Looking for a friend for Athena

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PiratePig

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(Note: It's almost 5am and I've yet to go to sleep because of insomnia, so I apologize if this is nonsensical)

So the other day I emailed a sort-of-local rescue (they're an hour and a half away, which is local for Canada). I was inquiring about a neutered boy that I had seen on her website. The owner of the rescue and I got to chatting and she told me that they currently have an older female pig who might be a good match for Athena. There is some hesitancy adopting her to me as the owner would like to at least keep her local so that she can remain under the ownership of the rescue in case she has to go there, as is very possible due to her age.

Another pig she thinks might fit well is another neutered boy who is apparently very calm and may not drive my poor geriatric Athena bonkers.

I was chatting with my OH today and she had an idea for expanding the cage in a way that would work in the space available, even if I only get one more piggy. (Though at first she wasn't to sure about Athena, her being a rodent and all she now loves her almost as much as I do)

This opened the door to the possibility of adopting a younger pair. Have any of you done this? It's been a long time since I have had young pigs, do they require much extra care? Like is there anything that I might have to do with younger piggies that older ones don't need? I know that energy levels would be higher.

Has anyone else had success introducing younger pigs to an older one?

I feel like I have a zillion more questions but I'm not sure how coherently they will turn out so I think I shall lay down now.
 

Wiebke

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Younger guinea pigs are a lot livelier and might be too energetic for Athena.

What I would recommend is to ask the rescue whether you could bring Athena with you for a round of piggy dating at the rescue, so she can decide herself who she gets on with best. Piggies can be very surprising in their choice of friends!

I have done that twice with bereft sows of mine during those years I could only have a couple of piggies; both times with very good success, once with being adopted by another "widow" of the same age (she chose us and not the other way round!), and once with my lonely sow falling head over heels for the charms of my then young neutered boar Llewelyn. Both bereft sows were three years old. Neither time I came back home with the initially intended piggy; but both times with two very happy ones!

However, you might find that some older piggies who have been on their own for quite some time may not take to sharing their quarters with anypig. The only thing you can do is to make the effort to find out what suits Athena best. If she is not too keen on sharing, Athena still will enjoy living next door to another piggy or two for company and stimulation.

Best of luck! It is so heartwarming to see how much you care about your old lady!
 
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PiratePig

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I have asked about taking Athena to the rescue but either the owner doesn't believe in piggy dating or has never heard of it before.

The original sow I was interested in also had never shared a cage so I thought at the very least the two would make good old lady neighbours.

As that is looking like less of a possibility I am starting to wonder if Athena would get on with a couple of "rowdy young'uns" as it were. The rescue has some very beautiful sow pairs all of whom seem to be about a year old.
 

PopcornPigs

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I've just introduced a 12 week sow to my 4 year + sow about 3 days ago, and all seems well at the moment. The only issue I would say is that the little one (Annie) is sooo quick and jumpy at the moment, that she runs into Doris occasionally. But then Doris also puts Annie in her place, e.g. when she wants her own time she'll nudge Annie out the way. But then Doris seems so much happier now she has a friend, and kind of acts like Annie's mother.. I've seen her grooming her, and they cuddle up together and when I'm trying to get Annie out for a cuddle she hides behind Doris and she 'protects' her. It's really quite sweet :)
I'd say if you were gonna get a youngster, only get one otherwise it might be a bit overwhelming... sort of like having twins at the terrible twos age!
 

PopcornPigs

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Not for a long time... well.. it's a long story! lol. She lived on a farm with lots of other piglets at first then she was sold to my mum with a rabbit.. so Doris lived with a rabbit til the rabbit died. She gave birth about a month after I had her too (pregnant when we got her) but sadly it was a boy so he was separated after three weeks. My mum has said no to getting Doris a friend until recently. So she hasn't had a guinea friend for a long time, but she seems so much happier now.
 

PiratePig

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Cool. Athena had a neighbour until she was about 3, but when the neighbour piggie passed away my mom didn't want to get her a new friend.

She used to be so much more active and was known as our little Houdini as if you ever left the cage open she would try to escape.... usually, it seemed with the intent of going to visit her neighbour, or perhaps just take over her cage.

For a long time I think she was pretty depressed, she lived in a 'standard' guinea pig cage, didn't get much cuddling as most of my family who used to play with her have developed allergies to her.

Since she moved in with me she is much more active as she now has a nice big c&c cage, gets lots of cuddles and pets and for the time being she even gets to use my bed as a run, though soon I'm hoping she will have an actual run.

The only thing I think that she is missing now is a piggie friend. I know that she loves me and likes to cuddle but I really feel like she would benefit even if she and her friend could only interact and chat through the bars.

My mother of course thinks that this is a terrible idea, but she has also convinced herself that Athena was happy in her old conditions. Luckily I no longer live with my parents so they may be able to have an opinion but in the long run it doesn't matter what they think (sorry about the rant)
 

PopcornPigs

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Do what you think is best :) it's made a huge difference to my Doris.
 
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