Bonding Beans With A New Pig.

Beans&Toast

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I apologise for how long this is....

So I'm going to get a piggy tomorrow to keep Beans company. She's been on her own for about 6 weeks now, she's managing but it must be lonely having no piggy company..? I've read the bonding threads and advice but I still have some questions.

I'm unable to get a pair of pigs at the moment so it's just one piggy. And I'm not able to go through the rescue I had planned so unfortunately it's P@H (I feel terrible). Should I try the adoption bit or the regular bit for a younger pig?


Finding a friend;
From what people have told me on here before, a younger pig would probably be the best idea as that should mean that Beans is the top pig. My worries with that are won't a young pig annoy her? Beans is old and likes her sleep, she's got a routine that she sticks to every day so I'm just worried that a young piggy, who is full of energy, would annoy Beans?


Bonding them;
How do I go about bonding them? I know I need to put them both in neutral territory, but do I literally just sit them both in with some hay and veg and see what happens while supervising? How long until I know they're going to get on and they can go into the actual cage?

If they do get on how do i go about putting them in their cage, should I use clean fleece that doesn't smell of Beans and rearrange the cage so it seems new to Beans so she doesn't feel as territorial?

What if they don't get on?
What happens if they don't get on? Do I try again in a few days? Is it possible they could get on at first then fall out a few days later? If the worst comes to it would it be okay to split the cage down the middle so they still have company? It's a 5x4 c and c so plenty of room for that.


Or should I just keep Beans on her own? I mean I do feel she'd be better with company but she is still plodding about and munching, and she is old so it's not like she'll have to live on her own for years ( I know that sounds horrible). I really don't know what to do for the best. :(
 

Tiamolly123

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I can't answer all the questions, if I have added a pig it has always a younger one.
From what I've found, the young one will breathe new life into Beans. When she's had enough she'll tell the little one. It's always best to clean & rearrange the cage.
Put them both in a run & see. What happens, I've had boys fight & boys & girls fight, but never girls.
Fingers crossed
Whoops nearly forgot make sure you have Some hay & maybe some greens, in the run.
 
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piggieminder

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I can't answer your questions either. Just want to say don't feel bad if your only option is going to P at H you have to do what's right for Beans and she needs a friend. I'm in the same position, the approved rescues within an 80 mile radius of me have, stopped boar dating x 2, given up piggies all together x 2, not got any piggies or have a long waiting list x 2. Just waiting to hear from one more then I may have to result to P at H too!
 

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I apologise for how long this is....

So I'm going to get a piggy tomorrow to keep Beans company. She's been on her own for about 6 weeks now, she's managing but it must be lonely having no piggy company..? I've read the bonding threads and advice but I still have some questions.

I'm unable to get a pair of pigs at the moment so it's just one piggy. And I'm not able to go through the rescue I had planned so unfortunately it's P@H (I feel terrible). Should I try the adoption bit or the regular bit for a younger pig?


Finding a friend;
From what people have told me on here before, a younger pig would probably be the best idea as that should mean that Beans is the top pig. My worries with that are won't a young pig annoy her? Beans is old and likes her sleep, she's got a routine that she sticks to every day so I'm just worried that a young piggy, who is full of energy, would annoy Beans?


Bonding them;
How do I go about bonding them? I know I need to put them both in neutral territory, but do I literally just sit them both in with some hay and veg and see what happens while supervising? How long until I know they're going to get on and they can go into the actual cage?

If they do get on how do i go about putting them in their cage, should I use clean fleece that doesn't smell of Beans and rearrange the cage so it seems new to Beans so she doesn't feel as territorial?

What if they don't get on?
What happens if they don't get on? Do I try again in a few days? Is it possible they could get on at first then fall out a few days later? If the worst comes to it would it be okay to split the cage down the middle so they still have company? It's a 5x4 c and c so plenty of room for that.


Or should I just keep Beans on her own? I mean I do feel she'd be better with company but she is still plodding about and munching, and she is old so it's not like she'll have to live on her own for years ( I know that sounds horrible). I really don't know what to do for the best. :(
Hi!

