Boars Separated - Advice On Re-introduction/playtime/being Together

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rufcjoe87

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Wasn't sure if i should start a new thread or not? sos please delete this thread if not! (apologies if not)

Ok so I have had to seperate my boys - detailed here (https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/help-with-you-fighting-boars-phase-or-worse.125434/) they would not stop fighting - Henry was visibly distressed and even with a cage divider Henry - because he could see Arthur - was not happy so they are now in two separate cages on top of eachother.

I have a couple of further questions. When they are having cuddles/playtime - can we put them together - so they can interact etc for 30 mins or so a day or do they need to be kept apart at all times?
Is it still worth trying a bonding bath?
Also - once they reach 14 months or so and are out of the 'troublesome' time - is it worth trying to re-introduce
Ideally they would live apart - see eachother at playtime etc and then be able to live together again once adults? Or is the above not a good idea!

Advice appreciated
 

Wiebke

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I am sorry that things have got worse. It sounds like Henry is truly unhappy.

You can try a full re-intro with all the trimmings once the boys have cooled down, but please brace yourself that it is likely not to work or work for long. Guinea pigs don't operate on the level of shared playtime; as they see it, they will have to initiate the full bonding ritual every single time as they are sharing a territory.

Your options:
- keep both boys side by side with mutual stimulation through the bars. If you prefer to just stick to your two, they will need some kind of safe interaction for the long term, as they still require piggy company. It is very much a toss up whether they will gel personality-wise as adults considering that the big clash has happened so early on.

- boar date them under expert supervision at a rescue that offers this service (sadly not too many of them in the Midlands).
Cavy Corner Sanctuary in Doncaster would be worth contacting, as they are very experienced and take great care to help minimise any risk. They would be the best boar bonding place I know of from where you are - considering that your boys are currently at their most difficult to bond - and they will be there for you if you run into trouble at any point along the way.
The RSPCA Walsall unfortunately only offer boar-baby boar speed dating, which for you I feel is not ideal. It is better for bonding bereaved adult boars. Most RSPCA branches won't offer any piggy dating at all.

- have your boys neutered (they are coming up to that age, as their hormones are showing!), so they can then be paired up with a sow each. The advantage of this would be that cross gender bondings are the most stable of all possible pairings with fall-outs virtually unheard of. Again, dating at one of our recommended rescues will help to find girls that click with each boy for a happy relationship.
The crucial bit in going down this road is to use a vet that is ideally very exerienced in guinea pig neutering in order to minimise the otherwise still pretty common risk of especially post-op complications. Your boys will have to wait another 6 weeks after the operation until they are 100% safe to go with sows. I have got the surprise daughter from a supposedly safe over the 5 weeks post op boar (not one of mine) living here, just to prove that point.
If you decide to go down that road, I would recommend to either contact Honeybunnies near Leicester as to which vet they are using to have their boars neutered (which they have been doing for a fair number of years) or to use The Cat&Rabbit Clinic in Northampton; their vet has been neutering all boars for the sadly now defunct guinea pig and rabbit rescue in Rugby and is one of best neutering vets in the whole country.

Here is the list of rescues that we can vouch for as to good standards and experience: https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/pages/guinea-pig-rescue-locator/
 

rufcjoe87

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Thanks again for your help - I do appreciate it. Am new to this (the first guinea pigs we had - 2 boars- we're fine through adolescence, then one died at 2 years old, and, thinking you couldn't introduce a new friend the other lived (seemingly) happily on his own till he was 6 bless him)

They are currently in 2 identical cages on op of eachother (space dictates they can't really be side by side). I will avoid play/grass time together then, as it would obviously be stressful for them starting from scratch each time. We may still have cuddles together - me and my girlfriend can have one each and keep an eye on them. But you would advice play/grass time seperate?

Getting another 2 piggies would be ideal - I will contact Cavy Corner. The issue is 4 may be a bit too many (we currently live with parents who may not like the idea of 4 - having only just been persuaded by 2! In the event of not being able to find 2 additional piggies, or in the meantime, What would be the best way to prevent my two boys getting lonely in the current set up?
What classes as 'safe interaction?
Is it perhaps worth a bonding bath? - though i fear things are too far gone already.

Henry does seem to be more lively now he's on his own which goes with other threads/stickys ive read about bullying etc.

I will look into the other option but option one would probably be the most likely - so key now is preventing loneliness/sadness to either of them and your advice on that would be appreciated.
Thank you for your time
 

Wiebke

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Thanks again for your help - I do appreciate it. Am new to this (the first guinea pigs we had - 2 boars- we're fine through adolescence, then one died at 2 years old, and, thinking you couldn't introduce a new friend the other lived (seemingly) happily on his own till he was 6 bless him)

They are currently in 2 identical cages on op of eachother (space dictates they can't really be side by side). I will avoid play/grass time together then, as it would obviously be stressful for them starting from scratch each time. We may still have cuddles together - me and my girlfriend can have one each and keep an eye on them. But you would advice play/grass time seperate?

Getting another 2 piggies would be ideal - I will contact Cavy Corner. The issue is 4 may be a bit too many (we currently live with parents who may not like the idea of 4 - having only just been persuaded by 2! In the event of not being able to find 2 additional piggies, or in the meantime, What would be the best way to prevent my two boys getting lonely in the current set up?
What classes as 'safe interaction?
Is it perhaps worth a bonding bath? - though i fear things are too far gone already.

Henry does seem to be more lively now he's on his own which goes with other threads/stickys ive read about bullying etc.

I will look into the other option but option one would probably be the most likely - so key now is preventing loneliness/sadness to either of them and your advice on that would be appreciated.
Thank you for your time
Basically, your boys can roam, graze, live etc. alongside each other, but preferably with mesh or bars in between, so each boy has got their own territory.

If you need to stick to two boys for the long term, I would recommend to look into C&C cage set-ups, as they are a lot more flexible; to enable interaction, you may want to look into each boar having his hayloft on the main level of the other boar, so they can see each other, if they want to sleep next to each other against the grids and do all the boarly stuff that is so important for them. Have a look through our member cages gallery.

As each boy has got a cage, you do not have to rush into things. Take your time to research and to talk all options through and see which one would be best for the happiness of your boys while respecting your own situation.
 

rufcjoe87

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Thanks once again for your advice. Good thing is we can look after both boys and give them plenty of love and support while we decide what to do next. The good thing is Arthur seems unfazed and Henry is a lot more active - it's just making sure they don't get too lonely!

I'll make sure we look into all the options you've listed re cages and other friends etc and talk it through and work something out

Thanks once again, your help has been very much appreciated :)
 
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