Pairing/Grouping Question

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ghostbusterbunny

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I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, so please could someone move it if necessary?

Basically, I had two girls for about a year (Tigger and Munchie from my intro post. I then adopted Teaser from P@H (she just looked at me and I caved!). I would love to have a herd of guinea pigs (I'm thinking two more girls (or more if I adopt and can get a group of 3 or more - not sure yet though) and a neutered male).

The thing is Teaser. She gets on well with Tigger and Munchie: a few dominance displays on her part but she is the smallest and is trying to work out her place, whereas Tigger and Munchie are too laid back to care. I don't want to bring in an extra bonded group and risk having her all on her lonesome. So I was wondering whether it would be an idea for me to get her a playmate (another girl), give them time apart from Tigs and Munchie to bond, then reintroduce them to then have a group where one pig isn't 'friendless'.

I've never owned a single pig before, and while she's getting on well with the other two, it's very clear that she doesn't have, nor never will have, the same sort of bond with them as they do together. I don't know what to do to increase my herd and include Teaser.

Thanks for any help! :D
 

lauralucy

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i have a group of 7 (a neutered boy and 6 girls) and a single boy for now then i will change to a 6 and a pair.

i would consider getting another girl let teaser choose though and then have a foursome if they all get on.

in my group though i dont have any that are especially close but i have a few that dont really like each other but tolerate each other though.

i find that one day a pair will be best friends and the next dot want to know each other. i think its good though as sometimes you dont want to be with the same friend day in and day out.

at the end of the day its up to you and how much time and space you have.
 

ghostbusterbunny

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Could you not get her a friend and keep them in two groups? That's what I do. xx
Getting her a friend is absolutely no problem at all, but I'd like to keep them all together rather than have separate pairs, if you know what I mean? I've had pairs and big groups before and I've found that the groups tend to have more fun with each other! We have a big hutch and we're planning a massive extension to it to give them a sheltered run on the side that they can access all the time during the day - it'd be great to give a group of pigs one big home to do what pigs do!

If I get Teaser a friend, what should I do regarding Tigger and Munchie? They wont be a problem at all with another girl, but I'd prefer to make sure that any new one would be Teaser's snuggle buddy so she's not left out at all. Once Teaser is sorted, a pair or a ready bonded group is what I'm looking for to make my little group complete!
 

ghostbusterbunny

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i have a group of 7 (a neutered boy and 6 girls) and a single boy for now then i will change to a 6 and a pair

i would consider getting another girl let teaser choose though and then have a foursome if they all get on.

in my group though i dont have any that are especially close but i have a few that dont really like each other but tolerate each other though.

i find that one day a pair will be best friends and the next dot want to know each other. i think its good though as sometimes you dont want to be with the same friend day in and day out.

at the end of the day its up to you and how much time and space you have.
That is exactly what I'd love to have eventually! It's just finding a neutered male and two more girls (after finding Teaser a buddy). :)

Thanks for the advice! I'm definitely going to think what to do with Teaser!
 

lauralucy

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take teaser to a rescue to choose her own friend then they should become a pair :) might work :)

its not what i planned i started with 2 then added another 2 then my boy then another girl then another 2 girls. gave 1 of these to a member on here for her boy as she wasnt getting along with anyone except my boy. then got another boy and girl (seperate just had the boy neutered) girl is in with my group. then a few weeks later i lost one of my girls :( so thats my group lol, sorry i know you didnt ask. but thought i'd share anyway.
 

Wiebke

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I would look for another young friend for Teaser (if you can find a rescue for some piggy dating, that would be great - Teaser can pick a best friend she really clicks with that way!).

Usually introducing two bonded girl pairs goes fairly well in my experience, especially when there is an age gap, so there is no question of the hierarchy being overthrown. Your older girls have proved that they are accepting of youngsters. There is much less of a chance ending up with 3+1 than there is ending up with 2+1 in a trio.

Here is a list of rescues. It is worth ringing round for suitable candidates. Not all rescues offer piggy dating.
http://www.guineapigrehome.org.uk/gp/centres.asp
 

Doeylicious

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take teaser to a rescue to choose her own friend then they should become a pair :) might work :)

its not what i planned i started with 2 then added another 2 then my boy then another girl then another 2 girls. gave 1 of these to a member on here for her boy as she wasnt getting along with anyone except my boy. then got another boy and girl (seperate just had the boy neutered) girl is in with my group. then a few weeks later i lost one of my girls :( so thats my group lol, sorry i know you didnt ask. but thought i'd share anyway.
A member who to this day still can't thank you enough, I was only saying yesterday Dodge and Cherry are the two closest bonded guinea I have ever seen x)

Anyway, to the OP, I recently found myself with two pairs of girls - one pair are both 5 and have been together since they were 6 weeks, the other are about 4 months and 5 weeks on Friday - mum and daughter (Honey was a BOGOF!). They have been in the run together a few time, and yesterday I decided to go for it and put the four together permanantly.

We are having a few tiffs, nothing serious just a few 'oi that's my food!' moments from the older girls, but I am hopeful they will bond well over the next couple of weeks.

I think with girls even numbers are safer as there is less chance of someone being left on their own. But then this is my first group of more than two, so time will tell!
 

ghostbusterbunny

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A member who to this day still can't thank you enough, I was only saying yesterday Dodge and Cherry are the two closest bonded guinea I have ever seen x)

Anyway, to the OP, I recently found myself with two pairs of girls - one pair are both 5 and have been together since they were 6 weeks, the other are about 4 months and 5 weeks on Friday - mum and daughter (Honey was a BOGOF!). They have been in the run together a few time, and yesterday I decided to go for it and put the four together permanantly.

