Please Help -- Newbie Needs Advice -- Fighting Cagemates

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Vicki

Hi. My name is Vicki and I'm a brand new guinea pig owner and brand new to this forum. I just purchased 2 beautiful Peruvian female piggies today from a breeder. Georgia is 8 months old and Hoshi is 4 months old. Georgia was a show pig and Hoshi was not. I purchased 2 because everything I read said...'get 2, they'll be happier'. Why are they fighting so much then? Georgia is beating up little Hoshi every chance she gets. I know it's only their first day together but will this ever stop? Little Hoshi is too afraid to come out and eat. I had to put a partition in the cage. (the size of the cage is 5' x 3' -- I have no room for anything bigger) I really don't want to keep them separated forever. Can any of you experts out there please give this newbie some advice? One other thing I need to mention - - Georgia just weaned a litter, could this affect her behavior towards little Hoshi?

Thanks for any advice you can offer.
 

bevs

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Welcome to the forum Vicki :)

I only have boys so can't really offer any advice :-\ but guaranteed there will be someone along during the day as lots of people here keep girls, some in way bigger numbers than 2 :o

So they should be able to help, anyway once again welcome :)

Bev x x
 

Abnoba

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How exactly are they fighting?

If it is just chasing each other, nipping each other, that is all perfectly normal piggy behaviour, they want to find out who is the boss.
Please dont seperate them - they have to sort this out.

Best thing to do is put them into neutral territory, a big run where they have enough space to get out of each others way for a few minutes if they want to, put two food bowls and two water bottles in so they wont fight over that, and instead of normal houses with one entrance, put cardboard houses in for the time being, in which you cut TWO entrances, so no piggy can get trapped in one.

Their fighting can take anything from a day to two weeks I have heard... luckily mine have sorted themselves out pretty quickly every time. As long as there is no blood flowing (and a pierced ear and a bit of fur flying doesnt count as blood flowing) just dont intervene. I know its hard, you feel like one is being bullied and you feel like you should help the poor little thing - but you have to just sit back and let them to it.

It was horrible when I introduced Milka and Pebbles to each other - I woke up three times during the night because one of them was squeaking and went downstairs to check ::) They are girls - bitchiness as the beginning is something I have come to expect now ;)

//EDIT:

I just read your post again, you dont have any room for a bigger cage - do you think you could put up a run in your living room temporarily or something? With Argos grids maybe?
 
H

hils78

wow thats a pretty big space :)
WHat I have done in the past is bath them - they're usually that annoyed with having a bath that they look to each other for comfort! This might be a bit of a daunting task if you've never done it so what I would probably do is scoop out any poo & wee patches from their cage (whilst they're not in there) and mix around their bedding. Hopefully this will mix up the scent that will be in there. Move around everything in there. Try to make it a different looking/smelling cage. Guinea pigs are quick learners so it would be a good idea to break any behaviour patterns before they start. Try to hide some strong smelling food in different areas. Cucumber that is room temp actually smells quite strong. Parsley if you can get it. Hopfully they will get distracted & look for the food. If the older one still is being a madam lift her out when it happens - so that she is removed from what she wants to be her territory & give the small one a chance to get used to the set up. try to leave them as long as possible though. They do need to establish their own balance.
 
J

Julie

It is distressing to watch, but it should calm down in a few days. If not a divider may be a temporary measure.If they start full on attacking or spilling blood, separate quickly. However the chasing, rumbling and humping are just dominance gestures/
 
B

Beaney

I know it is horrible to see (I am a bit of a wuss when it comes to animals fighting!) but I echo the comments already made, if they are not hurting each other then try and persevere a bit longer and see if they sort it out for themselves - they usually do but it may take a bit of time. Bathing can work so they all smell the same and this may sound a bit odd - but a friend of mine took hers for a drive! By putting them in the carrier together and taking them in the car, they huddled together for security and when she got back home and put them in their cage they seemed to have forgotten they didn't like each other. I've personally never tried it but it worked for her!

Also agree that 2 food bowls and 2 bottles are also a good idea. Try and have enough hidey houses/bedding areas so they can have one each.

My girls love each other to pieces but I do on occassion find them sleeping apart! I think of it as being quite natural - people living in my house sometimes get on my nerves too and it's nice to have a room to go to.

Obviously if the fighting is serious then you may have no choice but to separate them. I have also had a girl that after her sister died, refused to except any other piggy and went against all the rules and lived happily by herself for 3 more years!
 
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Jillybean

For the last 10 years I've kept sows in a group of anything up to 7 and thankfully have always managed to introduce a new one in. They've ranged from 8 weeks up to 3 or 4 years. It really does just take time and patience, sometimes just spending ages keeping an eye on them. A big pile of grass is a good way, so busy eating they get used to each other gradually, or have them both on your lap for a while

Be patient - you should get there!
 

Barmy4boars

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I only have boys too but my sister experiance much more squabbling than she expected with her sows. When I obseved them myself I was suprised how boar like some of their behaviours are. I am led to believe that all piggys, regarldless of their sex have a heirachy. There is always a boss pig and an underpig. What you describe sounds like new cage mates sortring that out.

My advice would be to contiue to monitor them closely. Weigh them both weekly and record their weights. As bullied pigs often loose weight. Also look ou for bite marks etc though this is rare in sows. Also try give them as large of a cage as is possible. C&C cages are great for this and allow you to put in 2 generous hidey holes which can provide enough space for them to get out of each others way and for things to run smoothly.

Welcome to the forum by the way and please feel free to post any or as many questions you may have as a newby owner! I hope everything settles down for you in a few days... would love to hear about you and your girls

Susie
 

PiggiePal

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Good luck with Georgia and Hoshi, I hope they settle down soon :)
 
V

Vicki

Great big thanks to all of you who shared your experiences and offered advice. The fighting continues and Little Hoshi has pretty much stopped eating. Georgia is such a bully. After 3 days of relentless fighting, I called the breeder I purchased them from and she said that Georgia is very dominant and there may be no fixing the problem. She kindly offered to let me trade the two girls in for 2 boars that are currently cagemates and get along quite well (a Himalayan and a TSW silkie). I know I should put my "big girl panties on and deal with it" but I can't bear to see Little Hoshi not eating because she is too terrified to walk out of her "house". I hope I am making the right decision for my piggies. I feel like such a coward...... :(

P.S. I live in the US and am overwhelmed at all of the kindess and concern you have all shown me. Thanks to my UK friends. You have all been a BIG help. Great big hugs to all of you and your sweet piggies.

Vicki
 

Abnoba

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Have you tried giving them two food bowls and two bottles, so if one piggy is scared of the other, they dont have to eat at the same place? Also, has Hoshis weight dropped at all? It might be that she is just eating when noone is looking, or when its quite dark.
 
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