Three Baby Sows(possible Bullying)

Tiffany Beisel

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Hi everyone. I’m new to this so I’m just going to explain my situation. I recently got three baby sows. Two are blood sisters but all three grew up together(the one only being a week or so apart). I read the article on establishing dominance because I felt like that was my situation. However, upon reading I found some valuable information. My girls have been establishing this for a week or more. One is clearly the leader, a grey and white girl named Ruby because of her pink eyes. Ruby like to assert dominance to Pepper(her blood sister) and Cinnamon. Cinnamon however seems to be the one getting targeted most. I knew what they were doing because at first Pepper seemed to want dominance but after a few days she definitely submissed and allowed Ruby to be leader and Cinnamon accepted being the lowest rank. This doesn’t matter to Ruby. Ruby will chase them both and continuously assert dominance. Sometimes I will come in and see Pepper and Ruby (remember they’re blood sisters) lying together. Pepper will lay with cinnamon but not Ruby. Should I remove Ruby and hope Cinnamon and Pepper keep their hierarchy or should I remove Cinnamon because she is a primary target though Ruby chases Pepper as well. These sows are also very young, about 2-4 months. Please help!
 

Reenie

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You haven't said what dominance behaviour they're displaying. In any group of 3 there's likely to be an outsider, but unless the others are bullying her or they're fighting, the bond is ok. There's a bit in the bonding thread about trial separation if you're really concerned that the bond is failing. My 3 boys are well bonded but Groucho is definitely the outsider, and Chicco regularly chases him, but if I take him out - even for lap time, he makes it clear he wants to go back by wheeking for the others. I know boars are a bit different, but I think the same basic rules apply. I hope this helps or someone else has better advice. Good luck x
 

Wiebke

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Hi everyone. I’m new to this so I’m just going to explain my situation. I recently got three baby sows. Two are blood sisters but all three grew up together(the one only being a week or so apart). I read the article on establishing dominance because I felt like that was my situation. However, upon reading I found some valuable information. My girls have been establishing this for a week or more. One is clearly the leader, a grey and white girl named Ruby because of her pink eyes. Ruby like to assert dominance to Pepper(her blood sister) and Cinnamon. Cinnamon however seems to be the one getting targeted most. I knew what they were doing because at first Pepper seemed to want dominance but after a few days she definitely submissed and allowed Ruby to be leader and Cinnamon accepted being the lowest rank. This doesn’t matter to Ruby. Ruby will chase them both and continuously assert dominance. Sometimes I will come in and see Pepper and Ruby (remember they’re blood sisters) lying together. Pepper will lay with cinnamon but not Ruby. Should I remove Ruby and hope Cinnamon and Pepper keep their hierarchy or should I remove Cinnamon because she is a primary target though Ruby chases Pepper as well. These sows are also very young, about 2-4 months. Please help!
Hi! Dominance behaviour moves down the hierarchy when a group is established; it always ends with the bottom piggy. The worst of the dominance comes usually from the sow just rank above. Establishing a new group takes around 2 weeks until they are settled; it can take a bit longer or a bit less.

Please be aware that trios are the most prone to outsider issues in the longer term. But let the girls get on with establishing their group first and foremost. Interfere only if a piggy is actively bullied beyond the normal group dynamics. You are not reporting that and your girls haven't yet finished establishing their group fully.

Young guinea pigs usually associate themselves with an older piggy to learn the ropes; not having that guidance means that one of the youngsters has to take over. She/he will often be insecure in the new role, which can lead to somewhat over the dominance and to a prolonged dominance phase. This is then accentuated whenever one of the girls comes into season.

Make sure that your girls only have hideys with two exits. Chucking an underpiggy out is par for the course, like the other dominance behaviours you'll find listed in the guides below.

Bonding: Illustrated Dominance Behaviours And Dynamics
Sow Behaviour
Bonds In Trouble

Getting Started - New Owners' Most Helpful Guides
 

Tiffany Beisel

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@Reenie @Wiebke their behaviors are chin raised, chasing, occasional nipping, not much blocking from food or water, and a lot of squealing from the submissive. Cinnamon is the outcasted one but also the most submissive (which I guess makes sense) but the other two show dominance traits still to each other and Cinnamon but Ruby uses it on everyone. I studied their behaviors last night. They have a forest hide and an overhead upper layer that doubles as a hide. It’s large enough that for their size they can’t corner each other.
 

Wiebke

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@Reenie @Wiebke their behaviors are chin raised, chasing, occasional nipping, not much blocking from food or water, and a lot of squealing from the submissive. Cinnamon is the outcasted one but also the most submissive (which I guess makes sense) but the other two show dominance traits still to each other and Cinnamon but Ruby uses it on everyone. I studied their behaviors last night. They have a forest hide and an overhead upper layer that doubles as a hide. It’s large enough that for their size they can’t corner each other.
Hi! Make sure that you have got three hideys so the can get away from each other. The dominance behaviour is in the normal range and obviously at the stage where the lower ranks are being sorted out and confirmed.

I am afraid that you have to just sit it out!
 

Tiffany Beisel

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Okay! I was just worried because in the article it said it should take a week to establish. I kind of assumed the age had something to do with it too.
 
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