Today was our first attempt at introducing them so we followed everyone's advice and left them to their own devices in a neutral ground and cleaned the cages, joined them together and after a few hours of them all getting along we put them together.
After about 3 hours of them all being happy together in the big cage one of the younger ones started rumbling at the older pig and in the end they lunged at each other so we quickly separated them back to babies and older pig. The rumbly pig, Polly, has since been chattering her teeth at the older pig, Peggy, through the bars and has started rumbling at the other younger pig, Poppy.
So I have a few questions.
1, did we put them in the cafe together too soon? It all seemed to be going really well so we thought they'd maybe grumble a little but be okay.
2, which pig would you separate in this situation? We've returned to how it was before but Peggy and Poppy seem to have been getting along fine so should we have just removed Polly instead?
3, does this mean they won't live together as a nice 3? Or can we try it again in a few days?
- Supporter in 2019
I'd try it again in a few days. Helpful info may be found here:
Most here will tell you that unless there is bloodshed or extreme bullying (to the point where the one being bullied is unable to eat, drink or enjoy the habitat in relative peace), it will largely be a matter of letting them work it out and establish the hierarchy.
When they were in the neutral space, Peggy and Poppy seemed like they were getting on brilliantly. After the initial sniffs they were friends, Peggy was grooming her. Even when they got in the cage they were fine for a few hours. I'm hoping they will be happy together at some point as Peggy has been on her own for some time now and it would be nice for her to have friends to play with.
- Supporter in 2019
Was one baby lunging at another, or was it the adult? Lunging in and of itself is not too problematic if it's just a show of dominance and there isn't any biting/bloodshed involved (as long as it doesn't become a chronic thing). Lunging and biting is definitely something to watch out for.
Did you read through any of the Successful Introductions threads? One thing others here have tried when all else fails are so-called "buddy baths."
It was just rumbling to begin with and then accompanied with a lot of teeth chattering, puffing herself up and nipping. But once they lunged we separated them by putting the grids back up between them.
Perhaps during the floor time the babies thought Peggy would be dominant because she's huge in comparison? And then once they settled into the cage Polly decided she wants to be the boss?
I read through so many introducing posts before we even got the babies and watched loads of videos too. This is our first time trying to put a herd together so I wanted as much information as possible.
- And got the T-shirt
And I certainly wouldn't separate after the first lunge. I'd have a towel ready to throw over them in case it escalates to a fight, but the older pig may well take care of the situation herself.
If it carries on and they can't live together then how would you separate? She rumbles at Poppy too so would you put Poppy with Polly (the rumbly one) or Peggy. She wants to be their friend, she spends a lot of time at the shared cage wall until Polly rumbles at her and she backs off.
She seems to have calmed down today but my concern was just that if they wouldn't get on in the future which pig to remove. Not that we are planning on that, we want them all to live together happily! Just want to know what to do if it did happen.
If you feel you must separate, I'd put the lunging one by herself and the other two together.
Be aware that between 6 and 18 months piggies go through adolescence -- and just like many human teens, they can get downright bratty and tempermental. The spats will likely get worse, not better, during that time period for the young ones. But this too shall pass. Once they exit adolescence, they mellow quite a bit.
If every time we separate they have to start from scratch does that mean that you wouldn't recommend play dates? If they all get on out of the cage then just put them straight in together?
Hopefully it will stick this time as I really want them to all live together happily. Polly is the only one who hasn't been spending a lot of time near the bars, she spends a bit of time there but the other 2 are there almost constantly.