Bonding advice in a hutch!

Piggylove82

Forum Donator 2020/21
Joined
Dec 28, 2019
Messages
1,586
Reaction score
2,165
Points
875
Location
Worcestershire
Just looking for a little advice about bonding a 4 year old female piggy with a friend(s) who I have yet to adopt. Not sure if it will be a neutered boar or female(s) yet.

Lots of advice says to have the pigs in separate cages so they can see/smell/get used to each other before them actually meeting. My issue is I only have a double storey hutch and mine are outside pigs. I'm not looking to adopt babies or indoor pigs and put them outside as I'm well aware the weather is not warm enough. I am being completely upfront with the adoption centre about that, so my options will be more limited as some of their rescue pigs are currently indoor pigs.

But weather issue aside, how do I allow them to be aware of each other safely before introducing them? And is there a generally more successful match regarding a neutered boar or maybe a couple of females for my 4 year old Molly? I'm concerned if I get a boar and the bonding (with Molly) isn't successful, and I have to house them on separate floors in the same hutch, then I will have to go through this again to find a friend for him, which can't be a boy because I have Molly. And a friend for her which can't be a boy because I have the adopted boar from the original unsuccessful bonding.

I hope I've explained that so it's not too confusing 🤪. Thank you for any advice or experience that any members may share on any of these issues.
 

Swissgreys

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 15, 2016
Messages
7,590
Reaction score
16,421
Points
1,965
Location
Zürich, Switzerland
I think the first step would be to contact local rescues and find out if any of them offer a dating service, which would allow Molly to choose her own companion/s.
The problem is that there is no 'one size fits all' answer to these questions as it really comes down to individual personalities.
Obviously side by side isn't possible with a hutch, but is there a cooler area of your house where you could set up a temporary pen so they can be side by side for 24 hours before you start bonding?
Failing that then you may have to simply go ahead and attempt to bond them in a fully neutral area without any side by side time.
Thankfully most rescues will take a piggy back if a bonding fails, so at least you don't have to worry about Plan B.
 

Piggylove82

Forum Donator 2020/21
Joined
Dec 28, 2019
Messages
1,586
Reaction score
2,165
Points
875
Location
Worcestershire
Thank you for replying.

I'm not sure if they do a dating service. Anyone know if the RSPCA generally do?

I have nowhere inside for them. Do you think a cleaned out floor of the hutch would be 'neutral ground'? Or not if Molly is living on the other floor of it.
 

Swissgreys

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 15, 2016
Messages
7,590
Reaction score
16,421
Points
1,965
Location
Zürich, Switzerland
I would try to avoid using the hutch if at all possible.
Molly may still view it as her territory, plus you really need an open space so you can easily physically intervene if at all possible.
If you really don't have an indoor space (garage, bathroom, laundry room?) then a pen on an outdoor patio on a warm day may work.
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
74,180
Reaction score
49,073
Points
3,466
Location
Coventry UK
Thank you for replying.

I'm not sure if they do a dating service. Anyone know if the RSPCA generally do?

I have nowhere inside for them. Do you think a cleaned out floor of the hutch would be 'neutral ground'? Or not if Molly is living on the other floor of it.
The RSPCA Walsall/Birmingham does offer dating for sows and neutered boars, but won't offer any bonding for full boars.
So does Coseley Guinea Pig Rescue.

I don't think the RSPCA Worcester offers dating and I know for sure that The Blue Cross in Burford doesn't.

Here is the list of rescues we can guarantee that you and your girl are in safe and experienced hands; most of these rescues offer dating. It is worth travelling a bit further for total peace of mind (adopting fully quarantined/vet cared healthy piggies, guaranteed no pregnancies, settling in support and the guarantee to take back any adopted piggies and find them another good home for the duration of their lives if there are problems.
You will however have to enquire re. adoption as the situation is currently very fluid. Recommended Guinea Pig Rescues
 

Piggylove82

Forum Donator 2020/21
Joined
Dec 28, 2019
Messages
1,586
Reaction score
2,165
Points
875
Location
Worcestershire
I have an outdoor run with a lift off top that I can use for the actual meet. I can put hideys in there for if it gets too much for either one.

