• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.
  • You can find lots of information on how to settle in, understand your new guinea pigs in our New Owners Guide Collection but please ask any questions you have in Wannabe and New Owners' section.
  • Spring Photo Competition - For more information Click Here Deadline for Photo submission extented - Sunday 6th May...

Sow Behaviour

Status
Not open for further replies.

Danau

New Member
Joined
May 8, 2011
Messages
58
Likes
0
Points
0
Location
Brighton
#41
Hi,
My lady Koffie is in heat at the moment. She's always been the dominant sow, but her and Dolly get on like a house on fire.
However, this is the first time in 2 years that she's started mounting Dolly. Koffie's prowling and showing off and will not leave Dolly alone.
Dolly seems positively scared of this new behaviour that her friend has never shown before. I feel very bad for Dolly. She literally can't escape the attention. After Koffie's been trying for about an hour, she gets tired and has a little nap, but immediately afterwards she'll start arguing and mounting again.
Would it be wise for me to separate them for the time being, until Koffie's calmed down? Or would that just make things worse?
 

Zebra

New Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2011
Messages
2
Likes
0
Points
0
#42
Blood drawn

Thank you for all this information - it is great. I wonder if any of you could help me with my piggies please.

I bonded three sows (one mother and baby) 2 days ago. This was on the advice of our rescue centre. Our piggy is elderly and recently lost her sister and seemed to be pining. It seemed ok other end of the hutch etc. They have lots of space and 2 sets of food etc.

This morning the new mum was missing a small piece of ear and the baby had little bite marks on one ear. Is this bullying or just old zebra showing that she is boss. She had bitten her sister's ear once before and gives me a nip(not hard) if she is grumpy. Do you think I should separate them or hope it settles? Please help.
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2011
Messages
7
Likes
1
Points
0
#43
Guinea pig Bullying?

Hi, I'm wondering if you could help me- I just adopted 2 1 1/2 year old sows from my vets office b/c the nurse who had them couldn't take care of them. (They were her daughter's guinea pigs). She gave us one cage, about 24 by 18, and a long one probably about 4 feet long and 2 feet wide. When I got them they were originally in the smaller cage.
WHen I took them home, I noticed that one sow, Dakota, a short hair, was bothering Nestle, who has cowlicks all over her. She won't let her eat food except off of the floor. When Nestle goes into the plastic igloo she pushes her out, and I found her this morning (the day after I got them) next to the poopy - covered corner of the cage that has an air conditioning vent around a foot away from it. She was very cold, so I picked her up and cuddled her.
I honestly don't know what is wrong, and Nestle seems to be absolutely terrified whenever dakota comes near her. She won't eat lettuce unless there is enough for both her and dakota, and she won't eat smaller things like carrots until dakota has eaten her fill. I am really worried sick about the two of them.
Could you help me?:...
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
58,710
Likes
23,886
Points
3,340
Location
Coventry UK
#44
Please start your own thread in the behaviour section! You will get more answers much more quickly specifically for your problem. This is an informative thread!

You are dealing with a major dominance problem. How much space have your girls? Two guinea pigs should have a minimum of 2x4 ft (60x120cm). Have they got a hidey and a bowl each, preferably well spaced away so the dominant girl can't prevent the other girl from eating and sleeping?

Please weigh both girls at least once weekly for health control throughout their lives; if the undergirl is losing weight, you are dealing with a bullying problem.
 

gizmo01

Adult Guinea Pig
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
1,428
Likes
38
Points
425
Location
Canterbury, Kent
#45
Please start your own thread in the behaviour section! You will get more answers much more quickly specifically for your problem. This is an informative thread!

You are dealing with a major dominance problem. How much space have your girls? Two guinea pigs should have a minimum of 2x4 ft (60x120cm). Have they got a hidey and a bowl each, preferably well spaced away so the dominant girl can't prevent the other girl from eating and sleeping?

