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Piggy problem, help!

(15 Posts)
Sookeh Sat 03-Nov-12 14:06:22

I've recently introduced my big pig to a new friend after his companion died. Little pig is five weeks old and after five days big pig is still growling at and mounting little pig all the time. I've gone to pick little pig up for a cuddle and he squealed and squealed in terror whereas before he was really quite docile and loving.

What do I do? Should I separate them and get my little pig a friend or keep at it even though I think they're both getting quite stressed?

Big pig does genuinely seem to prefer being on his own.

Thanks in advance

HecatePhosphorus Sat 03-Nov-12 14:14:05

I'd separate them and put them in cages next to each other, give them time to get used to each other while keeping them from fighting. Introductions should be gradual, you can't just plonk the new one in the cage.

You shouldn't put a new guinea pig into the existing one's cage. You need to introduce them gradually, in neutral territory.

And there's always the possibility that they just don't like each other! Guinea pigs are real characters and they don't always get on. You have to find the right friend.

click here quite a lot of info here

Sookeh Sat 03-Nov-12 14:17:26

I didn't just plonk him in the cage, sorry should have explained better.

This is just when they play together after their side by side time. They don't seem to have got anymore used to each other than they were so I'm wondering if I should keep them separate as a permanent measure.

Big pig just seems really put out by him and little pig is getting increasingly stressed out sad

HecatePhosphorus Sat 03-Nov-12 14:20:42

Sorry, I shouldn't have assumed that you had grin

It can take bloody ages for them to shake down together - and sometimes they never do! Just like people, some of them just don't like each other.

Has it only been 5 days though? Did I read that right? If so, that's no time at all and you shouldn't worry that it means they'll never become friends.

But yes, if big pig seems happier without a companion - and just wants you grin and little pig is being bullied and you can find them someone else, then that would be a solution too.

Sookeh Sat 03-Nov-12 14:23:11

Big pig is very stroppy and has been through and lost two companions so I think he's had enough sad.

Little pig just seems really stressed all of the time but I don't know if I could cope with three pigs.

So stressful grin

HecatePhosphorus Sat 03-Nov-12 14:27:49

oh, poor lad. He's possibly grieving too.

People may laugh at me for that but I truly feel piggies love and feel the loss of a friend deeply and it can affect their behaviour in the short term.

Perhaps give them a break from being with each other and go back to just having them close without being able to get to each other, see if they get used to each other?

fridayfreedom Sat 03-Nov-12 14:33:23

not quite the same but when we moved our two boars into teh indoor cage there was a lot of settling in to do with Big pig doing a lot of strutting, rumbling and mounting.
We were advised to take away all their hidey holes and just put in loads of hay to nest in so there weren't any areas to get territorial about.
Took about a week and now they are friends again and have sorted out the hierarchy again.

BonkeyMollocks Sat 03-Nov-12 16:43:10

My two didn't settle until after after a few weeks, unless they draw blood in a fight I would wait it out if you can.

I haven't been able to get my two back together yet but I will keep trying with lots of wine because I know that they would be happier together if they just stopped being arsy .

Problem being, if you separate them and get you new pig a friend then you could end up with the same problem and have 3 separate cages and 3 separate pigs. Have you got the room/time etc to do this if it came to it?Unfortunately boars can be hard to match up, especially when they are still going through the hormonal stage!

I would ride it out for a while and see how you go.

BonkeyMollocks Sat 03-Nov-12 16:48:02

Oh and 'growling' isn't a bad sign its just a display of dominance. The thing you should be looking out for is horribly loud teeth chattering and face offs.

Mounting, rumble-strutting, chasing is all normal behavoir. In fact go back a few pages here and you will find my thread which is pretty much the same as this one in April.

Don't give them any reason to argue, plenty of hideaways, tons of hay, two of everything etc.

BonkeyMollocks Sat 03-Nov-12 16:58:15

Just re-read properly, have you got them in the same cage 24/7 or just together for playtime?

