Advice on over interested Boar

BlueBird

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Hi there,
One of our sows has recently had an incent where she was in so much pain she couldn't walk. We're not sure whether it was a back problem or a bladder stone but we were sent home with some drugs and told to monitor her while she recovered. She has since recovered enough to walk and otherwise seems to be back to normal but we now have another problem.

Our boar seems to be particularly interested in her. He's doing a lot of bottom sniffing and generally not really leaving her alone. This leads to a lot of grumbling on her part and when he gets a bit too friendly she squeals as if in pain. When I look up I haven't seen any evidence of humping just climbing into the same hide as her etc. So she's not exactly 'fixed' if she ever will be.

We separated her off for the night to give her (and us) some peace but this isn't a permanent solution.

We don't want her to be permanently separated while (if) she recovers but equally we don't want her to be constantly squealing and being bothered by her companions that is obviously distressing her.

(just to be clear. She is being seen by a vet and we are currently in a "wait and see period" to try and work out what exactly is wrong with her)

Does anyone have any ideas how to handle this? We only have 3 pigs so separation we leave someone out. Not to mention our 'mom' of the group really doesn't like being separated from her family and periodically bar Bites trying to break barriers down. My guess is that she is in heat and not interested in hanky panky cause she's still sore and painful but our boar just isn't getting the message.
 

Wiebke

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Hi there,
One of our sows has recently had an incent where she was in so much pain she couldn't walk. We're not sure whether it was a back problem or a bladder stone but we were sent home with some drugs and told to monitor her while she recovered. She has since recovered enough to walk and otherwise seems to be back to normal but we now have another problem.

Our boar seems to be particularly interested in her. He's doing a lot of bottom sniffing and generally not really leaving her alone. This leads to a lot of grumbling on her part and when he gets a bit too friendly she squeals as if in pain. When I look up I haven't seen any evidence of humping just climbing into the same hide as her etc. So she's not exactly 'fixed' if she ever will be.

We separated her off for the night to give her (and us) some peace but this isn't a permanent solution.

We don't want her to be permanently separated while (if) she recovers but equally we don't want her to be constantly squealing and being bothered by her companions that is obviously distressing her.

(just to be clear. She is being seen by a vet and we are currently in a "wait and see period" to try and work out what exactly is wrong with her)

Does anyone have any ideas how to handle this? We only have 3 pigs so separation we leave someone out. Not to mention our 'mom' of the group really doesn't like being separated from her family and periodically bar Bites trying to break barriers down. My guess is that she is in heat and not interested in hanky panky cause she's still sore and painful but our boar just isn't getting the message.

Hi!

Are you sure that it is not submission squealing as her position in the group hierarchy that is currently in question in the wake of her sudden back leg paralysis with your boar moving up a rank past her?
Please don't split piggies just on spec unless there is a massive fight with bloody bites or there are clear indications of bullying; it is even more stressful for them. So far, the behaviours you are reporting are well within acceptable limits and are in keeping with a change in the hierarchy.
Dominance Behaviours In Guinea Pigs
Moody guinea pigs: Depression, Bullying, Aggression, Stress, Fear and Antisocial Behaviour
Bonds In Trouble
 

BlueBird

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Hmm... I hadn't thought of that. I was just paranoid that he was hurting her. The injury was very serious and ended up with happy juice from the emergency vet and a lot of liquid feeds so my mind just went to pain.

Change in hierarchy could be very possible. I was of the opinion that our boar was already the middle pig as the sow in question is very timid by nature. Having said that she has told him off once or twice so it's a bit hard to tell who is number 2 and who is number 3.

I assume that in the case of hierarchy there isn't much we can do and we just get on with it. I just don't want him to do some damage. He is 1.5 times her weight. But I guess there is only so much we can do and we just invest in some ear plugs for night time.
 

BlueBird

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So after a week, while the squealling has stopped (thankfully) but our boar, Harvey seems to be continuing his weird behaviour. He seems to only be interested in sitting anywhere that Bonnie is sitting. This results in a lot of grumbling from Bonnie and a few mock bites from her (don't know how else to describe it. She lunges at him as if to bite him but I don't think she actually bites. Sort of an open mouthed headbutt as a telling off). If Bonnie gives up on the hide she's in (I guess she doesn't enjoy being wedged in a cuddle cup with him), and finds somewhere else to sit, he follows her and tries to get in with her again in the new hide she's chosen. It would be sweet if Bonnie obviously didn't like it.

Is there a reason he does this? It's clearly not a fight over a favourite sleeping spot as he will move as soon as Bonnie leaves for a new spot so is this just some mild dominance/bullying behaviour or something else? It's not something I've come across before (or at least certainly not sustained over a week).
 

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So after a week, while the squealling has stopped (thankfully) but our boar, Harvey seems to be continuing his weird behaviour. He seems to only be interested in sitting anywhere that Bonnie is sitting. This results in a lot of grumbling from Bonnie and a few mock bites from her (don't know how else to describe it. She lunges at him as if to bite him but I don't think she actually bites. Sort of an open mouthed headbutt as a telling off). If Bonnie gives up on the hide she's in (I guess she doesn't enjoy being wedged in a cuddle cup with him), and finds somewhere else to sit, he follows her and tries to get in with her again in the new hide she's chosen. It would be sweet if Bonnie obviously didn't like it.

Is there a reason he does this? It's clearly not a fight over a favourite sleeping spot as he will move as soon as Bonnie leaves for a new spot so is this just some mild dominance/bullying behaviour or something else? It's not something I've come across before (or at least certainly not sustained over a week).

It is a bit more unusual to be that persistent.

Lunging is actually a defensive behaviour that you can translate as a strongly worded "Stay out of my SPACE!" If she does it in combination with a nip, then she is getting rather exasperated.
Sows don't usually bite; their equivalent of a full-on fighting bite is a mouthful of hair. Any deep bites are a split second defense reflex if she feels really badly threatened and is already on edge.
 

BlueBird

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Yeah Bonnie is a real sweetie. I'm not concerned she's in attack mode. The lunging for her is more like the guinea pig version of "p**s off!" But I was wondering whether there was any reason Harvey was doing this obviously irritating behaviour other than him being a bit of a dick. If I'm being a bit more rose tinted glasses about it, he could just simply really want a cuddle with her and is bad at reading social queues from other guineas. But considering he doesn't try his luck with Belle (top pig) in this way I feel like the first is more likely.

He is doing this every 5mins or so, so no wonder poor Bonnie is getting a bit cranky with him. She probably just wants some peace to nap in a fleece house on her own. And it's not like there isn't enough comfy houses to use so its clearly not that he's trying to boot her out of the best spots in the cage.
 

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Yeah Bonnie is a real sweetie. I'm not concerned she's in attack mode. The lunging for her is more like the guinea pig version of "p**s off!" But I was wondering whether there was any reason Harvey was doing this obviously irritating behaviour other than him being a bit of a dick. If I'm being a bit more rose tinted glasses about it, he could just simply really want a cuddle with her and is bad at reading social queues from other guineas. But considering he doesn't try his luck with Belle (top pig) in this way I feel like the first is more likely.

He is doing this every 5mins or so, so no wonder poor Bonnie is getting a bit cranky with him. She probably just wants some peace to nap in a fleece house on her own. And it's not like there isn't enough comfy houses to use so its clearly not that he's trying to boot her out of the best spots in the cage.

It can be dominance related or linked to hormones/pheromone output (ovarian cysts?). More likely dominance though.
 
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