Boar bonding behaviour

Jemima

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Hello. Many of you will know that I have very recently adopted two boars. Pipsqueak (I think, as he is smaller) is younger than Papua - and I want to ask something because I am new to this and I have a tendency to love and worry about animals!

So the background is, the boars were part of a hoarder rescue. Little Pipsqueak was on his own after the rescue, but looked sad, so he was moved and paired with another, different boar, but that didn't go well and the other boar tore Pip's ear.

Then he was put with Papua. And the foster carer said she did notice some chasing behaviour, but not aggression. They were together around a week before I brought them home. So yes, they're bonding process was probably interrupted somewhat by yet another change of home!

Since having them here, I am noticing Papua (the larger boar) chases Pip - just because - and Pip runs away. They are mostly either one upstairs, and the other downstairs - mostly Pip up in the smaller loft area, and Pap down in his hidey, which he seems to have now claimed. I put this in yesterday because I didn't want to have any closed cuddle sacks in there. It's just a cardboard box!

Anyway, is the chasing normal? Pap just ran upstairs, and Pip ran down! Then Papua came down, back into his hide, and they are now munching on new hay. near each other, but not in the same place.

Will they always have this chasing relationship? I wonder if it will ever be loving? Is it all normal? Pap does the rumble strut too - and Pip just does many little short squeaking sounds. Is it OK that Pap is chasing Pip sometimes, and that they are mostly just eating and sitting away from each other? Is there an obvious point where the bonding process is formerly over, and everyone lives happily ever after? 😆🥰

Also, one more question - I have a wonderful XL run I want to put them in outside for more space and grass.

1. When is it warm enough to do this?
2. Assuming I should let them settle for a bit longer inside before changing things up again
3. What about floor time - how long should I wait to do this?
4. I have a 4x2 with a 2x2 loft extension - I know you recommend larger for boars, and I do hope to sneak in another grid when my husband is not looking!
 

Piggies&buns

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Yes chasing is normal, particularly as yours are really just starting their bonding process. As long as you aren’t seeing any full one fights, then just leave them to it. You are always going to see dominance though - even once they’ve been together a long time. My three year old boar pair love nothing more than rumbling and chasing each other!

If I remember rightly, your boys are young. If that is the case, then they are going to be displaying hormonal teen behaviour for a long time yet ! They are in their teens until 14 months of age. Boars do tend to mellow as they age though a d the chasing and rumbling between my boys is definitely less than it used to be, but they still do it!

1 - usually around April/May (april, of course, can either be really nice or snowy!) onwards. The guide is, if you can stand on the grass with bare feet and not feel cold and wet, then they can go on it.
2 - you should keep territory changes with boars to a minimum so don’t change things in their cage too much. Of course putting them out in the run is absolutely what you should do, but also do be aware that for some simply going out into a run can cause dominance displays, others are absolutely fine if and it makes no difference to them!
3 - Let them settle into their cage and settle with each other. I wouldnt try floor time for a couple of weeks yet. When you do try it, ensure you have lots of hideys around so they have somewhere to run and hide regularly - open spaces are scary for them
 

Jemima

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Yes chasing is normal, particularly as yours are really just starting their bonding process. As long as you aren’t seeing any full one fights, then just leave them to it. You are always going to see dominance though - even once they’ve been together a long time. My three year old boar pair love nothing more than rumbling and chasing each other!

If I remember rightly, your boys are young. If that is the case, then they are going to be displaying hormonal teen behaviour for a long time yet ! They are in their teens until 14 months of age. Boars do tend to mellow as they age though a d the chasing and rumbling between my boys is definitely less than it used to be, but they still do it!

1 - usually around April/May (april, of course, can either be really nice or snowy!) onwards. The guide is, if you can stand on the grass with bare feet and not feel cold and wet, then they can go on it.
2 - you should keep territory changes with boars to a minimum so don’t change things in their cage too much. Of course putting them out in the run is absolutely what you should do, but also do be aware that for some simply going out into a run can cause dominance displays, others are absolutely fine if and it makes no difference to them!
3 - Let them settle into their cage and settle with each other. I wouldnt try floor time for a couple of weeks yet. When you do try it, ensure you have lots of hideys around so they have somewhere to run and hide regularly - open spaces are scary for them
Ah, thank you so much for all of that info! I didn't think I should change up their environment too much, I shall keep it the way it is now, for at least another week.

Good to know about the feet on grass theory. And yes, I'll wait a few weeks until floor time. I'm just keen to give them some extra space and interest as soon as I can, but I want them to feel settled first.

They are funny - I love the emergence of their individual characters already. There is definitely no aggressive behaviour to my knowledge (unless when I am in bed!). Just dominance being asserted by the looks of it.

Oh and yes, the vet who did their check up at the rescue said they were all under 18 months. I noticed Papua was around 1080kg (he looks full grown) and Pipsqueak was about 760kg, if I remember rightly... not sure what age that makes them!
 

Jemima

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Yes chasing is normal, particularly as yours are really just starting their bonding process. As long as you aren’t seeing any full one fights, then just leave them to it. You are always going to see dominance though - even once they’ve been together a long time. My three year old boar pair love nothing more than rumbling and chasing each other!

If I remember rightly, your boys are young. If that is the case, then they are going to be displaying hormonal teen behaviour for a long time yet ! They are in their teens until 14 months of age. Boars do tend to mellow as they age though a d the chasing and rumbling between my boys is definitely less than it used to be, but they still do it!

