My name is XXXXX XXXXX X am a Vet tech for 30+ years with experience working with pocket pets and exotics. I would consider getting a younger female if you are going to get Ella a friend. The odds will be better that Ella will accept a younger sow. Many times the older sows are set in their ways and they will fight. In preparation for getting her a friend you will need a quarantine cage. The new sow will need to be quarantined for 30 days to be sure she is well and does not get Ella sick. You will want to put the cages where they can see each other and communicate. Once the quarantine period is up, a slow introduction in a neutral area to be sure they get along. Slowly bring the new girl into the habitat. Make sure it is big enough for the two sows. Space is important, because Ella may become territorial and we need to be sure they each have a hiding place food dish and water. A gradual transition of the new sow in with Ella should help with a successful friendship. This is a link that can help you with getting a friend for Ella and the transition: http://www.guineapigmanual.com/introducing-new-guinea-pigs/
Please let me know if you have further questions and I will be happy to continue with you. Joan
Do you think it would be a good idea to get Ella a friend in the first place? I'm concerned because I'm a grad student and don't have as much time to spend with her as I'd like. I'm wondering if a friend would be a good idea for her, or if she's better off on her own at this point in her life, after being alone for so long. She's great with other animals- she loves attention from a dog or cat poking their nose at her cage, but I know that the situation is obviously different with an animal of her own species.
If she is content with you and the other animals in the home, you would be better allowing Ella to get your full attention. Taking on another sow may be more problematic. We do not know if she will accept the new sow, and how she will adapt to sharing her home. In my opinion, it sounds like Ella is thriving and she should be fine with you and her other pet companions. Joan
Great to know- thank you very much! I've just been worried about her happiness; I want to give her the best life possible!
Sounds like Ella is doing well and has a great home!
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Thank you- I certainly hope so!