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My 2 guinea pigs brother are fighting and hurt each other..what should I do ?

(36 Posts)
mypocketsarevide Sun 16-Feb-14 19:47:49

They are almost 1 year old. They have a massive hutch but we bringing them back at nigh because it's cold in a smaller cage. Yesterday I have noticed that one piggie (the smaller one) was bleeding under his nose following a scuffle with his brother. Following this, we separated them.

We just put them together again as they were looking sad, and the other piggie got hurt and is bleeding. They are again separated.

What should we do in the long term ?? Neuter them and introduce another piggie, possibly a girl ? I'm suggesting this because I heard that neutering them, wont help their behaviour but if you introduce another one, a girl. It will help.

I am at loss at what to do, they are clearly unhappy :-(

starlight1234 Sun 16-Feb-14 19:52:02

They need separating...

I had what I thought was a girl turned out to be a boy..So introduced another boy not wanting babies... They were great friends when younger but when they grew up just fought and I had to separate...They can kill each other ..Other things I did which did improve things to a degree was make sure there are two feeding bowls and two water bottles so they both have place to eat and sleep

Floralnomad Sun 16-Feb-14 19:55:10

I agree ,keep them separate , we had girl siblings who fought and one ended up with a really nasty abscess that took 3 operations and weeks to clear . They were indoor piggies so we just kept them in adjoining cages and they seemed fine with that .

mypocketsarevide Sun 16-Feb-14 19:57:38

Ok to keep them separated, but they are going to miss each other at some point ? No ? I though you had to keep them in pairs !

Sunflower49 Sun 16-Feb-14 20:00:19

Neuter and keep separate. Once neutered give them a girl piggy each? Obviously her spayed as well.

You could perhaps try introducing them once the neutering has definitely taken effect-(carefully!) but bulls often prefer being housed with a female, and yes they do get lonely, they're not solitary by nature.
It's preferable to them hurting one another though.

Floralnomad Sun 16-Feb-14 20:00:47

Ours were fine ,one died at about 5 and the other ( the one with the abscess) was nearly 7 ,they got lots of human attention . We didn't want to start introducing new pigs because if they hadn't got along we had visions of ending up with loads of cages with single piggies in and 2 large indoor cages were more than enough.

Yep you'll have to separate them I'm afraid. Once they develop a dislike for another pig it's pretty unusual for them to make up.

Unfortunately they also like company sad I'd say you could try introducing another but bear in mind you might end up having to get two more and have two in each cage!

We found with ours that the ones who didn't get on were OK when they were in the run together because it was a bigger space (?) And one time we think that two of them got spooked by something, possibly a strange cat coming in through the cat flap as they were fine when we moved them to a higher up cage.

starlight1234 Sun 16-Feb-14 20:01:34

They do say that but they are also very nervous animals but mine were fine on their own..One has now died and the other seems content...

mypocketsarevide Sun 16-Feb-14 20:07:24

They have a massive hutch, I can't imagine buying another one...we have another smaller hutch...maybe sending one of the piggie away, the big one/nasty one and keeping the nice one and get another one ?

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sun 16-Feb-14 21:24:32

mypockets

I had a similar problem to you a couple of years back.(In the October)

Brief history:

My DD and I got two 1yo brothers. Their outdoor house is my DC old wooden Playhouse, so lots of room, hay, hidey spaces.
Heater for winter, fan for summer.

Until they had to come indoors for Guy Fawkes....... I'd bought a 4'x2' cage (the biggest one I could find). They were in the dining room.

And I made a huge mistake of giving them a load of coriander (they love parsley, coriander turned them bad)

The smaller one went for the bigger boar. Got his teeth onto his back. There was no face-off or growling, it was All Out War.

So, by night , we seperated them. A metal grid to give each 2'x2' but this was only their night winter cage.
Every morning they went out to the Pighouse. I made sure the food and water was well apart.

They were fine in their run, in their Pighouse. Not in the indoor cage.

Next winter, I didn't divide, but I filled it with hay and gave each a box. I put them in the small bedroom with a duvet over the top to insulate against draughts and noise. They were fine. I could hear them at night.

We now have a young boar (the little pig died) and I gave them a bigger indoor run. Piglet tries to bonk the older one but minimal squabbles.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If you are unable to re-introduce them (try everything to make sure they have enough room. Maybe try everything neutral again. Boxes with open doors so one can't trap the other) then if they have to side-by-side it;s not the end of the world.

My boars (GP1 and GP2 were brothers) GP1 and GP3 were boar matched when GP3 was 6 weeks old. They don't cuddle together.
They might sit in the Haybox but not snuggled up,
Or one will be in there, the other in one of their houses (I have hay all over the floor of the Pighouse at the moment)

If they can see each other to chat, that's better than being alone.
Neutering two boars to live together won't change them.
Neutering two boars to pair with sows is lovely. But you have no guarentee they'll get on. There's a risk in surgery. And you are doubling you're food/cleaning.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When you say 'massive' cage, how big?

(As an example, my fur babies have an indoor run that is about 5'x3' with an extra bit into the bay window - it's flexible panels. It's a nice size for my boys and gives them twice the area of their nark inducing space)

C&C cages might be worth a look.
I got some cube shelves from Costco which are similar (in case I ever need to rustle up a cage or someone leaves a box of guinea-pigs on my door step )

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sun 16-Feb-14 21:31:12

You don't need to spay a sow if your boar is neutered.

It's not an operation that is taken lightly, boars 'nads are simpler.

