Bonding advice in a hutch!

Lady Kelly

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Wow. That's really good.

Boys? Girls? Or a mixture?
A mixture, two of the bonds have been neutered males. The failed bond was a sow who my late Donald took a disliking too. It's highly unusual for a neutered boar/sow bond not to work so it was a shock but after he decided he wasn't accepting her none of the other ladies would either.
 

amy104

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If you can find a rescue to even start you off it can help massively.

When I do dates here it largely depends on the piggies aswell as the owners. I've had piggies that were so uncomfortable and stressed away from their home that it would of been dangerous for them to stay here for longer bonding so they have gone home on trial with lots of support and back up. Others I've kept here longer, especially with inexperienced worried owners. I always encourage owners to bring their existing piggies so I can start them off and often they can be here an hour or more whilst I talk things through with them. I don't like to rush people as I'd hate to send someone home worried.
 

Piggylove82

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If you can find a rescue to even start you off it can help massively.

When I do dates here it largely depends on the piggies aswell as the owners. I've had piggies that were so uncomfortable and stressed away from their home that it would of been dangerous for them to stay here for longer bonding so they have gone home on trial with lots of support and back up. Others I've kept here longer, especially with inexperienced worried owners. I always encourage owners to bring their existing piggies so I can start them off and often they can be here an hour or more whilst I talk things through with them. I don't like to rush people as I'd hate to send someone home worried.
Oh you sound wonderful ❤.

The situation atm is, Reta from Coseley Guinea Pig Rescue, has two one year old girls who were given up by a family where the children had lost interest. Weirdly only from the next town to us 4 miles away when the rescue centre is more like 20 miles away. Also, one of the pigs is called Millie when the girl I lost was called Milly. They have been outdoor pigs and will be ready to leave for their forever home at the weekend. She said they've been vet checked and given a full bill of health. So I'm collecting a pet carrier from Argos tomorrow and heading over to Coseley on Saturday with Molly. Reta said she would set up a playpen and see how the three of them get on. She said you can tell a lot from the first 15 mins. But I do think what you said about them being too out of their depth with being away from home for any kind of bond to be attempted is true. Really hoping this is not the case on Saturday.

The other option is a neutered boar from the RSPCA Walsall branch. He is 2 and currently lives in a shed. Only thing is, he's part Peruvian, so has wild hair, which might need a lot of maintenance.
 

amy104

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Oh you sound wonderful ❤.

The situation atm is, Reta from Coseley Guinea Pig Rescue, has two one year old girls who were given up by a family where the children had lost interest. Weirdly only from the next town to us 4 miles away when the rescue centre is more like 20 miles away. Also, one of the pigs is called Millie when the girl I lost was called Milly. They have been outdoor pigs and will be ready to leave for their forever home at the weekend. She said they've been vet checked and given a full bill of health. So I'm collecting a pet carrier from Argos tomorrow and heading over to Coseley on Saturday with Molly. Reta said she would set up a playpen and see how the three of them get on. She said you can tell a lot from the first 15 mins. But I do think what you said about them being too out of their depth with being away from home for any kind of bond to be attempted is true. Really hoping this is not the case on Saturday.

The other option is a neutered boar from the RSPCA Walsall branch. He is 2 and currently lives in a shed. Only thing is, he's part Peruvian, so has wild hair, which might need a lot of maintenance.
I agree with Reta. I can usually tell in those 15mins whether it is worth pursuing at all, people are only really here longer for their peace of mind not mine, but I'm a fosterer so I have the luxury of that extra time as I have less animals here than a busy rescue. The rescue piggies rarely have an issue leaving me for bonding elsewhere as sadly they have already experienced upheaval, its usually the owners existing piggies that are cause for my concern because they've always been loved and kept in a lovely stress free enviroment. If all goes well at the rescue and Reta is happy then I'm sure you'll have no issue taking them home to continue the intro. If you are planning on putting them all in your hutch when you get home, clean it out before you leave and spray with vinegar to neutralise it.
 

amy104

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You'd also be alot better off removing the ramp so they are confined to one floor temporarily.
 

amy104

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Your best plan of action would be to time it so you can spend plenty of time supervising them in your run when you get home. That way you should have a good feel as to whether they are safe to leave unattended overnight or if you need to seperate temporarily and start again the next day.
 

Piggylove82

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@amy104 Thank you so much for all of this. I've kept piggies for a lot of years but never been through the bonding process so any advice is really appreciated. All of what you've said makes absolute sense.

However....

