Think I may have to split my piggies up.

Betsy

Forum Donator 2019/20
Joined
Mar 26, 2017
Messages
21,947
Reaction score
24,989
Points
2,425
Location
Southampton, UK
Relunctantly I am coming to the conclusion that it may be crunch time between Dennis and Chrisitian. There have been no fights but Dennis is frightened of Christian. It was so bad tonight that Dennis was wheeking for his dinner at the top of the hutch when he knows it is always served at the bottom of the hutch. I put him down with the others at the bottom and he just ate the smallest amount before he went back upstairs again. He then refused to go down and just looked at me a wheaked for his dinner again. I put a bit up at the top along with some grass which he ate hungrily. I thought that they had worked out their differences over the last week or so as they seemed pretty relaxed in each others company but Christian is getting to be quite dominant over Dennis who is just the sweetest natured piggy so would rather walk away and keep clear of Christian. I don't reallly want to split them all up but feel that now I may have to. It's just deciding who goes with who. Betsy with her failing eyesight is very dependant on all the piggies to help her, Meg would be lost without Velvet and the two of them get on better with Christian than they do with Dennis. Betsy and Dennis have always been friends but Betsy gets on with and needs the other piggies. I know I've been lucky to get away with 2 boys living with 3 girls for so long.

Advice needed please!
 

SkyPipDotBernie

Senior Guinea Pig
Joined
Jun 24, 2018
Messages
7,882
Reaction score
8,920
Points
1,550
Location
Northampton uk
Relunctantly I am coming to the conclusion that it may be crunch time between Dennis and Chrisitian. There have been no fights but Dennis is frightened of Christian. It was so bad tonight that Dennis was wheeking for his dinner at the top of the hutch when he knows it is always served at the bottom of the hutch. I put him down with the others at the bottom and he just ate the smallest amount before he went back upstairs again. He then refused to go down and just looked at me a wheaked for his dinner again. I put a bit up at the top along with some grass which he ate hungrily. I thought that they had worked out their differences over the last week or so as they seemed pretty relaxed in each others company but Christian is getting to be quite dominant over Dennis who is just the sweetest natured piggy so would rather walk away and keep clear of Christian. I don't reallly want to split them all up but feel that now I may have to. It's just deciding who goes with who. Betsy with her failing eyesight is very dependant on all the piggies to help her, Meg would be lost without Velvet and the two of them get on better with Christian than they do with Dennis. Betsy and Dennis have always been friends but Betsy gets on with and needs the other piggies. I know I've been lucky to get away with 2 boys living with 3 girls for so long.

Advice needed please!
Any chance you can rescue a sow and start a new pair? Then it will leave the rest of the herd not changed apart from Dennis.
 

Betsy

Forum Donator 2019/20
Joined
Mar 26, 2017
Messages
21,947
Reaction score
24,989
Points
2,425
Location
Southampton, UK
Good idea just not sure how OH would feel about another piggy as he says 5 is enough. Although when I told him tonight about what had happened he got very defensive about Dennis and that's from someone who claims not to like my piggies too!
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
65,630
Reaction score
31,583
Points
3,456
Location
Coventry UK
Relunctantly I am coming to the conclusion that it may be crunch time between Dennis and Chrisitian. There have been no fights but Dennis is frightened of Christian. It was so bad tonight that Dennis was wheeking for his dinner at the top of the hutch when he knows it is always served at the bottom of the hutch. I put him down with the others at the bottom and he just ate the smallest amount before he went back upstairs again. He then refused to go down and just looked at me a wheaked for his dinner again. I put a bit up at the top along with some grass which he ate hungrily. I thought that they had worked out their differences over the last week or so as they seemed pretty relaxed in each others company but Christian is getting to be quite dominant over Dennis who is just the sweetest natured piggy so would rather walk away and keep clear of Christian. I don't reallly want to split them all up but feel that now I may have to. It's just deciding who goes with who. Betsy with her failing eyesight is very dependant on all the piggies to help her, Meg would be lost without Velvet and the two of them get on better with Christian than they do with Dennis. Betsy and Dennis have always been friends but Betsy gets on with and needs the other piggies. I know I've been lucky to get away with 2 boys living with 3 girls for so long.

