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Boars: A guide to successful companionship.

Discussion in 'Behaviour and Bonding' started by AudioHeart, Sep 18, 2011.

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  1. AudioHeart

    Senior Guinea Pig

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    Boar Slaves: A guide to successful companionship.​

    [​IMG]

    Boars do make wonderful, loving and friendly pets, they can also make loving and lasting relationships with their own species, both boars and sows!
    I have decided after a year of being on here and giving the same advice to many owners to create a reference guide for all new and existing owners.

    These are the topic I am going to cover:
    • Bringing your boar(s) home
    • Behaviour
    • The Perfect Boar Home and Creating an interesting environment
    • Bonding Baths
    • Introducing a third boar to an Existing pair
    • Fall-outs
    • Other options after a failed bonding
    • More information and advice.​


    Bringing your Boar(s) Home
    Congratulations on your new arrival(s)!

    As with any new guinea pig or pet please allow 24 hours for your new little one to settle in and become adjusted to their new home, to the new smells, sounds and environment. For your new pet to become settled and relaxed this may take around a week, and it can take several months to a year to gain trust and a lasting bond between yourself and your pet.
    Boars are exicitng, and loveable companions and do make wonderful pets, as with sow guinea pigs boars do need company and companionship of their own kind it is essential for them to have friends as guinea pigs thrive with their own company. If you need more information on where or how to get the perfect friend for your boar please scroll down below and see ‘more information and advice.

    Boar Behaviour!
    Guinea Pigs are complex creatures and communicate through body language, sounds and wheeks. A fantastic thread is available to read on here on everything you need to know about boar behaviour and the difference between dominance displays and fighting. For every boar owner this is a must read, please take some time to read it and become familiar to their behaviours:

    http://theguineapigforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=28949

    All boars go through their hormonal stage between six weeks and fourteen months, this is the time when most fall outs occur, during this time a range of boar behaviour will be seen and heard.
    However there are a number of other factors which contribute to dominance displays and aggression in boars.

    Time of Year
    I have noticed with my boars, during spring they test out their dominance again this is due to their natural hormones letting them know that its that time of year to strut your stuff and impress the ladies.

    The summer can also result in aggravated boars if they are too hot, warm and stressed out. Please keep your boars cool during the summer months, if they are outside in the run make sure you cover the run with a towel or two to provide a shaded area and make sure there is water present at all times.

    Moving, new environment, and other stresses


    New environments or a clean neutral cage can cause boars to test out their dominance all over again. This is just for them to confirm who is top pig. This should calm down after a couple of hours.

    Keeping boars near females
    If boars can smell females they may or will argue and may result in fighting try to keep your boars as far away from females as possible.

    Illness
    Illness can cause boars to fight, due to one being weaker than the other. If you do suspect illness please seek vetinary advice and guidance.
    Creating the Perfect Boar Home (and an interesting environment)

    Boars need space, and a lot of it. If you can try to provide a large stimulating environment as possible, the recommend amount of space for two guinea pigs is 4ft by 2ft, but for boars I’d go as big as possible. 5ft x 2ft is a brilliant amount of space, this allows the boys to play, grow, and get away from one another as they grow.

    Make sure your new cage or hutch is clean, and if bought second hand doesn’t smell of females so wash with pet friendly disinfectant.

    Having a large amount of space means that the boys aren’t ‘living on top of one another’ they can get away and have their own space to relax. If you can, and have the space to try to create two bedrooms, two eating spaces in the boars home at opposite ends of one another this allows them if arguing does occur to have their own space to eat and sleep.

    [​IMG]

    Two of Everything
    I can’t reiterate this enough, two of everything is a must for boar homes. Two bowls, two bottles, two hay trays, two toys. This allows the boys to have their ‘own’ stuff, this way they don’t have to argue who gets what. Two food bowls and hay trays also means that if one boar is being bullied by the other more dominant boar he can get all the nutrients and food that he requires.

    Two Hideys
    Adding two hideys into their home allows both boars to have their own safe heaven, as well as somewhere quiet and fun to play in. You must remember to get a hidey with two entrances/ exits though, as one boar can become bullied into a corner if there is only one entrance or exit. The best hideys I’ve used is the cardboard boxes you can get at the end of supermarket shopping tills. Cardboard boxes are also very fun to chew and let some frustration out onto!

