Male Guinea Pig Bum Sniffing/licking

Madi

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I recently got 3 male guinea pigs (Ed, Al, and Mustang) they’re about 5 weeks old. They’re brothers as far as I’m aware, and therefore have been together since birth. I’ve only had them about a week or 2 and recently Mustang has been obsessively sniffing/licking/possibly eating poo from Ed’s bum. At first it was okay, I had looked it up and it seemed to be normal behaviour, especially among males. But Ed has started to get annoyed with it and has been squeeking and nipping (not hard, more as a warning) at Mustang. Now he is a bit of a drama queen and is the most vocal out of the three, but I would get annoyed too if someone wouldn’t leave my bum alone lol. Does anyone have any advice on how to remedy this? I really don’t want to have to separate them due to there being three. He doesn’t have as much interest in Al’s bum but he does do it to him on occasion. Now, I will say that their cage is likely not big enough for the three of them, we weren’t expecting to get three (couldn’t leave just one alone). So we didn’t have enough C&C cage. But we are remedying that this weekend. If anyone has any advice it would be greatly appreciated.
 

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I recently got 3 male guinea pigs (Ed, Al, and Mustang) they’re about 5 weeks old. They’re brothers as far as I’m aware, and therefore have been together since birth. I’ve only had them about a week or 2 and recently Mustang has been obsessively sniffing/licking/possibly eating poo from Ed’s bum. At first it was okay, I had looked it up and it seemed to be normal behaviour, especially among males. But Ed has started to get annoyed with it and has been squeeking and nipping (not hard, more as a warning) at Mustang. Now he is a bit of a drama queen and is the most vocal out of the three, but I would get annoyed too if someone wouldn’t leave my bum alone lol. Does anyone have any advice on how to remedy this? I really don’t want to have to separate them due to there being three. He doesn’t have as much interest in Al’s bum but he does do it to him on occasion. Now, I will say that their cage is likely not big enough for the three of them, we weren’t expecting to get three (couldn’t leave just one alone). So we didn’t have enough C&C cage. But we are remedying that this weekend. If anyone has any advice it would be greatly appreciated.

Hi and welcome!

Just leave the sniffing be as long as there is only vocal protest, but please double check the gender of all three boys.
Bum sniffing (i.e. catching up on pheromones or on redigested poos to stock up the own guts after an illness) is something that piggies do when they meet, but it is also something that boars do regularly with sows to check whether they are about to come into season again. Best to make sure that this is not the case with yours! Mis-sexing is unfortunately not all that rare. We emphatically recommend to double check the gender of any new arrivals.
Sexing Guide

I am very sorry to say, but it is unfortunately a persistent breeder myth that brothers won't fall out; in our long term forum experience, it doesn't make a difference. Two dominant brothers are exactly as likely to clash as two undrelated dominant boars. The key to any happy bond is character compatibility. :(

When you extend the C&C for your trio:
- With two or more young boars hitting the teenage months all at the same time, having a plan B at the ready in case you need to split up your boys in an emergency without much fuss is very handy and will take quite a lot of stress out of the situation for you. Plan your new set-up to be flexible and to be convertable with just a couple of spare grids. Unfortunately baby trios are much more likely to run into trouble than not.
Nobody is happy when theirs do, but don't count on you being one of the few lucky ones just because it is not something you want to contemplate!
- You cannot just extend sideways, but also create an extra floor/hay loft as another way for them to get away from each other. Have a look at our C&C members gallery for inspiration (best start from the end): Member Gallery: C&C cages/homemade cages
- Moving the boys into a bigger cage: wipe the new bits with some soiled bedding and spread used bedding and uncleaned hideys across the whole cage, so it smells like their territory and minimises the risk of a full-blown hierarchy
- Make sure that each boy has his own hidey with two exits, his bowl for a small portion of veg and pellets that can be removed in between meals to minimise food hogging and bullying, his own water bottle by his hidey and that you have ideally hay in three different places, so access to what makes 80% of the daily food intake cannot be blocked. Give each boy his own part in the cage. In a large cage, children's stools make ideal boar hideys for youngsters as they can escape on all sides and play around them, but still have cover for the night.

Here are our boar guides:
Boars: A guide to successful companionship.
Bonding: Illustrated Dominance Behaviours And Dynamics
Boars: Teenage, Bullying, Fighting, Fall-outs And What Next?

Getting Started - New Owners' Most Helpful Guides
 

Madi

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Hi and welcome!

Just leave the sniffing be as long as there is only vocal protest, but please double check the gender of all three boys.
Bum sniffing (i.e. catching up on pheromones or on redigested poos to stock up the own guts after an illness) is something that piggies do when they meet, but it is also something that boars do regularly with sows to check whether they are about to come into season again. Best to make sure that this is not the case with yours! Mis-sexing is unfortunately not all that rare.
Sexing Guide

I am very sorry to say, but it is unfortunately a persistent breeder myth that brothers won't fall out; in our long term forum experience, it doesn't make a difference. Two dominant brothers are exactly as likely to clash as two undrelated dominant boars. The key to any happy bond is character compatibility. :(

When you extend the C&C for your trio:
- With two or more young boars hitting the teenage months all at the same time, having a plan B at the ready in case you need to split up your boys in an emergency without much fuss is very handy and will take quite a lot of stress out of the situation for you. Plan your new set-up to be flexible and to be convertable with just a couple of spare grids. Unfortunately baby trios are much more likely to run into trouble than not.
Nobody is happy when theirs do, but don't count on you being one of the few lucky ones just because it is not something you want to contemplate!
- You cannot just extend sideways, but also create an extra floor/hay loft as another way for them to get away from each other. Have a look at our C&C members gallery for inspiration (best start from the end): Member Gallery: C&C cages/homemade cages
- Moving the boys into a bigger cage: wipe the new bits with some soiled bedding and spread used bedding and uncleaned hideys across the whole cage, so it smells like their territory and minimises the risk of a full-blown hierarchy
- Make sure that each boy has his own hidey with two exits, his bowl for a small portion of veg and pellets that can be removed in between meals to minimise food hogging and bullying, his own water bottle by his hidey and that you have ideally hay in three different places, so access to what makes 80% of the daily food intake cannot be blocked. Give each boy his own part in the cage. In a large cage, children's stools make ideal boar hideys for youngsters as they can escape on all sides and play around them, but still have cover for the night.

Here are our boar guides:
Boars: A guide to successful companionship.
Bonding: Illustrated Dominance Behaviours And Dynamics
Boars: Teenage, Bullying, Fighting, Fall-outs And What Next?

Getting Started - New Owners' Most Helpful Guides
Thank you very much! I will try that. This is all very new to us and much more stressful than we had hoped (everything usually is haha!) this forum has really helped me learn a lot.
 

Madi

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Thank you very much! I will try that. This is all very new to us and much more stressful than we had hoped (everything usually is haha!) this forum has really helped me learn a lot.
I tried looking at my guinea pigs gender but he gets very afraid when I try to pick him up so it’s a very stressful experience for him and he squeals a lot. Any tips on that?
 
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