Guinea Pigs Squabbling And Territorial?

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JulieAndJames

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Hi, we're the proud new owners of two ADORABLE guinea pigs, Mocha and Boba. They are both so cuddly and cute and we already love them with all our hearts, and treat them like our kids.

We think that Boba is the slightly older one of the two (both of them are 2-3 month old babies), and Mocha is younger and fatter. It seems like Boba is the slightly more dominant of the two - sometimes I will see her nipping at Mocha.

What concerns us is that at night, Boba will go into the hut to sleep, and Mocha will also try to go in. Then, Mocha begins to squeal loudly, and proceeds to slowly come out of the hut.

Today, I noticed that Boba is quietly hiding in her tree hut after play time, but Mocha is just kind of laying on the open floor near the tree hut. I'm just wondering if Mocha is being "forced" out, and wants to hide somewhere, but is too afraid to go into the tree hut, for fear of Boba nipping at her. I've provided another little hide space to try and resolve this issue, but Mocha still chooses to lay out in the open floor (and proceed to stare at me with her big adorable eyes). She just lays there and doesn't move and stares up at me. I just want to make sure this is normal guinea pig behavior - I thought guinea pigs were prey animals, and naturally always want to hide (if they're not eating/playing/pooping), and that laying out in the open is really not their style.
 

GPcrazy

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Please try and provide at least two identical hideys. Guinea pigs seldom cuddle up together in the same hidey and Boba forcing mocha out is him (her?) Showing his dominance. Mocha is submitting in a totally normal way, but providing an second d hidey would help her feel safer.
 

Wiebke

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Hi, we're the proud new owners of two ADORABLE guinea pigs, Mocha and Boba. They are both so cuddly and cute and we already love them with all our hearts, and treat them like our kids.

We think that Boba is the slightly older one of the two (both of them are 2-3 month old babies), and Mocha is younger and fatter. It seems like Boba is the slightly more dominant of the two - sometimes I will see her nipping at Mocha.

What concerns us is that at night, Boba will go into the hut to sleep, and Mocha will also try to go in. Then, Mocha begins to squeal loudly, and proceeds to slowly come out of the hut.

Today, I noticed that Boba is quietly hiding in her tree hut after play time, but Mocha is just kind of laying on the open floor near the tree hut. I'm just wondering if Mocha is being "forced" out, and wants to hide somewhere, but is too afraid to go into the tree hut, for fear of Boba nipping at her. I've provided another little hide space to try and resolve this issue, but Mocha still chooses to lay out in the open floor (and proceed to stare at me with her big adorable eyes). She just lays there and doesn't move and stares up at me. I just want to make sure this is normal guinea pig behavior - I thought guinea pigs were prey animals, and naturally always want to hide (if they're not eating/playing/pooping), and that laying out in the open is really not their style.
Hi and welcome!

New guinea pigs need to establish their hierarchy in any new surroundings. What you are witnessing is typical dominance behaviour. Please provide two hideys, ideally with two exits until things have settled down.
Feed pellets and vet in 2-3 smaller portions that can be eaten in one go in two bowls, well spaced apart to prevent food hogging. Up to 80% of the food intake should be hay, so they are not hungering without not having constant access to pellets. Incidentally, it also prevents pellets from being peed on and messed up, as babies are rather wont to.
50g of mixed veg and fresh herbs, 40g of pellets for young guinea pigs (adults only need 10-20g daily), fresh plain water and unlimited hay is the basis of any good diet.
Sow Behaviour
Recommendations For A Balanced General Guinea Pig Diet

You may find the information in our new owners kit helpful to understand and learn to interact with your guinea pigs in a way that they instinctively understand. " Starter Kit" Of Information Threads For New Owners

Since we have got members from all over the world, we find it helpful if you please added your country, state/province or UK county to your details, so we can tailor any advice to what is available and relevant where you are at all times, especially in case of an emergency/illness. Our advice can differ quite a bit according to your local options, climate and brands. Click on your username on the top bar, then go to personal details and scroll down to location. Thank you!
 

JulieAndJames

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Thanks for your replies! As i said in my original post, though, I provided two hideys as soon as I started noticing them squabbling around bedtime. Mocha still occasionally chooses to lay on the open floor and stare. Should I provide more hideys?
 

Wiebke

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Thanks for your replies! As i said in my original post, though, I provided two hideys as soon as I started noticing them squabbling around bedtime. Mocha still occasionally chooses to lay on the open floor and stare. Should I provide more hideys?
No - if she prefers to sleep in the open, while having a hidey, she is fine. Guinea pigs are prey animals and sleep mostly with their eyes open, which can be a bit disconcerting for new owners. It is generally a sign of confidence if piggies sleep outside. I would not worry.
 

Freela

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Thanks for your replies! As i said in my original post, though, I provided two hideys as soon as I started noticing them squabbling around bedtime. Mocha still occasionally chooses to lay on the open floor and stare. Should I provide more hideys?
It's okay... she's obviously comfortable laying down in the open. My pigs tend to alternate with the hidey- one in, one out. They do cuddle up at night, but otherwise take turns. Both are comfortable snoozing in the open as well.
 

JulieAndJames

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Hi Freela and Wiebke, I was wondering if you guys could answer an additional question for me.

Boba (more dominant one) is chasing Mocha around relentlessly, making a guttural low noise, and wanting to stick her face in Mocha's butt. Mocha is running around and protesting and very resistant to Boba doing this to her. What's going on? They are both girls. Boba is usually not very aggressive or chasey towards Mocha - just today, for some reason. I also noticed Boba has been walking around low to the ground shaking her butt back and forth. They are both 3 months old.
 

scott1

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Just simple dominance at their age. Older would be periods. You may need a larger cage as they need more space.
 

Wiebke

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Hi Freela and Wiebke, I was wondering if you guys could answer an additional question for me.

Boba (more dominant one) is chasing Mocha around relentlessly, making a guttural low noise, and wanting to stick her face in Mocha's butt. Mocha is running around and protesting and very resistant to Boba doing this to her. What's going on? They are both girls. Boba is usually not very aggressive or chasey towards Mocha - just today, for some reason. I also noticed Boba has been walking around low to the ground shaking her butt back and forth. They are both 3 months old.
Boba is in season. Things should calm down again within a day. ;)
 

Freela

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One of them in probably in heat. It can exacerbate dominance behaviors. It should settle down again in a few days. Guinea pigs come into season about one every two weeks, in some pigs there is a noticeable change in behavior.
 
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