Advice needed please!
I am very sorry and hope that you can work out who is best with who or whether to leave all girls together if they are closely bonded, and rather look for a new wife.

When you are a good and more experienced owner you pick up on the underlying currents and when they take a turn for the worse pretty quickly. Group dynamics are just that - a dynamic process that is not static and that will not always evolve in the direction you would like them to. :(

Heartache, headache and sleepless nights' time, unfortunately... :(
 

SkyPipDotBernie

Senior Guinea Pig
Joined
Jun 24, 2018
Messages
7,882
Reaction score
8,920
Points
1,550
Location
Northampton uk
Good idea just not sure how OH would feel about another piggy as he says 5 is enough. Although when I told him tonight about what had happened he got very defensive about Dennis and that's from someone who claims not to like my piggies too!
But from what i have seen in @PigglePuggle herd, they all seem to know when a new pig is in the same room, so could be a problem? Its a tough one for me because i only have experience with a pair.

All the best with this, i will keep watching this thread. I'm sure there will be more ideas tomorrow.
 
Last edited:

Betsy

Forum Donator 2019/20
Joined
Mar 26, 2017
Messages
21,947
Reaction score
24,989
Points
2,425
Location
Southampton, UK
But from what i have seen in @PigglePuggle herd, they all seem to know when a new pig is in the same room, so could be a problem? Its a tough one for me because i only have experience with a pair
I hadn't thought of that. Thanks for pointing it out. If I decide this is the best way forward they would all be sharing the same hutch just with the ramp taken out that is until we move in the (Hopefully) not too distant future. Then it'll be another headache as to where to put Dennis and any potential new wifelet as the piggies will be living in a garage with free access to play pen.
 

SkyPipDotBernie

Senior Guinea Pig
Joined
Jun 24, 2018
Messages
7,882
Reaction score
8,920
Points
1,550
Location
Northampton uk
I hadn't thought of that. Thanks for pointing it out. If I decide this is the best way forward they would all be sharing the same hutch just with the ramp taken out that is until we move in the (Hopefully) not too distant future. Then it'll be another headache as to where to put Dennis and any potential new wifelet as the piggies will be living in a garage with free access to play pen.
You never know, it could be a change for the better, could go smoothly👍. I hope so for you. I think wiebke , pigglepuggle and other member with herds will be best to help you along the way, I'm clueless with herds and hierarchies
 

eileen

Forum Donator 2019/20
Joined
Oct 17, 2013
Messages
3,801
Reaction score
3,448
Points
1,245
Location
coalville
Has Dennis any underlying medical problems,if there is any weakness in the group it can cause dominance or bullying.maybe weight Dennis daily to ensure he is eating ok.i would leave it a week before making any rash decisions,to see if it settles down.I'm sorry you are having hard time with your herd.:hug:
 

eileen

Forum Donator 2019/20
Joined
Oct 17, 2013
Messages
3,801
Reaction score
3,448
Points
1,245
Location
coalville
ive had problems with one of my groups,lowest sow in the hierachy being bullied and losing weight.i placed her in a more gentle group and she is doing much better .she is gaining weight.not so easy when you only have one herd !
 

HeatherRose

Forum Donator 2019/20
Joined
Jan 6, 2018
Messages
1,779
Reaction score
7,792
Points
1,405
Location
Kentucky
It sounds like a good excuse to get a new piggy to me. Dennis might be happier with a new little wife all to himself. I had a similar situation but with sows. Tiana and Elsa were bullying poor Anna and she would just hide all the time and do a lot of distressed sounding submissive squeaks. When I got Jasmine and paired them up, Anna became much more bold and confident.
 

