Introducing new baby pig to 8 month old sow

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Daina

Post   » Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:54 pm


We had two pigs that got along well but recently one of them got a bad case of bloat and passed away. They lived together in perfect harmony - no fighting of any sort.

To ensure our girl (Snowy) had company, we decided to get her a new roommate. The new pig (Squeaks) is only 6 weeks old and Snowy is 8 months old - so quite a significant size difference. Both females. Different breeds (Snowy is American short hair and squeaks is absynnian)

Squeaks has been in quarantine for 3 weeks and passed vet check.

We put her in a small cage on the dining table top (neutral territory) and let snowy walk around the cage to get used to get. Snowy would chew relentlessly on the bars trying to get to squeaks. We let the continue for a few hours every day for a week hoping that snowy would eventually get to know squeaks smell, sound etc but she just seems to be angry about there being someone new.

We then took the cage away and setup lots of little tunnels and food. (All cleaned so no smell). We then put both girls out together without the protection of the smaller cage.

Snowy proceeded to chase squeaks around relentlessly. Nipping at her constantly. Squeaks would just run away, not competing for dominance in any way. Snowy would not show any other dominance traits - no head lifting, butt sniffing, etc. Occasionally she will chatter at squeaks.

Fortunately squeaks is small and fast but snowy doesn't stop chasing her, and poor old squeaks looks sore/ginger and scarred.

What can I do here?

Thank you for your advice.

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PooksiedAnimals
Supporting my GL Habit

Post   » Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:49 pm


Sounds fairly normal. Are they still together? I would be weighing both of them daily, but as long as Squeaks doesn't lose weight, or Snowy doesn't start beating on her to the point of drawing blood or harassing her to the point she can never sit and relax, then I'd leave them be. The whole dominance thing looks a whole lot more violent than it really is. Does Squeaks get a chance to relax and/or eat?

Daina

Post   » Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:56 pm


Thanks for your help - i've put a metal grate/divider between them to give Snowy the idea that she will be sharing a cage with her and to get used to sharing. Squeaks has started mimicking Snowy by also chewing on wire trying to get through.

Squeaks did get a chance to relax and eat when, eventually, she would outrun Snowy and Snowy would tire/lose interest in chasing her. We also pointed the tunnels away from each other so that Snowy couldn't see her when she would be sitting/sleeping. It was quite horrific to watch simply for the fact that Snowy is so much bigger and just doesn't seem to be getting any better (and Squeaks just isn't fighting back, and wouldn't be big enough to if she wanted to)

Would you recommend I keep the divider in place for a few more days (hoping they get used to each other) and then let them together, or go straight to letting them sort this out?

Thanks you so much!
Daina

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:43 pm


Yes, do weigh them both daily right now. It's a good way to make sure they are both doing well.

How big is your cage? Large cages work best.

Check out advice on this page and read the links:
www.guinealynx.info/companionship.html

Daina

Post   » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:46 pm


OK - I'll make sure I weight them each day.

Cage is huge, so no concerns there.

Do you think I should keep the barrier between them for now, or just take it down and let them fight it out?

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:51 pm


Read that page and all the links at the bottom. You can also break up the cage visually by fringing some pieces of fleece and stringing them across the cage so they don't necessarily see each other all the time.

Daina

Post   » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:56 pm


Thanks - I've read all the links on there over the last week or so in preparation as well as to try and work out what to do.

My biggest concern (which is what these articles dont cover) is around the size difference - all the articles seem to relate to piggies fighting, but in this case it's one pig fighting and the other one being bullied (but i"m not sure if what i'm describing really is bullying, or if it's just all part of the introduction process) - particularly as these are two sow's (not boars, which sound like they tend to be the more troublesome pairings)

Daina

Post   » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:57 pm


PS - love the idea of the curtains. will set that up for them tonight. Whilst they are separated, i've been putting their tunnels facing each other - I figured it would be good for them to get used to each other when there's no chance of fighting. The idea of the curtains sound great for when I take the separator wall away (do you think that they are ready for that, or give them a few more days with the wall in place)?

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:41 pm


When you decide to put them together permanently, have it be a time when you are around and can keep track of things.

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PooksiedAnimals
Supporting my GL Habit

Post   » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:34 am


I always do introductions in the beginning of a weekend that I plan to be home all weekend. Because in my experience, it takes days for the dust to settle.

Size doesn't matter. I mean, unless your adult pig is a behemoth. Noli did fine with Pinni, and there was quite a size difference in them.

Daina

Post   » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:58 pm


That's good to know. Thank you for the advice, and I'll plan to do re-introduction on Saturday morning.

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