• Dying, terminal illness and euthanasia: New sensitive support guide for guinea pig owners Please Click Here

Fighting guinea pigs!

Teazel 2017

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Sep 24, 2018
Messages
200
Reaction score
106
Points
280
Location
Australia
All my guinea pigs have a uunusually complicated relationship. Teazel and Snowy are best buds, but Ruby and Snowy get on and Ruby hates Teazel. Timtam and Ruby hate each other but Ruby likes Rita and Timtam likes Rita. Etc, etc, etc....But there are lots of fights, what should I do?
 

Teazel 2017

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Sep 24, 2018
Messages
200
Reaction score
106
Points
280
Location
Australia
They are all girls and they all live together, the hutch has 2 levels, the first is about 1 and a half metres by 1 metre, and the top is around a metre square. They all prefer to hang out in the top most of the time, but come downstairs to eat and drink and play sometimes. What should I do about the arguments?
 

Reenie

Forum Donator 2019/20
Joined
Jun 19, 2017
Messages
3,154
Reaction score
3,653
Points
1,225
Location
Kirkintilloch, Glasgow
Are they serious fights, or are they bickering? There will often be dominance behaviour, especially when any of the girls are in season. As with any group, they're not necessarily going to get on all the time, but as long as they're not getting hurt or bullying(keeping one away from food etc). If the fights are serious, you might need to create two herds, by splitting them into groups which get on.
Give them tons of space And several eating areas, hideys, and water bottles. That should minimize flash points for arguments..
I hope this helps x
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
69,390
Reaction score
38,306
Points
3,466
Location
Coventry UK
They are all girls and they all live together, the hutch has 2 levels, the first is about 1 and a half metres by 1 metre, and the top is around a metre square. They all prefer to hang out in the top most of the time, but come downstairs to eat and drink and play sometimes. What should I do about the arguments?
Hi

How many girls do you have and how old are they? Please be aware that a group space only counts the main level because guinea pigs are ground roamers and not climbers. 1 sq metre is about the equivalent of a 2x5 ft cage, which we recommend for 3 guinea pigs (or two boars).

If they are teenagers, then it is the teenage hormones that can affect sows as well as boars, just without the full-on fights and fall-outs that can happen between boars.
In adult sows I would have your girls checked whether ovarian cysts can play a role.

A neutered boar can sometimes soak up a bit of the bickering as he has to get on with all girls, but he needs to be accepted by all sows and he cannot heal any serious rifts. You can't just stick a husboar in and everything is violins and pink roses. Group dynamics can go wrong, as I know myself.
Sow Behaviour
Bonding: Illustrated Dominance Behaviours And Dynamics
Bonds In Trouble
Cage Size Guide
 

Teazel 2017

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Sep 24, 2018
Messages
200
Reaction score
106
Points
280
Location
Australia
Timtam will turn 1 on the 6th, Teazel and Snowy will turn 1 on the 13th, Rita will turn 1 on the 24th of November, and Ruby will turn 1 on the 17th of November. I don't think i will be able to afford a neutered boar.
 

Piggies&buns

Adult Guinea Pig
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Messages
4,206
Reaction score
5,286
Points
1,475
Location
Cambridgeshire
I would look at whether they need a bigger cage. As wiebke says, it sounds like your cage is only big enough for three guinea pigs and lack of space leads to arguments.
 

Teazel 2017

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Sep 24, 2018
Messages
200
Reaction score
106
Points
280
Location
Australia
But for reasons of such, I can not get another cage. But the bottom half is massive, they just don't use it often.
 

Tangle

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Feb 8, 2018
Messages
404
Reaction score
606
Points
455
Location
Hampshire
I'm a bit confused - do you have a 2 story hutch with a run below (so 3 stories in total), or is the bottom half the section that sits directly on the ground with a single layer enclosed hutch above (so 2 stories in total).

Comparing to photos in your other thread and trying to get things string in my head :)
 

Piggies&buns

Adult Guinea Pig
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Messages
4,206
Reaction score
5,286
Points
1,475
Location
Cambridgeshire
Following on from @Tangle comment, I have just had a look at the pictures on your other thread about your hutch. I think from what we are seeing, it is a 2 storey.
I am also a bit confused though because you say here that you can’t get another cage, but in your other thread you are saying that you need to buy a new hutch as their current one is falling apart and want recommendations.
While it is the case that upstairs levels don’t count as their main space, but if they don’t use downstairs much then you are going to have to just count the upstairs area as that is where they are spending the majority of their time and it looks too small for all of them.
If you are looking to buy a new hutch as per your other thread, then getting one considerably larger will possibly help to curb their arguments.
 

Teazel 2017

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Sep 24, 2018
Messages
200
Reaction score
106
Points
280
Location
Australia
Okay. Sorry, to be so confusing, but I ment I can't get another hutch until this one collapses. And, it is mainly just 2 of them having big fights, coming out angry and taking it out on the others. And, BTW, Rita was on heat enough about 3 weeks ago for me to notice, and Ruby was on heat a few days ago and may still be.
 

Tangle

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Feb 8, 2018
Messages
404
Reaction score
606
Points
455
Location
Hampshire
So is the massive bottom half an open area where they're, effectively, outside on the ground?
 

Teazel 2017

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Sep 24, 2018
Messages
200
Reaction score
106
Points
280
Location
Australia
Do you reckon introducing an older sow, that was full grown would help? Or would it make things worse?
 

Teazel 2017

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Sep 24, 2018
Messages
200
Reaction score
106
Points
280
Location
Australia
I just went out to feed them, and Rita was fine, eating out of my hand, being happy, then Ruby darted her hard, and she moved off, wouldn't even take food that was offered to her. I was worried so after a bit of chasing, because shes not particularly tame, I caught her and checked her over and she seemed fine. Was Rubys dart possibly a warning not to eat any more or she would hurt her? My guinea pig Timtam is dominant with anyone whomdares go near her, and Ruby is just plain mean to Teazel, Snowy and Rita, if she is mean to Timtam, there is a minor fight, and the other 3 hide. What should I do? I am in full panic!
 

Teazel 2017

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Sep 24, 2018
Messages
200
Reaction score
106
Points
280
Location
Australia
Here are also my guinea pigs weights as of yesterday. Timtam, 1090. Snowy, 1000. Teazel, 980. Ruby, 850. Rita, 640. The weight is in grams. Could this have something to do with it?
 

Teazel 2017

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Sep 24, 2018
Messages
200
Reaction score
106
Points
280
Location
Australia
Here are also my guinea pigs weights as of yesterday. Timtam, 1090. Snowy, 1000. Teazel, 980. Ruby, 850. Rita, 640. The weight is in grams. Could this have something to do with it?
 

Piggies&buns

Adult Guinea Pig
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Messages
4,206
Reaction score
5,286
Points
1,475
Location
Cambridgeshire
It is very early morning here, people are only just waking up (this is a UK based forum)
I personally wouldn’t think introducing another pig would help, it could cause more issues while the hierarchy re establishes. Plus, your cage is not big enough for another guinea pig.
 

Piggies&buns

Adult Guinea Pig
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Messages
4,206
Reaction score
5,286
Points
1,475
Location
Cambridgeshire
Generally the advice is, if they are just small arguments and no blood is drawn, leave them to sort it out.
If blood is drawn then they need to be separated.
If it is very clear that some are not getting on with others and things just won’t improve because they simply don’t like each other, then your only option is to separate them off into one pair and trio with the ones who get on best.
The other thing is to handle and feed the dominant pig first. If you feed and handle the lower ranking pigs first then the dominant ones can feel the need to assert their dominance.
 
Top