Guinea Pigs/guineas

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Question
i recently purchased 2 guinea pigs from 2 different pet stores. they one is between 7-8 weeks old and the other is 6-7 weeks old. The oldest is suppose to be a female and the youngest a male. when i got them home and put them in the cage the older one kept nipping at the younger one, as time went on it seemed like the older one got more aggressive and would charge the younger and nip at him. I separated them because the smaller one was getting hurt . The younger one has bonded pretty good as to where we can hold him , he doesn't run when we pick him up, on the other hand the older one runs overtime we pick it up and it doesn't act like the smaller one when we hold it. the smaller one looks at us and will climb around on us as the older one will just put his nose in the crease of our arm as if he is hiding. i want to have them together but him afraid ......please help, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.......thank you

Answer
First let me apologize for not answering sooner. I sounds like you may have two males rather than one male and one female. If not raised together they can be very territorial and aggressive.

You understand of course that putting a boar and a sow together is going to make babies. Although it's fun to see newborn guinea pigs grow, it's also not a good idea to keep the mother in breeding all the time.

If they were truly only two months old they shouldn't be that aggressive yet. I wonder if maybe they're older than you were told.  If possible, take a picture a post it of their belly and genitalia.  Let's be sure that you don't have two boys who are determined not to get along.

Of course the other possiblity is that the larger one is a female and in heat, causing her to be really cranky and pick on the younger female. I find that most pet stores are not good at sexing pigs and more often than not their guess is wrong.

There are some females that simply refuse to be housed peacefully with others.  The main thing at this point is that you don't want the smaller pig injured by a serious bite. I would advise keeping them separated until you know for sure who is who.  Please try to send me a picture so I can see what you have.

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Pat VanAllen

Expertise

As is sometimes the case, people in urgent need of information have a higher degree of expectation than those of us as experts are able to give. The experts on this site do their best to give the most accurate and responsible answers possible. We ask that you remember that it is not our intention nor place to criticize the professional advice given by your veterinarian, nor is it appropriate for us to comment on the correctness of a diagnosis made by a licensed physician. Our knowledge is experience based. Although many years of breeding and showing cavies gives me a wealth of experience it cannot change the fact that we as experts are not veterinarians and therefore may occasionally have to reject questions that appear to be asking us to criticize advice given by the licensed professional. Having raised and exhibited cavies for many years I have extensive experience in cavy care and husbandry. I currently have an active breeding program for pedigreed show animals but do not encourage backyard breeding for inexperienced owners. Although I don't encourage breeding for fun I'm always happy to answer any questions from an owner who is in sincere need of help. Pet owners wanting to breed should understand that even experienced breeders have litter losses. The mortality rate is high in cavies. The chance for losing both sow and pups is always present, even with experience. Although this is a site for experts to assist owners, there is no expert in any field who has all the answers. The wisest thing a good expert can know is their limitations. Not having an answer does not diminish one's ability or knowledge. It simply shows that we recognize our limitations and operate within them.

Experience

Raised and shown cavies for many years, having aquired my first cavies in the early 1970's as pets. My caviary currently handles 65 + animals in two different breeds and several varieties. Having been in the health care industry as a licensed nurse for 35 years I have hands on experience with care and needs in both humans and cavies. Member of American Rabbit Breeders Association and American Cavy Breeders Association.

Organizations
Awarded Lifetime Membership in of one of the oldest cavy clubs in the United States, on whose Board I served as Sec/Treas for six years and currently serving as President. Also editor/publisher of the club's quarterly newsletter. We are strong supporters of our youth exhibitors, most of whom are 4H members who are working on cavy projects. Through these projects they become good responsible citizens. We deal with all aspects of showing, breeding, caring for and sharing experiences in the fancy. The cavy fancy is not a new one but in some areas is still relatively unknown. Our goal is to inspire interest in high quality, responsible breeding to improve the species, not just the reproduction of guinea pigs. Our job is to educate owners to help them make the right decisions and choices in the care of their cavies.

Education/Credentials
Graduate in nursing. Certified in emergency medicine.

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