(And don't forget the ££ involved in neutering)

Sunflower49 Mon 17-Feb-14 01:03:05

I always spayed mine to reduce the risks of cancer, and yes it does get expensive :/

FernieB Mon 17-Feb-14 06:24:29

My lads went through the terrible teens - one of them has a small piece of ear missing hmm. I kept them together and they worked it out. I made sure they had their own hidey holes and bathed them regularly so they smelled the same. After a couple of weeks of bickering with the odd scuffle they established Smooth as top pig.

Last year Smooth had a leg issue and I had to separate them so he could recuperate. I had them in an indoor run with a mesh partition. When they first got back together they were rolling round on the floor biting each other so I split them again. After a week they worked out how to get through the partition and moved back in together. I left the partition there for a while so they could still be apart but eventually removed it and all is well.

They are now nearly 3 and apart from Scruffy trying to bonk Smooth (which he stops by snarling) they get on fine mostly.

I hope you can let them work it out together but if they really can't stand each other make sure they can see each other. As 70 says they may be okay in their larger hutch. Try bathing them as well so they smell the same and if you reintroduce them after time apart do it in a neutral smelling area (thoroughly clean it out) otherwise one of them will think the other is invading his space.

mypocketsarevide Mon 17-Feb-14 08:39:30

Hi everyone !

We have this hutch

They are both separated, gp1 (the small one) is inside in a cage and he looks miserable, gp2 (the big one) is in the hutch and is hidding.

I'm going to bath them today (they like their bath) and reintroduced them in a very clean cage and will monitor them..

Yesterday was terrible, they were at both ends of the cage and they were twerking against the walls of the cage then they attacked each other and drew blood again :-( and I'm really worried about the smaller gp as he is really smaller than gp2 who looks massive.

FernieB Mon 17-Feb-14 09:42:10

Good luck. If they do start going for each other don't stick your hands in. A GP bite is awful. Throw a towel over them and then remove one while they're confused. Luckily it is quite easy to confuse a pig grin.

dietcokeandwine Mon 17-Feb-14 17:58:49

So sorry to hear your pigs have been fighting, OP. I hope your efforts to reintroduce them work.

We had something very similar with our two boars last year-really nasty fight and one pig sustained some horrible injuries which have left him with a permanent limp. We also had to separate them and can basically never risk them together again.

We had them side by sided for a while, in two indoor cages, and then had them neutered and adopted two girl pigs for them a few months ago.

If you do end up having to separate permanently and want to go down the neuter route, I can recommend it-yes two lots of cleaning out but then if you side by side them you have that anyway! The neutering is a risk, of course (we had a very good vet who I trusted completely but it was still a worry) but for our pair it has been so worth it in the long run. They are so happy now with their girls, one of our pairs now fall asleep curled up together which is the cutest thing ever, and they nuzzle and groom each other all the time.

The boar/sow pairing is supposed to be the calmest and according to the rescue we got our girls from, it is very rare for girl-boy pairs to fall out once they have bonded initially.

I really hope you manage to reintroduce your two though. It can be done, I think-we were just unfortunate that ours fought so badly.

mypocketsarevide Mon 17-Feb-14 18:17:11

Thank you for all your help, we are going to bath tomorrow and reintroduced them in clean cage. Its such a shame as Gp1 is sweet natured but gp2 is not. Gp 1 clearly miss his brother or the company of another Piggie. I wonder if we should'nt send gp2 away and get another sweet natured Piggie for gp 1.

FernieB Mon 17-Feb-14 18:33:05

Don't be so hard on GP2 - they are all lovely in their own wayswink. I hope they can settle together.

dietcokeandwine Mon 17-Feb-14 18:34:54

Thing is though it's not so much about individual natures as how a pair gel together.

It was our dominant tricoloured pig who was bitten by his ginger brother, who is honestly the calmest sweetest natured pig you could wish to meet. Tricoloured pig is actually very sweet too, though less snuggly than ginger pig. They just didn't get on.

mypocketsarevide Mon 17-Feb-14 18:51:54

Gp2 is ginormous compare to his brother..gp 1 stands no chance against him...he is all sad sad..I could not give away one of my pet, I'm going to follow all the advice given by you.

Pagwatch Mon 17-Feb-14 18:54:35

Yes. Separate them imediately. Years ago one of our pigs killed the other. Very distressing.

mercibucket Mon 17-Feb-14 19:06:16

do they just have that cage or a run as well? boys need a lot of space and a hidey each. does that cage only have one bed area? how about food and water? are there two hay racks and two water bottles? if there is no attached run i think they are just getting on top of each other.

mercibucket Mon 17-Feb-14 19:11:08

tbh any cage is too small for two boys that are full of teenage testosterone. they need two separate areas to call their own and a big run then they might tolerate each other better.
or buy another cage and put two runs next to each other for company
or get a girl each for company .

mypocketsarevide Mon 17-Feb-14 19:49:49

It's a massive hutch, with 2 bowls, 2 bottles of water, lots of hay. We are not putting them in the run, because the grass is wet. Could I find 2 already nuttered girls somewhere ?

mercibucket Mon 17-Feb-14 20:19:13

honestly
that cage is not big enough for two males that dont get on brilliantly well, not if they don't have an attached run. i know, the weather is aweful, mine are going stir crazy too.

it's great that you have 2 hayracks and bottles on different floors so they can escape to their own areas but it just sounds like they still want to wind each other up sad
if it had 2 bedrooms you could take the ladder away, block up the hole and let them talk but not see each other. i have had to do that before.

i doubt you will find 2 sows who have been spayed but it would be great if you could. most people don't spay (it's rabbits that need spaying to avoid cancer iirc). but if neutering the boys and getting them girl company is an option, go for it. or just get another cage for the boys and keep them side by side. they would be happy enough like that imo

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