third guinea pig?

mackenzieluvslife

New Born Pup
Joined
Jan 11, 2020
Messages
28
Reaction score
13
Points
125
it’s been a while since i’ve been on here!
my girls Mocha and Latte are doing good, both healthy and happy!
they’re bonded, but there is still kind of a clash of personalities.
Latte mostly likes to keep to herself while Mocha really wants to play with her.
we were considering a third pig, partially because of Mocha and partially because we just want another. i am prepared for the extra work and money it’ll cost. i’ve read the article about adding a third piggie to two sows, and have heard it doesn’t always end well.
i know we can get a neutered boy but i’m not sure how i feel about that yet...
IF we were to get another girl, would we have better luck with a baby pig, or an adult pig?
thanks! <3
 

Piggies&buns

Forum Donator 2020/21
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Messages
9,630
Reaction score
11,658
Points
1,925
Location
Cambridgeshire
Trios are the combination that are hardest to get right, sometimes a pair don’t want a third piggy added to them. There is often an outsider situation occur. Plus, adding a third piggy won’t heal any problems between your current pair, it could make things worse. But just because they don’t sleep together doesn’t mean they aren’t well bonded.
Age is not an important factor. Character compatibility is so bonding at a rescue centre is safest as you only come home with another piggy if acceptance has occurred. That goes for whether it is another sow or a neutered boar - your piggies ideally need to be able to choose if they want a new friend and who the new friend will be.
If you were to get another piggy on spec then you would need to be prepared for it to fail, have a second cage and be prepared to bond the single piggy with a new friend of their own.

Adding More Guinea Pigs Or Merging Pairs – What Works And What Not?
 

Olivitree

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Apr 16, 2009
Messages
169
Reaction score
102
Points
330
Location
Gloucester, Gloucestershire
In my experience age matters less than personality, I have has some VERY sassy young piggies who have jumped into combat with no real provocation.
It is possible to do trios, I have done it before myself but there is the issue you're then trying to get 2 guinea pigs to like a third, so there is twice as much potential for one of them not to get along with the new comer.

If you are super keen, I would say find a rescue thats happy to have them back if bonding doesn't happen or be prepared to start up another cage set up with another pair of piggies, read up VERY thoroughly on all the bonding behaviours we have here as its all super useful information and you just need to be super vigilant to trouble brewing.

We have a bonded pair of sisters who have so far refused any other guinea pigs, this can happen, so we have two cages.
You have to be prepared for every eventuality.

I'd suggest a neutered boar if you really want to go ahead, not because its likely to work out easier, ( there is some element of that potentially but again, it depends ENTIRELY on everyone's personalities) but because there are SO MANY lovely lads in rescues that get overlooked for sows.

As above though, it wont necessarily fix the problems between your current two and there is even a potential for that bond to break between them.
 

mackenzieluvslife

New Born Pup
Joined
Jan 11, 2020
Messages
28
Reaction score
13
Points
125
In my experience age matters less than personality, I have has some VERY sassy young piggies who have jumped into combat with no real provocation.
It is possible to do trios, I have done it before myself but there is the issue you're then trying to get 2 guinea pigs to like a third, so there is twice as much potential for one of them not to get along with the new comer.

If you are super keen, I would say find a rescue thats happy to have them back if bonding doesn't happen or be prepared to start up another cage set up with another pair of piggies, read up VERY thoroughly on all the bonding behaviours we have here as its all super useful information and you just need to be super vigilant to trouble brewing.

We have a bonded pair of sisters who have so far refused any other guinea pigs, this can happen, so we have two cages.
You have to be prepared for every eventuality.

I'd suggest a neutered boar if you really want to go ahead, not because its likely to work out easier, ( there is some element of that potentially but again, it depends ENTIRELY on everyone's personalities) but because there are SO MANY lovely lads in rescues that get overlooked for sows.