    A cuddly toy
    A cuddly safe toy, remove tags and usually baby/ newborn toys are great for pigs. Putting a cuddly toy in the cage sometimes allows boars to take their frustrations, and urges out on the toy instead of each other!
    [​IMG]
    [*]Hay and lots of it![/*]

    Try to create a fun and interesting environment for your boars to play in, and if you can rearrange their home daily this way it keeps them interested in exploring rather than having a go at one another.

    Creating an interesting and stimulating environment doesn’t have to be expensive either, it can be created cheaply and quickly too. Try using safe household objects to keep the little ones occupied.

    Some favourites of my boys are:
    Pot plant pots filled with hay.
    Loo rolls filled with hay and hung up on string
    Chubes (piggie cardboard tubes available at most pet shops/ online stores) filled with hay and herbage.
    Newspaper (safe ink) shredded then rolled into a ball
    A stimulating environment
    [​IMG]

    CONT.....
     
    #1 AudioHeart, Sep 18, 2011 at 12:16 AM
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  2. AudioHeart

    Senior Guinea Pig

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    [*]Bonding Baths[/*]
    Bonding Baths work brilliantly for two new pigs, or two fallen out pigs to be re-introduced back together, it also is helpful to try a bonding bath for two successful bonded males every two months or so not only will this help with managing and treating fleas and ticks and any other skin complaints it will also help with keeping them in a lasting companionship.
    If you are giving the boars a bonding bath, wash and disinfect their home and all the toys and utensils before placing them back into their cage/hutch. This allows them and their home to be neutral, and keep everything smelling the same.

    [​IMG]

    [*]Introducing a third boar to an existing pair.[/*]
    Before going ahead with this decision firstly make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to research your options and make sure this is the right decision for your boars, your guinea pigs welfare should come before your own needs.

    Please also be aware by attempting to introduce a third male to your existing pair you may end up with three single boars which all will need separate housing.

    What/where to research:
    • Email or phone rescues- as many as you can. speak and discuss about your current bonded pair and ask about their experiences on bonding trios, if at all.
    • Contact other trio,/quad owners and ask for their advice and experiences. You can start a new thread on here asking for boar trio owners to come forward.
    • This website is essential for bonding trios.
    • Search google for other peoples experiences and knowledge.
    • Use other forums, sign up and ask for other peoples advice and experience.

    You do need to do a lot of research and forethought before going ahead with this decision it is a very big decision to make and you need to consider the following:

    • Do you accept and know the fact that it might not work, all three boars could end up injured or hurt, and you could end up with three single boars?
    • Your current pair, are they stable or do they argue quite regularly.
    • Can you find a rescue willing to work alongside you?
    • Do you have the space? Trios need ALOT of space, more than your average 4ft x 2ft hutch.
    • Time, do you have the time, money and space to invest.
    • Are you putting your guinea pigs needs before your own?
    • Do you have three spare hutches/ cages?
    • Are you willing to get all three single boars new friends?
    • Would it be more advisable instead of upsetting your current bonded pair to instead rescue another pair of piggies that need a loving caring home?
    • Do you accept that it is very, very rare to have a successful trio or quad?

    Once you have considered and researched the above, you will need to choose a new boar who will fit in perfectly with your existing two, a younger or more older boar, who is submissive/ relaxed would be much more preferable. To find a perfect third boar you will need to find a rescue centre who is willing to try trio bonding and dating.

    Good Websites to read through:
    Bonding trios: photos and description
    http://www.guinealynx.info/forums/viewtopic.php?t=46468&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0
    Barmy For Boars: Trios
    http://www.susieandpigs.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/trios.htm
    My Bonding Photos:
    http://theguineapigforum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=69235

    My failed bonding trio:

    [​IMG]
    Neutral introduction Environment
    [​IMG]

    [*]Fall-Outs[/*]
    If your boars do fall out, which can happen from time to time it may be advisable if the falling out isn’t too serious (ie no one is hurt) to provide a wire mesh down half of the cage/hutch for a maximum of an hour this allows both boars to cool down and relax.

