Trouble in guinea pig paradise - please help!

(16 Posts)
Toomuchtoosoon16 Thu 29-Sep-16 17:53:39

My guinea pigs have been with us for a few months, since they were 8 weeks old. One of them seemed a bit bigger and bossier from the start.
Recently this seems to have flipped - the smaller one chases the larger around (though the larger one sometimes retaliated by sitting on his head). The last few days big-but-bullied one looks kind of wet all over, and the other one is often to be seen "biting" him - I don't think he's biting the skin though, just his hair!
What the Jeff should I do? They are so young the thought of keeping them apart forever is horrendous, and we really don't have the space. Is this a phase?

glenthebattleostrich Thu 29-Sep-16 20:00:55

What you have is teenage boars. They are trying to exert dominance over each other.

Give them lots of space but I think the advice is to not separate unless they are drawing blood. (At least that's what my vet advised).

I'm sure more experienced owners will be along soon.

yeOldeTrout Thu 29-Sep-16 20:23:45

I used to guinea-sit someone else's cavies.
Because they squabbled, the owner started to separate them. The more they squabbled the less time they spent together. Then the fights got really bad & they couldn't spend time together at all without drawing blood.

I'm convinced that the owner was too interfering, too quick to separate them, and this made the squabbles escalate when they were back together.

I might be talking rubbish, but I think PP is right, try to keep them together if possible.

Toomuchtoosoon16 Thu 29-Sep-16 22:06:23

Ok thank you I will do - I really couldn't keep them both if they were separated so it would be a last resort anyway. I just feel so sorry for the wet and chewed one! He doesn't squeak in pain or anything, just keeps moving away and looking pissed off.
I've learned a lot in the last couple of months, what interesting creatures they are!

Toomuchtoosoon16 Thu 29-Sep-16 22:09:44

Here they are in friendlier times smile

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 30-Sep-16 09:24:12

You'll always get one dominent one and yes they're going through The terrible Teens.

What you can do is make everything Pig Neutral and bamboozle them (it doesn't take much wink )

Move all their furniture round, give it all a good scrub - vinegar is good, it neutrelises smells, new boxes, new bedding. Cardboard box each with 2 doors (escapre route).
Big pile of hay.

Wash them, it works. It puts them into a mood with you so they forget about the mood with each other.

Our older boar raised his stepson from a tiny piglet (6 weeks) to a strapping great lardy boar , who of course tried to jump on him. He had a hmm look but used to tell him to Foxtrot Oscar and they sorted it.

There will be tussels. Boars don't naturally live in pairs , it is a set up that works if they have space to get out of each others way and there are loads of happy boar pairs about.
But in their natural state they'd have lots of wives (like my neutered boy , henpecked by his 2 wives and another 2 wives next door grin )

We used to pick up the Dominent one first and put them back first to peruse the clean cage. Once they knew their status they were quite happy.

Its not just boars BTW, our GP7 pesters our GP8 (both sows) but theres no chewing or fighting.

notthebees Fri 30-Sep-16 09:26:36

Have they been neutered? That seems to calm things down a bit.

FernieB Fri 30-Sep-16 10:36:10

Keep them together. They'll settle. I've been through this and survived, although one pig did take a piece out of the others ear! Give them separate hidey holes and if necessary face them away from each other so they don't have to look at each other. If they've got on well in the past, they'll get on well again, just persevere. Bath them and neutralise the cage so it's all new. Move things round in it to confuse them. Put the food bowl in a different spot each day - it freaks mine out and they can't find it for a bitgrin.

If they start a scuffle, throw in some veg to distract them. If it does escalate, never use your hands to separate them (pig bites are nasty), throw a towel over them and then grab them.

When they've decided a pecking order, respect it. I always prioritise our dominant boy - first bit of cucumber, first back into the cage etc.

notthebees Fri 30-Sep-16 13:08:06

I was told to give the less dominant pig his food first. Can't remember who told me that - I think it was the vet. They've calmed down now anyway.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 30-Sep-16 17:10:09

Neutering makes no difference to boars, one of the only animals that don't change their ways when they're castrated.

I've had un-neutered boars
One who we had neutered at a year (to match with females)
One who was ready neutered to put in with our ladies

It's a considered risk to a guinea-pig, not to mention ££ (we paid £58, the Rescue where we got GP6 is charged £40 by their vets but they probably do en mass . )

PurpleDaisies Fri 30-Sep-16 17:16:47

Have they been neutered? That seems to calm things down a bit.

It didn't make any different to our two. Apparently once they decide they don't like each other (badly enough to have bloody fights) they're often just really stubborn and won't get along. Neutering does allow them to take a wife (or three!).

froubylou Fri 30-Sep-16 17:21:41

Are they both definetly boars? I only ask as in had 2 boars. Then a bit of scuffing. Then a very fat 'boar'. Then 2 adorable but unexpected piggies.

Toomuchtoosoon16 Fri 30-Sep-16 22:35:42

Frouby what a surprise! I did see both their piggy willies briefly when buying them so don't think it's that I out case. We were advised that neutering was risking for them (anaesthetic) and not really necessary.
We will try the cleaning and bath. The bullied one looks like he's heading for a spiky haircut and just looks wet all the time due to his cellmate's mouth being on him all the time.
I can't help thinking i should be rescuing him somehow. He doesn't squeak in pain or make frightened sounds, just keeps trying to walk off and looking a bit pissed off. Should I lift the other one away when he does, say no etc? Or leave them to find a way through! It's so odd though that the domineered seems to have become the dominant.
Thank you for all the advice, I don't know any pig owners in real life.

putputput Fri 30-Sep-16 22:45:33

We had to separate 2 pairs of boars and I know they were far happier for it.
In the first case one of our piggys lost an eye and after that I tended to err on the side of caution.

yeOldeTrout Sat 01-Oct-16 09:36:27

I had one die instantly due to anaesthetic when he was in to 2 b neutered. I'd be cautious to take that risk again.

FernieB Mon 03-Oct-16 17:18:11

Leave them if you can. They'll find their own way through. My old Smooth boy (now deceased) had a great strategy for dealing with his friends rambunctiousness. It didn't matter what Scruffy did, Smooth just lay down and ignored him. Worked a treat. Smooth was actually the dominant pig and Scruffy just tried to stage a mutiny every so often. Now Scruffy is the dominant pig as his new Ginger friend is a much younger boy and was 'brought up' by Scruffy. Gingerpig is a lot bigger than Scruffy now but still defers to his foster dad over everything.

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