Starting introductions!

hannahs26

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Decided that today was the day to start introductions between our two pairs of sows. They have now been living in a split enclosure for 6 days, and been showing positive signs of getting along, and as we have a free couple of days, we thought today would be a good time.
Not much drama so far, after about 45 minutes...but one of the older pair is beginning to show signs of aggression to one of the younger pair. Has been a couple of very tense moments, teeth chattering, raising of chins...
Becoming quite tense :-(IMG_20200710_134422.jpg
 

Wiebke

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Decided that today was the day to start introductions between our two pairs of sows. They have now been living in a split enclosure for 6 days, and been showing positive signs of getting along, and as we have a free couple of days, we thought today would be a good time.
Not much drama so far, after about 45 minutes...but one of the older pair is beginning to show signs of aggression to one of the younger pair. Has been a couple of very tense moments, teeth chattering, raising of chins...
Becoming quite tense :-(View attachment 147765
You have now moved from acceptance to the start of the hierarchy sort-out. This is often the tensest phase. it is carried out in a series of face ups between the two group leaders. they either come to an agreement as to which comes top and whether the loser will still want to be part of a new larger group or they won't. It is all down to the personalities in play.
 

hannahs26

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And some lunges towards each other. It seems that when it happens, the other older one seems to try to get in-between the battling pair, as if to calm them...
 

hannahs26

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The older one is still being aggressive towards the same one, rumble strutting and raising her chin and lunging at her, but the younger one is doing less chin raising now, and doesn't seem to be rumble strutting back her now, and is moving away from her more quickly now - hopefully signs she's beginning to be more submissive, and letting the older girl tell her off?
 

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The older one is still being aggressive towards the same one, rumble strutting and raising her chin and lunging at her, but the younger one is doing less chin raising now, and doesn't seem to be rumble strutting back her now, and is moving away from her more quickly now - hopefully signs she's beginning to be more submissive, and letting the older girl tell her off?
Yes, it sounds like the balance is shifting. You just have to sit it out as there will be several rounds of this, just with the result more obvious until the hierarchy is settled to the satisfaction of your leader.

Then in the next stage it will travel down the ladder between sows ranked next to each other.
 

hannahs26

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Yes, it sounds like the balance is shifting. You just have to sit it out as there will be several rounds of this, just with the result more obvious until the hierarchy is settled to the satisfaction of your leader.

Then in the next stage it will travel down the ladder between sows ranked next to each other.
It's so scary watching them! I do hope the younger one just gives in soon, and the older one stops being so aggressive. So then I guess who ever losses the first battle of power will then have a battle with the next, and so on?
 

hannahs26

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Hope it works well.
You just have to hold your nerve.
Priscilla & Jemimah tussled for about 2 weeks before settling into a strong bond.
I aged 10 years!
Holding you in my thoughts today
Thank you so much! Did you introduce them daily for the two weeks, or just for a day or more then leave them to in in a new run together?
All 4 have just had a short nap, and woken up to now lots more squeaking and now more tussles!
 

hannahs26

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The most aggressive one has not got up from the nap yet, so wondering whether she may have achieved what she wanted, and can now rest and let the other 3 battle it out?
 

Merab's Slave

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I put all 4 into a paddling pool in the lounge with towels over the bottom and a big pile of hay.
Then I left them to it for the day, just keeping an eye on things.
Phoebe was a baby so was always going to be bottom of the herd. Merab was always going to be top pig - the other 2 had to sort out their place.
I had some nips and scratches which I was assured was fine.
A bit of fur pulling - also nothing to panic about.
They all went into the big cage in the evening and settled down together.
As I said it took Priscilla and Jemimah about 2 weeks of face offs, tussles and scraps before they deci that they would be best friends.

I had the bonding guide open all day and, if memory serves, a thread open in which I had lots of forum support to save my sanity.
 

hannahs26

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I put all 4 into a paddling pool in the lounge with towels over the bottom and a big pile of hay.
Then I left them to it for the day, just keeping an eye on things.
Phoebe was a baby so was always going to be bottom of the herd. Merab was always going to be top pig - the other 2 had to sort out their place.
I had some nips and scratches which I was assured was fine.
A bit of fur pulling - also nothing to panic about.
They all went into the big cage in the evening and settled down together.
As I said it took Priscilla and Jemimah about 2 weeks of face offs, tussles and scraps before they deci that they would be best friends.

I had the bonding guide open all day and, if memory serves, a thread open in which I had lots of forum support to save my sanity.
Sounds positive :-)
I am so grateful to this forum and all of you here! I couldn't do it without the bonding and behaviour guides and support! 🙏
 

hannahs26

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Nearly 3 hours on, and look at this! This is the older, aggressive one, top right, then next to her is the younger one who was battling with her earlier, now relaxing quietly next to her! No squeaking or teeth chattering going on :-) Each time the younger one comes too close to the older one though, the older one starts to squeak quietly again, but the younger one is now moving away when the older one squeaks. The oldest of the four is quite relaxed through all this, only really getting involved early on, when the other two started to argue.
Is it possible that the oldest is the boss, and the older and younger middle two have been battling over 2nd place?
It all seems fairly relaxed now though, with just a bit of normal quiet squeaking going on with interactions. :-)IMG_20200710_161813.jpg
 

hannahs26

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I have dinner to make, so will leave the guinea pig watching duties to my husband for a while. If all seems just as relaxed in an hour or two, would you think it safe enough to clean and prepare their enclosure for them to share this evening?
Or best to return to their divided enclosure and repeat this again tomorrow?
Without having done this before, it's hard to know at what stage it would be right. Thank you for any advice - I really appreciate it 👍
 

Piggies&buns

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I have dinner to make, so will leave the guinea pig watching duties to my husband for a while. If all seems just as relaxed in an hour or two, would you think it safe enough to clean and prepare their enclosure for them to share this evening?
Or best to return to their divided enclosure and repeat this again tomorrow?
Without having done this before, it's hard to know at what stage it would be right. Thank you for any advice - I really appreciate it 👍
Yes - now they’ve been introduced and if all is going well, then keep them together from now onwards (separating will interrupt everything you’ve done so far!). If you are worried about moving them to the cage tonight and think they need more time, then you are better off to leave them in the bonding pen overnight together
 
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