Old queen piggy losing Queen status.

Fishybat

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Hi.
Truffle 6yrs. getting more boney and generally slowing down has been living with Poppy and Primrose 2 1/2 years absolutely lovely. After losing her mate and becoming very sad has loved being mum to the two younger sows since they were babies. Truffle has always been Queen pig however Poppy is very confident and has over the year had some short lived dominance for a couple of days then harmony again. All usual. However these dominance behaviours are lasting longer and the last two weeks she has been rumbling and jumping on Truffles back. Truffle has started making the squeaky ‘you can be boss noises’ but Poppy is carrying on. I have two Large cages connected by a sliding door so I have given Truffle and Poppy the odd hour on their own so Truffle can have a sleep on disturbed. Primrose is very shy and meek she gets on with everyone.

so. Should I keep Truffle separate?
There is platforms that they can sit either side of bars and see and nose each other.
If I close the door Truffle seems happy and doesn’t sit by the door. Poppy sits by day trying to get to Truffle At times. I feel Truffle can’t rest because whatever bed she wants then Poppy wants it too. 5 separate bed areas.
Advice please.
thank you
 

Wiebke

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Hi.
Truffle 6yrs. getting more boney and generally slowing down has been living with Poppy and Primrose 2 1/2 years absolutely lovely. After losing her mate and becoming very sad has loved being mum to the two younger sows since they were babies. Truffle has always been Queen pig however Poppy is very confident and has over the year had some short lived dominance for a couple of days then harmony again. All usual. However these dominance behaviours are lasting longer and the last two weeks she has been rumbling and jumping on Truffles back. Truffle has started making the squeaky ‘you can be boss noises’ but Poppy is carrying on. I have two Large cages connected by a sliding door so I have given Truffle and Poppy the odd hour on their own so Truffle can have a sleep on disturbed. Primrose is very shy and meek she gets on with everyone.

so. Should I keep Truffle separate?
There is platforms that they can sit either side of bars and see and nose each other.
If I close the door Truffle seems happy and doesn’t sit by the door. Poppy sits by day trying to get to Truffle At times. I feel Truffle can’t rest because whatever bed she wants then Poppy wants it too. 5 separate bed areas.
Advice please.
thank you

Hi!

It is always a difficult time. The dominance phase, which applies to new introductions, bondings, changes in territories but also to changes in the hierarchy lasts on average about 2 weeks but it should decline in intensity during the second week. An insecure leader who is taking over by default rather by staging a takeover coup can struggle with their new role and take a bit longer.

if you feel that Poppy needs some undisturbed rest, and you can do this within the means of your set-up, then allow her to but please allow the social process to run its normal course. Things will settle down again eventually once every piggy is feeling confident with the new order.

You can find more information about the dominance phase in either of these threads:
Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics
Sows: Behaviour and female health problems (including ovarian cysts)
 

VickiA

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I agree with Wiebke. It’s heartbreaking for us humans to watch the politics of hierarchy changes, but things do usually settle down within a couple of weeks.
 

Fishybat

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Thank you both for your reply. Yes it is really hard to see. Hopefully they will sort themselves out. thank you so much as was very unsure what to do for the best.
 
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