Is bonding going ok?

PeachyPie

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Hello, I'm not sure if this is supposed to be a new thread or if I should have carried on from my last one- sorry if I've got it wrong! My last thread can be found here;
Room for one more?!

I've bonded the new baby pig in to my herd. On Sunday I did the intros on neutral ground, everything was very peaceful. They were together for several hours with very little to comment on, the baby was a bit of an outsider but would rush to the others if something spooked her. They are together and a couple of the older pigs groomed her.

On Sunday Eve they moved in to their cleaned accommodation and it still all seemed ok, the odd 'face off' as to be expected. This evening I've been sitting watching them all and the baby has been doing a bit of chasing, particularly aimed at my oldest sow. On three occasions she's pulled a clump of fur out if her rump. Does this mean the bond has failed and I need to abort, or could this still be sorting out hierarchy?
 

Wiebke

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Hello, I'm not sure if this is supposed to be a new thread or if I should have carried on from my last one- sorry if I've got it wrong! My last thread can be found here;
Room for one more?!

I've bonded the new baby pig in to my herd. On Sunday I did the intros on neutral ground, everything was very peaceful. They were together for several hours with very little to comment on, the baby was a bit of an outsider but would rush to the others if something spooked her. They are together and a couple of the older pigs groomed her.

On Sunday Eve they moved in to their cleaned accommodation and it still all seemed ok, the odd 'face off' as to be expected. This evening I've been sitting watching them all and the baby has been doing a bit of chasing, particularly aimed at my oldest sow. On three occasions she's pulled a clump of fur out if her rump. Does this mean the bond has failed and I need to abort, or could this still be sorting out hierarchy?
I would keep a close eye on the situation to see whether the dominance phase is going haywire or not; bondings can fail when the hierarchy cannot be established over a disagreement between two parties. It is generally between two similarly ranked sows. A newbie can overreact if they feel insecure.
 

PeachyPie

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Thanks Wiebke, is it better to pull the baby out and allow some cool off time, or to let it play its course (within reason)
The baby is single having had a pretty spectacular fight with her sister (resulting in bite wounds on both of them) so it wouldn't surprise me at all if she is quite worried by pigs generally now. She also originates from a very overcrowded home with in excess of 100 guinea pigs living together.

There has just been another hair pulling session now as I've been watching. This time my older sow ran to the bars of the pen and started frantically bar biting. When I moved towards her to lift her out for a cuddle and a bit of reassurance she tried to scale the bars (something she has never done before) so I think she was really frightened. Is it best to call it a day?
 

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Thanks Wiebke, is it better to pull the baby out and allow some cool off time, or to let it play its course (within reason)
The baby is single having had a pretty spectacular fight with her sister (resulting in bite wounds on both of them) so it wouldn't surprise me at all if she is quite worried by pigs generally now. She also originates from a very overcrowded home with in excess of 100 guinea pigs living together.

There has just been another hair pulling session now as I've been watching. This time my older sow ran to the bars of the pen and started frantically bar biting. When I moved towards her to lift her out for a cuddle and a bit of reassurance she tried to scale the bars (something she has never done before) so I think she was really frightened. Is it best to call it a day?
Yes, it is sadly definitely time to call it a day! :(
It must have been a real hellhole she's come out of if she is that aggressive and over the top. :(

Best check your old lady for bite wounds.
 

PeachyPie

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Thank you. I thought that was probably the case but sometimes you need to hear it from someone else 😢

I've split them and left baby in an adjoining pen to the rest of the herd. She's now testing the bars to see if she can get back in with them 😟 She seemed to have really taken to my boar so they are chatting through the bars now. Sometimes I wish you could explain to them that if they just play nice it will be better for everyone!
 

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Thank you. I thought that was probably the case but sometimes you need to hear it from someone else 😢

I've split them and left baby in an adjoining pen to the rest of the herd. She's now testing the bars to see if she can get back in with them 😟 She seemed to have really taken to my boar so they are chatting through the bars now. Sometimes I wish you could explain to them that if they just play nice it will be better for everyone!
See whether they get on as a pair once they have all calmed down a bit. If she has got a companion she doesn't see as a direct rival/thread like her sister or sows in her ranking, she may actually show you a different side and learn how to be happy. You don't know what traumatic experiences she has been through in order to survive.

It would be likely much easier to find a new husboar for your group than a boar she takes to if this has already happened. I've ended up with unexpected pairings quite a few times - but if a difficult customer takes to another one, then it pays to pay attention for future happiness and peace.
 

PeachyPie

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That's a really good point. Lots of food for thought there. I hadn't really planned on having six guinea pigs, let alone seven! I could leave my girls without a boar but I always feel like he's a 'balancing-force' in amongst my group of barmy women!
Baby isn't actually my guinea pig at the moment, she is a foster pig that I had hoped to keep. She could still go up for homing with the rescue and date to find a new pal, but as you say it pays to listen when a tricky customer tells you've they've found the perfect fit. I'm having a hard enough time contemplating letting her go though, let alone sending her off with my lovely boy 😥
Poor girl has come from a pretty tough set of circumstances, a lot of the others from the same home have also really struggled with bonds. I guess they got used to fighting for survival 😢
There's a lot to sleep on there to work out what's best for everyone in the long run.
Thank you for your help x
 

Rivervixen

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That's a really good point. Lots of food for thought there. I hadn't really planned on having six guinea pigs, let alone seven! I could leave my girls without a boar but I always feel like he's a 'balancing-force' in amongst my group of barmy women!
Baby isn't actually my guinea pig at the moment, she is a foster pig that I had hoped to keep. She could still go up for homing with the rescue and date to find a new pal, but as you say it pays to listen when a tricky customer tells you've they've found the perfect fit. I'm having a hard enough time contemplating letting her go though, let alone sending her off with my lovely boy 😥
Poor girl has come from a pretty tough set of circumstances, a lot of the others from the same home have also really struggled with bonds. I guess they got used to fighting for survival 😢
There's a lot to sleep on there to work out what's best for everyone in the long run.
Thank you for your help x
Poor girl :( I’m glad she gets on with your boar, I hope they continue to interact
 

Wiebke

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That's a really good point. Lots of food for thought there. I hadn't really planned on having six guinea pigs, let alone seven! I could leave my girls without a boar but I always feel like he's a 'balancing-force' in amongst my group of barmy women!
Baby isn't actually my guinea pig at the moment, she is a foster pig that I had hoped to keep. She could still go up for homing with the rescue and date to find a new pal, but as you say it pays to listen when a tricky customer tells you've they've found the perfect fit. I'm having a hard enough time contemplating letting her go though, let alone sending her off with my lovely boy 😥
Poor girl has come from a pretty tough set of circumstances, a lot of the others from the same home have also really struggled with bonds. I guess they got used to fighting for survival 😢
There's a lot to sleep on there to work out what's best for everyone in the long run.
Thank you for your help x
You will have to see how they are when they are meeting on outside the group; that is a different kettle of fish. But it is worth thinking well outside the box when you are dealing with a piggy with massive social issues that could all too easily be condemned to a single life. Especially if you really love the girl... If you are fostering for a rescue, then there will always be boars coming along that will fit in with your larger group.

But in my eyes, it would be well worth trying the two as a couple and see how it goes - if it doesn't work out, your boy can always go back to his ladies, so you aren't go to lose anything in that respect.

Just mull it over!

PS: How do you think I got all my piggies? I have a soft spot for tricky customers although I will have to cut back and try to build up more groups again after several more or less amicable divorces and adopting stuck in rescue piggies with social hang-ups.
 
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