1 - usually around April/May (april, of course, can either be really nice or snowy!) onwards. The guide is, if you can stand on the grass with bare feet and not feel cold and wet, then they can go on it.
2 - you should keep territory changes with boars to a minimum so don’t change things in their cage too much. Of course putting them out in the run is absolutely what you should do, but also do be aware that for some simply going out into a run can cause dominance displays, others are absolutely fine if and it makes no difference to them!
3 - Let them settle into their cage and settle with each other. I wouldnt try floor time for a couple of weeks yet. When you do try it, ensure you have lots of hideys around so they have somewhere to run and hide regularly - open spaces are scary for them
I just turned out the light and no sooner hadI shut the door did I hear a clang and two loud, high pitched wheeks :-( I've come back in. They must have just clanged the little feeding bowl running over it - but why would the loud wheeks have happened - is that normal or do I need to check Pipsqueak over for a wound?!
 

Jemima

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They could have scared themselves. A quick check would be a good idea
The big one Papua is eating - he seems absolutely fine and rather pleased with himself. Pipsqueak is hiding in the pepper pot snuggle den. Papua has come back down and Pip has darted off. I am going to observe for a while longer. They are darting here and there. I've checked Pip's ears when I picked him up int eh cuddle pot thing, but I don't want to stress him further as I haven't handled them yet. My assumption is Papua was asserting dominance - I just didn't see what was happening unfortunately.

Hopefully they will be OK over night on their own!
 

Jemima

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AH! So I just observed Pap chase Pip up the ramp, then when Pip darted out, he nearly squeazed himself through the correx - I stopped him, otherwise he may have fallen through it. Help! What should I do. I don't want to leave them overnight because if this chasing continues Pipsquak may fall. In fact, that is what may have happened before when I heard the wheek. It' the loft space just where the corner turned, before th ramp, because the person who made it up made it into an L shape. Should I try to tape it until tomorrow so he can cannot squeeze and make a gap there, like he did just then?! Eek... really don't feel OK leaving it as it is.
 

Jemima

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They could have scared themselves. A quick check would be a good idea
Just to add a photo to my last post. I think all I can do is tape this firmly this evening and talk to the rescue about adapting it to take away any dangers - they run so fast±
tomorrow! IMG_0346.jpgIMG_0347.jpg
 

Jemima

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FYI I've taped it up with cardboard around it so there is no way he can squeeze through now. Agh, what a worry, so much for an early night!
 

Siikibam

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I would consider whether the loft could cause an issue with a piggy being trapped up there. Taping the gap should work. When you have time you could attach a piece of correx there to close it more permanently.

Try not to worry, the chasing and squealing is all normal. What you want is for one piggy to allow themselves to be humped/chased/mounted without retaliating or causing a face-off. Go to bed 🙂
 

Jemima

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I would consider whether the loft could cause an issue with a piggy being trapped up there. Taping the gap should work. When you have time you could attach a piece of correx there to close it more permanently.

Try not to worry, the chasing and squealing is all normal. What you want is for one piggy to allow themselves to be humped/chased/mounted without retaliating or causing a face-off. Go to bed 🙂
Thank you. I taped it up and went to bed!

This morning I witnessed Papua (dominant) go up stairs to the loft where I'd put fresh hay, and he and Pipsqueak sat munching together. Pip was a bit squeaky, but no chasing! I'm sure later may be a different story, but let's see.
 

Jemima

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I would consider whether the loft could cause an issue with a piggy being trapped up there. Taping the gap should work. When you have time you could attach a piece of correx there to close it more permanently.

Try not to worry, the chasing and squealing is all normal. What you want is for one piggy to allow themselves to be humped/chased/mounted without retaliating or causing a face-off. Go to bed 🙂
Is it normal for them to only be sitting on their own, one up, one down - with the occasional chase? They're both eating as far as I can see. But very separate. When one comes up, mostly, the other comes down, and vice verser.

How do I know if they are happy? They very much stay put really, not much running around unless chasing!

My instinct tells me to just let them be for a couple more weeks - see how this develops. I just want them to be happy!
 

Piggies&buns

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Definitely just let them be but monitor them. They are in a period of readjustment.
It’s normal for even well bonded boars to not sit together. Mine aren’t in a hidey at the same time. When they had a multi level hutch id quite often find one up and one down. Now I’ll find one in the hutch and one sitting out in the shed.
 

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The squealing is probably just submission.
Guinea pigs can be fantastic over reactors and Pip is just showing loudly that he is not dominant and has no plans to try and take over.

Given all the ups and downs they have had recently I would say it may take several weeks for them to settle.
Keep things as simple as possible for this time.

And over the years I have only ever had one piggy pair who really were inseparable and always chose to be together.
The rest seem happy to interact on occasion but appreciate their own space.
 

Jemima

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The squealing is probably just submission.
Guinea pigs can be fantastic over reactors and Pip is just showing loudly that he is not dominant and has no plans to try and take over.

Given all the ups and downs they have had recently I would say it may take several weeks for them to settle.
Keep things as simple as possible for this time.

And over the years I have only ever had one piggy pair who really were inseparable and always chose to be together.
The rest seem happy to interact on occasion but appreciate their own space.
That's so helpful, thank you. It' a learning curve! I'd only say I've seen one episode of chasing today, and I have been home all day. The rest of the time just quietly munching and doing their own thing...
 
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