Please weigh both girls at least once weekly for health control throughout their lives; if the undergirl is losing weight, you are dealing with a bullying problem.
Wiebke could you or someone do one of these for boars or has there been one done thanks x>>
 

Glynis

Forum Buddy
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Messages
36,760
Likes
1,409
Points
1,965
Location
Croydon, Victoria, Australia
#48
Sorry! I am just very new to the forums! That was my first post. :{
Hi love, yes if you could start up your own thread, more people would see it xx>>>
And don't worry it's really confusing when starting on a new forum isn't it!
Anyways welcome to the forum :)
The more room the better for your girlies! Yes it does sound like a dominance thing :...
i'll look out for your thread,

Glynis, Velvet and Onyx x
 
Joined
Jan 7, 2012
Messages
1
Likes
0
Points
0
#49
Guinea pig sows live in groups and need a strict hierarchy to keep order.

Dominance
Sorting out the dominance is therefore vitally important for guinea pigs of the same gender. Typical behaviour includes rumbling while shifting the weight from one back leg to the other ("rumblestrutting" ), teeth chattering, headbutting and nipping (with the other girl protesting loudly) and bullying practices like taking over the hut, food bowl, hay etc. She who rumbles last is first lady!

In most cases, dominance is usually decided very quickly, but it can take days and even weeks until a balance has been struck between how much the dominant girl can push her companion and how far the undergirl allows herself to be pushed. After they have sorted out the terms of their relationship, girls will usually become best friends.

When sows are pretty evenly matched, there can be a dispute. Teeth chattering (with the other party making an answering defiant clucking noise), yawning, going chin to chin (pushing their heads up facing each other), chasing, nipping and little scuffles can result. It can look pretty rough to us humans. Don't separate until there are serious, bloody fights; the girls NEED to sort out their differences without our interference!

Only in rare cases will a girl attack others on introduction or not bond. If blood has been drawn, the sows should be separated.

Sows in season
Girls come into season about every 15-17 days. Often you won't notice, but sometimes, they can be very hormonal. I have observed that this happens more often with adolescent girls, freshly bonded or introduced girls or after an operation that interfered with the estrus cycle.

The girl coming into season can be grumpy or temperamental for a few days (especially if she is the alpha sow). Over the perhaps one and a half day of her season, she will sniff bottoms, rumble, chase and mount her companion as if she were a male. Her companion will either kick her off straight away or allow her to hump until she's fed up, all accompanied by lots of squeaking! Well bonded girls will often reaffirm their bond with tender cuddling on the following day.

Coming into season can spark a reopening of the dominance dispute, especially when the undersow is not happy with the way things are. What we think of as sexual behaviour is very often used as a dominance tool to sort out and redefine the relationship.

Permanent fall-outs
In rare cases, a sow that has been happily living with her sister or a companion for years can suddenly and for no apparent reason decide that she will not tolerate her companion any longer. It can also happen after a medically necessary separation that the operated girl may not be accepted back, even if she has been kept next door and had interaction through the mesh/the bars.

You can try to reintroduce the girls on neutral ground (if necessary after a bath), but if they don't get on - especially after blood has been drawn - you will have to keep them separated permanently. Sadly, once a guinea pig has decided that another piggy is no longer part of "us", it will rarely change its mind.
Your article regarding the behaviour of sows was very helpful to me. I have a mother and daughter plus an older boar. The younger of the sows has always been a cheeky madam but over the last few months has become quite aggressive towards her mother, but moreso towards the boar. She has also become the larger and heavier of all the the three.
 

VampVenom

New Born Pup
Joined
Aug 28, 2013
Messages
4
Likes
1
Points
0
Location
Newcastle, UK
#50
Hey,

I have three sows, all 7 weeks old and from the same litter (i've only had them just over 2 weeks)

They are currently in a 120 rabbit cage until i build a 5x2 C&C cage, and recently they've started to bicker.

