Bonding boys

Tammyb

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Hi - I was wondering if someone could give me some advice please. We have two boys around 6 months who were bonded nicely. We introduced two more boys who are around 12 weeks and they seemed to get on really well - the usual dominance mounting etc but they seemed happy. However, it seems the two older boys have now fallen out. They are chattering teeth at each other and even lunging. It seems like each has taken one of the little ones under their wing. I have a two-floored hutch so have split the boys with what seems to be their chosen younger companion. Is this the right thing? Could they ever live together again? I know that one of the older boys is upset as he literally jumps into my arms bless him. I also feel bad that I have split the younger ones too. I have ordered two indoor runs which are a kind of mesh walled so I can have them side by side so they can see each other - currently in the hutch they can only hear each other. Not sure if I can build the bond back up or what to do for the best really.
 

Danielle Smith

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I'm sorry to hear your chaps have fallen out, adding more piggies to a bonded boar pair typically does not work and as you have seen can change existing group dynamics.

For now, I would recommend keeping your older boars with their chosen younger boar and keep an eye on how things are in the new pairings. I'm afraid it is very unlikely the quad would re-bond and for this reason we do not recommend trying. Having the runs next to each other is a nice idea to keep things interesting for the boys, but I would probably block up at least half a shared wall with some cardboard so each pair has some privacy and isn't constantly stimulated, especially if your two older boys might be clashing through the bars!

Best of luck, bonding is so tricky and nuanced isn't it!
 

Bradshaw Piggies

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I have 5 boys (did have 6), and have always kept them in their bonded pairs with access to the other pairs through bars. They are very happy this way.
Boar herds definitely don’t work (in my experience). That’s not to say some people might have got a boar herd to work (with lots of boars), but I definitely find them happier in pairs.
 

Tammyb

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OK will do. So you dont think there would be any chance of going back to the original pairs? So upset. I will put a hide in each run so they will have some privacy fingers crossed it will work.
 

Wiebke

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Hi - I was wondering if someone could give me some advice please. We have two boys around 6 months who were bonded nicely. We introduced two more boys who are around 12 weeks and they seemed to get on really well - the usual dominance mounting etc but they seemed happy. However, it seems the two older boys have now fallen out. They are chattering teeth at each other and even lunging. It seems like each has taken one of the little ones under their wing. I have a two-floored hutch so have split the boys with what seems to be their chosen younger companion. Is this the right thing? Could they ever live together again? I know that one of the older boys is upset as he literally jumps into my arms bless him. I also feel bad that I have split the younger ones too. I have ordered two indoor runs which are a kind of mesh walled so I can have them side by side so they can see each other - currently in the hutch they can only hear each other. Not sure if I can build the bond back up or what to do for the best really.
Hi!

Boar quartets and trios are unfortunately the most unstable of combos; especially the more sub-adults are in the mix. Your two teenagers have fallen out at the classic age when they are at an all time testosterone high. Unfortunately the temptation when you have a lovely sub-teenage couple is high to add more baby boys - and then teenage hits and your boys are suddenly no longer sweet youngsters... :(

Please see which boy goes best with one of the younger boys so you can hopefully achieve two stable pairs. Most quartets end in a 2+1+1 scenario.

Please take the time to read the very helpful and practical information in these guide links here. It surpasses what we can put into a single post but will allow you to work out the best way forward for you in your specific situation.

Boars: Teenage, Bullying, Fighting, Fall-outs And What Next?
A Comprehensive Guide to Guinea Pig Boars
Adding More Guinea Pigs Or Merging Pairs – What Works And What Not?
 

Tammyb

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Hi!

Boar quartets and trios are unfortunately the most unstable of combos; especially the more sub-adults are in the mix. Your two teenagers have fallen out at the classic age when they are at an all time testosterone high. Unfortunately the temptation when you have a lovely sub-teenage couple is high to add more baby boys - and then teenage hits and your boys are suddenly no longer sweet youngsters... :(

Please see which boy goes best with one of the younger boys so you can hopefully achieve two stable pairs. Most quartets end in a 2+1+1 scenario.

Please take the time to read the very helpful and practical information in these guide links here. It surpasses what we can put into a single post but will allow you to work out the best way forward for you in your specific situation.

Boars: Teenage, Bullying, Fighting, Fall-outs And What Next?
A Comprehensive Guide to Guinea Pig Boars
Adding More Guinea Pigs Or Merging Pairs – What Works And What Not?

Thanks ever so much for this it is really helpful. The boys are just over four months, not six I just went back through the calendar to be sure but again falls in line with the hormone theory.

I have split them into the pairs that I kept finding them in within the hutch - one pair has the ground floor the other the second floor. When I bring them out for some run time they both seem happy with their little ones. I assume to not try rebounding them into their original pairs now?

Qu about run time. I have just purchased two new runs the walls of which are see-through. What it be helpful or just more stressful if I put the pairs side by side in their own run but so they can still see each other? Not sure if having the social interaction without being able to get at each other is a good or bad idea.

Thanks for you help.
 

Siikibam

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It depends. You could try once having them side by side in the runs, making sure they can’t get into each other’s. If they’re okay then you can do that going forward. If not, it may be the case that they have run time separately - one pair at a time.

I wouldn’t go back to the original pairs if they seem happy how they are now.
 

Tammyb

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ok, fab thank you. Sorry, another question - I have been reading lots and it seems best to have individual hides, water bottles and bowls etc for each pig. With regards, to hides, I have a larger hide that can fit two pigs easily and a large hay tunnel. Is that sufficient as they both have places they can go if they want space or should I get rid of the larger hide and put in two smaller ones. Want to keep as much space for them as possible and I think putting in two larger hides will make the hutch too small.
 

Siikibam

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I would do two more if they’ll fit. Also make sure they have two doors.
 

Tammyb

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Hi. Quick update and qu. So two of my boys in their new pairs are getting on great the other two are not so relaxed around each other. No teeth chattering or mounting so I think they are still finding their way but there is still a little rumbling/strutting/ older one bum sniffing and they are a lot more vocal than the other two. My question is are they happy? Are they just taking a little longer to sort out the pecking order? Xx
 

Piggies&buns

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Hi. Quick update and qu. So two of my boys in their new pairs are getting on great the other two are not so relaxed around each other. No teeth chattering or mounting so I think they are still finding their way but there is still a little rumbling/strutting/ older one bum sniffing and they are a lot more vocal than the other two. My question is are they happy? Are they just taking a little longer to sort out the pecking order? Xx
it takes two weeks after introduction for a relationship to be fully established.
if things move beyond mild dominance and there are clear signs of a problem, then you may need to step in, but while it is just normal dominance then leave them to it
 

Tammyb

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it takes two weeks after introduction for a relationship to be fully established.
if things move beyond mild dominance and there are clear signs of a problem, then you may need to step in, but while it is just normal dominance then leave them to it
Ok will do thank you. Thank you xx
 
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