Help with a female bully?

emarsland

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I recently got my first set of females and I have noticed that one female will sleep in the huts while the other one will sleep behind the same hut. Has anyone else had this experience? Or is this behavior cause for concern?


The 2 live in a 3 by 4 c&c cage and are just a few months old.
 

Swissgreys

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It sounds fairly normal to be honest.
It is quite rare for guinea pigs to cuddle up and share hideys.
Just make sure you have at least 2 (and even better 3) huts so both piggies always have a choice.
The cage is a good size for 2 females so you should have plenty of room for hides, tunnels, etc.
 

Wiebke

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I recently got my first set of females and I have noticed that one female will sleep in the huts while the other one will sleep behind the same hut. Has anyone else had this experience? Or is this behavior cause for concern?


The 2 live in a 3 by 4 c&c cage and are just a few months old.
Hi and welcome

Please be aware that your girls are in the process of establishing a group. This takes around 2 weeks. At the moment your new leader is not feeling secure enough in her new position to allow closeness but your other piggy is desperate for company, so this explains the current sleeping arrangement. Be patient; things will settle down and your girls can then work on becoming best of friends once the hierarchy has been fully established.

Unfortunately at the age that pet shop piggies are being sold, they are very much depending on the guidance of older piggies to teach them to master their environment and the full complexity of social interaction. When they are separated from their group and then from their age mates at the shop and thrown straight into very foreign and terrifying world of a pet home without anypig to help them, the stronger of the the piggies will usually eventually take on the job of establishing the hierarchical group that is at the very core of guinea pig society. But because they are doing it by default, their dominance tends to be a little on the strong side due to their own insecurity.

Please take the time to read these guides links below for more information so you can understand better what you are experiencing.
Arrival in a home from the perspective of pet shop guinea pigs
Sows: Behaviour and female health problems (including ovarian cysts) (contains a chapter on typical dominance behaviours)
New guinea pigs: Sexing, vet checks&customer rights, URI, ringworm and parasites (important information on the most common pitfalls that can come with bought piggies)

Here is the link to our full New Owners practical information collection, in which we specifically address all the areas that we get the most questions and concerns about; how to learn to settle in and make friends with your piggies (including a little course on 'piggy whispering'), understand guinea pig behaviour, learn to spot what is normal and what not, detailed care guides, life-long health monitoring and vital emergency care information etc... You may want to bookmark the link and use it as a very helpful resource. Unlike with a book, the guides format allows us to update our information at need. All of the links above are part of our collection. The full information on an even wider range of information can be accessed via the shortcut on the top bar.
Getting Started - New Owners' Most Helpful Guides

I hope that this helps you?
 

Free Ranger

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All I can offer is that my friend had two females as youngsters and a similar thing happened right until one of them passed at about 4 1/2. They seemed happy enough apart from that - no fighting etc - but she'd hoped for two that snuggled. She had one of those cages like a big, plastic tray with deep sides and metal bars over the top. Her's had a single, large 'cave' area plenty big enough for 3 or 4 pigs to get into but she said the dominant pig sprawled in the doorway and she ended up having to get a tunnel for the other to sleep in (although only her front end was ever in there and her back legs were always draped outside!)

Eventually I inherited that dominant pig so we ended up with a trio and we tried something different. Our cage was similar in style but had 2 enclosed 'cave' sections - one at each end - and we modified one of them. We just kept the 'roof' section and draped a piece of thick towel over the side - just touching the floor - which was pegged at the top to the metal bars. It looks like a side wall to them, but with narrow openings at each end so they could see to get in, and felt safe and enclosed, but if trouble broke out they just pushed free wherever they were like kids escaping from a tent. Often all 3 pigs were underneath peeping out. One cleverly figured how to push her nose out the bottom and drag the food bowl towards the 'tent' so she could eat unobserved. The true cave (an area the same size) was still in use but typically only by one pig at a time as it was very defensible with its single doorway. The 3 piggies actually got along well and our boar was enchanted with his new wife - even though she was a proper grandma by the time she arrived here!

So maybe your girl is defending her hut... just because she can? Perhaps some sort of fleece tunnel with an entrance and exit will encourage snuggling?

PS: In case you were thinking that set-up sounds like quite a tight fit for 3 hefty pigs we were actually using both cages on the floor and had cut doorways in the sides so they could come and go as they pleased!
 
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