Stubborn old sow

piggy.pack

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I have this adorable sweet new piggy that I’ve been trying every day to slowly introduce to the my existing two older sows in a large neutral territory with tons of veggies and piles of hay for at least 2 hours.

The leader of my now pack Beatrice is totally fine with the new piggy I’ve seen her snuggling down next to her, licking her ears and only the odd nip if she comes too close (and by odd I mean i’ve only seen her go to nip her about three times in total). She clearly doesn’t see the new younger piggy as a threat and is confident her place in the hierarchy is secure.

However, my other piggy Mouse in the middle of the hierarchy is a grumpy old sow, whenever the new piggy will come up to give her a sniff or is remotely close to her, she’ll chase her away or nip at her or even pee in her face! I really want to move the new piggy in as she’s only little but Mouse is being very stubborn and I’ve seen little bonding progress :(

Any tips you guys have?

(They are currently next to eachother and can sniff through the bars as I wanted to make sure my new piggy isn’t isolated, but ideally of course I want them in together asap!)
 

Piggies&buns

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So you say you’ve been trying for several days for two hours at a time? Is it the chasing/nipping behaviour which is causing you to separate them after a few hours? Bonding is done in one go and if you separate them, you interrupt their processes and they don’t get as far as actually establishing the hierarchy. Urine spraying is a warning move.

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)
 
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piggy.pack

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So you say you’ve been trying for several days for two hours at a time? Is it the chasing/nipping behaviour which is causing you to separate them after a few hours? Bonding is done in one go and if you separate them, you interrupt their processes and they don’t get as far as actually establishing the hierarchy. Urine spraying is a warning move.

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)
What should you suggest I do then? Do a really long bonding session? :)
 

Piggies&buns

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Yes, bonding is done in one go by putting them into a bonding pen and seeing it through to conclusion whether it be success or failure. It takes hours in the bonding pen, potentially overnight if you are concerned they haven’t gone through the initial stages of acceptance and establishing a rough hierarchy. Then, if successful, you clean down the cage they are to live in so it is also neutral and move them to the cage together. It then takes a further two weeks of them living together for them to fully establish their relationship.
You only separate if it is clear acceptance has failed either while in the bonding pen or later down the line - bonding a can also fail a few days/weeks into it if they fail to establish a hierarchy so it is something to keep an eye on during the whole time.

The bonding guide I linked in in my previous reply explains

You say they are older - how old are they? Sometimes adding a new piggy to a bonded pair just doesn’t work so it’s always something to be prepared for.
 
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Swissgreys

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What should you suggest I do then? Do a really long bonding session? :)
Yes. Basically with guinea pigs you need to bond until it is done one way or the other, and this can take a while (my longest was around 7 hours in the bonding pen until I felt comfortable putting them back in the main cage).

Equally I have also had bonding sessions that were over in under 5 minutes when it became very clear that the piggies in question were simply not ever going to get on.
 

piggy.pack

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Yes, bonding is done in one go by putting them into a bonding pen and seeing it through to conclusion whether it be success or failure. It takes hours in the bonding pen, potentially overnight if you are concerned they haven’t gone through the initial stages of acceptance and establishing a rough hierarchy. Then, if successful, you clean down the cage they are to live in so it is also neutral and move them to the cage together. It then takes a further two weeks of them living together for them to fully establish their relationship.
You only separate if it is clear acceptance has failed either while in the bonding pen or later down the line - bonding a can also fail a few days/weeks into it if they fail to establish a hierarchy so it is something to keep an eye on during the whole time.

The bonding guide I linked in in my previous reply explains

You say they are older - how old are they? Sometimes adding a new piggy to a bonded pair just doesn’t work so it’s always something to be prepared for.
The are both 3 :)
 
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