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Boar licking himself

Nataliegray

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One of my boars (12 weeks) did something I haven’t seen him do before today and I’m not sure if it is something I need to worry about or not. When I got him out for some lap time he was licking underneath himself, it appeared to be his bum or near there. I gave him a good look over and he seemed fine, I couldn’t see anything obvious. He did it maybe four or five times in about 20 mins. They have eaten their breakfast this morning and there seemed to be the usual amount of poo in their cage but he shares with another boar so I can’t be certain that all is ok.
Could someone give me an idea of possibilities please. Is it something I need to be concerned about? They are outdoor pigs and I do have the space to split them up if needed but I wanted to check if that’s what I should be doing first as it will stress them I think.
 

Wiebke

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One of my boars (12 weeks) did something I haven’t seen him do before today and I’m not sure if it is something I need to worry about or not. When I got him out for some lap time he was licking underneath himself, it appeared to be his bum or near there. I gave him a good look over and he seemed fine, I couldn’t see anything obvious. He did it maybe four or five times in about 20 mins. They have eaten their breakfast this morning and there seemed to be the usual amount of poo in their cage but he shares with another boar so I can’t be certain that all is ok.
Could someone give me an idea of possibilities please. Is it something I need to be concerned about? They are outdoor pigs and I do have the space to split them up if needed but I wanted to check if that’s what I should be doing first as it will stress them I think.

Hi!

Like all animals that live off highly nutritious but tough grass/hay, guinea pigs had to develop a way of doing that. In their case, they make two sorts of poos as their food requires two runs through the gut. The poos that contain all the not fully broken down fibre from the first run are eaten again. They are called caecotrophs. Because they are so precious, they usually picked up straight from the anus. They are produced at a different time to the waste poos that you see lying around and the differ also slight in texture and colour.
Please ensure that your piggies always have access to unlimited hay and that you only feed 1 tablespoon of pellets (which even in the best of them contain a lot more filler than fibre) and that you do not overfeed veg; especially not high sugary foods like carrot, sweet corn or any fruit (including tomato). This will boost the health and ultimately can add 1-2 years for them to have a much higher chance at reaching the upper end of the average life span instead of the lower end. Keep in mind that fresh grass is high in vitamin C and that good quality hay also still contains some; hay and grass should make around 80% of what a piggy eats in a day for optimal hay. Veg and fresh herbs as well as a little pellets are more in the way of daily snacks. Please keep them as green and healthy as possible!
Long Term Balanced General And Special Needs Guinea Pig Diets

Piggies also lick their genitalia during a piggy wash when they spread saliva over their body. And boars masturbate; that is why you quite often find some dried semen fluid (we call it 'boar glue' for very obvious reasons) on boar noses or mouths.
However, it would be good if you included a check of the boar bits into the weekly life long health monitoring weigh in and body check up, which helps you monitor the weight/health and food intake as well as checking for the BMI to see whether your piggies are a good weight for their size at any age (checking the 'heft').
Please take the time to read these guides here; they will teach you what is normal and what not:
Weight - Monitoring and Management
Guinea pig body quirks - What is normal and what not?
Boar Care: Bits, Bums & Baths

All guide links in this post are part of our very helpful new owners collection, which you may want to bookmark and use as resource. Unlike quickly outdated books, the guide format allows us to update and add to our information as we go along.
Here is the link, which specifically covers all the areas that we get the most questions and cries for help about in practical and precise how to detail: Getting Started - New Owners' Most Helpful Guides
 

Nataliegray

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Thank you. I think I’ve got their feed right, they have unlimited hay and only a small amount of veggies and a smaller amount of pellets. I’ve seen them eating poo, it’s was similar to this but unless he was doing a poo every couple of minutes I don’t think it was that. I don’t think he was cleaning himself either as he only licked that bit.
I worried that there might be some illness potentially but I’ll just keep an eye on him. Thanks again.
 
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