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I'm Having Some Serious Issue With My Potatoes!

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Plume's piggies

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We got Carl in November of 2013 and then exactly a year after, we decided to adopt Pete, who was a year when we brought him home. Everything started fine... Until recently, Carl has been tormenting Pete, humping him constantly and I have even caught them fighting pretty terribly.
I'm unsure of what to do! I feel so bad for little Pete. He's so kind and loving and Carl just seems to be trying hard to get into trouble.

Should we separate them until this teenage period passes?

HELP!!

- Sarah
 

Tbag

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Hi Sarah :wel:

Sorry to hear you're having some trouble with your boys, they can be notoriously difficult sometimes!
How old are the boys exactly? If they are both a year old then they should have past the worst of their hormones and the drastic falling out stages, though there can sometimes be a few extra teething problems after this. If you have got through almost three months before they have started to have some issues it doesn't necessarily mean you cant rectify things. The most important question is has any blood been drawn? If so then it would be time to call things a day for both of them but if not you could just be seeing typical dominance behaviour (which can look quite intimidating and nasty!) - this thread might help you categorise their behaviour:
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/dominance-behaviours-in-guinea-pigs.28949/

Separating and then reintroducing can do more harm than good, especially in a bit of an unstable bond as it just resets the heirachy and then they'll need to work things out all over again when they're reintroduced. A bonding bath and reintroduction to a fully cleaned cage may help as this can help reset their scents to 'neutral' but is not always a given. A good guide to see if Pete is really unhappy in their relationship is whether Pete noticeably perks up when he is alone for laptime or when Carl is out of the cage.

Cage size is another factor that could be contributing here - its best for boys to have as much space as possible (120cm cage size minimum for two boys) and usually having two of everything (cosies/food bowls/hay racks/water bottles etc) can cut down on a lot of bickering.

You might find these threads useful too and @Wiebke will probably be able to advise you further!
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/boars-a-guide-to-successful-companionship.76162/
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/introducing-and-re-introducing-guinea-pigs.38562/
 

Chief Guinea Pig

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I cannot add any more said to above, but I wish you well trying to get them back together again.
 

Wiebke

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Hi and welcome!

I am very sorry for your predicament. You sound like a very caring piggy mummy.

You can try to give Pete alone time for a short period (a few hours or a night that will not break the bond) and see whether he is perking up noticeably when away from Carl; in that case I would recommend to separate. If the two boys still want to be together, they will tell also you.
Make any further decision from whether your boys still have a viable bond. Please be aware that even a temporary separation will require ideally a buddy bath (considering Carl's hormonal overload), an introduction on neutral ground, a thorough cage clean and lots of dominance behaviour when they get together again. Have an oven glove at the ready to separate; do NOT use your bare hands to get in between your boys!

Once you separate for good, it is most likely that your boys will never get back together again and you may have to look at alternative solutions. @Tbag has given you all the information threads with the tips. We can talk you through any further options once you know how things lie between your two boys. I am very sorry for you; it is not all that often that things go wrong at this late stage, but when they do, it is usually pretty serious. It is alwaya a very gutting realisation for any loving piggy mummy. :(

You can also help us a lot by adding your country, state or (for the UK) your county or city to your details, as a lot depends on what your local options are. Please click on your username on the top bar, then go to personal details and scroll down to location. Thanks!
 

The Furry Godmother

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Curious as to the ages?

I seperated my boys over night the other day, as one of them is really poorly and his 6.75 month old (teenage) buddy was going psycho... Very distressing. However, having them seperated over night, putting Frank back in with Bert the next day was fine and he'd calmed down a ton.

That said, all pigs are different and I know what works for mine.

The above advice given by other members should help you someway and I hope you find a good solution and have a positive outcome.
 

Plume's piggies

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Curious as to the ages?

I seperated my boys over night the other day, as one of them is really poorly and his 6.75 month old (teenage) buddy was going psycho... Very distressing. However, having them seperated over night, putting Frank back in with Bert the next day was fine and he'd calmed down a ton.

That said, all pigs are different and I know what works for mine.

The above advice given by other members should help you someway and I hope you find a good solution and have a positive outcome.
RE: Thank you all for so many beautiful responses and useful resources.

Both my boys are a little over a year. I separated them over night so I could try and get some sleep. Brought them out in the morning so they could get some exercise and eat their greens. They were fine however, putting them back into their 16 sqft cage seemed to bring all of the aggression back (Carl being the aggressor).
I may try giving them both a bath seeing as though they have not had one since bringing Petey home, washing their cage thoroughly, and refreshing the guinea fleece so they can start with a fresh "scent slate", so to speak.
I will let you all know if this works.

No blood has been drawn yet, I just think Pete is exhausted. I would be if I had a guy humping at me all hours of the day. =)

Thanks again!
- Sarah
 

Tbag

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Good luck with your refresh!
I know how exhausting it can be - Wyatt (coming up 11 months) and Ludo (approx 4) have been very up and down at times since Ludo joined us in October. Very nearly had to separate but they've finally really started to settle now!
 
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