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Keeping A Mom And Baby Together?

Should I.....

  • Wait It Out

    Votes: 1 100.0%
  • Return The Pair

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Return The Mom

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Return The Baby

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    1
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2piggies

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I adopted a mom and a baby from the Animal Humane Society. The mum is 1 year old, and the baby is around 4 weeks. The mother has been rumble strutting, which is normal... but today, she has been seemingly ATTACKING her baby! The baby gives out these horrible shrills, so I usually take her out to check if any blood was drawn. But after a little, she starts calling for her mum. The mom answers, but then starts to rumble strut again. When I put the baby back in, the mom doesn't let her into the house. There are 2 houses, but the baby is quite persistent to be with her mom! What do I do? Do I need to relocate one of the guinea pigs? I can't get another cage, and I would feel bad to take away the guinea pigs mom. Especially when she seems to love her mom, but the mom doesn't return the affection! Please help!
 

Wiebke

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I adopted a mom and a baby from the Animal Humane Society. The mum is 1 year old, and the baby is around 4 weeks. The mother has been rumble strutting, which is normal... but today, she has been seemingly ATTACKING her baby! The baby gives out these horrible shrills, so I usually take her out to check if any blood was drawn. But after a little, she starts calling for her mum. The mom answers, but then starts to rumble strut again. When I put the baby back in, the mom doesn't let her into the house. There are 2 houses, but the baby is quite persistent to be with her mom! What do I do? Do I need to relocate one of the guinea pigs? I can't get another cage, and I would feel bad to take away the guinea pigs mom. Especially when she seems to love her mom, but the mom doesn't return the affection! Please help!
Hi! Just how long have they been with you?

Mum is likely very stressed and right in the middle of the hormonal change that takes place at the end of the lactating period, so her reaction is a bit more over the top. Guinea pigs in new surroundings need to establish/re-establish their hierarchy, hence the classic dominance behaviours like rumblestrutting and (painless) nipping, which is answered by submission screaming from the baby - all of them in the mild range of dominance. Your baby is NOT in pain and is NOT being attacked. it is just its usual very vocal and dramatic baby self. Please DO NOT separate. Things are bound to settle down again.

Additionally to the change in surroundings, mum is just about coming to the end of the nursing period when she and her babies lose their protected status. Any babies are emphatically shoved to the bottom of the hierarchy. That looks rather brutal to the uninitiated, but it is an integral part of guinea pig society. If unchecked, mum would be already nearly halfway through her next pregnancy and would need all her bodily reserves to get ready for the demands of her next litter.
Personally, I would have liked to see the shelter wait another 2 weeks until baby was safely weaned and its new status had been sorted; baby would also have more weight and an immune system that was more developed to deal with the stresses of a move to a new home.

You may find the information in these links here helpful:
Sow Behaviour
Dominance Behaviours In Guinea Pigs
Illustrated Bonding Behaviours And Dynamics

We have got an information kit for new owners, which you may find helpful, as it addresses the most often asked questions by new owners plus some important need-to-know issues. You can find much more information at the top of our various Care sections.
" Starter Kit" Of Information Threads For New Owners

You can additionally help us by adding your state to your details, so we know to apply US conditions and available brands when answering any questions of yours to help you most effiently. We have a number of US members, as well as members from all over the world. Please click on your username at the top, then go to personal details and scroll down to location. Our "default" when answering questions is based on the UK. Thank you!
 
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