Guinea Pigs Odd Behavior?

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Karmataurus

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Hello! This might be the wrong place for this, I'm new here but I just wanted some advice.

So about 2-3 years back we got guinea pigs. We purchased them both from the same store and they were the same age, both males. The store basically told us since they came from the same place and were the same age they would live fine together. For the first few months they happily played, ate, and snuggled up together. They used to popcorn back then as well. Once they became adults, however, they started fighting. It got so bad that he bigger male tore out the smaller male's throat. Thankfully, we managed to save his life and he doesn't even have a scar. We separated them, and things have been okay.

The smaller male, the victim of the attack ,has been the absolute perfect pet. He loves treats, pets, and to be carried around and cuddles. The larger male is okay with being patted occasionally and also loves food, but hates to be held or cuddled. He is the only of the two to ever bite anyone, but I still love him all the same. Anywho, I decided that after 2 years of separation I would try to reunite them, under close supervision. I gave them each a carrot and placed them next to eachother, and to my surprise they happily shared the carrot and no ill sounds or attacks followed.

So this morning, I figured to try it again, to some odd results. I placed them near each other, and they both stood shoulder to shoulder, vibrated, and made a strange, garbled version of the purr they make when happy. They used to do this before fighting, so I was ready to sepearte them, but they didn't really do anything. One would shove his head uner the others body, then the other, all while vibrating and making the weird purring sound. But neither nipped or scratched or made a violent sound. The only time this changed was when one would be removed, it made a distress call, despite no injury or other harm.

I usually would think they were sizing each other up before a fight, but the smaller, submissive one was the instigator of the behavior and both had perfect opportunity to harm each other but never did. What was going on, is it safe to let them near each other again or was it just a calm before the storm.
 

7squeakers.

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What you have gone through is purely normal boar behaviour. All boars go through a hormonal stage when they reach a certain age and then start fighting. It does sound like your two were particularly vicious, though. As they are now about 2 years old, they should be past the hormonal stage, and things should settle down from now on. But I would keep an eye on them just to be safe. You could keep them separately, perhaps in one big cage with a mesh divider down the middle so that they can still interact but can't get at each other. I will tag @Wiebke She knows a lot about boar behaviour. Try reading her threads.
 

Claire W

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Hello and welcome.

Personally I'm not sure I would trust them together after such a vicious attack. The rule of thumb is that piggies who have drawn blood, the bond has been broken and they will not bond happily again.

@Wiebke is away for the next 10 days so it may take her a while to reply but in the meantime, you could have a look at the following threads https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/dominance-behaviours-in-guinea-pigs.28949/
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk...oducing-and-re-introducing-guinea-pigs.38562/

If it were me, I would have them living side by side so they can see each other and talk through the bars. If they lay side by side and are generally interested in each other, may be you could try to slowly reintroduce them but I would do this cautiously and I would be concerned about a fight breaking out again.

Often the trouble starts when they are sharing a cage rather than having floor time / lap time together.

As for the piggy who doesn't like being handled, this is perfectly normal. Not all piggies like to be cuddled.
 
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Guinea-pigGaga

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Allowing your guinea pigs to live side-by-side should provide both with adequate companionship!

Alternatively, you may wish to consider having both boars neutered, so that they can each live with a sow!

Please do not attempt to re-bond your guinea pigs - As mentioned by Claire W, once serious injury has occurred, two guinea pigs should be separated!
 
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