Betsy

Forum Donator 2019/20
Joined
Mar 26, 2017
Messages
21,947
Reaction score
24,989
Points
2,425
Location
Southampton, UK
Has Dennis any underlying medical problems,if there is any weakness in the group it can cause dominance or bullying.maybe weight Dennis daily to ensure he is eating ok.i would leave it a week before making any rash decisions,to see if it settles down.I'm sorry you are having hard time with your herd.:hug:
I had Dennis thoroughly checked at the vets a couple of weeks ago Eileen as he had been losing weight for a few weeks and the vet could find nothing wrong and declared him a very healthy piggy. She was examining him for a good 20 mins to half an hour and Dennis got fed up with all the prodding and poking and tried to do Kamikaze jumps off the table! He usually takes one look at the nasty vet lady does a swift 180, runs up my body and cowers on my shoulder under my hair!
 

Lady Kelly

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Messages
10,993
Reaction score
11,705
Points
2,115
Location
Leicester
Oh no, even though this was always a possibility you hope it never happens. I have had to split my foursome before when I had Jemima as she was losing weight and the vet thought it was the stress of young Isobel joining the group. I took out the ramp and had Jemima and Peter upstairs with Daisy and Isobel downstairs. There were no problems with having this set up for me.
 

Betsy

Forum Donator 2019/20
Joined
Mar 26, 2017
Messages
21,947
Reaction score
24,989
Points
2,425
Location
Southampton, UK
My problem @Lady Kelly is I don't particularly want to split Betsy from the rest of the herd as she relies on all the piggies to help her with a her failing eyesight and she has a particularly strong bond with Velvet. I think this is the way I'm going to have to go though because I don't particularly want to introduce another pig. I have had sleepless night thinking about what to do. As I said earlier Dennis and Betsy have always been great friends and the love of each others lives. I'm sure Betsy will adapt to having just Dennis around and she'll still be able to smell the others.
 
Last edited:

Swissgreys

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 15, 2016
Messages
5,500
Reaction score
10,451
Points
1,965
Location
Zürich, Switzerland
I think your plan sounds like a good one @Besty
I am sorry it has reached this stage but I think you are doing the right thing.
And whilst it is always tempting to want to add a new piggy, to begin with I would try putting Dennis and Betsy together and see how it goes.
If you add a new pig you add a new personality and potentially more complications.

If you stick with the ones you already have and know you can at least give it a try and see how they adapt to the new groupings.
If Betsy really does seem lost away from the others then you can always rethink at that point, but she may adapt better then you think to life with just Dennis.

Good luck - it's awful when you have to split your group :hug:
 

Betsy

Forum Donator 2019/20
Joined
Mar 26, 2017
Messages
21,947
Reaction score
24,989
Points
2,425
Location
Southampton, UK
I think I'm going to leave it another couple of days to see really where all my piggies are at. If Dennis keeps removing himself from the others then he is telling me he no longer wants to live with Christian. When they are out in the run together they are all fine. It's just when they go back in the hutch. Dennis and Christian were eating and playing together in the run yesterday. I don't want to make any rash decisions.
 

PigglePuggle

Forum Donator 2019/20
Joined
Apr 20, 2018
Messages
3,776
Reaction score
11,343
Points
1,775
Location
Liverpool
Oh dear this sounds very tricky, you've had such a well established herd for so long!
You could try a trial seperation for Dennis with Betsy and see if it cheers him up, but then maybe his brother would accept him even less if you tried put them back together... I'd be tempted to find Dennis his own wife, but you dont want to rush into anything, especially if you are moving soon, and don't want to add another piggy...
Hugs and wheeks, piggy politics are a real headache!
 

piggieminder

Forum Donator 2019/20
Joined
Apr 7, 2015
Messages
6,986
Reaction score
8,705
Points
1,625
Location
Bristol, UK
Sending you hugs, sorry you are having this headache, it's such a shame your herd are falling out now after all getting along so well. You've had loads of good advice so I won't add to the mix!
 

VickiA

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 1, 2013
Messages
18,550
Reaction score
21,260
Points
2,165
Location
Cheshire, England
Oh dear. Piggies are mercurial in their relationships. If Dennis is losing weight and there is no obvious health issue it does seem from his behaviour that he is being bullied in some way and wishes to live apart from Christian. It does sound like its time for a 2 household split but I don’t envy you the decision making process.
 
Top