I'm now having a bit of a dilemma. Because along with the two girls that Reta has, there is also a neutered boar at an RSPCA rescue (they've only just got back to me) and I've just found out he's ready to go and can live outdoors, so I'm wondering if...

Reta's two girls could live together on one floor of my hutch and instead of taking Molly to Reta's, I could have a dating session with Molly and the boar, and providing they get along, they could live on the other floor in the same hutch. In theory, could this work? The hutch is 6ft x 2ft.

Or potentially could all four live across the two floors? If that is a possibility, how would i go about bonding Molly, plus the new boar, plus the already bonded pair of girls? Would I have to do it in two stages, to set the hierarchy for the four of them?

I think I'm asking too much, getting carried away on a wave of rescuing piggies now. I'm preparing myself to be shot down by people who know better. Any thoughts or opinions I will take on board.

I've seen a few people say that a trio of girls when it's a 2 plus 1 can mean one is left out or even bullied. And I've also heard people say a boar in a group can act as a peace keeper.

My head is spinning a little, to say the least 🤪
 

alpacasqueak

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So many options! Hope you can find the best option for you and little Molly can find a new friend (or friends!) x
 

VickiA

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I can personally vouch for Reta at Coseley GPR. Some of my own piggies have come from her and at Potteries GPR we often refer potential adopters to her. She will do a speed dating session and give you follow up advice.
 

Piggylove82

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So many options! Hope you can find the best option for you and little Molly can find a new friend (or friends!) x
I know. I just need to work out if they are doable or if I'm just living in piggy fantasy land!

I do love guinea pigs so much, as all of us do here 😁. Now that I have a bigger, newer, amazing (even though I do say it myself 🤭) hutch, I just want to give some of those pigs out there a good life and plenty of love 💕
 

Piggylove82

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I can personally vouch for Reta at Coseley GPR. Some of my own piggies have come from her and at Potteries GPR we often refer potential adopters to her. She will do a speed dating session and give you follow up advice.
Thank you! Nothing beats a recommendation from someone with personal experience.
 

Piggylove82

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I adopted two girls today from Reta at Coseley Guinea Pig Rescue. They are settling in right now. Here is a sneak preview...
DSC_0359.JPG
Millie is white and Bramble is brown.

I did put the two of them with Molly and for the first 8 mins or so, Millie shared the log tunnel with Molly. I used a run in the garage with a piece of carpet on the floor, so completely neutral ground for all three. Molly has never been in the garage before or on carpet! But after then there was some non agreement between Millie and Molly. I think Millie instigated it. All 3 would teeth chatter but then Millie would walk towards Molly then sideways walk up close with her bum raised. At times she would then run away but other times there was full body contact, a mini scrap kind of thing, not a lot of squealing and no biting, no injuries. Maybe they were just arguing about who wanted to be in charge, but these new girls are a year old and my Molly is upwards of 4 years old, and I thought you know what, I don't want her having to go through this at her age. So the new girls have a full floor to themselves and I will look to find a neutered boar for Molly to date with. I'd kind of imagined this scenario anyway, but thought I'd give them the chance of being a trio.
 

Pebbles

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Hi, would love an update on how things worked out. I’m in an identical situation, although my sole piggie is an elderly neutered boar. I’ve adopted 2 younger females, and worry they’re too much for him. Same hutch setup, so currently restricted to separate floors, although they did have a long session in the bonding pen yesterday and he eventually snuggled up with each in turn, so things looking more positive!
 

Piggies&buns

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Hi, would love an update on how things worked out. I’m in an identical situation, although my sole piggie is an elderly neutered boar. I’ve adopted 2 younger females, and worry they’re too much for him. Same hutch setup, so currently restricted to separate floors, although they did have a long session in the bonding pen yesterday and he eventually snuggled up with each in turn, so things looking more positive!
@Pebbles - please make your own thread. This thread is an old one and you aren’t necessarily going to get a response from the OP
I am afraid this is not the way to do a bonding. Once they have been put together for the initial introduction, if it is successful then you must not separate them again. Now you have separated them after the bonding introduction, when you next put them together they will have to start their processes all over again. If you then separate again, you interrupt it and they never complete their establishing of a hierarchy and relationship. This causes stress to the piggies. Please put them together in a neutral area for several hours, if it is successful, then please move them to the same throughly cleaned out hutch and leave them together from then on.
 

Pebbles

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thanks, yes I’m aware of that, I kept them altogether in the hutch last night, following the successful bonding session.
 
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