From the very get-go, Delilah from the first pair and Cecilia from the second pair were not found of each other. Constant bickering and chattering. However, there was never actually any physical fighting or biting. So I decided to leave them in.
Flash forward to now, Delilah and Cecilia still do not get along. Still no blood drawn, no physical fighting. However, Delikah is the dominant piggie of the cage, and Cecilia became her personal frustration outlet. She chases Cecilia around fairly often, several times a day. Cecilia has become withdrawn to the point where she does not enjoy the company of any of the other piggies, and also avoids human touch as well. She screams almost every time she is picked up, and it's become her nature to instantly "whine" every time a piggie gets close. Worse, if removed from the cage or separated from the others, all she does is cry until she is put back with the herd.
She generally stays away from the herd, eats by herself until Delilah chases her away, and mostly spends her life avoiding Delilah.
It's not a cage size issue, I have a 9 ft by 3 foot c&c cage that is three levels high. There are four water bottles, an entire room dedicated to food, and multiple tunnels that are open on both sides. They live in a mansion. Everybody gets along except these two.
I'd be inclined to leave them be, but I cant help but notice the huge changes in Cecilia's personality. She used to be friendly, cuddly, and affectionate with humans. New she is reclusive and constantly whiny.
I've tried separating them. All Cecilia does when separated is try to get back to the others. I've tried separating them by pairs, but they all want to be together. Delilah is bonded with her biological sister, Abigail, so I cant remove delilah either because Abigail would be unhappy.
So I'm just sort of at a loss, because it seems like Cecilia is just doomed to be unhappy.
That said, their core personalities won't change much. Dominant pigs will usually remain dominate and submissive pigs will remain submissive after they mature into adulthood. If Cecilia wants to be with the herd in spite of Delilah, then she should remain with the herd.
I have a similar situation with our neutered male, Twilight, who lives with our females. At one point he lived with six females (but three have died of various ailments -- a heart issue, bloat, and complications from a thyroid issue -- at differing times so there's just three now).
The thing about neutered males is that they can still "do it," just without being able to make babies. Our sows cycle about the same time, and they are only "in the mood" when they are in heat. The rest of the time they are definitely NOT in the mood, and he gets nipped at and sometimes even chased a lot. All that rejection has taken a toll on Twilight, and he hides a lot. But if we remove him from the others, he wants to be back with them. I think he's fine. We just pull him out for extra TLC from humans and extra treats more often than the others. (He is a loving piggy with us humans, and when the others are in heat he's a happy little pig!)
I hope your girls work something out, it's so miserable isn't it xxxx
- And got the T-shirt
The general "wisdom" says that neutering won't reduce dominance, but there are people who say that it does. My own feeling is that if males are neutered very young, it probably does help. How much it helps older pigs, I don't know.