She definitely seems to have a mean streak! She never did before, but Remy and Maggie also wouldn't have tolerated it like Peanut does. Of course, she's much smaller than Remy and Maggie, and she can't fight back as easily either. Peanut now starts squealing like she's in pain before Rory even touches her as if she knows what Rory's about to do, poor baby. I've only heard barbering in reference to just chewing off hair as well, but it's the closest term I can find to what she's doing. I haven't been able to find much info on guinea pigs just pulling hair out of each other...it doesn't seem to be like typical behavior.
And yes!! I've actually been using one of those one-step step stools for hideys so they have lots of exits. The cuddle sacks are the only thing with one entrance/exit, but they have boning and are very wide (over 1.5 grid length wide and deep), so there's plenty of room for even Remy, Rory, and giant Maggie to fit in at the same time when they want to, so a pig can easily escape if another is coming in. Even with that, I didn't put those in until I was absolutely sure Rory wasn't going to bite her or do any other harm than the hair pulling; they spent over a month without their coveted cuddle sacks, and they were not happy campers at all! You'd almost think they're spoiled or something ;) When Peanut is in there and Rory comes in with her, Peanut easily runs right out past her. Even so, I only put in the cuddle sack when I'm home, and take it out if I'm not around, just in case 2+ decide to gang up on her or something crazy...Even with it being so big, do you think it's still best to keep it out? Rory actually 'attacks' Peanut more in the step-stool hidey than the cuddle sack; that's usually where the chasing seems to start, but I think Rory just likes to pick on her no matter what it's over. I've taken out the stools to see if that would end the fighting, but then the chasing just became completely random. At least with the step stool in there, the chasing is less frequent if Peanut stays away from them. Maggie is the only one who really loves the cuddle sack, and she just curls up with Peanut if she's in there, but still, I worry.
I'll try adding some extras in, I used to make them out of cardboard boxes with exits on all 4 sides because they loved to chew them. I'll make some more and put them in and see if that helps. You'd think in a 6x3, they'd find someplace to just stay away from each other in peace!!! I don't know how some people manage to keep 2+ guinea pigs in small cages; I think mine would just bicker each other to no end!
Lynx, I didn't think about trying the towel, I'll try that too! I've tried a fleece forest, but it only had the hanging bits on the edges, not dense in the middle...I've been wanting to make a dense one anyway, so now I have me a few projects to try for the remainder of the long weekend! :D
Thank you both! I'll try those suggestions and let you know how it goes!
I have tried separating Rory, but the constant crying alone made that not last long...she, Maggie, and Remy have simply been close friends for too long. The good news is, after making several changes, things have gotten better! The chasing has gotten cut down to about once a day for the past couple days, which is far less often than it has been! I've read that sows typically work their stuff out eventually, so long as they haven't fought to the point of drawing blood, so I'm hoping this means they're working it out!!!
The suggestions you gave me, bpatters and Lynx, worked very well! I made a 'fleece forest' for the step stool, added two regular dense fleece forests, a couple differently-styled hideys, and I tried the vanilla dab...it definitely helped! Out of curiosity, what is it about the vanilla that helps them?
Peanut and the rest of the gang are FINALLY settled down. After a couple of months of having to sleep on the couch in the living room to escape the constant bickering/chasing/etc., using vanilla for the beginning, and rearranging the cage as I learned how they handled it best, we finally have a *mostly* quiet herd again! Sometimes, if Peanut is in a bed Maggie is wanting or Peanut gets a treat before Rory, there are small little bickerings, but nothing major. No more scratches on Peanut's butt, less arguing, and one happy (and finally well-rested) piggy-mama!
Peanut has grown sooooo much. When I brought her back home, her little runt self could sit in the palm of my hand comfortably. Now she takes up my hand and half my forearm! After the nutritional struggles I had with Remy due to her blindness, it has been so rewarding to watch Peanut adapt and grow without similar issues. I think having another blind piggy (Remy) helped her adjust and adapt a little. This weekend I caught Remy and Peanut sharing a cuddle sack and cuddled up together, which was probably the highlight of my week.
Maggie is still doing well. She has had some issues I've found concerning, but the vets seemed to think it wasn't anything to be concerned about. She urinates so much. After I pick her up, she'll pee on me within 5 minutes and again 10 minutes after that. Even clipping her nails, she peed and pooped on me during that short time. Some of the poops look like cecal poops to me (green, extremely soft, smelly), but she won't eat them. She lays in the same spot for most of the day and will urinate on herself to the point of having a wet butt at the end of the day. She's drinking about 500mL within 8-12 hours. However, the vet said other than cleaning her up at the end of the day, laying down pee pads to help keep her area dry, and clipping her hair short in the back, there's nothing I can do to really help. She ran a few tests, but she said nothing came back abnormal. These problems only started after her round with GI stasis and bloat, for which she received metoclopramide and meloxicam, but the vet didn't seem to think it was the cause. So fingers crossed that this is just a worried mama thing and no underlying issue.
Rory is still a stinker as always. Her "bad-attitude" I've been attributing to puberty is finally calming down, and she's been much more friendly to the other girls!
I'm so thankful for these past few months of them having good health and settling down. I hope everyone else has had good months with their piggies as well!