    If they are still bothering one another and things become heated even after the period of separation it may be worth to try a bonding bath (see above) and clean the entire cage and all the accessories, rearrange the cage and see if this helps at all.

    If your boars are still not getting along after you have tried the above, they may not be compatible pair, which you have the following options:
    • To try again when they both reach fourteen months of age (past the hormonal months)
    • Separate them into separate cages/hutch but live side by side
    • Go to your local rescue and try boar dating.
    • Re-home one to your local rescue, and again try boar dating for the other
    • Neutering.

    CONT
     
  3. AudioHeart

    Senior Guinea Pig

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    [*]Other options[/*]
    Sometimes fall outs do occur, not all piggie companionships are set in stone, when this happens it can be a very stressful time not only for the owning but for the piggies involved too. However don’t fret too much there is plenty of options available for you and your boars depending on how much time, space and money you have.

    [*]Trying Again[/*]
    Sometimes time apart can help, as they mature and develop apart there might be a chance they’ll get on when their older (after fourteen months of age) there is no guarantee of this working though, but sometimes it does happen. If you do try again at a later date, remember to clean and disinfect the cage thoroughly including all accessories, giving both boars a bonding bath and introduce them on neutral territory.

    [*]Living Side by Side[/*]
    Another option which many boars can and will live quite happily with is living together but apart, keeping the boars divide between mesh allows them to have their own space but still gives them both company and somepig to shout/talk too.

    Photo of p-roo in his new home next to the boys!
    [​IMG]

    [*]Boar Dating[/*]
    Boar dating is the next option for your two bachelors, this allows your guinea pig to choose a friend they prefer. Boar dating usually takes place at the rescue where they have plenty of guinea pigs for your piggie to choose from. Again there is no guarantee they’ll be friends for life, however you do have the support of the rescue for life and there is a higher chance of them developing a lasting bond.

    [*]Surrendering one of your guinea pigs[/*]
    If you can’t afford four guinea pigs, or you simply don’t have the room to accommodate an extra two pigs in your life, or perhaps you find that guinea pigs aren’t the animal for you don’t hesitate or feel bad for surrendering your guinea pigs to a rescue. It’s one of the most loving things you can do for your pets if you can no longer care or support them. The rescue will provide you with all the information on how to rehome your guinea pig.

    [*] Neutering your Boar[/*]

    Neutering is another option and an option which shouldn’t be entered into lightly without research, forethought and all the other options considered.
    Neutering is a very risky, and invasive procedure, and a good vet is a must before going ahead. You may have to travel for treatment, and your guinea pig will have to be housed indoors for six weeks after the operation, planning will also be needed and you will need to prepare for the aftercare too. Post op complications can arise from an hour after neutering too ten months later. You’ll also need to be willing and competent in hand feeding and giving medicine by a syringe. You must also be aware of the fact that it is a risky procedure and it sometimes doesn’t always go to plan.

    I neutered my boy, Percy-Roo with a RSPCA recommend vet, who was fantastic. Percy-Roo was syringe fed Critical Care for the first four days after the operation and was healthy and happy for seven weeks post op. I then noticed a large purple lump on his right testicle, after rushing him to the vets I soon found out he had a very rare allergic reaction to the dissolvable internal stitching. He needed a course of baytril for ten days, two months after his operation I am still weighing him and checking him regularly, and this will be required of me for the rest of his life.

    [*]Finding a good vet:[/*]
    Contact your local rescue or RSPCA and find out which vet they use to neuter their guinea pigs.

    Questions to ask:
    • Do you neuter guinea pig/ how long for and how many have you done in the past months?
    • Was all the operations successful? If not what complication arose during/ after the op?
    • What do you for the anaesthesia and do you provide pain relief for aftercare?
    • Do you provide a pre consolation, a consultation two days after the operation and one in ten days after the op?
    • Do guinea pigs need to be starved before the operation? (this is a no, guinea pigs do not need to be starved)

    Once you have the answers for these questions start a new thread in the health and illness section on this forum so we can give you more information and advice.

    Once neutered you will have to wait six weeks before placing your boar with a female.

