• Potteries GPR Christmas Fair Saturday 16th November 2019 Information Click Here Come join us at the Forum Table at this Event.

Mom guinea pig fights with her two three month old daughters

Tinychels

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Sep 12, 2018
Messages
33
Reaction score
18
Points
155
Hello! A while back, I've made a thread on my mom guinea pig Akira, who bit her son when he was one week old. I was told that it was normal, that it was just her way of "spanking" him and how she's the superior of the group. It's been a few months now since then, and I have Akira with her two daughters, Ruby and Athena, who are just about three months old. Lately, Ruby and Athena have been teeth chattering a lot and seem to get into a position to fight, however nothing has happened. I'm not sure if thats normal for girls to fight, especially when they're sisters :(. To add on, Akira just recently bit Ruby! To the point where Akira was chasing Ruby around. I think it's because Ruby is in the bigger hut most of time and Akira wants to get in but Ruby is in the way. Anyhow, is this normal behavior for sister guinea pigs to be fighting :(? Along with their mother? And is this where I make the heart-wrenching decision on separating the three :(?
 

Piggies&buns

Adult Guinea Pig
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Messages
2,158
Reaction score
2,580
Points
1,025
Location
Cambridgeshire
Just because they are related does not mean that they will be guaranteed to like each other and get on. If things escalate to fighting, then yes, they will need to be separated.
Is the cage big enough and do you have multiples of all equipment? Hideys need to have two exits ie use tunnels not ‘pigloos’. They are getting to that age where they will be asserting dominance. Teeth chattering can be a mild dominance behaviour, or if can be a more serious warning. Did the bite draw blood?
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
67,843
Reaction score
35,347
Points
3,466
Location
Coventry UK
Hello! A while back, I've made a thread on my mom guinea pig Akira, who bit her son when he was one week old. I was told that it was normal, that it was just her way of "spanking" him and how she's the superior of the group. It's been a few months now since then, and I have Akira with her two daughters, Ruby and Athena, who are just about three months old. Lately, Ruby and Athena have been teeth chattering a lot and seem to get into a position to fight, however nothing has happened. I'm not sure if thats normal for girls to fight, especially when they're sisters :(. To add on, Akira just recently bit Ruby! To the point where Akira was chasing Ruby around. I think it's because Ruby is in the bigger hut most of time and Akira wants to get in but Ruby is in the way. Anyhow, is this normal behavior for sister guinea pigs to be fighting :(? Along with their mother? And is this where I make the heart-wrenching decision on separating the three :(?
Hi!

It is quite normal for sisters to fight from my own experience with my various sisters and triplets; and it is often right at the limit when it comes to teeth chattering stand-offs, chasing and nipping (but never bloody biting).

So far I've had to split only one pair as adults where ovarian cysts have come into play and have impacted on the stability of the group as a whole. Sibling rivalry is often much stronger and more deeply ingrained as it starts with the fight for the two milk tilts. It is generally worst during the teenage months which are just about getting going now.

I would strongly recommend to use log tunnels as housing which you place side by side so no piggy can control more than one tunnel at a time, but no girl can be cornered. It has helped to calm the situation down between sisters Miaren and Meleri when they were at their very worst at 6 months old. They are thankfully hormonally more settled now having celebrated their first birthday at the beginning of this month although they still have the occasional short-lived spat when one of them is coming into season.
I give my feuding sisters extra run time to allow them to get away from each other when they are in season. That has so far worked for me.
IMG_8153.JPG

Many sows also experience noticeable hormone swings but as only very few lead to full fights and fall-outs, it is much less known.
Sow fights often flare up in connection with the hormone rush of a strong season.
Sow Behaviour
When Sows Experience A Strong Season (videos)

When you say biting - do you mean a full on bloody bite or just carefully judged nipping or a mouthful of fur - again carefully judged? They have all three a very different meaning.
" Biting" And What You Can Do
 

