Help! Mean Little Piggie

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MissPiggyTales

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Help!
Long story. Here goes.
So my boyfriend got me two beautiful piggies for Xmas. They weee adopted and said to have bonded over the last month however they never seemed to be to my BF who had them for a week before Xmas.

Duke is a year old and Bubba is 5-6 months.

This past week has been a nerve wrecking time. There's a "shelf" on one end of cage with a food bowl which Duke seems to escape to.
They have two open ended hidies and separate food bowls, drink bottles etc
Lots of hay to share and veggies to distract the constant teeth chattering and chasing.
Bubba is a big bully for such a little lad.
We'be tried bathing and neutral zones but they still end up scraping and Bubba has now been taking chunks out of Dukes bum!
We have them on a neutral zone ATM and have have to put the mesh between them as a divide. Duke is squeaking over any contact, me, teddy, towel. And Bubba is desperately trying to get to Duke but when we let them together Bubba goes for Duke again.
At a loss.
 

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Help!
Long story. Here goes.
So my boyfriend got me two beautiful piggies for Xmas. They weee adopted and said to have bonded over the last month however they never seemed to be to my BF who had them for a week before Xmas.

Duke is a year old and Bubba is 5-6 months.

This past week has been a nerve wrecking time. There's a "shelf" on one end of cage with a food bowl which Duke seems to escape to.
They have two open ended hidies and separate food bowls, drink bottles etc
Lots of hay to share and veggies to distract the constant teeth chattering and chasing.
Bubba is a big bully for such a little lad.
We'be tried bathing and neutral zones but they still end up scraping and Bubba has now been taking chunks out of Dukes bum!
We have them on a neutral zone ATM and have have to put the mesh between them as a divide. Duke is squeaking over any contact, me, teddy, towel. And Bubba is desperately trying to get to Duke but when we let them together Bubba goes for Duke again.
At a loss.
Hi and welcome

Unfortunately, Bubba is at a stage where he is experiencing the worst testosterone spike that teenage boars go through during the hormonal subadult months. This has been compounded by the need to re-establish the group hierarchy in new territory, which always means renewed dominance for all piggies.

Please take the time to read through this detailed guide and see whether Duke is feeling bullied too much or whether he still wants to be with Bubba with a short trial separation - that is at this stage the best thing that you can do, so you can then proceed according to the outcome.
Until both boars have developed their adult boar identity, there is no total guarantee as to whether they are stably bonded. By adopting from a good rescue you have at least the backing of the rescue so you are not left with two boars that don't get on.
Please serve any veg and pellets in smaller portions that can be eaten in one go in a bowl each per boar spaced at least a body length apart 2-3 times a day. Remove the bowls in between to eliminate one of the usual flashpoints for scraps. Both boys only need about a handful of pellets each per day at this age where they are past the first fast growth phase. Up to 80% of the daily food intake is unlimited hay (make sure that you have got two places or two accesses to hay so it can't be blocked, the same with water), so they don't go hungry in between and rather concentrate on what is vital for their long term health. ;)
Boars: Bullying, Fighting, Fall-outs And What Next?
 

MissPiggyTales

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Thank you for your reply!
I'm not sure how to go about this.
We had them divided by the mesh and Bubba was gnawing and chatting away to get to Duke. They'd both laid down in their separate sides. So I've let Bubba into Dukes side and they've had a little run around but not so bad chasing fighting.
Bubba is still chirping always nd having a wander. Duke is just Still and observing.
Seems a bit more relaxed. But hard to tell how long this will last.

If they start scraping again do you think I should separate them for a few days/weeks?
 

Wiebke

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Thank you for your reply!
I'm not sure how to go about this.
We had them divided by the mesh and Bubba was gnawing and chatting away to get to Duke. They'd both laid down in their separate sides. So I've let Bubba into Dukes side and they've had a little run around but not so bad chasing fighting.
Bubba is still chirping always nd having a wander. Duke is just Still and observing.
Seems a bit more relaxed. But hard to tell how long this will last.

If they start scraping again do you think I should separate them for a few days/weeks?
The relationship looks like it is still functional for the time being.

