Guinea Pig Introductions

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SouthernPigs

Post   » Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:30 pm


Several year lurker here that popped on to ask a question. I apologize if this has been asked before, but I didn't see a thread on this particular scenario.

A couple weeks ago my oldest guinea pig passed away from cancer leaving her cagemate behind alone. I've been looking at the local shelters and found two female guinea pigs to adopt. Only thing is, is that they're not already together/bonded. So if I adopted both guinea pigs I would have three total that do not know each other.

So my question is: What would be the best way to do introductions? Everyone all at once, or separately? Not sure if it's better to let everyone hash out dominance all at once, or if it's too stressful. Or am I just better off getting one pig for now?

I would like to add as a side note, I have four cages total. (The main cage being 5x4.) So if it turns out nobody got along, I do have the resources to house all three guinea pigs comfortably.

Thanks in advance for your responses!

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:42 pm


All at once. If you introduce one pair and they get along, the introduction of the third pig may upset that apple cart totally, and you'll just have created more stress for all the pigs.

However, when introducing three pigs, allow plenty of neutral space and plenty of time for them to get adjusted to each other. The last time I introduced three pigs, it was about nine hours before I was comfortable putting them in the cage, and another two hours before I was brave enough to go to bed.

See http://guinea-pigs.livejournal.com/3002707.html.

guineapiggirl05

Post   » Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:34 pm


I have three boars. Two are brothers and I just introduced another one. Try putting them on the grass in a large pen. My boys do well together on the lawn and enjoy the time outside. Make sure to introduce the grass slowly though, because it can cause diarrea and that's not too fun!

You can also try communal baths. Go ahead and fill the bath tub with about a half and inch of water. Since the pigs are all focused on the "pain" of water touching their feet, they won't fight. I'd reccomend doing communal baths only after they have met beforehand. Floor time with veg and hay is also good, but make sure the space isn't familar, almost like a neautral area.

Hope this helps!
-Gia xoxo

SouthernPigs

Post   » Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:42 pm


Thank y'all for the quick replies, and the links! I'll introduce all three together then when the quarantine period is up.

I do like the idea of introducing them outdoors or using grass, but since I live in Texas and we're hot hot hot right now and the grass quality is iffy at best, I'll probably end up using living room with some hay. I've seen people grow grass in little pots though and give that to their pigs. May give that a shot.

I'm adopting from two different shelters and picked one of them up today and will get the the other one from the other shelter tomorrow.

Unfortunately the shelter I adopted from didn't look like they gave her hay. Just pellets. (Unless of course she maybe had just eaten all of the hay already) And the pellets were the kind with the funky little bright colored "treats" in it. When I got her home she immediately tucked into some hay though and her teeth seem to be working fine, but I'll have to keep on eye on her. The guy at the shelter did say they pretty much deal only in dogs and cats and any other animals get sent off to rescues, but the ones around were currently full. I get the impression they didn't quite know what to do with a guinea pig.

guineapiggirl05

Post   » Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:36 pm


I live in Central California and it gets really hot here too. It has been 95-107 these past two months. I hose the grass down, put them in the shade, and make sure they have plenty of water. You can also lay out wet towels and set up a fan. They are only out there for like 20 minutes, but they still enjoy the grass. I can tell when they're hot, but they don't seem too bothered. I wouldn't know what to tell you about the grass though!

You can also make some forage to mix in with some hay. I just pick some grass, different pig-safe plants, and herbs and stick them in the sun for awhile. You just have to make sure it's not windy, 'cause it'll blow away. You can also make dried carrots that they go CRAZY for. Slice a few carrots into really thin coins and dry them in the sun. I always stock up in the summer, so it'll last through winter. Super easy and natural treats they'll love! You can check out https://erinsark.wixsite.com/pet-care-guide/guinea-pig-foraging for more info about safe plants!

-Gia xoxo

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Wed Jul 19, 2017 4:22 pm


I live in Texas, too, and I wouldn't put mine outside for anything. Besides the heat, there are also the fire ants.

SouthernPigs

Post   » Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:50 pm


Okay, sorry. One more question!

I went and picked up the second one today. The rescue said she might've been housed with a boar before and might be pregnant. I went ahead and adopted and will deal with it as it comes.

I would like to know though, How far into pregnancy does a guinea pig show? It's been 5 weeks since she was surrendered, and to me she doesn't feel any thicker than other pigs I've had. I certainly didn't feel any movement.

Didn't want to mess with her too much though as she's majorly freaked out and doesn't appear to be as well socialized as my others. Im trying to give her a little space for a couple of days.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:42 pm


Here's a pregnancy thread I wrote for another forum. It's got some links to the pregnancy and labor articles on here.

https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/threads/103012-How-can- ... along-is-she

SouthernPigs

Post   » Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:11 am


Thank you!

If I feel or suspect babies in the next couple weeks I'll take her to the vet then since she's about 2 1/2 years old. My vet has done ultrasounds on my guinea pigs before for tumors, so I know he has one.

SouthernPigs

Post   » Sat Jul 29, 2017 5:05 am


Okay, slight update.

Tried introductions today and it didn't go great. Two of them seemed to do their normal dominance thing and were to content to munch on some hay together afterwards.

My other pig, the one that might be pregnant, wasn't so gracious. She drew blood from one and then got in an all out ball of flying fur with the other. Relations were going quickly downhill after that so I separated and retried. Now she goes on the attack regardless.

IF she is pregnant I estimate her at about 47 days since she was surrendered. She of course could've gotten pregnant before that timeframe. I THINK I feel her abdomen growing, but I could be reading too much into it. I've been tempted to take her to the vet to get it checked out. My only issue with that is she seems very unsocialised regarding people, and I think a vet visit would be too stressful. Would a vet visit be worth it? She's 2ish and I'm not sure if she's had babies before. Also if she is pregnant, would hormones contribute to her less than stellar tolerance of my other pigs?

I'm thinking about bonding the two that seem to get along and waiting a month to see if she is actually pregnant and gives birth. If that were the case I could let her and her babies be one group and my other pair be a separate group. Given that the babies are female of course. I definitely don't want to stress her out and try another introduction soon.

Although, the possibility still stands that she's not pregnant and just doesn't want to play nice. I think I'm just stuck playing a waiting game now.

Advice?

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:03 am


I don't know about possible pregnancy hormones contributing to her behavior. If she is around two and you strongly suspect a pregnancy, I would think seeing a vet would either put your mind to rest or alert you and your vet to the fact so you can prepare to see him immediately if there are complications during the birth.

SouthernPigs

Post   » Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:16 am


So good news. Not pregnant, just a little curvaceous (aka fat).

I'm going to give introductions another try in a few days.
The more I read on guinea pig introductions the more confused I've been getting though. Some sites say pulling fur out and even a little bit of blood is okay, and some say absolutely no biting whatsoever. Now I'm starting to think maybe I freaked out and separated them too soon. Never had an introduction get so heated before. I may try a buddy bath next time.

How far exactly should I allow the nipping and biting behavior go before I intervene?

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Mon Jul 31, 2017 12:18 pm


My rule of thumb is to intervene when they turn into rolling, biting balls of fur.

Nipping is about the only way, other than shooting pee, to tell another pig to back off and get away.

guineapiggirl05

Post   » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:31 am


The bath should calm them down a bit. Also, if you have a pen or something, put them all in seperate pens and let them be close, but not together. And maybe distract them with some veg.

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