HELP! 4males together. Fighting. 1 male bullied?

Wren021

New Born Pup
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
Points
55
Hello, in mid July 2018 we decided to get Guinea Pigs for the first time. We went to 2 separate people who were selling their newborns. Both pairs between 8-9 weeks old.
We brought a pair of long hair male brothers from some guinea pig breeders and named the back haired Dave, and the white head Chaz.
We also liked the other pair we viewed and so brought them the next day. 2 male brown short hair brothers, Jeffy and Buzz.
We introduced them to eachother and they were best friends. Chaz ended up best friends with Buzz and Dave best friends with Jeffy. They followed eachother around, playing, hiding. They all lives together in a 2 story outdoor hutch with a very very very large hand made run which they are let out in every day. The run had different things to hide under as well as tubes in their hutch to play with. They are all fed at the same time between 2 bowls which they share from.

Recently we have noticed that one of the brown guinea pigs, Jeffy, has been hiding himself in his bedroom all day. We then noticed cuts on his nose/mouth and bites in his ears. Many of the other pigs also had bite marks on ears. We seperated Jeffy to indoor hutch for a few days while he rests and recovers. Once he was better we added him back outdoors with the others.
Since Jeffy seems to not be getting along with his short brown hair twin and they keep fighting. We seperated them again bringing jeffy inside due to cuts all on his lower back.
We have bathed them all and cleaned outdoor hutch and try re-introduced eachother but Jeffy seems to not get along with any of them now.
He has been staying in the indoor hutch for almost a week. He has been getting a bit more attention than the others because he is inside.
We have tried to reintroduce them all on a table inside with 3 people watching them closely. Dave tried to see Jeffy and be friends but Jeffy started to make noises at him not wanting him near. He also tried fighting with Chaz and had another fight with his brother Buzz.
Dave, Chaz and Buzz have been living well together in the outdoor hutch. Chaz is getting hormonal and tried humping Buzz but he runs away and its been okay.

Just wondering what to do with the 4 males?
Is it jeffy?
Is it because we seperated him for almost a week from others?
Is it a territory thing?
Is it because we handle Jeffy more so he thinks hes the dominant one?
Is Jeffy been bullied and now fighting back?
Is he a bully?
Do we need to keep them separate forever?
Do we have to find Jeffy a new home?

Just wondering what to do to be able to get them sival with one another so they are able to be in the run together.





F0CEB1DB-73D7-4B33-B71D-9C29C78AEA73.jpeg
 

Attachments

Livia Rabideau

Adult Guinea Pig
Joined
Feb 14, 2018
Messages
1,591
Reaction score
1,729
Points
755
Location
Kentucky, U.S.
I would separate them into two pairs. Anymore than a pair of boars rarely works. They go through hormone spikes which can cause them to fight.
 

Piggies&buns

Adult Guinea Pig
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Messages
1,746
Reaction score
1,982
Points
805
Location
Cambridgeshire
Hello
They are lovely!
It’s not anything you’ve done, it’s that You just cannot keep more than two males together otherwise, as you are finding, they will fight.
You will need to separate them back to two pairs and they will need to stay constantly separate. No run/floor time together.
As you have separated one from the others, he will need to be bonded back with one of them but it has to be done properly on neutral territory and following all the bonding guidance which you will be able to find on here.
 