At first i thought Willow was bullying the other two, Harley and Quinn. Then i noticed that Quinn was doing the same to Harley and Willow!... Harley dosn't seem to bother with this behaviour and is the shy one of the group, when Willow is the first to the food and the first to start popcorning about! (does this mean Willow will be the dominant one? Shes the smallest!)

Their behaviour ranges from being happy in their hidey holes to raising their heads up and chasing eachother out of the hidey holes. Did i make the right desicion to get 3 hidey holes? (an igloo, log and tube)

I'm worried they will not get on at all, it seems that Willow is the worst. She picks fights with both Harley and Quinn (they are both black and sleek where willow is ginger white and tufty, this makes me wonder if they are from the same litter)

I hope to God they get along well, i couldnt bare having to seperate them :'(

Please HELP!
 

Guinea pig slave

Senior Guinea Pig
Joined
Feb 6, 2011
Messages
6,605
Likes
236
Points
730
Location
West Midlands, UK
#51
Start a new thread in 'Behaviour' - members will respond faster :)
Does sound very much like the normal hierarchy games they play and unless they have a bloody fight, would leave them to sort it out.
It is hard to witness as submissive piggies really can make squealing noises that freaks us out but is all a natural way of piggies sorting out who is top pig :)
 

piggies123

New Born Pup
Joined
Oct 10, 2012
Messages
2
Likes
0
Points
0
Location
Cheshire
#52
My two sows have fallen out permanently. I adopted them last year as their owner could no longer keep them. One sow is a bit older than the other and has dominated the younger by jumping on her back from time to time and pulling her fur. Last Sunday the chase and fight went on for two hours which resulted in the younger piggy being traumatized. So I have separated them. They are now in cages near each other but have only communicated twice. They have had fall outs before but have made up in minutes. I can only think that the younger sow is no longer submissive to the older one as she has settled in with me and her confidence has grown as she feels more secure under my care. Anyone else had this problem?
 

piggies123

New Born Pup
Joined
Oct 10, 2012
Messages
2
Likes
0
Points
0
Location
Cheshire
#53
My two sows have fallen out permanently. I adopted them last year as their owner could no longer keep them. One sow is a bit older than the other and has dominated the younger by jumping on her back from time to time and pulling her fur. Last Sunday the chase and fight went on for two hours which resulted in the younger piggy being traumatized. So I have separated them. They are now in cages near each other but have only communicated twice. They have had fall outs before but have made up in minutes. I can only think that the younger sow is no longer submissive to the older one as she has settled in with me and her confidence has grown as she feels more secure under my care. Anyone else had this problem?
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
58,710
Likes
23,886
Points
3,340
Location
Coventry UK
#54
Fall outs between sows are much rarer than with boars, but they happen, especially when the girls turn out to be not character matched. Sometimes, it can be due to hormonal problems. Some sows become more unsociable as they get older.

I am sorry, but once sows had a serious fight and fall out, they won't go back together again, ever - even if they are sisters and have lived together all their life. :(

The best thing you can do is to try and date them at a good rescue under expert supervision with either a neutered boar or another sow of their liking. that way, you can maximise your chances at finding a compatible friend at minimal risk to you. You will only come home with new piggies if there is success.

I can most warmly recommend these two rescues from the Piggy Bank list of (vetted) good standard, practice and ethics guinea pig rescues, who will only rehome healthy, guaranteed not pregnant piggies and who are highly competent. It is well worth going a bit further for peace of mind! I hae rehomed from both rescues myself.
http://www.thepotteriesguineapigrescue.co.uk/
http://www.rspca-walsall.org.uk/

The RSPCA has a neutering boar policy and they offer sow and neutered boar bonding. Cross gender pairings, once initial acceptance has happened, are the most stable bond of them all, so you may be tempted to consider them after your experience. Please persist if you don't get an immediate answer; the branch is entirely run by volunteers.

if you have further questions, lease open your thread in this section.
http://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/showthread.php?106345-How-to-start-a-New-Thread
 
Status
Not open for further replies.