As above though, it wont necessarily fix the problems between your current two and there is even a potential for that bond to break between them.
i’ve looked everywhere for a shelter, i cant find any places that would accept them back as far as i can tell :(
 

Piggies&buns

Forum Donator 2020/21
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Messages
9,630
Reaction score
11,658
Points
1,925
Location
Cambridgeshire
i’ve looked everywhere for a shelter, i cant find any places that would accept them back as far as i can tell :(
Because it’s so unknown whether they will be compatible, taking them dating at a centre so you only come home with a third piggy if it has been successful or the centre agreeing to take piggy back if bonding is unsuccessful upon attempting a bonding yourself is ultimately the safest way. Otherwise you will need to have a plan b for a new piggy to be single and live alongside your current pair. (With the potential of that single needing to be bonded with another piggy and again if bought on spec there is a chance of failure, so you could end up with a pair and two singles). The centre websites won’t necessarily give you enough details about what they do and don’t offer, so a phone of email conversation is best
 

Siikibam

Forum Donator 2020/21
Joined
Jul 31, 2017
Messages
11,321
Reaction score
13,726
Points
2,125
Location
Home
Then I would suggest you try and find a rescue that will (in time when things are more back to ‘normal’) allow them to go dating and choose their own. Alternatively look into rescuing a bonded (Sow) pair To live separately from your current pair.
 

Claire W

Forum Donator 2020/21
Joined
Mar 23, 2008
Messages
27,024
Reaction score
15,566
Points
2,415
Location
Lancashire (Originally from Nottingham)
I once bonded a third piggy to my bonded pair of girls. They did get on but she was often singled out so I bonded a forth girl and all was well.

It really does depend on personality.

As others have said, it’s best to let them choose their own friend at a rescue
 

Olivitree

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Apr 16, 2009
Messages
169
Reaction score
102
Points
330
Location
Gloucester, Gloucestershire
i’ve looked everywhere for a shelter, i cant find any places that would accept them back as far as i can tell :(
I'm not sure I've found a piggy rescue that DOESN'T take them back, if you're reasonable with them and they're a proper guinea pig rescue, they understand bonding doesn't always work, they maybe able to offer you another guinea pig to try with. The ones I have adobted from actually state it in their terms and conditions that you MUST give the piggy back to them rather than adopting them out elsewhere if bonding fails. You may not see this on their website it tends to be part of the adoption package you get when you have chosen a piggy.
It's worth talking to local guinea pig specific rescues about it and seeing what they say.

I'm not saying they'll give you your money back, rescues really put so much money in to every piggy and barely get costs covered. But they may take the piggy back so you don't have to start a new cage up and avoid the costs there.

Certainly a better option than a pet shop, at least as they may not take the piggy back AND the piggy could transfer something to your piggies.
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
74,219
Reaction score
49,137
Points
3,466
Location
Coventry UK
it’s been a while since i’ve been on here!
my girls Mocha and Latte are doing good, both healthy and happy!
they’re bonded, but there is still kind of a clash of personalities.
Latte mostly likes to keep to herself while Mocha really wants to play with her.
we were considering a third pig, partially because of Mocha and partially because we just want another. i am prepared for the extra work and money it’ll cost. i’ve read the article about adding a third piggie to two sows, and have heard it doesn’t always end well.
i know we can get a neutered boy but i’m not sure how i feel about that yet...
IF we were to get another girl, would we have better luck with a baby pig, or an adult pig?
thanks! <3
Hi!

Trios are the most tricky piggy combo to get right. When they work out, they are great (I have and have had a few of them). But I have also had more trios that haven't worked out.

Please be aware that adding more piggies to a bond that doesn't work will only make any problems worse, not better. The newbie will inevitably side with one of the pair in the longer term. Well bonded pairs are often not interested in a third party.

If you really want to add a third into the mix, then please do so by rescue dating so you bring only home a new piggy if acceptance has happened and you have got the rescue to fall back on in case things don't work out. If you bring home a newbie of your own choice you need to plan for the fact that you may end up with a split and that you have everything in place to accommodate that.

It is a widespread human misconception that piggies snuggle up when sleeping. Most will sleep apart when they have the choice and even those that like snuggling up will only do so part of the time. However, who wants to see videos of piggies sleeping apart?
When watching 'cute' piggy videos please always take into account that it is human perception of what they like to see and not a realistic reflection of normality that drives the selection.

Adding More Guinea Pigs Or Merging Pairs – What Works And What Not?

Recommended good welfare standard rescues (link to rescues in some other countries below the UK map). We can only guarantee for the carefully vetted rescues that are listed. Anybody can call themselves a rescue or a breeder without licensing and supervision.
Rescue Locator
 

Mo & Stubbins & Vani

Teenage Guinea Pig
Joined
May 27, 2020
Messages
895
Reaction score
924
Points
475
I don't know whether this helps or not, but I have three sows who live together wonderfully! :)
Mo and Stubbins were rescued together as babies, and Vani was added in after three months of adopting the pair.
They love sleeping side by side and all crowd around one pellet bowl (even though I have three). :)
 
Top