a warning while also grinding her teeth, which is different than the chasing/rumbling, and trying to mount.

Every time I've seen any of my sows rumble/chase/mount, they've always been in heat with a ruptured vent. And if you know how a boar acts when around sows, they emulate the boar's erratic behavior (they run around like an 8 year old after drinking his 1st cup of coffee) and everything in between until their window to mount closes.

I would say yours are being normal, and it's in heat. They might sync up at some point, and come into heat a few days apart, which you might then see the behavior reverse where the one being chased on Mon. is doing the chasing on Weds.. It's normal ;) Once they get to their hierarchy stage, it might get a little more serious where bedding gets kicked up, teeth are chattering a mile a second, they are nipping at each other, etc.. As much as you might want to, do NOT intervene. They'll settle it on their own.

The time to separate would be IF they are biting HARD onto each other and running in a circle non-stop. Do NOT stick a hand in during something like that as you'll get bit. Those kinds of attacks are a point of no return scenario, and I've personally only seen my 2 boars do it. It obviously draws blood, and the 2 involved will seemingly hate each other forever unfortunately.

Anyhow, I added the last part to give an idea of what's not "OK" vs. what's normal. Just get in the habit of giving them veggies and eventually getting them to take from your hand. Before you know it, they'll be wheeking for treats, recognize the sound your car makes if the driveway is near, and will eventually trust you, though some take longer than others. IF you have a tunnel, box, etc. and get one in it, you can lift that out with them inside and should be OK from there to handle. GL.
 

KaylaT4403

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From what I've seen, the one doing the chasing is the one in heat.

IF you were to literally drop a boar into their cage while she was doing that, she'd immediately getting mounted by him. IF the mounting was successful (intercourse and opening sealed with boar glue), she'd abruptly stop the behavior, even if the boar was immediately removed after "nature took it's course."

It might be a strictly dominance thing in some scenarios, though I've yet to see it happen from my 5 sows that are in a herd. Usually they just nip, whine/complain, or get in minor squabbles during the hierarchy routine, to a few circle chases once in awhile between hold-outs not wanting to give up rank, though one of them would run and back into a corner, then alternately stomp her rear feet as a warning while also grinding her teeth, which is different than the chasing/rumbling, and trying to mount.

Every time I've seen any of my sows rumble/chase/mount, they've always been in heat with a ruptured vent. And if you know how a boar acts when around sows, they emulate the boar's erratic behavior (they run around like an 8 year old after drinking his 1st cup of coffee) and everything in between until their window to mount closes.

I would say yours are being normal, and it's in heat. They might sync up at some point, and come into heat a few days apart, which you might then see the behavior reverse where the one being chased on Mon. is doing the chasing on Weds.. It's normal ;) Once they get to their hierarchy stage, it might get a little more serious where bedding gets kicked up, teeth are chattering a mile a second, they are nipping at each other, etc.. As much as you might want to, do NOT intervene. They'll settle it on their own.

The time to separate would be IF they are biting HARD onto each other and running in a circle non-stop. Do NOT stick a hand in during something like that as you'll get bit. Those kinds of attacks are a point of no return scenario, and I've personally only seen my 2 boars do it. It obviously draws blood, and the 2 involved will seemingly hate each other forever unfortunately.

Anyhow, I added the last part to give an idea of what's not "OK" vs. what's normal. Just get in the habit of giving them veggies and eventually getting them to take from your hand. Before you know it, they'll be wheeking for treats, recognize the sound your car makes if the driveway is near, and will eventually trust you, though some take longer than others. IF you have a tunnel, box, etc. and get one in it, you can lift that out with them inside and should be OK from there to handle. GL.
Thank you this is so helpful! I'm still a bit confused onto what she's doing. She chases, sniffs her but, rumble struts, it looks like dominance but then again it looks like she's in heat. She run her nose through her back also. And I think she attempted to mount.
 

KaylaT4403

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Thank you this is so helpful! I'm still a bit confused onto what she's doing. She chases, sniffs her but, rumble struts, it looks like dominance but then again it looks like she's in heat. She run her nose through her back also. And I think she attempted to mount.
Luna get annoyed and let's out little wheeks in protest. Like "please stop". They get along fine, She just continues to chase her around sniffing her butt and running her nose through her fur making that sound. Nothing major has happened so that's good. No nipping, no biting, no fighting, little squables telling Penelope to get off her butt but that's it. I'm a little upset cause I just want them to be okay and be happy together :c.
 

