Arguing Boars

PirateZelda

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Hi everyone,

I'm trying everywhere for advice on this so I would appreciate any and all help.

We adopted two boars in September and, at an estimate, they're around a year old now. They've never been best friends but they've been nice enough to each other and we've not had any problems. But in the last two weeks they've had several major scuffles, one of which I separated because it was in an enclosed space and ended up in A&E with a bad bite wound. Just panicked and reacted, but rather that than an injured pig. They were fine again once we gave them more space in their cage/run setup, but one of our pigs is still acting very aggressively towards the other. Strangely enough they're reasonably okay during the day - they rumble and chatter but tend to just run away or get bored. But once night falls they're all claws and teeth and it scares me half to death, so I separate them at night, and by morning they want to be together again.

My question is do I separate them properly? I'm constantly on edge, I haven't slept right in days, and my nerves are shot to pieces watching in case they get worse in their behaviour. We can either put up a barrier so they can interact but not fight, or we get them both neutered and re-bond each with a sow. Next question is - if I re-bond with girls, can I keep each pair in one level of a two tier cage (not joined obviously) and they'll be okay, or is that too close and they'll be stressed with the proximity of another male around their girl?

Sorry for the long post. Thanks in advance for the advice.

Rachel x
 
D

DM030819

Hi @PirateZelda! It's always nicer for a piggy to have a friend to live with so if you have the means to get them neutered and finding them a lady friend then I'd definitely do that.
 

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Hi everyone,

I'm trying everywhere for advice on this so I would appreciate any and all help.

We adopted two boars in September and, at an estimate, they're around a year old now. They've never been best friends but they've been nice enough to each other and we've not had any problems. But in the last two weeks they've had several major scuffles, one of which I separated because it was in an enclosed space and ended up in A&E with a bad bite wound. Just panicked and reacted, but rather that than an injured pig. They were fine again once we gave them more space in their cage/run setup, but one of our pigs is still acting very aggressively towards the other. Strangely enough they're reasonably okay during the day - they rumble and chatter but tend to just run away or get bored. But once night falls they're all claws and teeth and it scares me half to death, so I separate them at night, and by morning they want to be together again.

My question is do I separate them properly? I'm constantly on edge, I haven't slept right in days, and my nerves are shot to pieces watching in case they get worse in their behaviour. We can either put up a barrier so they can interact but not fight, or we get them both neutered and re-bond each with a sow. Next question is - if I re-bond with girls, can I keep each pair in one level of a two tier cage (not joined obviously) and they'll be okay, or is that too close and they'll be stressed with the proximity of another male around their girl?

Sorry for the long post. Thanks in advance for the advice.

Rachel x
Hi! The fact that they are not able to settle peacefully again means that it is better to look for a different solution. You can either keep them as next door neighbours with constant interaction through the bars, but each with their own territory as a still bonded 'can't live apart but can't live together' boar pair like a number of our forum members has , try to see whether you can get to one of our recommended good standard rescues that will bond your boys with a character compatible boar at the rescue or you could consider having your boys neutered so they can each live with a sow or sows of his own after the inevitable 6 weeks post-op wait. You will also have to do your research re. a good vet.

You can find all options discussed in details with links to recommended vets and rescues in several countries via this guide here: Boars: Bullying, Fighting, Fall-outs And What Next?
 

Reenie

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I agree. Once blood is drawn there is little chance of them living together. Don't keep putting them together as they will just start the hierarchy battle every time, which is not nice for them and stressful for you. Either of your solutions would work, but neutering and bonding with females would be my choice. They can live one on top of the other or in adjoining cages, although I would put a screen between them. Have a look at some of the guides, I can't do links from my phone, but you'll get both bonding and housing tips there. Good luck and I hope it works out for you. Welcome to the forum!
 

PirateZelda

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Thanks everyone for the advice! It's been hard because they aren't constantly going for each other, but neither do they constantly get along. Being in the middle makes it hard because you're always hoping, y'know? But I've spoken to my boyfriend (who has been away in Germany over Christmas, leaving me to deal with all of this alone) and we have agreed it would be best to get them both neutered and find a girl each for them to bond with. We were already planning to build them a longer one-tier cage but now we will just put up a wall in the middle and make it two cages. Floor level will work better as it will allow us to give all 4 piggies floor time more easily. Thanks for all the input!

Rachel x
 

PirateZelda

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Morning everyone- today I separated my boars on a more permanent basis. I was hoping to avoid that until they were closer to getting re-bonded, but Aries wouldn't let Artemis near the food bowl today and when he went to lie down in his bed, Aries rushed at him and chased him around for a good 5 minutes sounding very aggressive. But the final pushing point was the noise Artemis was making. He was whining loudly and sounding so distressed, which so far he hasn't done, so I decided that if he's going to be distressed by the situation then it's time to split them more permanently. I just wish they'd stop chewing the bars to reach each other! See the attached photo for how they're now housed.

Also wanted to write an updated thank you because I can't believe the number of people on a GP Facebook page I joined who are listening to me describe how vicious their fights are, yet are still telling me to leave them to it and hopefully they'll settle soon! A lot of people tell me I'm ruining their relationship by separating them and that it's normal dominance behaviour, unfortunately. I just can't believe normal behaviour takes them to such a vicious extent. It's been refreshing to hear from people who understand how stressful this is for both myself and my boys, and how dangerous I really view it as being for them.