The issue is not whether Bubba wants to be back with Duke (a homronal boars always will) but whether Duke does want to have Bubba back and whether Duke is feeling bullied. Please take the time to read the very detailed link I have given you. It is really worth reading it through, as it is going to answer all your questions much more comprehensively than I can in one post.

Longer term splitting is usually not working as it is not a guarantee that your boys will want to go back together again.
 

MissPiggyTales

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Do you think a mesh divide in their cage for a while could help?
So they can see/sniff/chat to each other but physically cannot harm each other?

I've read your link but still unsure of best path to take. Probably too emotionally involved.
Why can't we all get along! Lol

They've just sat with Bubbas head under Dukes for about 5 mins. Both "chatting" until Duke ran away ... maybe it was something Bubba said, and it's all started up again.
 

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Do you think a mesh divide in their cage for a while could help?
So they can see/sniff/chat to each other but physically cannot harm each other?

I've read your link but still unsure of best path to take. Probably too emotionally involved.
Why can't we all get along! Lol

They've just sat with Bubbas head under Dukes for about 5 mins. Both "chatting" until Duke ran away ... maybe it was something Bubba said, and it's all started up again.
Just let them work it out for now; the dominance is inevitable after you let bubba into Duke's part. If it doesn't die down within two days or if Duke truly doesn't get any rest and is not allowed to eat, then I would separate. Pleae start any re-introductions after a separation on neutral ground.
Monitor Duke closely by weighing him every day at the same time in the feeding cycle. If he is losing weight steadily with every day, he is feeling stressed and bullied. He will also look tense, withdrawn and stays out of Bubba's range as much as possible.

However, you are not helping your boys by changing the parameters all the time and by interfering with their normal behaviour. Keep your hands off for the moment and see how it goes. If Duke is feeling bullied, then he should be display the behaviour of a bullied piggy when with Bubba, but perk up noticeably as soon as he is away from Bubba - did you notice anything like that when you separated him last time?

How big is their cage?

PS: If they get through this current crisis as a pair, chances are pretty good that they will make it to adulthood together even though there are likely some more scrappy weeks ahead later on.
 

MissPiggyTales

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It's a large guinea pig cage from Pets at Home. The biggest they do.
Should I remove the shelf and let them just have a ground floor to work out their issues?

Dukes more relaxed when separated from Bubba.

I really hope they do. It's so upsetting to watch and hear >.<
 

Wiebke

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It's a large guinea pig cage from Pets at Home. The biggest they do.
Should I remove the shelf and let them just have a ground floor to work out their issues?

Dukes more relaxed when separated from Bubba.

I really hope they do. It's so upsetting to watch and hear >.<
That would be a 120x60 cm cage? That is the minimum RSCPA recommended size for two guinea pigs; it can be a bit for two teenage boars. Please leave the shelf; it gives Duke a place to get away from Bubba. Make sure that you have everything in twos from two hideys with two exits, to two food bowls, two water bottles and access to unlimited hay that cannot be blocked.

Would it be possible to attach their run in a way that they can get in an out all the time to give them more space and an opportunity to get away from each other?
 

MissPiggyTales

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Just to update.
We have had to separate the boys.
They ended up scraping and poor Bubba got the brunt of it.
Think Duke had enough. So at 3:40am I was up first aiding Bubba bleeding paw and cleaning Dukes bleeding lip :(
Both in their own cages for a couple days.
Duke is much more drive and Vocal!
Bubba however hasn't come from his hidie and getting concerned. Hoping it's just because Another change and he will come out and re-trust us again soon. Even his fav old spinach isn't tempting him to peep out.
 

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I am very sorry. Place the cages next to each other if possible and hay, water etc. close to Bubba's hut. He will come out at some point. If necessary, put a beach towel over the cage to give him a feeling of safety.

I hope that you have disinfected the wounds with a mild disinfectant like saline solution or hibiscrub?
 

MissPiggyTales

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Yeah we had some small animal disinfectant powder that we popped on. We've checked him over since and his little foots seems all good. Dukes face has healed nice too.
Silly billies.

Having just posted that he's now out and about, barrelling around in his hay pile.
Phew.

They make me fret ! Lol !
 
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