Qualcast&Flymo

Forum Donator 2019/20
Joined
Jun 7, 2017
Messages
1,557
Reaction score
2,146
Points
955
Location
Solihull, West Midlands, UK
Hi and :wel:! You have 4 handsome boars there!
I agree, 4 boars together rarley works especially in a restricted space such as a hutch. worse case scenario you could end up with 4 singles who all won't go with each other, next worse is a pair and 2 singles. Try to get them into 2 pairs, in separate areas eg one story per pair, with time in the run separately also. Maybe the 2 pairings you mention will work again if you divide them up. They were still babies almost when you got them, so ok together, but have now hit the teenage phase all together. Best of luck!
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
67,350
Reaction score
34,435
Points
3,466
Location
Coventry UK
Hello, in mid July 2018 we decided to get Guinea Pigs for the first time. We went to 2 separate people who were selling their newborns. Both pairs between 8-9 weeks old.
We brought a pair of long hair male brothers from some guinea pig breeders and named the back haired Dave, and the white head Chaz.
We also liked the other pair we viewed and so brought them the next day. 2 male brown short hair brothers, Jeffy and Buzz.
We introduced them to eachother and they were best friends. Chaz ended up best friends with Buzz and Dave best friends with Jeffy. They followed eachother around, playing, hiding. They all lives together in a 2 story outdoor hutch with a very very very large hand made run which they are let out in every day. The run had different things to hide under as well as tubes in their hutch to play with. They are all fed at the same time between 2 bowls which they share from.

Recently we have noticed that one of the brown guinea pigs, Jeffy, has been hiding himself in his bedroom all day. We then noticed cuts on his nose/mouth and bites in his ears. Many of the other pigs also had bite marks on ears. We seperated Jeffy to indoor hutch for a few days while he rests and recovers. Once he was better we added him back outdoors with the others.
Since Jeffy seems to not be getting along with his short brown hair twin and they keep fighting. We seperated them again bringing jeffy inside due to cuts all on his lower back.
We have bathed them all and cleaned outdoor hutch and try re-introduced eachother but Jeffy seems to not get along with any of them now.
He has been staying in the indoor hutch for almost a week. He has been getting a bit more attention than the others because he is inside.
We have tried to reintroduce them all on a table inside with 3 people watching them closely. Dave tried to see Jeffy and be friends but Jeffy started to make noises at him not wanting him near. He also tried fighting with Chaz and had another fight with his brother Buzz.
Dave, Chaz and Buzz have been living well together in the outdoor hutch. Chaz is getting hormonal and tried humping Buzz but he runs away and its been okay.

Just wondering what to do with the 4 males?
Is it jeffy?
Is it because we seperated him for almost a week from others?
Is it a territory thing?
Is it because we handle Jeffy more so he thinks hes the dominant one?
Is Jeffy been bullied and now fighting back?
Is he a bully?
Do we need to keep them separate forever?
Do we have to find Jeffy a new home?

Just wondering what to do to be able to get them sival with one another so they are able to be in the run together.





View attachment 95429
Hi and welcome

Sub-adult boar quartets rarely make to adulthood. In most cases you end up with a working pair and 2 singles, but we have seen cases whether a teenage quartet resulted in four singles. :(

If you still can, please split your boys into two spearate pairs, ideally each pair with boys that get on best. You will inevitably see dominance behaviour once they re-establish the hierarchy in their new pairings.
You will have to do a full bonding session on neutral territory after each separation.

Before you do that, please take the time to read these guides here carefully, so you can judge the situation, understand the behaviours and know your various options and can prepare in case things don't go to plan.

Adding More Guinea Pigs Or Merging Pairs – What Works And What Not?
Boars: Teenage, Bullying, Fighting, Fall-outs And What Next?
Bonding: Illustrated Dominance Behaviours And Dynamics
Boars: A guide to successful companionship.
 

Piggies&buns

Adult Guinea Pig
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Messages
1,746
Reaction score
1,982
Points
805
Location
Cambridgeshire
Also, bear in mind that a pair of boars need more space than the average pair of sows. Even with a pair of boars, if they don’t have enough room, that can cause fighting.
 

Qualcast&Flymo

Forum Donator 2019/20
Joined
Jun 7, 2017
Messages
1,557
Reaction score
2,146
Points
955
Location
Solihull, West Midlands, UK
I see from your photos that they have a lovely big run, however I would suggest that you put some kind of cover over it. Birds of prey, and crows can easily swoop down seize piggies from an open run, and cats and dogs also could jump over the sides and kill them before you could do anything about it. In addition, guineas don't feel comfrotable with the open sky above them, because birds come from there - they are more likely to come out and play if there is something above them providing cover. ( When we first had piggies, we had an open run, and the pigs just sat the whole time in the tunnels and arches we put in it.)
 

