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Guinea pigs fighting after months of peace

nlk417

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I currently have a couple of two male guinea pigs living together in the same cage. They have about 1,5 month difference in age, and have been together for 4 months now. They had a few problems when I put them together (I made a thread about it, I initially got only one and then took the second after a month and a half) which got resolved by changing to a much larger cage. Ever since, they did not fight even if sometimes they rumble around for a few seconds.

Today, they started to get nervous after I gave them some fresh salad. My older pig has a "habit" of taking the food the younger one is biting and "steal it". Up to this point, nothing has ever happened for that, the thief eats and the other one just get a new piece meanwhile and eat that one. This time however the younger got immediately VERY nervous and they started chattering their teeth. Nothing else happened for a while so I started to clean up the cage, and at that moment he rushed towards the older pig and tried to furiously bite him. I tried to separate them without taking them off the cage, but the he just kept jumping and running to attack the hid older mate, who stayed on the defensive but bited back.

I took them off to different cages, cleaned their cage up entirely and fed them separately. After an hour I tried to bring them back together, but again they started chattering loudly and in a few seconds the younger attacked again. Right now I splitted the cage in two halves so that they can see each other but not injure themselves. What should I do? What's happening?

They are not injured (did not bleed) and they do not seem sick, but he's VERY upset for some reasons.
 

Wiebke

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I currently have a couple of two male guinea pigs living together in the same cage. They have about 1,5 month difference in age, and have been together for 4 months now. They had a few problems when I put them together (I made a thread about it, I initially got only one and then took the second after a month and a half) which got resolved by changing to a much larger cage. Ever since, they did not fight even if sometimes they rumble around for a few seconds.

Today, they started to get nervous after I gave them some fresh salad. My older pig has a "habit" of taking the food the younger one is biting and "steal it". Up to this point, nothing has ever happened for that, the thief eats and the other one just get a new piece meanwhile and eat that one. This time however the younger got immediately VERY nervous and they started chattering their teeth. Nothing else happened for a while so I started to clean up the cage, and at that moment he rushed towards the older pig and tried to furiously bite him. I tried to separate them without taking them off the cage, but the he just kept jumping and running to attack the hid older mate, who stayed on the defensive but bited back.

I took them off to different cages, cleaned their cage up entirely and fed them separately. After an hour I tried to bring them back together, but again they started chattering loudly and in a few seconds the younger attacked again. Right now I splitted the cage in two halves so that they can see each other but not injure themselves. What should I do? What's happening?

They are not injured (did not bleed) and they do not seem sick, but he's VERY upset for some reasons.
HI! How old are your boys?

Please separate them for a couple of days. If full-on bloody bites have happened, then that is the end of the road.
If not, you can try a re-introduction on neutral ground to see whether tempers have calmed down and the boys want to be together again or if the aggravation was bad enough to lead to a fall-out and the boys won't go back together again.
Please follow the advice from this guide here. It works for all ages in that respect if your boys happen to be past teenage.

f a bonding has been difficult, then the initial problems have a nasty habit of surfacing again as soon as there is another stress factor (like a sudden testosterone spike, for instance, which can occasionally even hit young adult boars). :(
Boars: Teenage, Bullying, Fighting, Fall-outs And What Next?
Bonds In Trouble
 

nlk417

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HI! How old are your boys?

Please separate them for a couple of days. If full-on bloody bites have happened, then that is the end of the road.
If not, you can try a re-introduction on neutral ground to see whether tempers have calmed down and the boys want to be together again or if the aggravation was bad enough to lead to a fall-out and the boys won't go back together again.
Please follow the advice from this guide here. It works for all ages in that respect if your boys happen to be past teenage.

f a bonding has been difficult, then the initial problems have a nasty habit of surfacing again as soon as there is another stress factor (like a sudden testosterone spike, for instance, which can occasionally even hit young adult boars). :(
Boars: Teenage, Bullying, Fighting, Fall-outs And What Next?
Bonds In Trouble
If I was told the truth about their age when I got them (I had them from a shop since I had no other options) they should be about 7-8 months old the elder and 5-6 months the younger.

