New piggies fighting, help

Omnomnom

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Hello, need help! Recently got two female baby guinea pigs. We have a great sized c&c cage, they have their own water, food, buddies. Problem is one girl is bossing the other one who now stays in the upstairs part of the c&c cage and doesn't get a run around unlike the dominate female. The one upstairs just hides. I've given the one hiding a bit more food as she is a little smaller. Would getting another piggy help this situation? Or not, what else might work, please advise thank you
 

Piggies&buns

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Welcome to the forum

We require a bit more information before we can properly advise on where to go from here -

What age are the piggies?
What size is their cage?
Do you have two of every item?
How long have you had them?

Did you sex them yourself to be sure they are actually sows?

It can take new piggies a while to establish their relationship. They hit their teens and hormones rise and can cause Tensions. You will always see dominance behaviours but If they are compatible then they will get through it.
Sadly if they were pet shop piggies then they are often sold with little to no regard to their characters and it can be that when they grow up, they find they aren’t compatible and relationships fail. It’s important to know what are normal dominance behaviours and when they are a more serious sign of a problem in the relationship such as bullying.

Hay needs to be the main food source and they need constant access to it, so please don’t overfeed veg or pellets. Overfeeding pellets in particular is unhealthy for them and they should only have one tablespoon of pellets per pig per day.
Piggies come in all shapes and sizes and being physically smaller doesn’t necessarily mean much. You need to weigh guinea pigs weekly as part of lifelong care. If the weight is going up then they are eating enough and are fine. If the weight is going down, then they are not eating enough hay - this can be down to a tense living situation if bullying is occurring or due to an illness.
A piggy who is truly being bullied by a cage mate and is losing weight due to never being allowed to eat, then that is a dysfunctional relationship requiring separation.

Adding another piggy won’t heal any rifts in your current pairs relationship. You can’t make piggies like each other.

I’m going to add in some useful guides below to help you decipher what is happening and whether it is a sign of a problem

Bonds In Trouble
Moody guinea pigs: Depression, Bullying, Aggression, Stress, Fear and Antisocial Behaviour
Dominance Behaviours In Guinea Pigs
Sows: Behaviour and female health problems (including ovarian cysts)

New and Wannabe Guinea Pig Owners Corner
 

Omnomnom

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Wow that's so helpful thank you very much. They are 9 weeks old. I've had then one week, their enclosure inside is 14sqft and outside hutch and run is approx 18sqft. They have two of everything. The last standoff they had they were facing each other classes cling and grinding teeth the smaller one stood her ground. Then she went back upstairs. They are not from a pet shop but from a friend of friend, they are two sisters. Thanks
 

Piggies&buns

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Wow that's so helpful thank you very much. They are 9 weeks old. I've had then one week, their enclosure inside is 14sqft and outside hutch and run is approx 18sqft. They have two of everything. The last standoff they had they were facing each other classes cling and grinding teeth the smaller one stood her ground. Then she went back upstairs. They are not from a pet shop but from a friend of friend, they are two sisters. Thanks
Their cage is a good size, so that’s good but only if it is all on one level. Upper levels dont and can’t be counted towards the cage size. When piggies are taken to a new environment they reestablish their relationship. What needs to happen is that one must be dominant and the other submissive. If the submissive does not continue to be submissive and fights back then this is when problems occur. Chattering in itself is normal but once it becomes loud chattering then that is a sign of annoyance and if one piggy does not back down if can lead to problems. Being sisters unfortunately does not mean they will be guaranteed to be compatible, siblings can fall out just the same as piggies who are strangers to each other.

If one of them is not being allowed to come to the downstairs part of the cage without problems occurring then I would be concerned.

Hopefully they can work things out between them but it’s always something to monitor and check behaviours aren’t going too far.
 

Omnomnom

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The downstairs part is just over 10sqft, should I maybe lift the ramp up and have them both downstairs, see how that goes? Thanks for all your tips!
 

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The downstairs part is just over 10sqft, should I maybe lift the ramp up and have them both downstairs, see how that goes? Thanks for all your tips!
Does chasing/face offs/dysfunction etc occur whenever this piggy comes downstairs? Is this piggy ever allowed to be down there without problems? I’m just trying to get a handle on the reality of the situation.
Normally you don’t interfere while it is just dominance, you leave them to sort things out between them. They are new piggies and need to settle in etc, but if this piggy is never allowed to set foot in the downstairs part of the cage without problems, then I’d be wondering whether there is something more of an issue between them rather than normal dominance

When you got them, did the person tell you why they were being given up?
 
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Omnomnom

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Yes, it's every time she comes downstairs, she comes down gets chased by the other one then darts upstairs. We brought them outside in the shade as it's cooler than indoors right now. The quiet one is upstairs in the hutch and the other is enjoying the grass etc. A group of babies were born and these were the girls, rest were boys no other issues mentioned. The more dominant one looks bright and healthy. The other a bit smaller.
 

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Ok, the same applies as per my pet shop piggies comment. Just because these two are siblings it does not mean that they like each other. If this piggy is never allowed to go anywhere and is constantly being chased off, then it is possible you’re dealing with bullying and a dysfunctional relationship rather than just being new piggies. I’m going to tag in one of our most experienced members to comment further on where to go from here @Wiebke - being so very young they require social interaction but If this piggy isn’t being allowed to move without being picked on, then I would be worried. If they don’t and can’t get on, then they can’t live together.

Physical size is not really relevant, it’s their weight gain that is important.
 

Wiebke

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Ok, the same applies as per my pet shop piggies comment. Just because these two are siblings it does not mean that they like each other. If this piggy is never allowed to go anywhere and is constantly being chased off, then it is possible you’re dealing with bullying and a dysfunctional relationship rather than just being new piggies. I’m going to tag in one of our most experienced members to comment further on where to go from here @Wiebke - being so very young they require social interaction but If this piggy isn’t being allowed to move without being picked on, then I would be worried. If they don’t and can’t get on, then they can’t live together.

Physical size is not really relevant, it’s their weight gain that is important.
Hi!

It is unfortunately a long debunked but persistent myth that brothers don't fall out; key to any successful bond is a personality match long before any other consideration.
If a companion is persistently chased out of a more dominant piggies territory, is not allowed to eat, drink or sleep with the others on a persistent basis, then you have to consider bullying and a solution that involves access to round the clock interaction for both.

You may find these guides here helpful in working out a solution:
A Comprehensive Guide to Guinea Pig Boars
Boars: Teenage, Bullying, Fighting, Fall-outs And What Next?
 

Omnomnom

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Thanks both for all the useful advice. I've learned alot. I have changed to c&c cage and put it all on one level with extra buddies. I'll bring them in this evening when weather changes. Fingers crossed, I'll see how they go. Thanks again.
 

Omnomnom

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Hello all, just to update you. I put the c&c cage all on one level, they have tonnes of spaces and giddies, I brought them in from garden before the storm and they had some arguments then ....the the one that was dominant became the submissive one and vice versa. Peace and harmony reigns, so far. Thanks so much for all the advice. They are now two happy piggies popcorning all over.
 
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