Little Piglets

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IF you want to eventually get a fixed boar, you can add him to the mix and he'd be the one doing that chasing instead. Assuming the sows are healthy, you'll only see that behavior from them (or if a boar was added, from him) WHEN one of the sows is in heat and ready to be mounted, which should last less then a day. It'll happen every 2 weeks for that one day roughly, then cease. IF the sows sync up with their heat cycle, it might throw off their normal times a bit. Also, it can happen in the early or late AM, early or late PM, etc. each time that "I'm ready to be mounted window" opens, so you may go a month or longer w/o even witnessing it. I think that's why people think it's a "strong season" when they do actually see it. I'm on a weird schedule of AM/PM and have seen it virtually every 2 weeks with all my sows. I'll actually hear the female in heat rumbling 1st, then the one being chased whining. Usually lasts less than 6 hours and mine are usually doing it early AM (2-6AM). A day or 2 later, another one does it, etc..

IF you add a (fixed) boar to an already established sow herd, I've found the need to put them in neutral settings beforehand to be moot. The sows will already have a hierarchy and the boar shouldn't have competition. He should be overwhelmed with the smells of their cage and the lack of a boar having been in there beforehand, and will go into overdrive marking everything in sight (running around like an 8 year old on his first cup of coffee) including them (they'll run up and "side-swipe" a sow with their bums). Depending on the boar, the smell will range from barely noticeable to being a mix of diluted skunk and anus (smells as bad as it sounds) but will subside once he's established he's there and the boar in charge. I would avoid intros when they are in though heat as it'll be an added stressor. The sows will usually either drop to the ground and wait (seems to be a more insecure approach), or go about eating hay, and do the "I'm not interested in you, go away" followed by a "Wait, where are you going?" (yes, seriously mixed signals but part of the courting). They might also chase and sniff the boar a bit themselves. They'll emit a particular "wheek/squeak" during the boar arrival, which reminds me of the HS quarterback getting within ear's distance of a bunch of cheerleaders, and they all get super loud and start talking a mile a second to each other. Again, normal. IF this was done on neutral territory, the sows wouldn't be in the same hierarchy and would act differently w/o the squeaks. I've actually seen a boar get aggressive to a sow in neutral areas but be normal after getting intro'd in an already established herd. Boar + boar would do in neutral, unless intro is with established adult and a boar pup. Boar pup can seemingly be intro'd safely to a boar that's been around pups prior, but should be done in small, short intros and going up in length from there.

That sow "wheeking" and strictly other female related actions (they'll eventually pee on the one chasing them) like peeing straight back, dropping completely to the ground (chin and all), nipping like a snake protecting it's space, etc. are all part of the normal sow/boar relationship, which is mainly observed during heat or intros. Out of heat, they just exist like nothing is going on and boar acts like an old married guy. In lieu of a boar being in the cage, the sow IN heat will mimic the boar 100% until she herself is either mounted or that window to mount closes. It's their natural behavior. The sow being chased will act EXACTLY the same way to a boar.

Most will say gp "hate" to have their fur petted against the grain. I'm of the camp to disagree. It's actually a part of a signal they are going to be mounted (a boar will usually lick/sniff their bum/genitals, and IF the sow is ready, she'll hike her bum in the air and might emit a specific grunt/vocalization and the boar will often run his chin against her fur grain on the rear rump then prepare to mount; if she's actually NOT ready/willing but he ignores this, she'll most likely pee on him as a method of saying "not yet"; don't be surprised if a sow smells like pee every so often or starts running backwards after getting close to a bum, or lifting it's head WAY up in the air as it thinks it's about to be peed on) hence the reaction which can result in a jump, 180 spin, peeing on the one behind them, running away, shaking a head while squeaking, etc.. All but one of mine either tolerate or like being petting on the rear rump area and purr at the same time. Most of the female will hike their bums a bit and flare their perineal sac opening, which might be a carry over from when they were pups with their moms i.e. when the mom would groom their bums to help them poop.
 

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Hi! I’m sorry, I have no advice as I’m currently experiencing exactly the same thing (though my babies are slightly older than yours) but I also have a piggie named Luna...it’s such a cute piggie name :-)
 

KaylaT4403

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Hi! I’m sorry, I have no advice as I’m currently experiencing exactly the same thing (though my babies are slightly older than yours) but I also have a piggie named Luna...it’s such a cute piggie name :-)
I think she's being dominant, she just kinda head butt Luna just now and the mounting is I guess to also show dominance. They are fine together, they sleep in the same bed sometimes. It's just someone has to be the dominant one. And I think it's Penelope... It's just hard to watch Penelope do it to Luna it makes me upset but it will pass eventually, right? It's normal dominant behavior.
 
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