Introducing A New Sow

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deck1701

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I have five Guinea pigs three boars and two sows, I was thinking of getting a new sow to live with my other two girls they live in a 150 cm x 74 cm cage so there would be plenty of space to house three however one of the sows Beauty is quite dominant she is three years old and lives with her daughter Bambi who is two and a half. In the past she has ripped a small part of her ear off but she has never attacked her and drawn blood they just seem to squabble a lot and she is always evicting her out of her little house and hay nests that Bambi makes her self, The funny thing is Bambi is much bigger than her mam but she is very docile apart from when it comes to veggies when she will stand up for her self and stand her ground. Would it be safe to introduce a baby sow any advice would be much appreciated.
 

JenniferG

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I find that the dominant sow accepts the baby without any trouble, the problem can come from the non-dominant sow who is concerned about being shifted to 3rd place but they've always sorted it out in then end. The only times I've had a complete non-acceptance is with dominant neutered boars and dominant sows.
 

deck1701

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Thanks for the advice Jennifer and the very quick response. :)
 

Wiebke

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I have five Guinea pigs three boars and two sows, I was thinking of getting a new sow to live with my other two girls they live in a 150 cm x 74 cm cage so there would be plenty of space to house three however one of the sows Beauty is quite dominant she is three years old and lives with her daughter Bambi who is two and a half. In the past she has ripped a small part of her ear off but she has never attacked her and drawn blood they just seem to squabble a lot and she is always evicting her out of her little house and hay nests that Bambi makes her self, The funny thing is Bambi is much bigger than her mam but she is very docile apart from when it comes to veggies when she will stand up for her self and stand her ground. Would it be safe to introduce a baby sow any advice would be much appreciated.
If you have a very dominant sow and the space for quartet, please consider adopting a pair of younger, ideally sub-adult sows from a good rescue instead of just one!

This changes the dynamics to those of a mini-group, which is generally better in preventing an outsider situation arising in a trio. As the leader of a whole group, your dominant mum is also more distracted. Please make sure that you only have plenty of hideys with two exits (ideally one more than there are sows) and two hay corners, so the undersows can get out of the way easily, but still get theirs.

Guinea Pig Rescue Centre Locator
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Have you considered having mum checked for ovarian cysts?
 

deck1701

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Thank you for the advice Wiebke, I'm not sure if a 150 cm x 74 cm cage would be big enough to house four pigs, it does have a second level which is a third of the size of the ground level. Why do you think that the mum could have ovarian cysts I did have her to the vet two months ago but that was for a different matter. I have posted a pic of there cage.

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Wiebke

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Thank you for the advice Wiebke, I'm not sure if a 150 cm x 74 cm cage would be big enough to house four pigs, it does have a second level which is a third of the size of the ground level. Why do you think that the mum could have ovarian cysts I did have her to the vet two months ago but that was for a different matter. I have posted a pic of there cage.

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No, that cage would be too small for four piggies; it is at the smaller end of a cage for three sows where one is very dominant, so the other two are somewhat limited in getting out of her way if she's not in the mood. If your daughter is OK with her pushy mum, then I would rather leave be but provide another hidey (with two exits) for your existing girls, so they can get away from each other more.

Aggressive or very dominant behaviour can be connected to small growing ovarian cysts that cause a sow to be in season all the time. Ovarian cysts are becoming more frequent the older a sow gets. The vast majority don't cause any problems and won't need treatment.

It is very difficult for me to judge just how pushy your mum really is without seeing her and being able to judge whether her behaviour is within acceptable limits or not, so I need to mention the medical angle if only for you (or a vet) to exclude it.
 

deck1701

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Hi she is only in season about once a month and when she is on heat she tends to me less aggressive but does try to mount her daughter and makes the mating call that my male Guinea pigs make. They do seem to get on a lot better now, in fact Beauty is a lot more affectionate to Bambi now she licks her ears a lot but some times gets a bit carried away and starts to nibble her ears. I think the problem might be is Beauty is a lot smaller than her daughter and has to keep reestablishing her dominance over her.
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