If ever you can, please consider getting Beans some company.

We have got a very detailed bonding guide here that covers the whole period from the prep to the end of the dominance phase: Illustrated Bonding / Dominance Behaviours And Dynamics It is really worth reading it!

Generally babies or neutered boars of any age are best. Have you considered contacting the SSPCA to see whether they have suitable piggies in rescue? You may not get your adoption fee back, but you can hand back a piggy if the bond doesn't work out. Alternatively, you may consider rehoming a bonded couple of younger sows or a sow/neutered boar pair that Beans can live next to for company and stimulation in case a bond doesn't come off, but that will hopefully mean that you do not have to look for yet another mate anytime soon. Your cage is plenty large enough to do this with a divider and still be well above minimal welfare recommendations.

If you can travel, it may be worth trying to contact North East Guinea Pig Rescue or Tees Valley Rescue; they are both on our list of recommended rescues. This would mean that you are in safe, piggy savvy hands and do not have to worry about health issues or a potential pregnancy.
 

Lady Kelly

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I've done quite a few bonds and I've only ever had one piggy cause me a problem which was Jemima. She was fine til she was around 5 years old and then just decided she did not want to accept isobel. She was living with Peter and daisy at the time and had no problems with them even though daisy was fairly young as well, she just took particular annoyance up with Isobel. I did manage to bond them as a four in the end but separated again as Jemima started losing weight (this said Jemima is the grumpiest and bossiest sow I've ever had, never met a piggy like her and this never helped with bonding). Have a chat with pets at home as there might be the option to try one from the adoption centre. I was told I could take daisy back if the bonding didn't work (don't think I could have ever parted with her again though)
 

Beans&Toast

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I've done quite a few bonds and I've only ever had one piggy cause me a problem which was Jemima. She was fine til she was around 5 years old and then just decided she did not want to accept isobel. She was living with Peter and daisy at the time and had no problems with them even though daisy was fairly young as well, she just took particular annoyance up with Isobel. I did manage to bond them as a four in the end but separated again as Jemima started losing weight (this said Jemima is the grumpiest and bossiest sow I've ever had, never met a piggy like her and this never helped with bonding). Have a chat with pets at home as there might be the option to try one from the adoption centre. I was told I could take daisy back if the bonding didn't work (don't think I could have ever parted with her again though)
Jemima sounds like Beans, She's got such an attitude problem! So grumpy and stubborn. But at the same time she's laid back and just wants an easy life... She's an odd one. Thanks I'll ask P@H about the adoption thing regarding returning them... although I don't know if I could bring myself to do that it just seems so sad...
 

Lady Kelly

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Jemima sounds like Beans, She's got such an attitude problem! So grumpy and stubborn. But at the same time she's laid back and just wants an easy life... She's an odd one. Thanks I'll ask P@H about the adoption thing regarding returning them... although I don't know if I could bring myself to do that it just seems so sad...
Willow is grumpy but laid back and has been easy to bond with first daisy, then Donald, then a month later lily (who was 15 weeks old). There's been the occasional teeth chatter though we now know she is developing cataracts so can understand why lily might annoy her from time to time. I don't think I could ever describe Jemima as laid back, she was boss and needed everyone to know it constantly lol
 

Beans&Toast

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Thanks everyone for your advice, I appreciate it all!

If the worst happened and I got a pig that they didn't get on and I had to use a divider, how happy is that for the pigs? They'll have company and can hear/see/smell and touch noses through the bars, is that enough to keep them stimulated or could that still be lonely?
 

Beans&Toast

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I don't think I could ever describe Jemima as laid back, she was boss and needed everyone to know it constantly lol
I love this! :P

With Beans it's a case of she's the boss but she was happy to let Toast think she was the boss instead, unless she pushed her luck too much then Beans would step in and put her in her place :xd:
 

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Thanks everyone for your advice, I appreciate it all!

If the worst happened and I got a pig that they didn't get on and I had to use a divider, how happy is that for the pigs? They'll have company and can hear/see/smell and touch noses through the bars, is that enough to keep them stimulated or could that still be lonely?
To be honest, looking for a pair of young piggies might be better - they can can't challenge Beans, but they won't be alone if it doesn't work out. You are covering both bases that way. You have the space to be able to go for this option.
 

