Friday, May 27, 2016

Different Dynamics

Boadicea eats unmolested upstairs, Wedgwood downstairs
Guinea pig introductions are never the same.  Cannoli and Boadicea's introduction was the roughest I had for a successful pairing.  Nerve-wracking stuff.  Given that Boadicea was the instigator of so much of it, I was bracing myself for a repeat when we got home on Saturday.

None of it went quite as expected.

The only thing that was par-for-the-course was that Wedgwood didn't budge for the first 40 minutes.  Boadicea got on the floor and was immediately like: Hey!  We're home!  Why do you have the floor blocked off from the cage?  She had no interest in the new pig.

Beyond that, the introductions picked up right where they left off at the shelter.  Boadicea was submissive, even on her home turf.  There was hardly any chasing.  Wedgwood spent her time ousting Boadi from whatever she wanted - the hay, the house, the cozy.  Boadi yelled until she gave up and moved on. 

Boadicea eventually tired of being picked on.  There's nothing quite like a pissed off guinea pig - because for them it's quite literal.  By late afternoon Boadi honed her aim, hitting Wedgie straight in the face at a 6-8" range.  I spent the afternoon alternating between cheering Boadicea on and laughing at her comeuppance for all the grief she had dished out to Cannoli.

I rapidly shrunk the introduction pen down to a 2x4 gridded area and left them like that overnight.  Sunday morning I cleaned the cage from top to bottom and put them in.  Poor Wedgwood - she managed to get up to the second level, hid in the tunnel, then rolled off the second level.  Thunk.  I found her still wrapped up in the tunnel looking dazed and confused but too scared to move.

A week later, the two sows spend much of their time on opposite sides of the cage.  There's hours of silence broken by the occasional yip or a scuffle.  Wedgwood ousts Boadi from greens, sleeping spots and occasionally the water bottle.  But she generally leaves her alone for hay and pellets.  I've seen Boadi line Wedgie in her sights several times during the week (thus the nickname Pee-Face).  Wedgwood still has issues getting to the second level, so Boadi just jumps up there when she's had enough.

It's been an unusual beginning.  It's much quieter than the last two introductions I've gone through.  I suspect it may take longer for these two to settle, since Boadicea can separate herself from the conflict.  Wedgwood has a lot to learn in a new household and with a new friend.  She's adjusted really well in her first week. 


2 comments :

  1. Wedgewood is such a pretty color!
    Glad it's going pretty well, and I hope they become best buddies soon. Social dynamics are so mysterious aren't they? I have a hard time not interfering with my gang when someone (or often a team of two, which really makes me mad) picks on someone smaller or gentler. Maybe I need a dustpan!

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  2. wish you could sit wedgie down and explain the rules of the house... animals have a better ability to send telepathic messages... what if you tried? Picture them getting along, side by side and playing pig games. Picture it in your mind and look at wedgie.
    I sound cuckoo but that's how I send some requests to Cole and it's worked. LeeAnna

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