    [*]More information:[/*]
    http://www.cavyspirit.com/sociallife.htm
    http://www.susieandpigs.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/Nuetering.htm
    http://www.guinealynx.info/postop.html
    for vet supplies (post-op):
    http://www.vetuk.co.uk/

    A new girlfriend for Percy-Roo (neutered boar)
    [​IMG]
    [*]More information[/*]
    For research, rehoming and boar dating please see the following website:
    http://www.guineapigrehome.org.uk/
    Or see the Rescue and Rehoming Section on the forum:
    http://theguineapigforum.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=19

    If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask or post a thread on the forum,
    Many thanks and hope this has helped

    Laura and owner to two loving and bonded boars
    Harvey and Artie
    One successfully neutered boar, Percy-Roo soon to be huspig to Tabitha.

    [​IMG]
    (Harvey and Artie, a loving companionship for life)
     
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  4. AudioHeart

    Senior Guinea Pig

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    Phew! Quick reference guide for new owners of boars, just to cover the basic topics and give basic advice. Hope this helps xxxxx
     
  5. HelsBels

    HelsBels Junior Guinea Pig

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    Wow what a fantastic read, thank you :)
     
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  6. HelsBels

    HelsBels Junior Guinea Pig

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    I also think this would be useful as a sticky so the info is always at the top for newbies making it easier to find etc :)
     
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  7. SweetsPig11

    SweetsPig11 New Member

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    Yes! Let's Sticky this! I love how you have bolded all the topics so if someone just needs a quick refrence they can scroll down and find their subject easily! Thank you Laura!
     
  8. piggieowner40

    piggieowner40 New Member

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    fantastic thread, as a new owner of two piggie boys its a great reference and has helped me understand some of their behaviour many thanks x
     
  9. AudioHeart

    Senior Guinea Pig

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    No problems my lovelies, i just found myself especially in the past month repeating myself several times a night so i thought I'd make one big thread which covers everything on boars, bonding and the most usually asked questions this way if any new members need an answer asap they can look here first :)

    xxxxx
     
  10. deeandnick

    deeandnick New Member

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    Thank you - this is fantastic! Ive been having issues with my boars and I know I will refer back to this over and over again!

    Does anyone know what age a boar has to be to have a bonding bath? I'm guessing they cant have them until they reach a certain age!?
     
  11. Guinea pig slave

    Senior Guinea Pig

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    Great stuff again from you Laura (and another treat to see the delightful Tabitha x)) :))
     
  12. youthnovels

    youthnovels New Member

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    Absolutely brilliant thread! I don't have any boars but it was an interesting read!
     
  13. AudioHeart

    Senior Guinea Pig

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    Usually 12 weeks plus but you can get special baby piggie shampoo from Gorgeous Guineas:
    http://www.gorgeousguineas.com/

    :)
     
  14. BellasMummy

    Senior Guinea Pig

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    I don't plan on getting any boars but what a fantastic thing for you to do for boar owners :) Lovely pics too!
     
  15. deeandnick

    deeandnick New Member

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    Thanks a lot for that :) I had heard it was 6 month+ so hadn't tried that yet. Will get onto it soon!
     
  16. Guinea pigs <3

    Senior Guinea Pig

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    Just seen this Laura! Well done, it's brilliant! xx>>> Hope it becomes a sticky!
     
  17. AudioHeart

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    Thank you just hope its helpful for new and old owners alike :) and any other boar owners if you would like to add your advice, suggestions and comments or even ask questions don't hesitate to post on this thread too :)
     
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  18. Pickles

    Pickles New Member

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    Wow that's really helpful thanks!
    I have a boar trio and recently one of my boars seem to bully the youngest one. He doesn't prevent him from eating or anything but he teeth chatters a lot at him and tries to nip him when he gets close. The victim doesn't do anything, he is pretty peaceful and never attacked anyone... I'm getting worried, I'm afraid I'll have to separate them... The one who bullies is getting through his teenage months so I'm thinking it will probably not last... I'm quite lost here...
     
  19. PiggyLove

    PiggyLove New Member

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    This should be made a sticky - its fantastic

    I agree boars are awesome - my two baby boars are so loving and affectionate I'm overwhelmed how loving they are drooldrool
     
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  20. PiggyLove

    PiggyLove New Member

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    thank you Audioheart x
     
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