Boar Trio Dominance - Three Weeks In

Meshen

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Hi all. First off, let me start by saying I know boar trios are traditionally advised against and I know the potential pitfalls of breaking existing bonds etc. But we had a bereaved, older depressed piggy that we couldn't find a pal for due to Covid, so with no other options we introduced our other boar pair (16 months old) to him three weeks ago.

All went surprisingly well and they settled after about 24 hours and we called it a success. However since then the dominance behaviour has continued and is fairly incessant, with our two younger pigs taking turns with mounting, humping etc. They quite happily eat, groom, lie together etc but once he's moving around the cage (a large C&C with loft) they seem to see it as a game and they need to get on top of him! There has never been any aggression whatsoever, not even teeth chattering, so I really want to let it play out but just wondering when is it too much? I feel like it should have calmed down by now, even though it's not aggressive. Any help appreciated!
 

Betsy

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Can you put your older boar in a cage next to your pair so he can have interaction through the bars?
 

Meshen

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Can you put your older boar in a cage next to your pair so he can have interaction through the bars?
We tried this before we ended up introducing them and they were all so desparate to get to each other that cage biting became their main hobby. The introduction has gone well enough that I'd like to let it play out (when I see them grooming each other or lying together I know that's not the actions of a bond that can't work) but I'm also conscious that the dominance behaviour can't be allowed to go on indefinitely as they are all very preoccupied with it.
 

Piggies&buns

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It doesn’t matter if it isnt aggressive the fact that it is constant can amount to bullying meaning the victim can be made to be rather unhappy.
Personally If it is that constant and he can’t move without it happening, then I would call is a loss and separate him to live alongside in a separate cage. They will still be able to interact through the bars so he won’t be lonely
 
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Meshen

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If you are going to separate then it’s best to just do it rather than wait if there clearly is a problem.
A week is a long time in a dysfunctional relationship.
Thanks, it's just tough to give up on a bond knowing how our lone piggy was before, and the fact there are some hopeful signs makes me want to give it just a bit longer to see if it calms. It's a tough call but maybe I will just separate then.
 

Piggies&buns

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Thanks, it's just tough to give up on a bond knowing how our lone piggy was before, and the fact there are some hopeful signs makes me want to give it just a bit longer to see if it calms. It's a tough call but maybe I will just separate then.
Separation is never a nice thing to have to do. I would just be concerned of the impact of the constant mounting. Normally between a pair, dominance settles down within two weeks. The fact that this still ongoing and knowing boar trios are incredibly difficult to get to work, I would think he chances of it calming down are low.
We obviously can’t see how constant it is, but it sounds it from your description.
How big is their cage?
Is finding the single piggy a new friend of his own out of the question?
 

Meshen

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Separation is never a nice thing to have to do. I would just be concerned of the impact of the constant mounting. Normally between a pair, dominance settles down within two weeks. The fact that this still ongoing and knowing boar trios are incredibly difficult to get to work, I would think he chances of it calming down are low.
We obviously can’t see how constant it is, but it sounds it from your description.
How big is their cage?
Is finding the single piggy a new friend of his own out of the question?
It's a 2x5 C&C with a 2x2 loft. If we separate I will definitely get him a pal as soon as possible, its just that adoption options near me are limited due to COVID. I do agree that chances of it settling now are probably low and I'll probably just have to bite the bullet and separate.
 

Piggies&buns

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It's a 2x5 C&C with a 2x2 loft. If we separate I will definitely get him a pal as soon as possible, its just that adoption options near me are limited due to COVID. I do agree that chances of it settling now are probably low and I'll probably just have to bite the bullet and separate.
While character is the most important factor in a bond, particularly with a trio, lack of space can also be problematic - A 2x5 is only big enough for two boars together. Loft spaces do not count towards the cage size. A trio of boars would require a cage much bigger to stand a chance (character issues aside). I don’t think increasing cage size is going to make much of a difference here though (and in any event increasing the cage size constitutes a change in territory and therefore sets off further dominance in any event)

It has been difficult with Covid and adopting, but some centres are now starting to reopen so do get yourself on the lists and see how it goes.
 
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