Scared of other pigs?

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piglet fancier

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Hello everyone. I could need some advice over here. I hope I can make myself clear for it is kind of hard to explain the situation in all the detail in a foreign language.

After my sow died I got a new girl for my Leo (about six years old). She is about 3-4 years old and lived in a larger group of guinea pigs and rabbits. She seems very well socialized.

The introduction of the two went as bad as the introduction with my departed sow. There was a short but terrible fight. The sow had deep wound underneath her right eye, but it is almost perfectly healed already. The sow accepts the subordinate role, I think. Still Leo won’t let her move around or stay upstairs in the “cage”. When it is feeding time she sits still in a hay tunnel. Sometimes he goes near her just to nose her and sometimes he pinches her with no apparent reason. When she leaves the tunnel, he chases her.

I don’t think that he is a bad piglet. Sometimes I think that he is scared of other pigs. I got him about a year ago from a rescue home where he sat in a group of other male guinea pigs. He was bitten, slimmed down and very weak. So I assume that he is scared of other pigs. And before they harm him he keeps a tight rein.

I plan to try for another 2 or 3 weeks, but I f it doesn’t get any better, I am going to bring the sow back home. The thing is, Leo was all by himself for 3 weeks and didn’t show any sign of discontent or changed behaviour. So think it is o.k. with him even if it is not species-appropriate to keep a pig by himself. But he seemed quiet content.

I am not going to go for a third try for I don’t want another sow to “suffer”. But if you have any ideas of how to improve the situation right now, I’ll be very thankful.
 

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Is your boy neutered? To be honest i don't have much experience of boar/sow pairings but i've never heard of them not getting on... I always thought a boar/sow pairing was one of the most stable..

The 'chasing' aspect sounds like normal boar behavior in terms of him attempting to have his wicked way with her - but as with all pairings the general advice is: If blood has been drawn then you must separate immediately.

Are the two currently living together permanently? It's generally normal practice to 'bond' them on neutral territory - and once you've put them together unless there is a fight you leave them together - short and frequent introductions only hamper the bonding process.

I'm sure someone with more experience will be along shortly to advise you properly.

How did the initial introduction go? was there any teeth chattering from either pig? Mounting from male etc? The more info you could give will help with advising your next steps.
 

Wiebke

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How did you bond them? I assume that is Leo neutered?

Did you give Leo and the new girl time to get used to each other through bars previous to the introduction until both parties were were interested or at least accepting of each other throuch the bars? And did you stage the introduction in neutral territory with no crannies and only hideys with two exits, so no piggy could feel cornered/invaded and would attack out of fear?

Personally, I would call it off after a bloody fight during introduction. That means that bonding hasn't happened and is now not likely to happen.

I would strongly recommend that you arrange some sow dating for Leo with a reputable guinea pig rescue, so Leo can find the girl that is for him without yourself having to commit to a girl. You will still have to go through the proper introductions at home, though!

Here are tips on how to conduct intros:
http://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=38562
 

piglet fancier

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Yes, Leo is neutered. Both showed interest when they were living next to each other for two days. There was no teeth chattering then.

They have half of the room for the introduction, and it was on neutral ground. All hiding places have at least two exits.

When they first met there was teeth chattering and so forth, but no mounting. They do live "together" permanently. I didn't separate them after the attack. The sow has a "cage carapace" where he won't go into. So at least there she is "safe".

Unfortunately there is no rescue where I live. I got the sow from my vet. There is only one other girl she would lend me. But I don't want another pig go through all this. It is the second time that things go like this.
 

Wiebke

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I am sorry that things have gone haywire - you have done all the right things.

It is not an easy decision to make. Perhaps you could think about changing the cage so they could live side by side and then take it from there?
 

piglet fancier

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I would prefer this over having Leo all alone, but I don't know whether Pollys owner would accept this. I guess I have to talk to her.

Maybe I give it another try. Question is: Do I have to separate them beforehand, and if so, for how long?
 

Wiebke

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How old is Polly? While youngs girls usually accept a boar, this is not necessarily the case with older sows who are past the ideal age of child bearing.

Would it be possible spacewise to keep Polly with the other sow you've mentioned and have Leo next door to them? Right now, I would strongly advise against any re-introductions. They are bound to go wrong.

Please take the time to think things through.
 
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I had a similar problem to you i had a boy and introduced another girl after my other sow died :(. And i was really worried incase someone was going to get hurt because they were fighting. So i kept them apart for a little while and started to research the internet for help.

Anyways I found this Document that said try and sit them together with a bunch of food together and see what happens. So i brought them both in the living room with food ready prepared, with vegetable, fruit and grass and they both just seemed to eat the food after they had, had enough of the food they seemed better than they were. Even though every now and then they had a bit of a squabble. But thats what guinea pigs do i suppose. Your guinea pigs will just be trying to decide whos boss in which area. So just bring them somewhere not in their cage like on the living room floor for example and put down grass and food they love ready and see what happens! Let me know:)! xx Now my piggies Are the best of friends! xx
 

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Polly is about 3 to 4 years old. My other sow died around christmas, so there are only the two of them. And I didn't separarte them yet.

Yesterday evening Leo went into Polly`s cage subpart, where he never went before. She sat in the corner, not moving, but eventually left the cage. There was no bad biting or anything. He is seeking her nearness, is purring and wiggles his bottom, so I hope this is a good sign. He even fell asleep next to her, but she preferred some lonliness. Let's see how it goes from here. I hope that we had a breakthrough yesterday. Otherwise I have to rethink things and figure out what to do.
 

piglet fancier

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Actually it seems Leo starts making a progress. I don't know if Polly would agree, but yesterday, while I was at work, he was mounting P and all that goes with this kind of behaviour. And they were sitting together eating hay. Polly is quite relaxed in spite of him pestering her for two hours. Leo was so exhausted, he was barely eating in the evening. He preferred to sleep. Let's see how it goes from here.
 
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