Baby boy bonding puzzle!

GarterSnake

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Hello!
I have two female piggies - a mum and daughter - the daughter has three two week old baby boys. I also have the dad, who is in a separate cage and waiting his op to neuter. I also have a very elderly old female (6/7 years) who doesn’t like any other pigs since her original herd dies!

I was planning on moving the baby boys into dads cage next weekend. But I obviously can’t keep them all together permanently... Any ideas on configuration? Can I move the dad out after his op recovery time (6 weeks) and leave the young boys together?

thanks in advance! X
 

Piggies&buns

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The young boys can stay together but only until they get to their teens (4 months of age), a boar trio wont survive long into their teens. Boar trios almost always fail as they cannot form a functioning relationship as a trio. It’s not how boars work and they are highly likely to end in fights/bullying/an outsider situation with one being left out. Being siblings does not make any difference to their ability to form a relationship. The space required to even attempt a boar trio is huge - if you try to do it, they will need at least one square metre of space each so you’re looking at it being at least a 3 metre x 1 metre cage. But, they could have all the space in the world and it won’t make them like each other and be able to form a hierarchy. The best thing therefore is to work out which ones get on best and form pairs. To that end, I would not neuter dad and bond him with the girls. He can be bonded and live with one of the babies.

if you’re planning on moving the three babies in with dad, how big is the cage? That’s fine to put the babies with dad while they are under 16 weeks of age, but they still need enough space. It will allow you time to try to work out which ones get on best so you can find two pairs out of the four of them and separate them out accordingly by the time the babies hit their teens.

A boar pair need a cage of 180cm x 60cm/6ft x 2ft to have enough room, so ensure you have big enough cages for
each boar pair. Lack of space between boars can cause problems in a relationship.
You would also went to ensure that the boar pairs are kept away from the sows. Smelling sows, particularly for teen boars, can cause them to fight. Either keep the boar pairs in a separate room (safest option), or if that’s not possible, in stacking cages with the sows at the bottom and always ensure you handle the boar pairs first so you don’t transfer any sow smells on to them.

have you been weighing the babies? they need to be separated from sows at 3 weeks or 250g whichever comes first

How did you come to have a pregnant sow?

A Comprehensive Guide to Guinea Pig Boars
Adding More Guinea Pigs Or Merging Pairs – What Works And What Not?
Boars: Teenage, Bullying, Fighting, Fall-outs And What Next?
A Closer Look At Pairs (Boars - Sows - Mixed)
 
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Siikibam

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I would hold off neutering the dad so you then have two pairs of boars. As said above, a trio is unlikely to make it through the teens so considering it is a no go. Please baby proof the cage you move them to so they can’t escape and get back in with mum and grandma.
 

GarterSnake

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Ok thank you - I can hold off neutering Tony. I previously had a neutered male with three sows and it worked really well.
The two girls and three babies are in a 4x2 c&c with loft at the moment with a day run of 5x3 (the young ones are hilarious to watch in a big space!) Tony is in a two tier 120x60cm shop cage which I have extended with 150x60 table top. The top tier is the top of his wooden house extended all the way across with an IKEA boot tray - these are excellent and can hook onto c&c easily. He likes his bed on loft level. The old gal is in her own cage which is open but she’s not so interested in coming out anymore.Xx
 

GarterSnake

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I’m going to weigh the babies again today - they are all looking quite solid! Just yesterday they all starting a bit of mounting.
 

Piggies&buns

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Ok thank you - I can hold off neutering Tony. I previously had a neutered male with three sows and it worked really well.
The two girls and three babies are in a 4x2 c&c with loft at the moment with a day run of 5x3 (the young ones are hilarious to watch in a big space!) Tony is in a two tier 120x60cm shop cage which I have extended with 150x60 table top. The top tier is the top of his wooden house extended all the way across with an IKEA boot tray - these are excellent and can hook onto c&c easily. He likes his bed on loft level. The old gal is in her own cage which is open but she’s not so interested in coming out anymore.Xx
One neutered boar with sows is fine ordinarily but if you neuter tony and bond him with the sows, then you’ll end up with one of the baby boars being on his own, so not worrying about neutering tony at all and ensuring you can keep two separate pairs of boars would be best.

The 150 x 60 Tony is currently in isnt going to be big enough for all four of the boars to be in for very long, it also is probable that it won’t be quite big enough for just two boars to live in either. Upper levels don’t count towards the cage size.
Once you’ve separated the the boars into two separate pairs, each boar pair needs a cage of 180cm x 60cm to have enough space. Lack of space between a boar pair (particularly a teen boar pair) can cause problems.

how did you come to have a pregnant sow?
 