If its the latter, this will happen everytime because they need to re-establish boss role. I would bite the bullet and scrub the cage and the pigs and let them be together the whole time, see what happens.

My two were straight in from day one. BigPig chose LittlePig and that was that. Ignore what happened later on . I have tried them together on the odd occasion but just havn't got the balls to leave them to it and sort it out. They need time to settle or they will have to keep going over the same 'I'm the boss' ritual. I would try and get it done soon too because if your new pig does what my LittlePig did and gets a rage of hormones at 12weeks and decide that he wanted to be boss, then he could be harder to be put into place iyswim.

Bloody stressful little animals! grin

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 03-Nov-12 18:15:40

Sookeh where did you get Little Piglet from? Is there any chance he smells of female pig- either mum or sister pigs?
It's too cold too wash them and he's a bit young but you could try using an animal friendly wipe on them both (like baby wipes) to make them smell the same?

It is early days. Your Adult Pig (Tyrion is it) has been through a lot. Now he's got a new kid on the block!

Our boys are in the the weekend (at night due to the fireworks). I've given them 2 boxes of hay tonight (even though thats most of the cage space) and half a sweetcorn + celery and parsley. I'm pretty sure this will be gone by the time we get back.
They have their spats but as long as they've got somewhere to escape they can sulk safely.

The growling, mounting and chattering is typical dominence behaviour. Your Big Pig is showing he's boss.
Even the "Who can get their head higher" -one will walk away eventually.
Ours will walk under or through each other.
Take the food from each others mouths.
Want the piece of grass the other one is sitting on.
You'd think it would be the bigger one but GP2 can be a right little bugger in a "Oh look at me with my little fatty eye and my hedgehog face" way.

I've pit mine back in their indoor cage together (they are fine in the Pighouse and their run together). I'm going to try to keep them in the Pighouse as long as possible , see how the winter pans out.

Sookeh Sat 03-Nov-12 19:16:22

Okay I'll put them together and hope for the best.

Any ideas why little Pig (Pumpkin) is suddenly so skittish and afraid of being picked up?

BANGBonkeyMollocksBANG Sat 03-Nov-12 19:29:55

If he is 5weeks old then thats probably a good reason why. New home, new pigs etc.

My LittlePig was a fricking nightmare to hold and catch at the beginning. Bugger jumped of the sofa and out of my arms more than once. He was up and down for a while before he settled.

Make sure you scrub the cage so it smells new and 70s idea of a wipe with a toddler wipe is a good one!

DizzyHoneyBee Sun 04-Nov-12 15:17:41

Sookeh, we have recently added a new guinea pig but they are not in the same cage yet (waiting for one to go jaffa!), they play together with a fair amount of teeth chattering from one of the them at times. When they get on best is when they are both on a knee with them both being stroked, the new one is determined not to be walked all over and won't put up with any nonsense from the other whereas he is expecting to be the boss.
When he is out of the cage he will walk to the other cage and sit on the floor nearby chattering away to her until we get her out.

guineapiglet Mon 05-Nov-12 10:18:40

Hi - hope things are going better? I have some experience of integrating young pigs, and as others have said, it can take a very long time, so go with it - it is quite stressful, your little pig is probably very scared, has been taken from his Mum and now has an unfamiliar guinea as his family.... he needs his own space to get comfortable with you and your routine, - this is why he is skittish, everything is new and scary for him, bless him. Personally I would wait until you put them in together long term, short bursts of getting used to each other may pay dividends, especially if your big boy is a bit unsettled by it all - in one case my attempts did prove harmful for one of our girls as you need to watch them all the time. I suggest that you put them both in a big area, with open igloos ( so they can escape and cannot be cornered) and supervise them, much of this will depend on how much time you can spare. I would not leave them unsupervised to start with, but make sure they can see each other all the time- I have recommended Freecycle for additional hutches/cages, so they can have room to be separate. Really hope it works for you all, the baby is still very young and this may be a bit stressful for him, just give him time and space!
Good luck, let us know how you are doing....

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