New Piggy

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Tiayra

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image.jpeg So, finally. I got Nanook a little friend. I know it has been a while since I posted about her. And I thank everyone who gave advice. She was seeming down and recluse, so we finally got her a friend. Her name is Nymeria. Currently they are in separate cages. When we brought her home we bathed her and let her get floor time with Nanook for a few minutes. They seemed to really enjoy each other. Then Nanook kind of got nippy. No blood was drawn, but Nymeria seems a bit skittish of Nanook now. I would really like some advice about entroducing better, if it's not too late and damage hasn't already been done. Thanks in advance!
 

Keiko The Pig

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Make sure you introduce in a piggy neutral area. So ideally somewhere Nanook hasn't been before. When I introduced my boys I used my bath room as I never let my first piggy run around in there. This way he had nothing to be territorial over. Make sure there are multiple places to get hay/food and a variety of veggies are a must. Veggies make for happy piggies! Make sure they have hideys during the introduction but ideally tunnels so there are two ways in/out and no pig can get trapped. Cardboard boxes work for this too if you just open up the ends. Nipping is a sign of dominance and as long as it isn't excessive or leads to injury I would not be too worried. Once the hierarchy is established the dominant behaviour will usually calm down. This can take a week or two depending on the personality of your pigs. It's best to watch them for a couple hours. With sows I hear bonding can be done over time but with boys it has to be one go and quite frankly I think one long bonding session does the trick. Make sure you educate yourself on normal dominant behaviours and have a towel or oven mitts on hand just in case a fight breaks out. After they have bonded you'll need to do a full cage clean so it smells like neither pig and rearrange where you put the hideys toys etc. For the first bit stick to tunnels to avoid a pig being trapped inside and have 2-3 of everything. 2-3 hideys, chew toys, 2 water bottles hay racks etc. Your girls are lovely good luck :)
 

Tiayra

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So you guys don't think it is too late? Because Nanook was very dominate, and I know that's suppose to be normal. But Nanook is twice the size of Nymeria right now. I know I'm not suppose to intervene, but how do I know when it's getting bad enough that I HAVE to intervene?
 

Keiko The Pig

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It's not too late at all. They just haven't established a hierarchy yet. You only need to intervene if they fight. Let them chatter, rumble, chase, and mount all they want as long as no piggy is injured/bleeding. Set up your neutral area when you have free time and watch them for an hour or two. Bonding is stressful but remember all those scary dominant behaviours are completely normal and instinctive to the Guinea pigs. They'll work out who's the boss and as long as the under piggy backs down all will be well. Just because Nymeria is skittish doesn't mean the bond will fail. That's what the nip was intended to do. It was Nanooks way of telling her who's boss. And instead of nipping back Nymeria is now wary, which can be a good sign. It may suggest Nymeria will submit to Nanook :) and if Nanook is not threatened by any challenges from Nymeria then you may have a great pair on your hands
 

Tiayra

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I really hope so. We have their cages semi-beside each other. We're waiting awhile to give them time to get to know each other's scents.
 

Tiayra

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Okay so update. I put them in a neutral area for two hours. With food in the middle and everything. They did okay. Nymeria constantly runs away from Nanook and Nanook won't let Nymeria sniff her back. No serious fights have broken out. Few small tiffs. Nothing bad. I bathed them together (I read somewhere that it was a good idea) deep cleaned the cage I put them in. Now, they are both in the same cage, have been for coming up on 15 minutes. They have two separate food bowls and water bottles. Nymeria has been super vocal, and Nanook keeps pop-Corning. But I'm kind of concerned that Nanook is bullying Nymeria? She bolts and chased her away every time she wants to eat something. Nymeria confines herself in a corner until Nanook chases her out. It doesn't always seem like she's trying to bully her, but sometimes it does. I'm just wondering if you guys think it's going okay? I'm sitting across of the cage right now as I type and Nymeria is hiding inside of hay and eating it while Nanook pop-corns around, munches, then tries to sniff Nymeria. I'm really hopeful this is going good. Any friendly advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for everything guys!
 

Tiayra

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Oh and this is something that's been happening but I didn't really mention. So Nymeria will kind of confine herself to a corner of the cage, when she tries to leave it Nanook will char her down and do I don't even know what. But eventually Nymeria will push herself into a corner again and everything quiets down. Then it happens again. Do I just have a mean Guinea pig? Take right now for example. Nymeria tried going to get food from a bowl, Nanook chased her down until Nymeria confined herself to a corner. Now Nanook isn't messing with her.
 

Tiayra

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Oh. And if anyone would be kind enough to like, text me to give me quicker advice. You'd be amazing.
 

Keiko The Pig

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It sounds like bullying and can be worrisome depending on how far Nanook takes it. At the start of my two boys living together my dominant boar Keiko would sometimes chase Milo away from food. But Milo didn't sit in a corner. He would just go to the other food bowl or drag some food into his hidey and this wasn't an all the time occurrence. It was maybe once every couple days I saw Keiko chase him off something. I would keep a close eye on them. It's okay for Nanook to chase her off sometimes but If she truly isn't allowing Nymeria to eat then that's not a successful bond. Nymeria backing into a corner could be submission or fear or perhaps a combination of both? One way to help food hoarding and chasing is to feed them small portions that can be eaten at one time in two bowls that (at least in your case) are on opposite sides of the cage if possible. By doing this hopefully Nanook is too busy eating her fill to bother Nymeria at the other end of the cage with the second food bowl. Also watch Nymeria's behaviour. If she becomes withdrawn and quiet she may be getting depressed and not be happy in this situation. The thing with some piggies is they are too submissive to even stand up for themselves when it comes to getting the food they need :( my boys are a bit different. Keiko isn't overly dominant and many a time I've seen Milo push back whenever Keiko tries to take it too far and luckily for me Keiko seems to respect Milo's limits and usually just rumble struts away leaving Milo to do whatever he wishes.
 

Tiayra

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The past 30 minutes, have been awesome. Nymeria was coming out, eating, and running around. Nanook didn't seem too bothered by it. I'm really confused though, because Nanook has been pop-corning around like crazy and even chirping (she never chirped when she was on her own). Nymeria still chirps every once in a while. She has been hiding a little bit in the hidey hole they have. I'm wondering if it's just because it's a new cage that she isn't familiar with yet, but she has been trying to run up the walls. Nymeria hasn't ever been in a cage this big before, so I'm wondering if the size is over whelming?
 

Keiko The Pig

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If there's a lot of open space it may be a bit scary to a shy piggy at first but sounds to me as if they're loving the new space already! Running around and popcorning are great signs :) you could always throw in a cardboard box with the ends opened up as a makeshift tunnel if you think Nymeria would enjoy more shelter (cardboard box tunnels also act as a great chew toy, kept my boys so distracted and happy fighting was the last thing on their little piggy minds)
 

Tiayra

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It's only day one lol. You have been a load of information! I'll be sure to keep you guys updated! Oh and that's a photo of Nymeria since you guys didn't really get to see her face in the other photo. She's gotten so big. It's crazy.

image.jpeg
 

shujuju

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aww, super cute piggie! I hope they get along well, keep us updated on them! I'd love to see pictures of them once they've grown/bonded!
 
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