Goth Mummy

Adult Guinea Pig
Joined
Oct 11, 2013
Messages
4,225
Reaction score
2,981
Points
1,025
Location
Nottingham
Beautiful pigs. Do you have at least one pair who are good friends?
 

Wren021

New Born Pup
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
Points
55
We are unsure if Jeffy, (one ending up in fights) is Friends with any. Hes hates his brother but the other 2 hes okay with until they get really close.
 

Reenie

Forum Donator 2019/20
Joined
Jun 19, 2017
Messages
3,148
Reaction score
3,639
Points
1,225
Location
Kirkintilloch, Glasgow
I would keep the best bonded pair together and try to bond Jeffy with the other. Follow the guides on bonding to the letter. If it works, excellent, but it may be that the bonds have broken down irretrievably, and you'll have a pair and two singles. You could try him with each of the others one at a time (give them a day to rest in between, as your chances will be best if you allow him to calm down before trying another) . I personally wouldn't do that though, as it might give you problems putting them back together if a bonding fails. Another alternative would be trying to bond him with the one he gets on best with. Any of the options will result in more dominance behaviour in all your piggies for a week or two until they settle into their final pairings. Sorry you've found yourself in this situation. Good luck whatever you decide.
 

Wren021

New Born Pup
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
4
Reaction score
1
Points
55
Jeffy has been living in the house on his own for almost 2 weeks now. Have tried bonding him with other 3 one at time and even let him Out in run with metal cage bars inbetween to stop them from fighting one another. When they are all out in run together with bars between jeffy and others, jeffy tries to bite bars to escape to get to others. He starts arguing with his brother through the fence. Have tried getting him to be with black long hair pig, dave. But ended up in fight.

Seems to be Jeffy just can’t live with anyone.
Don’t know what to do at all now. Whole family stressing over them especially due to winter coming and was planning on moving them all inside but if we have to keep Jeffy seperated we just don’t see how we can do it with limited space inside and no funds to buy multiple indoor hutches.
 

TheLottiediarys

Teenage Guinea Pig
Joined
May 7, 2017
Messages
537
Reaction score
444
Points
475
Location
East Midlands
It sounds like Jeffy has become aggravated with the whole situation,
if hes constantly being put into a situation where hes having to assert dominance and work out a hierarchy and is causing fights that is probably draining for him to deal with.
Is it possible to set up an area where Jeffy can live side by side with someone for a day or so and see how that works out?
he might have to work out a friendship with someone where they can both have their own space before he can be put in a situation where they have to confront each other constantly and work that out, if Jeffy is finding this stressful, which it sounds like he might and you are too ,this might help you see which bond he could calm down with eventually.
When you say he argues with his brother and fights with Dave, can you explain what sort of behavior he is exhibiting?
This could be normal bonding, dominance behavior that looks worse then it is, He will have to work out a situation with another pig where he is either on top or submits and this can look nasty when it isn't,
Or if it really is a fight that has ruled out a bond we can advise on that.
Sometimes pigs have to 'battle it out' before one of them backs down, This can look like Chasing, Squealing, Rearing their head back and Standing off, Rumbling, Chattering and even Lounging, but that doesn't mean they wont bond in the end.
A real deal breaker can be a bite that draws blood between males.
If we know what type of behavior is happening we might be able to better advise what type of dominance is happening here. Whether it really is breakdown he can't come back from or if a strategic bonding session could calm things down enough to result in the bond we hope for. Some bonding session can last hours, even days before a good bond becomes settled.
and males have to start from scratch each time you introduce them again.

I know how stressful this must be, But we will be here to help you no matter what the end result is.
If Jeffy has to bond with a completely separate male can you create an outside area for that pair as well?
In worse case scenario where he wont accept either 3 males a Rescue may be able to pair him with one of their own single males or help you find him another home. But it seems like that would be a last resort for you,
I think bonding is stressful for every one of us each time we do it, so we understand how your feeling right now,
Don't worry, we will help you sort it out :)
 
Top