New Guinea Pig Fighting with older ones

raining.ashes

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Hello! I recently adopted a guinea pig who has undergone 2 accidental pregnancies (conception happening before I got her) and I have also taken 1 daughter from each litter of pups. The daughter of the first litter lived with her mom for a few months before I had to seperate them due to illness, and the younger daughter lived with her for 3 weeks when I had to seperate her so that the mom could recover from her illness. Anyways, I was able to reintroduce all of them maybe a week or two ago, and it seemed to be going great until I noticed some bullying going on. At first, the older two kind of picked on the younger one, and now the younger one has picked up on their habits but is being a little more vicious about it.
They have begun to "fight", or atleast what seems like fighting, over simple things like being too close to one another or trying to use the same bed, yet the cage is a 2 by 6 coroplast cage AND they have 4 beds.
The "fighting" happens when they face off and the older ones both end up squeling at the top of their lungs, sticking their head up in the air. I would have thought this was a bonding thing, but the two never did it before the younger one was introduced. What's even odder is that they usually freeze up right after and don't move for a little bit after the little one walks away.
This is starting to worry me a bit because not only am I worried about it getting more physical, they have also become alot more squeamish with me. I went to pick up the mom the other day and she started screaming, something she has never done in the months that I have owned her.
 

flintstones

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Screaming is a sign of submission, I have one girl who is the Alpha if you like she so much as goes near her sister and she squeals at the top of her lungs. I do watch them carefully and there has never been any biting just threatening nips and they inter-act with no issues at all it's just when they are in a confined space. Hopefully your girls are the same but I'm sure other people would also be able to shed some light on this behaviour.

I would weigh all the girls to ensure no one is losing weight and that there is no bullying going on I tend to do this anyway to identify illness early. As long as the girls are allowed to go about as normal, I don't think you have to be to worried.

If the aggression is new, and coming from 1 particular girl it might be worth having her checked for cysts to, as they can make them grumpy.
 

Pigwhisperer

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Here is @Wiebke 's complete guide to bonding.
www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/bonding-illustrated-dominance-behaviours-and-dynamics.
You'll find a lot of helpful info here which should help you decide if this group is going to work together long term or not. Read all the way through to get a good idea of what's going on. The squealing sounds like submission, and chins up is also a submission thing - the least dominant is the highest chin! If there are no serious fights they may just be working out/confirming their hierarchy - you will need to keep an eye on them and judge whether it goes too far.
 

Wiebke

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Hello! I recently adopted a guinea pig who has undergone 2 accidental pregnancies (conception happening before I got her) and I have also taken 1 daughter from each litter of pups. The daughter of the first litter lived with her mom for a few months before I had to seperate them due to illness, and the younger daughter lived with her for 3 weeks when I had to seperate her so that the mom could recover from her illness. Anyways, I was able to reintroduce all of them maybe a week or two ago, and it seemed to be going great until I noticed some bullying going on. At first, the older two kind of picked on the younger one, and now the younger one has picked up on their habits but is being a little more vicious about it.
They have begun to "fight", or atleast what seems like fighting, over simple things like being too close to one another or trying to use the same bed, yet the cage is a 2 by 6 coroplast cage AND they have 4 beds.
The "fighting" happens when they face off and the older ones both end up squeling at the top of their lungs, sticking their head up in the air. I would have thought this was a bonding thing, but the two never did it before the younger one was introduced. What's even odder is that they usually freeze up right after and don't move for a little bit after the little one walks away.
This is starting to worry me a bit because not only am I worried about it getting more physical, they have also become alot more squeamish with me. I went to pick up the mom the other day and she started screaming, something she has never done in the months that I have owned her.
Hi!

Please read our bonding guide about piggies establish a working group hierarchy during the dominance phase, which lasts around two weeks. Keep in mind that one of the most difficult times to introduce/re-introduce sows is after one or both of them giving birth because their status has changed; some of them will not go back together again if they cannot agree on which of them comes top.

this guide takes you in detail through bonding dynamics and all the stages of a bonding with behaviours that are OK and those that signal that a bonding has failed at any of these stages: Bonding: Illustrated Dominance Behaviours And Dynamics

Sow Behaviour
 
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