Should I COMPLETELY separate them for a few days? Like far from each other in their own completely separate cage? I have this kind of cage (setup on one floor only), so I added some panels to split in the middle and they can see each other. Right now they have same food and houses on each side, and for what I've seen they are more calm but after they are both eating their own meal they tend to get nervous again and chatter..

They did not bloody-injured, but I intervened when they started biting. Really don't know what to do :(
 

Wiebke

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If I was told the truth about their age when I got them (I had them from a shop since I had no other options) they should be about 7-8 months old the elder and 5-6 months the younger.

Should I COMPLETELY separate them for a few days? Like far from each other in their own completely separate cage? I have this kind of cage (setup on one floor only), so I added some panels to split in the middle and they can see each other. Right now they have same food and houses on each side, and for what I've seen they are more calm but after they are both eating their own meal they tend to get nervous again and chatter..

They did not bloody-injured, but I intervened when they started biting. Really don't know what to do :(
A divider will do!

Please note that your two boys are both right in the middle of the teenage months when their testosterone output is at an all time high and when they can be hit by massive testosterone spikes. Please take the time to read the teenage guide in my last post; you will find it very informative and helpful! It tells you the various stages of the teenage months, what you can do and what you shouldn't do in all the detail I cannot repeat in every post - after all, it has taken me several days to write that guide!

Unfortunately in your case, the difference in ages is not so big that it can prevent both boys going through the teenage months and hitting two of the trickiest stages at the same time. The more boars you have in that stage of life and the more being in difficult phases at the same time, the higher the potential for fall-outs, unfortunately. It is a long debunked but persistent breeder myth that brothers don't fight and that boars need to be the same age - in fact, an age difference of a year or more is much better as only one boy is having hormone trouble. :(
 

nlk417

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A divider will do!

Please note that your two boys are both right in the middle of the teenage months when their testosterone output is at an alltime high and when they can be hit by massive testosterone spikes. Please take the time to read the teenage guide in my last post; you will find it very informative and helpful! It tells you the various stages of the teenage months, what you can do and what you shouldn't do in all the detail I cannot repeat in every post - after all, it has taken me several days to write that guide!

Unfortunately in your case, the difference in ages is not so big that can prevent both boys going through the teenage months and hitting two of the trickiest stages at the same time. The more boars you have in that phase and the more being phases at the same time, the higher the potential for fall-outs, unfortunately. It is a long debunked but persistent breeder myth that brothers don't fight and that boars need to be the same age - in fact, an age difference of a year or more is much better as only one boy is having hormone trouble. :(
Thank you very much for your time and help, I will read your linked guides as well. Let's hope for the best for the two.
 

Black piggies

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I currently have a couple of two male guinea pigs living together in the same cage. They have about 1,5 month difference in age, and have been together for 4 months now. They had a few problems when I put them together (I made a thread about it, I initially got only one and then took the second after a month and a half) which got resolved by changing to a much larger cage. Ever since, they did not fight even if sometimes they rumble around for a few seconds.

Today, they started to get nervous after I gave them some fresh salad. My older pig has a "habit" of taking the food the younger one is biting and "steal it". Up to this point, nothing has ever happened for that, the thief eats and the other one just get a new piece meanwhile and eat that one. This time however the younger got immediately VERY nervous and they started chattering their teeth. Nothing else happened for a while so I started to clean up the cage, and at that moment he rushed towards the older pig and tried to furiously bite him. I tried to separate them without taking them off the cage, but the he just kept jumping and running to attack the hid older mate, who stayed on the defensive but bited back.

I took them off to different cages, cleaned their cage up entirely and fed them separately. After an hour I tried to bring them back together, but again they started chattering loudly and in a few seconds the younger attacked again. Right now I splitted the cage in two halves so that they can see each other but not injure themselves. What should I do? What's happening?

They are not injured (did not bleed) and they do not seem sick, but he's VERY upset for some reasons.
Could it be that as the younger one gets bigger he's fed up having his food stolen and is making a play for the role of top pig, and they could have a few arguments until they reach a new pecking order. That if there's no blood or severe bullying they need at some point to bicker for a while, to work out who is top pig now.
 
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