Two Guinea Pigs is One Too Many

Sambal and Hello Pineapple

Look at those adorable photos of my two guinea pig co-pets, Sambal (grey and white) and Hello Pineapple (tri-colored). Don’t they have the sweetest faces? Well, they are not the sweetest animals, let me tell you that! My owner made that combined photo with the two piglins facing away from each other for a reason: they are the most bitter of bitter enemies!

It’s true. When Coral and Carl entrusted us with these two adorable pigs, they told us never to put them together or they would kill each other. Specifically, Hello Pineapple (aka HP) would kill Sambal. This is odd because HP is only about half Sambal’s size but she is a tough little thing.

We have been following The Two Cs directive on this up until this week. This week my owner set up a big outdoor enclosure for them with plenty of hiding spots and obstacles and lots of places to run. There’s also a lot of juicy grass in there which piglins love.

Then my owner put the two guinea pigs in and said get over it, you pigs are not coming out until you learn to get along.

As you can see in the above photo, I tried to watch but there was some tasty grass outside the pen too and I was hungry after a long swim.

HP and Sambal exchange greetings.

At first it looked like they might just get along, although they were behaving rather suspiciously. But soon violence broke out.

A fight erupts

HP was the looser in this encounter, coming away with a bloody chest and a bit of a limp, although the bleeding quickly stopped and the limp disappeared.

Are HP and Sambal getting along?

We thought maybe that was all they needed to establish dominance. The continued to face off but for a long time there were no more physical disputes.

Is this just a discussion or something more?

We were pretty hopeful.  It seemed they would just posture and then lie down, as if lying down was making some kind of profound statement. I don’t get that because capybaras stand on their hind legs as a threat posture and guinea pigs lie down. It’s like they’re not even really rodents.

Anyway, peace had not yet broken out.

Hello Pineapple won this encounter

Now Sambal won one fight and HP won one fight and they seemed to have reached a stale mate. They are still posturing but after spending a couple more hours together there were no more physical confrontations.

After that they got to retire to their separate cages.

We are going to keep trying this for a few days and when they actually seem to be friends, we’ll let them mingle when they are inside. Crazy guinea pigs, wouldn’t they like to snuggle together? That would be so cute.

13 comments to Two Guinea Pigs is One Too Many

  • Lola

    It always amazes me that such cute little animals can be so mean towards one another! My guinea pigs are both alpha males and they seem to be in a dominance equilibrium, but both of them sent the other guinea pigs at the shelter to the hospital. I love my little men to death but it tears me up when I think about all of the other guinea pigs who had chunks missing from their ears thanks to them.
    (Approved: 2010/08/07)

  • prachi

    awesome pictures Caplin, its like a wonderful picture story 😉
    looks like they are trying to compete in multiple rounds before they finally decide who the boss is.
    maybe they should both accept its you 😉 and neither of them. peace.

  • Carl

    There is a reason that Sambal has a split ear and a scarred lip. Hello Pineapple is that reason.
    (Approved: 2010/08/07)

  • Milana Trachtenberg

    When I first introduced my two boys, they HATED each other and fought constantly. Then one day they just stopped fighting and started to get along.

    I HIGHLY recommend reading this, written by someone with five guinea pigs who knows a ton on them:

    The important thing to remember is that if there’s no blood, let them do their thing. And I’d try inside too, because the heat could make them irritable!
    (Approved: 2010/08/07)
    I hope that happens with Sambal and HP.
    They only go outside when it is cool in the morning and evening.
    I will check out that site!

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Caplin Rous, Fiona Mackie. Fiona Mackie said: @CaplinROUS I had a guinea pig when I was little "George". Had to have the day off school when he died. […]
    (Approved: 2010/08/07)

  • Mopsy

    Wow, excellent pigtures!
    Crazy poops though, are they not littermates?
    (Approved: 2010/07/08)
    No, they are not littermates.

  • Nina 9a "Piggy Mama"

    Do you keep their cages right together so they can sniff each other and “rumblestrut” without the fear of actually drawing blood? I did this to two males I’d kept seperated for a long time, until they were both like, oh, it’s you, and went to their houses. When I fixed it so the cage was one huge cage, with no middle fencing between, but their houses, 2 bowls, 2 water bottles, but a big pile of hay in the middle, they did disapprove. it may take a while, but they will come around. Both females, I take it?
    (Approved: 2010/08/07)
    They had that set up for months and never got any better. I think this is working now. Will post a new blog in a couple of days.

  • I never put them together if they are fighting as they are in the photos or if there are any injuries. It is never worth it
    because “I don’t want to deal with any extra cage” and it is the guinea pigs who will suffer.
    (Approved: 2010/08/07)
    We’ll have to see how they do. My owner gave them a bath together and then put them in a brand new cage. They aren’t friends yet but they seem like they can co-exist.

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    (Approved: 2010/08/07)

  • Kristy

    I love that picture of you lurking in the background, Caplin!
    (Approved: 2010/08/07)
    Thanks, but I am not “lurking.” I am just minding my own business grazing.

  • Francine

    I wouldn’t take the chance on keeping them together. They are biding their time and planning strategy. Let them enjoy their excellent play areas SEPARATELY. Maybe a fence in the middle? Like on oinkernet, where Brownie and Ellie have half of the habitat each.
    (Approved: 2010/08/07)
    After ~12 hours, they seem to have reached a truce.

  • Lisa Baker

    We have 2 guinea pigs Snickers (4 1/2) and (Zeke 2 1/2)Snickers is alpha male and does not get along with other guinea pigs at all ~ ZERO tolerance! Zeke on the other hand loves running around with other guinea pigs, and is mellow and social. We keep their cages side by side, and every once in awhile let them run out together, but Snickers has to be watched. Like people all guinea pigs have different tolerance levels and personalities.
    (Appoved: 2010/08/14)

  • Megan

    At first my two girls didn’t seem to get along. There was a lot of grumbling and other odd noises, but if I split the cage in half and pull them away each of them travels to the side of the cage and pulls on the bars until I reconnect the cages so they can be together.

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