Bonding one neutered male and three established females

Chewpigs

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Jul 19, 2017
Messages
25
Reaction score
31
Points
185
Hi guys, my piggy Martin has been living in a split cage with my three new girls for a week now and it’s been really good so far. I’m now ready to introduce them on neutral territory outside in a run. The woman from the RSPCA suggested introducing them one by one to Martin and then as a large group if they get on as pairs. From what I’ve read on here I’m best off introducing them all at the same time and letting them get on with it. Which is the right way?

Thanks in advance for any help offered. Liz x
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
65,630
Reaction score
31,583
Points
3,456
Location
Coventry UK
Hi guys, my piggy Martin has been living in a split cage with my three new girls for a week now and it’s been really good so far. I’m now ready to introduce them on neutral territory outside in a run. The woman from the RSPCA suggested introducing them one by one to Martin and then as a large group if they get on as pairs. From what I’ve read on here I’m best off introducing them all at the same time and letting them get on with it. Which is the right way?

Thanks in advance for any help offered. Liz x
Hi!

In my experience there is no difference in the ultimate outcome, as everything depends on the boar being accepted by the sows and him finding a place in the hierarchy. That is something that is down to the piggies in the end. Not all cross gender bondings will work out, which is why we recommend rescue dating. Sadly not all rescues have the experience and time to provide this service.

Please take the time to read our comprehensive and very detailed bonding and social behaviour guide. it will take you through all aspects and stages of the bonding process: Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics
 

Chewpigs

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Jul 19, 2017
Messages
25
Reaction score
31
Points
185
Hi!

In my experience there is no difference in the ultimate outcome, as everything depends on the boar being accepted by the sows and him finding a place in the hierarchy. That is something that is down to the piggies in the end. Not all cross gender bondings will work out, which is why we recommend rescue dating. Sadly not all rescues have the experience and time to provide this service.

Please take the time to read our comprehensive and very detailed bonding and social behaviour guide. it will take you through all aspects and stages of the bonding process: Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics
Thanks for getting back to me. I’ve read all the info guide and found it really helpful. The pigs have been together for about 20 mins and there’s been a bit of rumbling and some following and Martin has a go at humping them and been refused. No stand offs so far. Shall I leave them for an hour or two all being well and then separate them again and try again tomorrow?
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
65,630
Reaction score
31,583
Points
3,456
Location
Coventry UK
Thanks for getting back to me. I’ve read all the info guide and found it really helpful. The pigs have been together for about 20 mins and there’s been a bit of rumbling and some following and Martin has a go at humping them and been refused. No stand offs so far. Shall I leave them for an hour or two all being well and then separate them again and try again tomorrow?
If the bonding is going well, please leave them together and if possible see it out. 20 minutes is basically just the acceptance phase - saying hello to everybody. You should ideally do the bonding in one go and if necessary keep them in the bonding area overnight rather than splitting. Please only ever split because things get very dodgy and tensions are transmitting to everypig. The trick is to preferably NOT interfere and let the piggies work through the whole bonding process, which takes a few hours to work out the rough bit and several weeks to fully settle down.

If your sows are not in season and consider themselves more dominant, they won't allow mounting and will keep aloof at this stage. Things will get a bit more intense in the next phase when they try to work out where to fit him in the hierarchy. You should notice the boy being handed down the ladder. If the top sow is clearly out of his reach, she won't get involved.
 

Chewpigs

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Jul 19, 2017
Messages
25
Reaction score
31
Points
185
None of them are letting him near, but they keep approaching him nose to nose to say hello. He avoids them and rumbles at them, but then tries a hump. They can stay in the bonding area all the rest of today, but it’s an outside run so not able to stay in there overnight. If it’s going well do you think putting them back in their split shed will ruin things?

Thanks again for your replies.
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
65,630
Reaction score
31,583
Points
3,456
Location
Coventry UK
None of them are letting him near, but they keep approaching him nose to nose to say hello. He avoids them and rumbles at them, but then tries a hump. They can stay in the bonding area all the rest of today, but it’s an outside run so not able to stay in there overnight. If it’s going well do you think putting them back in their split shed will ruin things?

Thanks again for your replies.
No, splitting them up for the night is not going to ruin their bonding, but I would recommend to set up any bonding indoors where you can leave them overnight if necessary if at possible as each bonding has different dynamics. Can you do that with your pen?
Yours are still working out whether they want to be together and where your boy will fit in by the sound of it. if he can keep his knees locked, he should not get into trouble and go to the bottom of the pile.
 

Chewpigs

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Jul 19, 2017
Messages
25
Reaction score
31
Points
185
If the bonding is going well, please leave them together and if possible see it out. 20 minutes is basically just the acceptance phase - saying hello to everybody. You should ideally do the bonding in one go and if necessary keep them in the bonding area overnight rather than splitting. Please only ever split because things get very dodgy and tensions are transmitting to everypig. The trick is to preferably NOT interfere and let the piggies work through the whole bonding process, which takes a few hours to work out the rough bit and several weeks to fully settle down.

