First night together!

JEFF&JOJO

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Hi there, I’m new here and just looking for a bit of advice. We have just adopted a new Guinea pig today from a rescue. He is a 1.5 year old male and had always lived alone. We needed a new companion for our 10 month old male as he lost his friend recently. The bonding has gone pretty well and they have been together in the cage a lot of the day and all evening. I’m just wondering should I separate them overnight and tomorrow while we are at work? Is it too soon for them to say together unsupervised?

Also the new piggie who is very friendly and laid back hasn’t been so friendly towards us and has snapped a few times at the kids and tried to bite them so I’m a bit worried.

Any advice welcome, thanks so much in advance. I have been so stressed today keeping an eye on these two and feel bad separating them in the cage as they wouldn’t have much room. I just want to do the right thing. Worried sick! Thanks
 

Betsy

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No don't separate them as you will have to bond them all over again. New piggy is still frightened and getting used to his new surroundings and smells and will take a while to feel settled. Leave him be for the time being to get acclimatised. Put yourself where he is.
He has been uprooted from the (probably) the only place he has known, plonked in a rescue and just when he was getting used to that he has found a friend and then he has been taken somewhere else with frightening noises, new smells and a totally new environment. Poor thing doesn't know if he's coming or going. You know you aren't going to hurt him, but he doesn't know that. You have to teach him that fact. No wonder he is a bit snappy with you. Piggies are prey animals and take time to learn to trust huge humans whose hands are almost the same size as their bodies.
 

Wiebke

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Hi there, I’m new here and just looking for a bit of advice. We have just adopted a new Guinea pig today from a rescue. He is a 1.5 year old male and had always lived alone. We needed a new companion for our 10 month old male as he lost his friend recently. The bonding has gone pretty well and they have been together in the cage a lot of the day and all evening. I’m just wondering should I separate them overnight and tomorrow while we are at work? Is it too soon for them to say together unsupervised?

Also the new piggie who is very friendly and laid back hasn’t been so friendly towards us and has snapped a few times at the kids and tried to bite them so I’m a bit worried.

Any advice welcome, thanks so much in advance. I have been so stressed today keeping an eye on these two and feel bad separating them in the cage as they wouldn’t have much room. I just want to do the right thing. Worried sick! Thanks
Hi and welcome

Please never split bonding boars. They have to start right back in square one again if you do that. You can move them to their neutralised quarters if you have got another hour for observation and have removed any hideys with only one exit. Otherwise you can leave them together in the bonding area overnight if you are too worried. If necessary peg a sheet or blanket over the bonding area to give them a feeling of protection and leave them with plenty of hay and access to water.
Bonding: Illustrated Dominance Behaviours And Dynamics

Here are our tips on how you settled skittish piggies and make friends with them in a way that they instinctively understand. But please give the newbie time to settle with his new mate first and find his feet. He will come round more quickly if you allow him to settle in and gradually build up trust first. With a happy boar bond in place, he is going to take his cues much more from his new friend.
What to check and look out for in new guinea pigs (vet checks, sexing, parasites&illness)
How Do I Settle Shy New Guinea Pigs?
Understanding Prey Animal Instincts, Guinea Pig Whispering And Cuddling Tips
How To Pick Up And Weigh Your Guinea Pig

You'll find more helpful information via our new owners guide collection (of which these guides are part of): Getting Started - New Owners' Most Helpful Guides

All the best!
 

Piggies&buns

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Once they have been put together they need to stay together. Only separate them if they have a fight and blood is drawn.
You can’t put piggies together and then separate them and then reintroduce them - it causes them stress and they will start the process all over again.
 

SkyPipDotBernie

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No don't separate them as you will have to bond them all over again. New piggy is still frightened and getting used to his new surroundings and smells and will take a while to feel settled. Leave him be for the time being to get acclimatised. Put yourself where he is.
He has been uprooted from the (probably) the only place he has known, plonked in a rescue and just when he was getting used to that he has found a friend and then he has been taken somewhere else with frightening noises, new smells and a totally new environment. Poor thing doesn't know if he's coming or going. You know you aren't going to hurt him, but he doesn't know that. You have to teach him that fact. No wonder he is a bit snappy with you. Piggies are prey animals and take time to learn to trust huge humans whose hands are almost the same size as their bodies.
And on top of this its firework week
 

JEFF&JOJO

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Once they have been put together they need to stay together. Only separate them if they have a fight and blood is drawn.
You can’t put piggies together and then separate them and then reintroduce them - it causes them stress and they will start the process all over again.
Okay that’s very helpful thank you! I was just worried they may fight during the night and I wouldn’t know. Sorry I just want to make sure I’m doing the right thing and because it’s their first day together I wasn’t sure. I really appreciate you taking the time to reply! I probably still won’t sleep well tonight...
 