Beans&Toast

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To be honest, looking for a pair of young piggies might be better - they can can't challenge Beans, but they won't be alone if it doesn't work out. You are covering both bases that way. You have the space to be able to go for this option.
I would rather go for 2 piggies too, but I live with my Mum and she's allergic to the pigs hair, and also the hay. She's a bit reluctant to go to 3 pigs as it will be more hair/hay etc..
 

Wiebke

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I would rather go for 2 piggies too, but I live with my Mum and she's allergic to the pigs hair, and also the hay. She's a bit reluctant to go to 3 pigs as it will be more hair/hay etc..
In that case, going rescue so have that back up would be next safest option.
If Beans doesn't accept a baby or youngster, that youngster will need company in the same cage.
 

Beans&Toast

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In that case, going rescue so have that back up would be next safest option.
If Beans doesn't accept a baby or youngster, that youngster will need company in the same cage.
Thanks. If it were just me I'd get a pair but I really don't think that's going to be doable, my mum's not too keen about 3.

Beans has been spayed, would a young male be better suited? Or would he annoy her? She wouldn't tolerate a piggy constantly trying to mount her..
 

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Thanks. If it were just me I'd get a pair but I really don't think that's going to be doable, my mum's not too keen about 3.

Beans has been spayed, would a young male be better suited? Or would he annoy her? She wouldn't tolerate a piggy constantly trying to mount her..
You could look at a laid back/submissive adult boar that is well past any randy teenage hormones. Ideally you date any single piggy as it all depends on character compatibility and mutual liking, and that is not something that you can safely predict.
 

Beans&Toast

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You could look at a laid back/submissive adult boar that is well past any randy teenage hormones. Ideally you date any single piggy as it all depends on character compatibility and mutual liking, and that is not something that you can safely predict.
Thank you so much you've been so helpful!
 

Beans&Toast

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I've spoke to my Mum and explained the reasoning for getting 2 piggies. She's agreed on the terms that I make sure there's no more hay/hairs and really stay on top of cleaning.

So my question is, how do I bring them back home? The carrier I've got could fit 2 in it at the most so do I put beans in 1 and the other 2 in another? Or if there's only 1 pig that a suitable for Beans can I just put them both in the same carrier? It's about a 2 hours drive back home from the rescue...
 

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My experience bonding sows has been positive. I can say that there is no guarantee that an older pig will end up as top pig. It is up to personality, not size and age. For instance, very passive Sundae at 4 years old ended up second fiddle to 12-week-old Hadley. Sundae never, ever wanted to be the boss. If Beans was the boss before, I would try to observe group dynamics if the pig you acquire is part of a group, and try to get a pig who is not the leader of their existing group. For instance, we got very passive Sundae as a companion for Linney, who was really dominant, and it went well. We got dominant pig Hadley (who was leading her companions around the cage in the pet store) and paired her with born-to-follow Sundae. Then we got Leela, who was clearly not top pig in her sib group, as a companion for Hadley. So if Beans is accustomed to being the boss, try not to pick a pig who is also accustomed to being the boss!
 

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Have you got a temporary cage or hospital cage for if one is ill? My indoor cage can split into a 100cm cage. I use the carrier to move them between house and car but for the drive home they are then in a 100cm cage which is more comfy for them
 

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I've had 3 piggies from P&H. I've never had any trouble, But I know some people on here have had terrible health problems from there.
My 2 boys have been neutered, but even though they are firing blanks they still try it on with the girls
 

Beans&Toast

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That's the little pig home. (I've not got a name for her yet that I like) she's around 8 months old.

When bonding at the rescue it was clear that Beans was in charge, there was no fighting but Beans was the top pig.

I've now got them home, changed the cage fleece and moved some houses about, and it seems that this little pig is putting Beans in her place....

Could that change again?

There's still no fighting but there's a lot of chasing and attempting to mount which is normal..?
 
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