Do you think if they live on separate floors of the hutch initially, then have introduction(s) in the run under close supervision that will be OK? Build up the time they are together, then if everything goes well, clean out the entire hutch, add the ramp and put them both in. I'm not talking about all this happening on day one and being completely sorted within an hour!
 

Piggylove82

Forum Donator 2020/21
Joined
Dec 28, 2019
Messages
1,586
Reaction score
2,165
Points
875
Location
Worcestershire
The RSPCA Walsall/Birmingham does offer dating for sows and neutered boars, but won't offer any bonding for full boars.
So does Coseley Guinea Pig Rescue.

I don't think the RSPCA Worcester offers dating and I know for sure that The Blue Cross in Burford doesn't.

Here is the list of rescues we can guarantee that you and your girl are in safe and experienced hands; most of these rescues offer dating. It is worth travelling a bit further for total peace of mind (adopting fully quarantined/vet cared healthy piggies, guaranteed no pregnancies, settling in support and the guarantee to take back any adopted piggies and find them another good home for the duration of their lives if there are problems.
You will however have to enquire re. adoption as the situation is currently very fluid. Recommended Guinea Pig Rescues
Thank you! I actually got the Walsall RSPCA from that listing. I didn't know there was a Worcester RSPCA. And Coseley haven't replied to my enquiries just yet.

The dating service sounds ideal, but i couldn't bear to leave Molly there overnight or for a few days. Would I have to do that, do you think?

I really appreciate you giving your time and advice to me. I even feel a little startstruck that Wiebke, herself, is replying to my thread 😊. You are like an encyclopedia of guinea pig knowledge. I have a lot of respect for you.
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
74,180
Reaction score
49,073
Points
3,466
Location
Coventry UK
Thank you! I actually got the Walsall RSPCA from that listing. I didn't know there was a Worcester RSPCA. And Coseley haven't replied to my enquiries just yet.

The dating service sounds ideal, but i couldn't bear to leave Molly there overnight or for a few days. Would I have to do that, do you think?

I really appreciate you giving your time and advice to me. I even feel a little startstruck that Wiebke, herself, is replying to my thread 😊. You are like an encyclopedia of guinea pig knowledge. I have a lot of respect for you.
There is only a handful of rescues that offer residential dating as it is very time consuming.
Walsall and to my knowledge Coseley only offer speed dating. Please keep in mind that most rescues (including the RSPCA branches) are being entirely volunteer run in the people's free time. Be patient and if necessary try again; piggy needs and emergencies are taking precendence as lives are at stake.
You can also currently not count on people having their regular life totally disrupted.

The difference between the two options is the degree to which the bonding process is taken.
- With speed dating you check just for initial acceptance but all the other stages in which the bonding process can fail are not covered. You can speed date several piggies in quick succession, so you can do this in only one visit.
- With residential dating the bonding process is taken fully through until a hierarchy is stably achieved and the bond is solid. This takes more than a day to ensure. It also allows the piggies time to get to know each other through the bars overnight and have a breather after a failed intro. This kind of bonding means that there is generally no risk of fall-outs after adoption.

Please keep in mind that the bonding process is a rather complex process that runs through different stages and that lasts around 2 weeks in all. Speed dating covers the first and hopefully second hurdle that are taken in quick success. Residendial dating covers the process until the roughest part of the post-intro dominance phase is sorted and the bond is proven stable.
Here is more information on the various stages of the bonding process: Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics
 

Piggylove82

Forum Donator 2020/21
Joined
Dec 28, 2019
Messages
1,586
Reaction score
2,165
Points
875
Location
Worcestershire
There is only a handful of rescues that offer residential dating as it is very time consuming.
Walsall and to my knowledge Coseley only offer speed dating. Please keep in mind that most rescues (including the RSPCA branches) are being entirely volunteer run in the people's free time. Be patient and if necessary try again; piggy needs and emergencies are taking precendence as lives are at stake.
You can also currently not count on people having their regular life totally disrupted.

The difference between the two options is the degree to which the bonding process is taken.
- With speed dating you check just for initial acceptance but all the other stages in which the bonding process can fail are not covered. You can speed date several piggies in quick succession, so you can do this in only one visit.
- With residential dating the bonding process is taken fully through until a hierarchy is stably achieved and the bond is solid. This takes more than a day to ensure. It also allows the piggies time to get to know each other through the bars overnight and have a breather after a failed intro. This kind of bonding means that there is generally no risk of fall-outs after adoption.

