Introducing 8wk Sow To Two 4yr Old Bonded Sows

Effie&Winnie

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Aug 9, 2013
Messages
27
Reaction score
5
Points
130
Location
I live in Wales, UK
Hi, looking for some friendly advice here. I have had my two sows for 4 years now and they have lived happily together since day one. This week, totally by surprise I found myself becoming 'piggy mother' to an 8 week old sow that needed a little tlc due to having her ears nibbled off by her mother at birth. She is a happy healthy little piggy and quite confident considering her age. Ideally, I would like to have the three live together and I have been doing my research on bonding as it is not something I have done before. I am very apprehensive as I don't want the baby to get hurt and as my other two have such a close bond is it likely that they won't accept her? Any advice is appreciated.
 

Jesse's pigs

Adult Guinea Pig
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Messages
1,847
Reaction score
1,755
Points
755
Location
Cambridgeshire
Sows (unlike boars) are much more accepting to a newcomer and I think you should be fine- that being said there is the odd occasion where it doesn't work out. You need to find a neutral space where neither piggy has been before- like the garden or hallway etc. I would supply a big pile of hay and some veges aswell- some people also add a house and if you decide to make sure its got two doors.

Now you're likely to see some dominance behaviour and don't be tempted to separate unless there is blood,a piggy is in danger or you feel they are bullying one another- if they look for each other once apart you know they are bonded. (I would read the behaviour and bonding thread if you haven't already :) ) so expect to see rumbling,mounting,chasing and nipping. And probably wheeking! It can look quite nasty while they're bonding but try not to intervene if it's not neccessary. They'll establish their hierarchy - I wold leave them out for a number ofor hours before placing back into cage just to be sure- and make sure the cage is completely clean and scent free when you do.
Some bondings go really quickly! Good luck
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
67,335
Reaction score
34,414
Points
3,466
Location
Coventry UK
Hi, looking for some friendly advice here. I have had my two sows for 4 years now and they have lived happily together since day one. This week, totally by surprise I found myself becoming 'piggy mother' to an 8 week old sow that needed a little tlc due to having her ears nibbled off by her mother at birth. She is a happy healthy little piggy and quite confident considering her age. Ideally, I would like to have the three live together and I have been doing my research on bonding as it is not something I have done before. I am very apprehensive as I don't want the baby to get hurt and as my other two have such a close bond is it likely that they won't accept her? Any advice is appreciated.
Hi! You may find the advice and pictures in this guide here helpful when staging introductions and having to sit out the inevitable dominance phase. This usually short but quite rough for young piggies as they lose the protected status as soon as they are weaned and are emphatically pushed to the bottom of the hierarchy. You will usually see the worst of it not from the top sow, but from your undersow who is making very sure that her own status is not in question.

Please be aware that nipping is a very carefully judged gesture of power; it is not intended to be hurtful. you also have to take into account that babies are very vocal and dramatic. Submission screaming and protest screaming are NOT a sign of pain. In fact, they are a very effective deterrent.

Illustrated Bonding / Dominance Behaviours And Dynamics
 

Effie&Winnie

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Aug 9, 2013
Messages
27
Reaction score
5
Points
130
Location
I live in Wales, UK
Sows (unlike boars) are much more accepting to a newcomer and I think you should be fine- that being said there is the odd occasion where it doesn't work out. You need to find a neutral space where neither piggy has been before- like the garden or hallway etc. I would supply a big pile of hay and some veges aswell- some people also add a house and if you decide to make sure its got two doors.

Now you're likely to see some dominance behaviour and don't be tempted to separate unless there is blood,a piggy is in danger or you feel they are bullying one another- if they look for each other once apart you know they are bonded. (I would read the behaviour and bonding thread if you haven't already :) ) so expect to see rumbling,mounting,chasing and nipping. And probably wheeking! It can look quite nasty while they're bonding but try not to intervene if it's not neccessary. They'll establish their hierarchy - I wold leave them out for a number ofor hours before placing back into cage just to be sure- and make sure the cage is completely clean and scent free when you do.
Some bondings go really quickly! Good luck
Thanks for the advice. I finally took the plunge today and put them all in the run together. It went really well! To be honest they seemed to accept her straight away and there wasn't much dominance behaviour shown. They are all now in their thoroughly cleaned hutch together. I have been constantly checking on them but they seem to be just getting on with it.
 

Jesse's pigs

Adult Guinea Pig
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Messages
1,847
Reaction score
1,755
Points
755
Location
Cambridgeshire
Thanks for the advice. I finally took the plunge today and put them all in the run together. It went really well! To be honest they seemed to accept her straight away and there wasn't much dominance behaviour shown. They are all now in their thoroughly cleaned hutch together. I have been constantly checking on them but they seem to be just getting on with it.
Oh that's great to hear! :)
 
Top