JEFF&JOJO

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Hi and welcome

Please never split bonding boars. They have to start right back in square one again if you do that. You can move them to their neutralised quarters if you have got another hour for observation and have removed any hideys with only one exit. Otherwise you can leave them together in the bonding area overnight if you are too worried. If necessary peg a sheet or blanket over the bonding area to give them a feeling of protection and leave them with plenty of hay and access to water.
Bonding: Illustrated Dominance Behaviours And Dynamics

Here are our tips on how you settled skittish piggies and make friends with them in a way that they instinctively understand. But please give the newbie time to settle with his new mate first and find his feet. He will come round more quickly if you allow him to settle in and gradually build up trust first. With a happy boar bond in place, he is going to take his cues much more from his new friend.

What to check and look out for in new guinea pigs (vet checks, sexing, parasites&illness)
How Do I Settle Shy New Guinea Pigs?
Understanding Prey Animal Instincts, Guinea Pig Whispering And Cuddling Tips
How To Pick Up And Weigh Your Guinea Pig

You'll find more helpful information via our new owners guide collection (of which these guides are part of): Getting Started - New Owners' Most Helpful Guides

All the best!
Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. All the advice has been so helpful. I’m sorry, it’s just that I’ve read so much conflicting information and I wasn’t sure if it was too soon to leave them together. I was just worried something might happen when I wasn’t there. I’m just a bit stressed about keeping them safe and am new at this. Thanks so much!
 

JEFF&JOJO

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No don't separate them as you will have to bond them all over again. New piggy is still frightened and getting used to his new surroundings and smells and will take a while to feel settled. Leave him be for the time being to get acclimatised. Put yourself where he is.
He has been uprooted from the (probably) the only place he has known, plonked in a rescue and just when he was getting used to that he has found a friend and then he has been taken somewhere else with frightening noises, new smells and a totally new environment. Poor thing doesn't know if he's coming or going. You know you aren't going to hurt him, but he doesn't know that. You have to teach him that fact. No wonder he is a bit snappy with you. Piggies are prey animals and take time to learn to trust huge humans whose hands are almost the same size as their bodies.
Okay thanks so much! All the replies have helped put my mind at ease! I’m just worrying too much I think and wasn’t sure what to do! I just want to do what’s best for the piggies and help the new guy settle in as best as possible. Thank you!
 

JEFF&JOJO

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We have all been there with new piggies, yes you won’t sleep properly tonight but that means you really care about them and their welfare. Good luck with the bonding x
Thank you so much! I cannot relax! I just went in and popped another open ended hidey and topped up the hay and now there is a lot of teeth chattering after them seeming so settled up until now! I’m scared to leave them. Oh no! :(
 

JEFF&JOJO

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I feel really sorry for my first little piggie too as he can’t even have his beloved cosy to sleep in tonight :(
 

SkyPipDotBernie

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Thank you so much! I cannot relax! I just went in and popped another open ended hidey and topped up the hay and now there is a lot of teeth chattering after them seeming so settled up until now! I’m scared to leave them. Oh no! :(
I will be going through the same thing in 4 weeks time. I'm going to try bond my boar with my sow. Hope all goes well four yours 👍😁 This thread is handy for me to read up on
 

JEFF&JOJO

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I will be going through the same thing in 4 weeks time. I'm going to try bond my boar with my sow. Hope all goes well four yours 👍😁 This thread is handy for me to read up on
Oh thank you! Hope you aren’t as much of a nervous wreck as me! I look forward to following how yours do! Long night ahead for me I think though they have both settled down and are sleeping 💤
 

Piggies&buns

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Thank you so much! I cannot relax! I just went in and popped another open ended hidey and topped up the hay and now there is a lot of teeth chattering after them seeming so settled up until now! I’m scared to leave them. Oh no! :(
There is going to be chasing, mounting etc until they establish their relationship, don’t intervene unless there is a fight. Plenty of space (cage size wise) for boys is essential, multiple open ended hideys, multiple food bowls and bottles etc.
 

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The teeth chattering could be because you put a new hidey in and there might have been a little tension over who it belongs to :)) piggies do like to claim things especially if dominance isn't fully sorted out. Everytime I put something new in with my group they all know it belongs to Daisy first and foremost and I'm glad I have a clear top pig
 

JEFF&JOJO

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There is going to be chasing, mounting etc until they establish their relationship, don’t intervene unless there is a fight. Plenty of space (cage size wise) for boys is essential, multiple open ended hideys, multiple food bowls and bottles etc.
Okay thank you so much. Last night went well, I even slept on the sofa to keep an eye on them! They are on their own today while I’m at work so fingers crossed!
 

JEFF&JOJO

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The teeth chattering could be because you put a new hidey in and there might have been a little tension over who it belongs to :)) piggies do like to claim things especially if dominance isn't fully sorted out. Everytime I put something new in with my group they all know it belongs to Daisy first and foremost and I'm glad I have a clear top pig
Yes I think it was because it soon settled down and they seemed happy in their hideys. I slept on the sofa last night to be near them as I couldn’t relax in bed. All went really well, they were quiet most of the night, all I heard was a little squeaking and a little munching! They are on their own today so fingers crossed! Such a stressful experience! Thanks for taking the time to reply. Everyone has been so helpful :)
 

Bill & Ted

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Hope they are settled for when you get home today x it’s very stressful and I bet you have been worrying at work all day, I’d be just the same.

Keep us all posted
 
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