Please keep in mind that the bonding process is a rather complex process that runs through different stages and that lasts around 2 weeks in all. Speed dating covers the first and hopefully second hurdle that are taken in quick success. Residendial dating covers the process until the roughest part of the post-intro dominance phase is sorted and the bond is proven stable.
Here is more information on the various stages of the bonding process: Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics
Thank you. I will have a good read of the link. And yes, you're completely right about the centres being volunteer run, that's definitely the case for Walsall, and they have replied, asking to see some pictures of my hutch which I've sent them. Just waiting to see what they say next.

What I don't want to do is be a nuisance to these places. Like you say, they have more important practical matters of rescuing these animals. I just want to give a pig(s) a good loving home.
 

Piggylove82

Forum Donator 2020/21
Joined
Dec 28, 2019
Messages
1,586
Reaction score
2,165
Points
875
Location
Worcestershire
@Wiebke, Coseley guinea pig rescue doesn't appear on the list of guinea pig rescue centres. Is there a reason for this? Reta has a pair of one year old girls suitable for outdoors that she is willing to try with Molly in a playpen to see their initial interaction. Not sure what to do. Molly is 4, would two one year olds be too much for her? I know it's down to personality, but do you have any thoughts on it?
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
74,180
Reaction score
49,073
Points
3,466
Location
Coventry UK
@Wiebke, Coseley guinea pig rescue doesn't appear on the list of guinea pig rescue centres. Is there a reason for this? Reta has a pair of one year old girls suitable for outdoors that she is willing to try with Molly in a playpen to see their initial interaction. Not sure what to do. Molly is 4, would two one year olds be too much for her? I know it's down to personality, but do you have any thoughts on it?
No idea why she's not on there; I thought she had been added? Anyway, a number of members have adopted from her.
 

Lady Kelly

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Messages
14,622
Reaction score
20,947
Points
2,115
Location
Leicester
I don't usually take the step of letting them see each other as I don't have the means to do it with my outdoor piggies. I just make sure I set up a large neutral space and give them a whole days attention so I can be on hand for anything. That said I find a lot of rescues won't rehome to outdoors homes at this time of year, Walsall included.
 

Piggylove82

Forum Donator 2020/21
Joined
Dec 28, 2019
Messages
1,586
Reaction score
2,165
Points
875
Location
Worcestershire
I don't usually take the step of letting them see each other as I don't have the means to do it with my outdoor piggies. I just make sure I set up a large neutral space and give them a whole days attention so I can be on hand for anything. That said I find a lot of rescues won't rehome to outdoors homes at this time of year, Walsall included.
And have you had successful bonds overall?
 

Bill & Ted

Forum Donator 2020/21
Joined
Jun 20, 2018
Messages
12,895
Reaction score
20,884
Points
2,125
Location
Cornwall
I think Little Wheekers in Bristol do dating. I was originally going to boar date Ted there but the travelling distances would been rather long and I think boar dating would have been residential for him plus a quarantine time too. not sure about females though it might be rather different. Lovely lady and very helpful
 

Piggylove82

Forum Donator 2020/21
Joined
Dec 28, 2019
Messages
1,586
Reaction score
2,165
Points
875
Location
Worcestershire
Coseley Guinea Pig Rescue and Sanctuary is about 20 miles from us. Reta, the lady there, has a pair of one year old girls (one of which has the same name as my beautiful departed girl) who are ready for rehoming. Suitable for outdoors too. She has said to take Molly along and see how the three of them are when put together. Not sure what to do 🤷🏻‍♀️
 

Siikibam

Forum Donator 2020/21
Joined
Jul 31, 2017
Messages
11,222
Reaction score
13,602
Points
2,125
Location
Home
Coseley Guinea Pig Rescue and Sanctuary is about 20 miles from us. Reta, the lady there, has a pair of one year old girls (one of which has the same name as my beautiful departed girl) who are ready for rehoming. Suitable for outdoors too. She has said to take Molly along and see how the three of them are when put together. Not sure what to do 🤷🏻‍♀️
I would take her along and see. No harm in trying, and if it doesn’t work at least you know before you’ve welcomed them home.
 
Top