We are having a few tiffs, nothing serious just a few 'oi that's my food!' moments from the older girls, but I am hopeful they will bond well over the next couple of weeks.

I think with girls even numbers are safer as there is less chance of someone being left on their own. But then this is my first group of more than two, so time will tell!
Haha, with mine the 'oi that's my food' stance actually came from Teaser the first time she met Tigger and Munchie! It amazed me how brave she was - standing up to two very big (though seriously chillaxed) girls for food and even taking it off them (why are guinea pigs never happy with their own piece of food?). Seriously cute though!

I agree with the even numbers thing. So what I'm going to do is see if I can adopt a friend for her, or I may be naughty and buy a friend for her and then adopt another pair. There are no rescues apart from the RSPCA nearby and they very rarely get pigs. I'm looking farther afield now so hopefully I can find somewhere that will approve of me as a prospective mummy!
 

Wiebke

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There is something you could consider if you have the space/money, and that is introducing a neutered boar to help glue both groups together. Boars have to get on with all girls in order to mate with them. They soak up a lot of the seasonal grumpiness. Believe me, the day my new boar was ready to join my "widowed" ten girls couldn't come soon enough as far as I was concerned! It also gives those boars a chance for happiness that have difficulty bonding with others.

I noticed a definite change with my piggies from 4/5 piggies onwards. They were behaving more like a group than a collection of individuals. Only that I kept falling for this girl and that, and now I have a fully bonded Tribe of piggies!

However, not all sows will accept a neutered boar, especially very dominant and/or older top sows, so it is worth to find a boar that can be dated before an adoption. Usually, with girls, you know pretty quickly whether somepig is being accepted - it takes about 15-30 minutes.

Not all piggies will actually fit into a group, especially with pairs or small groups; there are sadly some piggies of either gender who can't get on with others. Younger piggies are usually easier to integrate. And it gets easier with bigger groups!
 

ghostbusterbunny

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There is something you could consider if you have the space/money, and that is introducing a neutered boar to help glue both groups together. Boars have to get on with all girls in order to mate with them. They soak up a lot of the seasonal grumpiness. Believe me, the day my new boar was ready to join my "widowed" ten girls couldn't come soon enough as far as I was concerned! It also gives those boars a chance for happiness that have difficulty bonding with others.

I noticed a definite change with my piggies from 4/5 piggies onwards. They were behaving more like a group than a collection of individuals. Only that I kept falling for this girl and that, and now I have a fully bonded Tribe of piggies!

However, not all sows will accept a neutered boar, especially very dominant and/or older top sows, so it is worth to find a boar that can be dated before an adoption. Usually, with girls, you know pretty quickly whether somepig is being accepted - it takes about 15-30 minutes.

Not all piggies will actually fit into a group, especially with pairs or small groups; there are sadly some piggies of either gender who can't get on with others. Younger piggies are usually easier to integrate. And it gets easier with bigger groups!
I have the space, but I can't afford to actually get one neutered. It costs a lot of money where I am - the vets fees here compared to other places around here are through the roof. We're talking £80+ where we are (and this was a few years ago when I enquired about getting one of my rowdy boys nipped so he could move in with the ladies). If I can find one to adopt that would be an option for me!

We don't currently have a dominant girl. My oldest two are more motherly and chilled rather than dominant. The new one shows dominant traits, but she's new so she's just establishing her place right now. Apart from that she's chilled too and very friendly.
 

ghostbusterbunny

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Okay, I have a bit of a dilemma. If all goes well, I'll be coming home with two rescued guinea pigs on Tuesday (SO EXCITED) to be friends with my 3 big girls.

I have also ended up taking two more babies from the P@H Adoption center; fairly sure they were just making way for new Easter stock, but I have spare hutches so I figured I'd give them a home. I'm a mug for cute faces. I originally went with the plan of asking them if they knew whether they had a pig that would go with Teaser.

Side note: the lovely woman I talked to the other day told me that Teaser was not supposed to be suitable for being paired up, yet when I adopted her, the staff told me she was. It would explain her temprament. But I remember after I had pregnant pigs a good 6 years ago now that they were so hormonal and snappy for MONTHS after giving birth. I'm thinking her nature is mostly down to both post-pregnancy hormones and general teenage hormones (she's 6 months old). She's settling in nicely with T@M now though, so fingers crossed she softens up a bit!

Now, my rescue pigs are definitely lined up to go with my three bigger girls. But I'm not too sure what to do with the babies. I can keep them as a pair: no problems with that whatsoever. I'd rather they went in with my group eventually, when we have extended the hutch and I decide whether there is enough space for two more (I had plans for 7 in there eventually anyway - it would only be an extra one on top of that) and especially when Teaser has mellowed out! I'm not sure when would be a good time to do it. The smallest of the two I've just adopted is only 5 weeks old, so she is a tiddler. I don't want her to get on Teaser's bad side especially when she has no way of defending herself.

So at what age do you think would be good to try it? I plan on keeping the two new ones together on their own (perhaps getting grass time with my growing herd though) for a good month or two until the tiddly one grows up a bit.

Wow, this post was a bit more long and rambly than I'd planned! Sorry!
 
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