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GarterSnake

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Ok - extending the cages isn’t a problem, I have the space and lots of grids.
My younger sow was put in with Tony when we first got her (the two older sows bonded - but then fell out, probably because Elsa is so irritable these days (she is on meds and is recently incontinent). We knew chances were Bean would get pregnant but wanted more piggies, were going to keep them all, and could never find reputable breeder. She was young enough and luckily had no problems but we did the risk assessment.
 

Piggies&buns

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Ok, we are a non breeding forum and don’t support intentionally putting an unneutered boar with sows.

I’d definitely extend the cage for the four boars as much as you can for the short term, then when it comes to separating them into pairs, ensure you can build two separate 180cm/5x2 c&c cages for each boar pair for the long term And that the boar pairs are kept well away from the sows. If the boar pairs smell sows, the boars could fight and end up needing to be separated.
 

GarterSnake

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Sorry for that - I don’t plan to do it again!
I am going to weigh babies today and double check sex!
 

GarterSnake

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Omg - so I double checked sex and the smallest one (210g) is a girl. I was wrong footed because she has a little button above her Y that I thought was a penis button! But they are over two weeks now so it’s a bit clearer. Many apologies!

So my ‘puzzle’ now is I have two baby boys to go in with dad this weekend (both currently weighing in at 220g) and then three girls. I want to keep them all! Should I go ahead and neuter Tony (9 months) and put in with girls? Or should I keep an old/young male pair together and wait a few months to neuter one of the babies? If I waited, would the three boys be ok together? And could the baby stay in this threesome whilst recovering from op?

Sorry for so many questions. I’ve only had one herd before and got them all as babies - put the boy with the three girls after he was neutered.

x
 

Piggies&buns

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Omg - so I double checked sex and the smallest one (210g) is a girl. I was wrong footed because she has a little button above her Y that I thought was a penis button! But they are over two weeks now so it’s a bit clearer. Many apologies!

So my ‘puzzle’ now is I have two baby boys to go in with dad this weekend (both currently weighing in at 220g) and then three girls. I want to keep them all! Should I go ahead and neuter Tony (9 months) and put in with girls? Or should I keep an old/young male pair together and wait a few months to neuter one of the babies? If I waited, would the three boys be ok together? And could the baby stay in this threesome whilst recovering from op?

Sorry for so many questions. I’ve only had one herd before and got them all as babies - put the boy with the three girls after he was neutered.

x

so you’ve got three of each sex.

you are better off to put both baby boys in with dad for the short term - and by that I mean until they hit their teens (16 week). During this time you can try to work out the best combination based on who gets on best. It may be that the two baby boys are fine together and dad can be neutered, have his six week wait and bond back in with the girls. But equally it could be best to keep dad and one of the baby boys together. You would likely by then need to put the remaining baby boy in a cage by himself (as keeping dad and both the babies together particularly as dad is also a teenager, once the babies hit their teens can be problematic) but alongside the others for interaction through the bars. He would then need to wait until he is old enough to be neutered (at least four months of age), and then have his six week wait, then bond him in with the girls.
which combination is best is going to come down entirely to character compatibility - it’s not something you can predict, you’re going to just see how it goes. Once they hit their teens then that is often when you see any incompatibilities come out and you’ll be able to see who gets on best

the other points still stand. The boar pair need to be kept away from sow smells, ideally in a separate room. They still need a cage of 180cm x 60cm

the neutered boar/sow herd, as there is four of them need a cage measuring 210cm x 60cm or a 6x2 C&c cage
 
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GarterSnake

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Thank you so much - this is really helpful. I will split up the sexes this weekend and see how the boys get on. I can keep the boys in a different room if need be but was hoping to have them on a table over the girls cage. However it’s only 4x2 do def not big enough for three boys. I believe it’s the minimum for two boys? However, I will rethink layout so i can have two 6x3 or equivalent cages plus their runs.
 

Piggies&buns

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Thank you so much - this is really helpful. I will split up the sexes this weekend and see how the boys get on. I can keep the boys in a different room if need be but was hoping to have them on a table over the girls cage. However it’s only 4x2 do def not big enough for three boys. I believe it’s the minimum for two boys? However, I will rethink layout so i can have two 6x3 or equivalent cages plus their runs.
a 4x2 c&c (measuring 150cm x 77cm) for two boys is usually too small. Two boys together need a 5x2 c&c (measuring 180cm x 77cm) cage.

it’s best to have boars and sows in separate rooms, but at the very least having the boars in a stacked cage (or on top of a table) with the boys at the top level and the girls at the bottom is ok. You’d have to see how it went and whether they were affected by the sow pheromones.
 

GarterSnake

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Ok - I think I’m going to put the three boys in another room this weekend and see how they go. I think I might just convert the table top for storage (Piggy stuff all over the house!) with another big cage in our living room. I work from home in there so be nice to see them all the time 😀

thank you 🙏
 
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