I have contacted a few rescues about adopting two girls, and I have a vet appointment tomorrow evening where I will discuss neutering them both with the vet. We've been with him for about 18 years now, and he was the best vet for my hedgehog Zelda when she was with us, so I trust him fully. He won't tell me he can do a good job where he can't.

Thanks again everyone

Rachel x

20180102_091707.jpg
 

Reenie

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That looks like a good work around solution.
Can I ask what the long hidey is in the right hand cage. It looks like a great idea.
 

PirateZelda

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That looks like a good work around solution.
Can I ask what the long hidey is in the right hand cage. It looks like a great idea.
The one on the far right? It's actually a wooden ramp I bought them so they didn't have to jump the cage into the pen, but they didn't use it they just ate it! Haha. But Aries started lying underneath it and loved it as a sort of bed, so that's what I turned it into :) just popped a fleece underneath it for comfort. Now they've decided to trade preferences and Aries now wants Artemis' hut so Artemis has taken Aries' bridge x
 

Reenie

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The one on the far right? It's actually a wooden ramp I bought them so they didn't have to jump the cage into the pen, but they didn't use it they just ate it! Haha. But Aries started lying underneath it and loved it as a sort of bed, so that's what I turned it into :) just popped a fleece underneath it for comfort. Now they've decided to trade preferences and Aries now wants Artemis' hut so Artemis has taken Aries' bridge x
Ah, that makes sense. I'm looking for a hidey for two of mine and I thought that looked ideal. I can wait just now though, as I'm working my way through deliver boxes from Christmas lol.
 

PirateZelda

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Ah, that makes sense. I'm looking for a hidey for two of mine and I thought that looked ideal. I can wait just now though, as I'm working my way through deliver boxes from Christmas lol.
Haha fair enough! :) If you do decide to look for it, I just got it off Amazon- it's a rabbit ramp x
 

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Oh dear I hope this doesn't happen with mine! I adopted a single boar then had him bonded with another over Xmas- they are fine at the minute so I hope it continues that way!
Your solution looks great, well done for getting it sorted. And i agree with you as I've found advice outside this forum pretty dubious at times. This only coming to light after doing my own research!
Looking forward to hearing what your next steps will be. Good luck!
 

PirateZelda

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Oh dear I hope this doesn't happen with mine! I adopted a single boar then had him bonded with another over Xmas- they are fine at the minute so I hope it continues that way!
Your solution looks great, well done for getting it sorted. And i agree with you as I've found advice outside this forum pretty dubious at times. This only coming to light after doing my own research!
Looking forward to hearing what your next steps will be. Good luck!
To be honest I think our boys were poorly paired in the first place. We rescued them from a lady who's daughter lost interest after a few months, and I think she got them from a pet shop. Not that all pet shops are bad places but these little ones just have such drastically different personalities that I find it hard to believe an experienced piggie breeder/rescue centre put them together. If your two have bonded happily then I hope you won't have bother with them :) ours have never really seemed interested in each other, just remained civil until now x
 

Reddybex

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To be honest I think our boys were poorly paired in the first place. We rescued them from a lady who's daughter lost interest after a few months, and I think she got them from a pet shop. Not that all pet shops are bad places but these little ones just have such drastically different personalities that I find it hard to believe an experienced piggie breeder/rescue centre put them together. If your two have bonded happily then I hope you won't have bother with them :) ours have never really seemed interested in each other, just remained civil until now x
Yes that makes sense. When I adopted my first boar Jerry I was told to keep him on his own by the pet shop workers. He was only 4/5months so if I'd stuck to that he would have had a sad existence. Thankfully the guys on here answered my question and steered me to a rescue centre. Fingers crossed I have two happy boars for many yrs to come.
Your little lads are so cute x
 

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To be honest I think our boys were poorly paired in the first place. We rescued them from a lady who's daughter lost interest after a few months, and I think she got them from a pet shop. Not that all pet shops are bad places but these little ones just have such drastically different personalities that I find it hard to believe an experienced piggie breeder/rescue centre put them together. If your two have bonded happily then I hope you won't have bother with them :) ours have never really seemed interested in each other, just remained civil until now x
Honestly personality means less than you might think. My two boars are like chalk and cheese personality wise but they get along like a house on fire. You would be surprised at what they will and will not tolerate.
 

PirateZelda

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Honestly personality means less than you might think. My two boars are like chalk and cheese personality wise but they get along like a house on fire. You would be surprised at what they will and will not tolerate.
I didn't know that but that's really great to learn :) thanks for telling me that! Makes it a bit sadder in that case that my boys don't get along, but at least for future piggies I won't be so worried about matching personalities x
 

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I didn't know that but that's really great to learn :) thanks for telling me that! Makes it a bit sadder in that case that my boys don't get along, but at least for future piggies I won't be so worried about matching personalities x
My two are also a pair of clowns in guinea pig form which may help matters, but really the teenage months are hard on any boar pair, as is a move to a new environment. It'll not really be anyone's fault, just how it's gone.
 

PirateZelda

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My bully pig, Aries, now chatters his teeth at me lightly when I talk to him :/ is he upset at me for separating him from Artemis? I'm not putting them back together but it upsets me that he's annoyed at me :( x
 

PirateZelda

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In case anyone wants an update: got a vet appointment tomorrow and I'll arrange neutering then. I've spoken to a rescue lady I know who says she has a pregnant teddy and if the babies are girls we'll try to bond them with my boys once everything is settled down (them growing up and my boys post-op period passes). So far so good! And Aries has stopped chattering his teeth at me - think he was more annoyed that I went downstairs and left them for so long today! X
 
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