Help with bonding sow!

Taegijoon

New Born Pup
Joined
Dec 17, 2019
Messages
78
Reaction score
52
Points
190
Location
New York City
Hi guys,

Me and my BF are new piggie slaves haha. Everyday I try to inform myself about caring of pigs, thus resulted in me joining this forum! Though it seems we should've educated ourselves prior. We have 4 sows, We recently got our fourth on early december. I read all about bonding and i'm not sure if its just clashing personalities or us not doing it right. So for context purposes, i'll lay out how we acquired our girls: Kimchi, Mochi, Chai and Latte. We got all girls from our local petco (i know, i'm sorry rescues were far out and very few). We got Kimchi first, she was kept with other pigs in a habitat. We got home and started looking at more guinea pig care, we saw that pigs should not be kept alone. Next day, we got her "cagemate" Mochi. We didn't do a proper introduction, (we didn't know about the introduction process) we just put them in their home together but once they were reunited they went up and cuddle up together, i'm assuming since they were kept together this pair didn't fail. A couple months later we got Chai, we had a midwest cage at this point. Chai is a big girl, Kimchi seem to be the leader as Mochi seem rather submissive and it seemed like with Chai entering Kimchi remained in charge. Welp, it seems that a coup d'etat may have been's Chai secret plan. Chai began getting more dominate, a lot of rumblestrutting. Even Mochi was strutting too! Chai began strutting and lunging at the girls especially if they were near her in a space she was occupying. I assume it was because they needed more space. We upgraded our midwest and got a 2x5 CC cage. They seemed ok for a bit then the strutting came back. Now with Latte, Latte immediately challenged Chai during the introduction. We let the girls go at it for a couple of hours and when things came down we put them in the cage. Now, sadly we have decided to split the girls. Kimchi and Mochi together and Chai and Latte. The reason being, Chai and Latte have been really aggressive to the other two, Chai being the most aggressive towards anyone. She struts and lunges. I've seen her laying down relaxing and then suddenly get up and lunge at a pig who was walking by! I've seen Chai even chase to the point where the other pig began squealing. It's rather off putting. We've separated them after I found Kimchi with a scab of some sort on her nose and we didn't know how it happened but thought it was best to separate for a bit then re-introduce but this time try bathing them. They seemed happy to be together again. Unfortunately, Kimchi got sick, Chai was being heavily aggressive and Kimchi would squeal every-time a pig approached her. So for now, as we wait for Kimchi to recover, they are separated again. Any suggestions on whats happening? I really don’t want to permanently separate them! Chai is actually my favorite pig! She's so gentle and sweet with humans, but not to her sister piggies lol. I assume it’s because when we went to get her, the petco changed how they kept the pigs, they now keep one pig in a habitat and only display one pig per gender. Chai and Latte were picked up by us living alone while Kimchi and Mochi were kept in the same habitat. Any advice?

(my apologies for the long read)
 

Piggies&buns

Forum Donator 2020/21
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Messages
12,852
Reaction score
15,666
Points
2,125
Location
Cambridgeshire
Rumblestrutting is a dominance and it’s perfectly normal behaviour, and is not a problem in itself , it’s just something they do and not a reason to separate. The squealing, again, isn’t always a sign of a problem - squealing is a submissive sign which is not a problem.
You need one to be dominant and then the other three to be placed as numbers 2, 3 and 4 in the hierarchy. If you have two who are going for top spot, and one won’t back down, then that is where issues occur.
If there is genuine aggression and they simply do not get on, then there would be no point in attempting a reintroduction. Buddy bathing before introduction is not recommended.
It won’t be because of how petco keep them - character compatibility is the key to a successful bond and if piggies don’t like each other there is nothing you can do about that. Buying piggies from a pet store, putting them together and expecting them to get on is very risky - there is every chance that they simply won’t like each other.

What I would say though, is that a 2x5 c&c is probably a little bit too small for four piggies. A 2x6 is a better size for four.
 

Taegijoon

New Born Pup
Joined
Dec 17, 2019
Messages
78
Reaction score
52
Points
190
Location
New York City
Rumblestrutting is a dominance and it’s perfectly normal behaviour, and is not a problem in itself , it’s just something they do and not a reason to separate. The squealing, again, isn’t always a sign of a problem - squealing is a submissive sign which is not a problem.
You need one to be dominant and then the other three to be placed as numbers 2, 3 and 4 in the hierarchy. If you have two who are going for top spot, and one won’t back down, then that is where issues occur.
If there is genuine aggression and they simply do not get on, then there would be no point in attempting a reintroduction. Buddy bathing before introduction is not recommended.
It won’t be because of how petco keep them - character compatibility is the key to a successful bond and if piggies don’t like each other there is nothing you can do about that. Buying piggies from a pet store, putting them together and expecting them to get on is very risky - there is every chance that they simply won’t like each other.

What I would say though, is that a 2x5 c&c is probably a little bit too small for four piggies. A 2x6 is a better size for four.
Gotcha, thanks for the reply! Should we take down the partition? We just thought to keep it up until Kimchi recovers, she was squealing whenever a pig got near her and we felt bad. She's doing well now, we had some floor time yesterday and everyone was ok, Kimchi stayed hidden though so i'm not too sure. I guess it's just concerning because Kimchi was spunky and now all she does is hide, but i'm thinking it because she's still recovering?
 
Top