If your sows are not in season and consider themselves more dominant, they won't allow mounting and will keep aloof at this stage. Things will get a bit more intense in the next phase when they try to work out where to fit him in the hierarchy. You should notice the boy being handed down the ladder. If the top sow is clearly out of his reach, she won't get involved.
No, splitting them up for the night is not going to ruin their bonding, but I would recommend to set up any bonding indoors where you can leave them overnight if necessary if at possible as each bonding has different dynamics. Can you do that with your pen?
Yours are still working out whether they want to be together and where your boy will fit in by the sound of it. if he can keep his knees locked, he should not get into trouble and go to the bottom of the pile.
Last question for now I promise...They’ve been getting on really well. Is it too soon to try them in the fully cleaned out, furnitureless permanent enclosure and not split them?
 

Bill & Ted

Forum Donator 2019/20
Joined
Jun 20, 2018
Messages
5,253
Reaction score
6,426
Points
1,625
Location
Cornwall
I don’t have experience in this, but I would be inclined not to split them up if everything is going well and you have a thoroughly cleaned out cage awaiting x
 

Chewpigs

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Jul 19, 2017
Messages
25
Reaction score
31
Points
185
It’s completely cleaned out and new bedding. No hideys, just lots of hay and some willow bridges. There’s an upstairs to the shed that the girls use, but Martin doesn’t use so the girls have space to run to if need be.
 

Bill & Ted

Forum Donator 2019/20
Joined
Jun 20, 2018
Messages
5,253
Reaction score
6,426
Points
1,625
Location
Cornwall
Well you can keep an eye on them once they are inside in the cage x
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
65,630
Reaction score
31,583
Points
3,456
Location
Coventry UK
Last question for now I promise...They’ve been getting on really well. Is it too soon to try them in the fully cleaned out, furnitureless permanent enclosure and not split them?
It is worth a try if you have some time to watch them to make sure that they are still getting on. ;)
 

KathT

Forum Donator 2019/20
Joined
Jan 24, 2018
Messages
208
Reaction score
224
Points
355
Location
Nottingham, UK
You are so lucky! I was in a similar situation but a neutered boar with two sows. One of my sows went straight into aggression mode and attacked my boar about 10 minutes in. I gave them a bit longer but then they all started falling out with each other and I nearly broke the bond between my two sows. Luckily I removed the boar in time and the sows settled down again within a couple of hours. It was the weirdest thing to watch, and it shows that not all bonding are destined to work. I’m taking my boar to a rescue tomorrow to see if we can find him a couple of wives!
 

Cavy Kung-Fu

Forum Donator 2019/20
Joined
Nov 9, 2015
Messages
4,891
Reaction score
5,226
Points
1,475
Location
Brighton, UK
I’ve found that you need lots of hides with 3-4 edits so they feel more secure, usually 1 per pig and a spare. Cardboard boxes or small step stools have proven perfect for this. Without hides I’ve found that there’s more tension and everyone was on edge so more scuffles broke out. That being said you probably have normal pigs! :))
 

Chewpigs

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Jul 19, 2017
Messages
25
Reaction score
31
Points
185
Thanks for the advice everyone. They seem really happy together so far. They are in the their permanent house together and have given them multiple willow stick tunnels for hideys. They’ve discovered the runaround tube to the outside run and have been exploring. Some rumbling and chasing, but Martin is being told firmly where to go and then gives up, popcorns and goes off to eat/sleep/wander.

When the girls come into season should I expect more chasing and mounting attempts from Martin? Could it get a bit hairy again? I know it’s still very early days, but i’m hopeful so far.
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
65,630
Reaction score
31,583
Points
3,456
Location
Coventry UK
Thanks for the advice everyone. They seem really happy together so far. They are in the their permanent house together and have given them multiple willow stick tunnels for hideys. They’ve discovered the runaround tube to the outside run and have been exploring. Some rumbling and chasing, but Martin is being told firmly where to go and then gives up, popcorns and goes off to eat/sleep/wander.

When the girls come into season should I expect more chasing and mounting attempts from Martin? Could it get a bit hairy again? I know it’s still very early days, but i’m hopeful so far.
The first few seasons can be stronger through (but not necessarily so). But as Martin is a well behaved/not oversexed submissive boar, I would not expect any trouble. There may be some more dominance behaviour, but it should stay well within the low band that it has done so far. He is in; and he will stay in now. ;)

By far not all boars are full-on sex pests when meeting sows.
 

Chewpigs

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Jul 19, 2017
Messages
25
Reaction score
31
Points
185
The first few seasons can be stronger through (but not necessarily so). But as Martin is a well behaved/not oversexed submissive boar, I would not expect any trouble. There may be some more dominance behaviour, but it should stay well within the low band that it has done so far. He is in; and he will stay in now. ;)

By far not all boars are full-on sex pests when meeting sows.
 

Attachments

Top