Tinychels

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Sep 12, 2018
Messages
33
Reaction score
18
Points
155
Just because they are related does not mean that they will be guaranteed to like each other and get on. If things escalate to fighting, then yes, they will need to be separated.
Is the cage big enough and do you have multiples of all equipment? Hideys need to have two exits ie use tunnels not ‘pigloos’. They are getting to that age where they will be asserting dominance. Teeth chattering can be a mild dominance behaviour, or if can be a more serious warning. Did the bite draw blood?
. I have a 2x5 ft C&C Cage and I have a couple of tunnels and one huge hut. Initially, the hut was their home when the mom was still nursing them. But I plan on taking out the hut and just placing tunnels. I have one hay rack, two bowls, and two bottles. However for some reason, they always seem to be drinking water out of one bottle more than the other. Not sure why. I've separated the bowls to make sure there's no bullying involved. And so far, no blood has been drawn
 

Tinychels

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Sep 12, 2018
Messages
33
Reaction score
18
Points
155
Hi!

It is quite normal for sisters to fight from my own experience with my various sisters and triplets; and it is often right at the limit when it comes to teeth chattering stand-offs, chasing and nipping (but never bloody biting).

So far I've had to split only one pair as adults where ovarian cysts have come into play and have impacted on the stability of the group as a whole. Sibling rivalry is often much stronger and more deeply ingrained as it starts with the fight for the two milk tilts. It is generally worst during the teenage months which are just about getting going now.

I would strongly recommend to use log tunnels as housing which you place side by side so no piggy can control more than one tunnel at a time, but no girl can be cornered. It has helped to calm the situation down between sisters Miaren and Meleri when they were at their very worst at 6 months old. They are thankfully hormonally more settled now having celebrated their first birthday at the beginning of this month although they still have the occasional short-lived spat when one of them is coming into season.
I give my feuding sisters extra run time to allow them to get away from each other when they are in season. That has so far worked for me.
View attachment 100975

Many sows also experience noticeable hormone swings but as only very few lead to full fights and fall-outs, it is much less known.
Sow fights often flare up in connection with the hormone rush of a strong season.
Sow Behaviour
When Sows Experience A Strong Season (videos)

When you say biting - do you mean a full on bloody bite or just carefully judged nipping or a mouthful of fur - again carefully judged? They have all three a very different meaning.
" Biting" And What You Can Do
Hello! Thank you very much for this explanation! I will look into the articles you attached. When you say "in season", you mean like they go through that period when they're able to mate? Or is it like how girls get mood swings when they go through their menstrual cycle? (I can see the resemblance with the latter haha). And I will definitely make sure to get log tunnels, I have the ones which are editable (the orange looking ones), do those work as well? The girls don't fight over the tunnels, just the hut. When it comes to the biting, there's never been blood, bite marks, or any missing fur. It's just biting - mostly from the mother - and the piggies yelping.
So, I should get them log tunnels, give them time to run around in an open area so they would get away from each other, and kind of let them do their own thing?
 

Betsy

Forum Donator 2019/20
Joined
Mar 26, 2017
Messages
24,141
Reaction score
28,529
Points
2,425
Location
Broadstone, Dorset
What you are describing sounds like Mum is putting the youngsters in their place. The yelping you are hearing is submission squeaking. Babies tend to be quite dramatic. The biting is a very carefully judged nip.

Your description of being in season is exactly correct. Some piggies it doesn't effect and others it does.
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
67,843
Reaction score
35,347
Points
3,466
Location
Coventry UK
Hello! Thank you very much for this explanation! I will look into the articles you attached. When you say "in season", you mean like they go through that period when they're able to mate? Or is it like how girls get mood swings when they go through their menstrual cycle? (I can see the resemblance with the latter haha). And I will definitely make sure to get log tunnels, I have the ones which are editable (the orange looking ones), do those work as well? The girls don't fight over the tunnels, just the hut. When it comes to the biting, there's never been blood, bite marks, or any missing fur. It's just biting - mostly from the mother - and the piggies yelping.
So, I should get them log tunnels, give them time to run around in an open area so they would get away from each other, and kind of let them do their own thing?
Yes, a season is when a sow is coming into heat.
Please also be aware that mom is going to put her two daughters empathically into their place in the hierarchy, especially when they are coming towards the teenage months and are starting to push the envelope.

Dominance behaviour can be frightening for somebody who has expected cuddly placid pets - which guinea pigs usually aren't!
Please read the guides so you can judge and understand behaviours and dynamics better.
 
Top