Spoink

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Hi, any help would be so appreciated.
I have 2 females, Biscuit was adopted and is at least 2 years old (actual age unknown) and one new addition that we got 2 days ago, Piglet - she’s a baby. :love:
We did an introduction and all was really smooth. Biscuit seemed to take Piglet under her wing immediately, popcorning and grooming her, they did a little piggy train around the introduction area as Piglet followed Biscuit around.
Now they are living in the cage together, we have one bowl of pellets for them to share but a bowl each for vegetables because BISCUIT DOESNT SHARE FOOD! (who got the reference? Heh.) which is fine.
Our hay manger is accessible from all sides and they have been sharing it - today however, Biscuit has been territorial over the hay and will not let Piglet get near it. She pushes her away with her nose and to me appear to be scrapping sometimes. There are no squeals or marks so I know it’s nothing too vicious but I’m just worried that Piglet is going to go hungry.
Is this normal behaviour?
Any advice on curbing or helping this behaviour?
Please, anything will help me I’m a first time piggy mum - we have had Biscuit for a year but she has never had a cage friend.3871822E-F6A0-4694-9123-3C095A5CCAA3.jpeg
 

PigglePuggle

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The best option is have 2 of everything, 2 food bowls, 2 water bottles, 2 places for hay quite far apart, so there can't be any hogging. Or not too much anyway, my main herd of 6 have 6 food bowls and its still never quite enough! But if you feed the bossy pig first then encourage the other to the far end of the cage they should soon mostly learn where their individual feeding stations are :)
 

Piggies&buns

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:agr:
Two of every item is advisable.
I have two piggies and have three hay piles, four beds. I have two food bowls, but I scatter feed as much as possible (pellets and veg) so the bowls don’t tend to get used much.


(Friends reference!)
 

Wiebke

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Hi, any help would be so appreciated.
I have 2 females, Biscuit was adopted and is at least 2 years old (actual age unknown) and one new addition that we got 2 days ago, Piglet - she’s a baby. :love:
We did an introduction and all was really smooth. Biscuit seemed to take Piglet under her wing immediately, popcorning and grooming her, they did a little piggy train around the introduction area as Piglet followed Biscuit around.
Now they are living in the cage together, we have one bowl of pellets for them to share but a bowl each for vegetables because BISCUIT DOESNT SHARE FOOD! (who got the reference? Heh.) which is fine.
Our hay manger is accessible from all sides and they have been sharing it - today however, Biscuit has been territorial over the hay and will not let Piglet get near it. She pushes her away with her nose and to me appear to be scrapping sometimes. There are no squeals or marks so I know it’s nothing too vicious but I’m just worried that Piglet is going to go hungry.
Is this normal behaviour?
Any advice on curbing or helping this behaviour?
Please, anything will help me I’m a first time piggy mum - we have had Biscuit for a year but she has never had a cage friend.View attachment 130371

Hi and welcome!

What you are reporting is typical for the dominance phase which follows the introduction and lasts on average about 2 weeks. It is unfortunately not widely known so people are upset about normal dominance behaviours that serve to reinforce the new hierarchy and cement the group structure.

Please make sure that you only have hideys with two exits (chucking the underpiggy out of a prime spot just on principle is also very common) and that you serve any food in two bowls, spaced at least a body length apart and that are only filled with a portion of veg or the 1 tablespoon per day that piggies should have that can be eaten in one go and be removed in between. Over 80% of the daily food intake should be unlimited hay, the more the better for long term health and longevity - a hay and not veg based diet can make a difference of 1-2 years of extra life. Ensure that access to hay cannot be blocked and if necessary offer it two different places well away from each other.

Bonding a single piggy often results in stronger dominance as they can be insecure in themselves at first.

Please take the time to read these links here that will help you to understand what is going on and what to expect from a sow bond:
Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics (also covers the dominance phase)
Sows: Behaviour and female health problems (including ovarian cysts) (includes a chapter on sow dominance)
 

Spoink

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Thank you so much everyone for your input. I have followed your advice and the piggies now have 2 of everything - I’m happy to report there is no longer and scrapping, so far so good. They now sleep together and seem to be well bonded.
Although I have taken Biscuit to the vet today for hay poke - the silly sausage shouldn’t have been diving head first for the hay after all.
 
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