Problems introduction

Elaine Prince

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Hi. Hoping someone can help. We have done the usual steps to introduce a new cavy to our 2 existing piggies. Once mixed together the dominant girl took to the baby fine, sitting together. The second cavy and dominant pig, did all the usual, sorting out who is still boss, but then when the second pig, told the baby, I am higher than you, the dominant cavy, came out and her and the second cavy really went for it, almost to fighting stage. I stopped the introduction. The baby I am pretty sure teeth chatted at the second pig so she is no scary cat. Is this normal that the top pig will protect the baby? And as they were about to fight, the top 2, is it probably a no go?
 

Piggies&buns

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How old are they all? How long have your original two been together?

Getting a trio to work can be tricky, they are the hardest combination to get right but ultimately it comes down to character compatibility and adding another on spec (ie without dating at a rescue centre to ensure compatibility), then there is always going to be a chance of problems.

If they can’t get on, then one piggy will need to live alongside in an adjoining cage to enable interaction through the bars

Adding More Guinea Pigs Or Merging Pairs – What Works And What Not?
Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics
Sows: Behaviour and female health problems (including ovarian cysts)
 

Wiebke

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Hi. Hoping someone can help. We have done the usual steps to introduce a new cavy to our 2 existing piggies. Once mixed together the dominant girl took to the baby fine, sitting together. The second cavy and dominant pig, did all the usual, sorting out who is still boss, but then when the second pig, told the baby, I am higher than you, the dominant cavy, came out and her and the second cavy really went for it, almost to fighting stage. I stopped the introduction. The baby I am pretty sure teeth chatted at the second pig so she is no scary cat. Is this normal that the top pig will protect the baby? And as they were about to fight, the top 2, is it probably a no go?
Hi!

I am very sorry but it sounds like a failed intro to me. You can never predict what happens and how the different personalities interact. Introducing a third to a bonded pair is a bonding that has one of the higher fall out rates, unfortunately. While piggies are social animals, they are also much more complex personalities than most people accept. In my own experience, they can be every bit as complex as humans.
Adding More Guinea Pigs Or Merging Pairs – What Works And What Not?

Any tensions don't necessarily come down between the newbie and the pair but they can also cause the bonded pair to fall-out on occasion; especially when the leader boils over. You will always get a lot of teeth chattering when all parties involved are upset.

You have to think hard of where to best go from there but it won't be with a trio and more realistically with two pairs. If possible, pleae consider rescue dating so you come home with a new mate only if acceptance has happened.
Rescue Locator
 

Elaine Prince

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Hi!

I am very sorry but it sounds like a failed intro to me. You can never predict what happens and how the different personalities interact. Introducing a third to a bonded pair is a bonding that has one of the higher fall out rates, unfortunately. While piggies are social animals, they are also much more complex personalities than most people accept. In my own experience, they can be every bit as complex as humans.
Adding More Guinea Pigs Or Merging Pairs – What Works And What Not?

Any tensions don't necessarily come down between the newbie and the pair but they can also cause the bonded pair to fall-out on occasion; especially when the leader boils over. You will always get a lot of teeth chattering when all parties involved are upset.

You have to think hard of where to best go from there but it won't be with a trio and more realistically with two pairs. If possible, pleae consider rescue dating so you come home with a new mate only if acceptance has happened.
Rescue Locator
Hi. Yes I have actually tried a resue centre today, but so far, no single girls available. The pair I had first seem happy on their own, so I think its best I get another friend fo the baby. We were wanting a couple when we got her, but the rest were boys. Its a shame as baby cavy was loving being with the others, and so was the dominant cavy, but no good unless everyone is happy. Thank you.
 

Elaine Prince

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How old are they all? How long have your original two been together?

Getting a trio to work can be tricky, they are the hardest combination to get right but ultimately it comes down to character compatibility and adding another on spec (ie without dating at a rescue centre to ensure compatibility), then there is always going to be a chance of problems.

If they can’t get on, then one piggy will need to live alongside in an adjoining cage to enable interaction through the bars

Adding More Guinea Pigs Or Merging Pairs – What Works And What Not?
Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics
Sows: Behaviour and female health problems (including ovarian cysts)
The others are 8 months old, and apart from the non dominant girl, often trying, in not a too rough way to become the boss, they get on really well normally. I have the baby behind bars, so can see the others now, and all nice and happy, but i think she needs company with her, so trying the rescue centres to see if i can match her up. No luck yet. Thank you.
 

Wiebke

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Hi. Yes I have actually tried a resue centre today, but so far, no single girls available. The pair I had first seem happy on their own, so I think its best I get another friend fo the baby. We were wanting a couple when we got her, but the rest were boys. Its a shame as baby cavy was loving being with the others, and so was the dominant cavy, but no good unless everyone is happy. Thank you.
Have you considered a neutered boar? Cross gender bondings once the initial acceptance has happened are the most stable combination there is. However, as with all pairings, mutual liking and character compatibility come a long way before age and gender. Young sows, especially those under a year are generally very accepting of boars; babies under 4 months are desperate for company and guidance from an elder during the formative 'school weeks' where they learn to master their environment and the intricacies of the complex social interaction.
See this link here and also the chapter on baby bondings in the bonding guide.
Boars, sows or mixed pairs; babies or adults?

Please be aware that we can only guarantee for the very carefully vetted good welfare standard and practice rescues in our rescue locator and that in this country anybody can call themselves a rescue or a breeder, or any shade in between without licensing and supervision - and that the results can unfortunately be accordingly! You may want to look a bit further and contact any rescue you can get to.
 

Elaine Prince

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Hi. Thank you for your response. We now have a forth little girl for Honey and they are living together happily, but are still connected to the other 2 by a bar, so can see each other and say hello. All working out really well.
 

Wiebke

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Hi. Thank you for your response. We now have a forth little girl for Honey and they are living together happily, but are still connected to the other 2 by a bar, so can see each other and say hello. All working out really well.
Thank you for the update and glad that you have been able to find a working solution. It is such relief, isn't it?
 
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