Sunday, December 4, 2011

Pinniped Guards Hay

I had separated Willow from the Newbies for a number of reasons.  One major issue was that Pinni was guarding and eating all of the hay and pellets to prevent Willow from eating any.  Pinni became a moose of a pig and Willow kept losing weight.  It was an unacceptable situation.  So I split them, and arranged the cages so they could interact with each other.

I regularly stuff hay between the grids, so that the three guinea pigs can spend some time in close proximity.  It's the guinea pig thing to do:  the best food is always what everyone else is eating.  So the fact that Pinni will eat hay on one side while Willow munches on the other side is not unusual.  But what I witnessed the other day indicated that I have little chance of reconciling these three sows into a single herd.

Pinniped, unnecessarily guarding the leftover hay
I discovered Pinniped curled up around the remaining bits of hay that I had stuffed between the grids.  At first glance it appeared she was sleeping.  I thought it was a little odd, because that's not her normal sleeping spot.  But on closer inspection, I could see her body was in "guard" position.  Sure enough, if Willow came close to the strands of hay, Pinni would suddenly wake up and start eating again.  If Willow walked away, Pinni would drift back to sleep.  Pinni is still trying to assert her dominance, even though there was no possibility Willow could eat the hay that was on Pinni's side of the grids! 

What a bad pig!  Or perhaps just a very foolish pig?  It appears that Pinni still considers Willow a threat to her standing in the pecking order.  Willow hasn't made any attempts to regain control as Boss Pig in well over 18 months.  She would be quite happy as a quiet little subordinate, but Pinniped seems unable to just leave Willow alone.  Poor pigs, caught up in the drama of social status.


  1. Pinniped sounds like quite a funny little piggy! Hopefully she will figure it out before becoming overly rotund.

  2. My alpha pig did that with her cagemate. It broke my heart to have to split them up, but they shared a grid wall, so there was lots of interaction. Of course, to alpha pig, the interaction was mostly rumblestrutting and tooth grinding.


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