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Guinea Pigs/male guinea pig puberty/housine



We have an 11 month old male pig and we recently adopted a 3 month old male. We moved them into a bigger cage (together) about a week after we brought the little guy home and they were getting along great until this past week (they've been housed together about a month or so now).  I've noticed the baby has developed his 'grease gland' and has been less wanting to cuddle. Yesterday the two of them got into a bad fight, teeth chattering, rumble dancing and striking each other. They did not scratch/bite to draw blood but they were showing teeth and clearly angry. We separated them and they're now in separate cages. Tonight I took them both out to eat and again the little one tried humping the big one so the big one turned around and tried to bite him. I get that the baby is going thru puberty but my question is how long should we house them separately? And if it's for a while, will be ever be able to house them together again or will they always be enemies now? Breaks my heart because for the first month or so they were getting along so well. But now the big guy seems angry all the time at the baby and the baby seems sad that the big guy doesn't want to get humped on or play all the time.
Thank you so much for your advice! Looking forward to hearing from you.

Unfortunately male guinea pigs don't usually get along unless they've been raised together. Since they've displayed that kind of serious aggression it would not be likely you will be able to keep the in the same cage.

The teeth chattering is a serious intent to do harm. These are herding animals and just like in the wild there is only one alpha male in each herd. The older male views the newcomer as a threat to his territory. Regardless of who is the younger or older, they should not be kept together.

If you are able to put a barrier in the cage they will be fine as long as there is a fence between them.  Now that the younger is becoming sexual mature he will continue to try to battle the older male, just to take over the cage as 'boss hog.'

You sometimes see people suggesting gradual introduction, but that seldom works. If they were two sows you would be able to keep them together, but the boars are like two stallions who are full of testosterone and ready to fight.

The best thing you can do is just keep them apart. When this kind of fighting occurs it ends up in one or both being seriously injured.  

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Pat VanAllen


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.


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.

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.

Graduate in nursing. Certified in emergency medicine.

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