Crisis Of Conscience

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KenspppPets

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I'm having a crisis of conscience and finding it hard to decide what is best for me and my pigs.

Initially, I bonded by two boars and they seemed very happy with each other. Archie the younger pig has established his dominance as the younger and the faster of the two. They spent a good few weeks living together in their 2 storey hutch, planning together in their pen, sharing food and having happy snuggle times on my lap and sofa.

I should mention at this point, the cage meets the size requirements for them, they have at least 2 or everything, often more (ie 3 food bowls, 2 bottles, 3 treats etc)

But now, in the last 10 days, things have turned upside down, with them both falling out and attacking each other and drawing blood. From observing them, it seems to me that Otto the older pig has decided that actually his age and size mean he should be in charge.
I’ve tried all the tips, they’ve had buddy baths, been separated (though they even managed to barge their way through the temporary floor in the top of the hutch in a bid to get to each other). Other than keeping them apart for a week or so and trying to rebond, I’ve done everything I’m able to (I don’t currently have space to keep them in separate cages) all the other advice on the forum has been invaluable.

I’ve reached an impasse where I feel I have a few choices.
1.Separate them both permanently, giving them both 1 floor of the 2 storey hutch (they have pretty much claimed a floor each anyway, except now Otto sits on the ramp to prevent Archie entering his territory)
2. Surrender one and consider neutering the remainder and finding a sow

Problem is, I feel terribly selfish if I were to give one up. I feel if I were putting the pigs first, I would bend over backwards to accommodate them. I would have loved to get them both a cage each and then maybe get them both girlfriends, but recently changes to my circumstances have put paid to this plan (my partner lost his job and we’ve been given 2 months’ notice to move out of our house).

However, I feel sad when I look at all the happy piggies on here that have a little herd of buddies and all play together and look so content. I don’t want having guinea pigs to be a difficulty, but I feel sad at the thought of not being able to handle them together and having to make sure they have separate time for cuddles. But if I’m being a good pet owner, should this be something I just accept I have to do? Would I be a bad person if I ‘swapped’ one boar for a sow for the sake of an easy life?

Sorry for the super long post, I’m just struggling to get over the guilt of it not working out and trying to decide what is best for the boys. The upheaval in my personal life doesn’t help much either! I don't know where to go from here?
 

Wiebke

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I'm having a crisis of conscience and finding it hard to decide what is best for me and my pigs.

Initially, I bonded by two boars and they seemed very happy with each other. Archie the younger pig has established his dominance as the younger and the faster of the two. They spent a good few weeks living together in their 2 storey hutch, planning together in their pen, sharing food and having happy snuggle times on my lap and sofa.

I should mention at this point, the cage meets the size requirements for them, they have at least 2 or everything, often more (ie 3 food bowls, 2 bottles, 3 treats etc)

But now, in the last 10 days, things have turned upside down, with them both falling out and attacking each other and drawing blood. From observing them, it seems to me that Otto the older pig has decided that actually his age and size mean he should be in charge.
I’ve tried all the tips, they’ve had buddy baths, been separated (though they even managed to barge their way through the temporary floor in the top of the hutch in a bid to get to each other). Other than keeping them apart for a week or so and trying to rebond, I’ve done everything I’m able to (I don’t currently have space to keep them in separate cages) all the other advice on the forum has been invaluable.

I’ve reached an impasse where I feel I have a few choices.
1.Separate them both permanently, giving them both 1 floor of the 2 storey hutch (they have pretty much claimed a floor each anyway, except now Otto sits on the ramp to prevent Archie entering his territory)
2. Surrender one and consider neutering the remainder and finding a sow

Problem is, I feel terribly selfish if I were to give one up. I feel if I were putting the pigs first, I would bend over backwards to accommodate them. I would have loved to get them both a cage each and then maybe get them both girlfriends, but recently changes to my circumstances have put paid to this plan (my partner lost his job and we’ve been given 2 months’ notice to move out of our house).

However, I feel sad when I look at all the happy piggies on here that have a little herd of buddies and all play together and look so content. I don’t want having guinea pigs to be a difficulty, but I feel sad at the thought of not being able to handle them together and having to make sure they have separate time for cuddles. But if I’m being a good pet owner, should this be something I just accept I have to do? Would I be a bad person if I ‘swapped’ one boar for a sow for the sake of an easy life?

Sorry for the super long post, I’m just struggling to get over the guilt of it not working out and trying to decide what is best for the boys. The upheaval in my personal life doesn’t help much either! I don't know where to go from here?
Hi!
I am very sorry that it has not worked out for you. Unfortunately, there are no rescues very close to you and Cavy Corner in Doncaster, the closest to you, is currently temporarily closed for new arrivals.

Your feelings are very normal for any loving owner, so please don't feel bad. Any of us feels gutted when it comes to a fall-out; I just had one between a group of very ambitious older ladies in the wake of the leader stepping down, so it can happen to anybody! of course, it doesn't help that you are in a tricky situation at the moment, as that has to play into your considerations for any future plans. :(

Unfortunately, you can never tell with sub-teenage boys which way things are going to go until they have got past the big teenage hormones. If it has been a serious fight with full-on bites, then they will not go back together and you will have to cuddle them separately. You can still give them roaming time together, as long as they are separated by grids or mesh, so they can interact and get stimulation, but cannot fight again.
Giving up a beloved piggy is one of the hardest things to do; especially if you have to choose between your two. For the time being, I would recommend to split the hutch, but if at all possible, let them have time each day where they can see each other and do all the usual social piggy things.
In the longer term, I would recommend to speak to either Cavy Corner in Doncaster or to BARC in Barnsley (fosterer in Sheffield).For either of these rescues we can fully guarantee that you any piggies of yours are in very safe hands.
Guinea Pig Rescue Centre Locator

For going down the neutering route, you need to find a good vet, otherwise the risk of complications is pretty high. It is also not a quicke and rather costly route, so one that you want to do a lot more research on beforehand. Neutering costs can vary enormously, but you need weigh up experience and expense both.
Guinea Pig Vet Locator
 

7squeakers.

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:( I can't really add to the advice above. Just wanted to wish you the best of luck and hope you manage to resolve the problem with your boys without having to give one up. Also hope you manage to find a nice place to live very soon. :tu::tu::tu::tu:
 

span

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Please don't feel bad, the fact you're thinking about it and concerned shows that you are a good, loving owner. You have lots of options, it's just up to you to decide on what works for you and your family. I was in a similar situation when my boars fell out and it took months before I made up my mind on what to do.

If they have drawn blood, then they do need to be separated. If you've got a two storey cage then that's half the problem solved as you can just remove the ramp.

When my boys fell out, they could have floor time and cuddles together, they just couldn't live together, so try letting them interact and see if they can tolerate each other for small amounts of time.

Really sorry to hear that your partner lost his job. I hope that situation sorts itself out quickly.

In my opinion, a 'swap' wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, but I don't know the best way to go about it, maybe contact a rescue?

Or when everything is a bit more stable, if the cage is a good length (120cm+) then that would be big enough for two guins to live on each floor, and you could think about getting them both neutered and getting them a wife each. That's assuming you have the desire for twice as many guineas!

Good luck, whatever you decide I'm sure will work out xx
 

MerryPip

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Try not to worry.... The fact you are thinking this all through sensibly and looking at all your options means you are doing a great job.

If your guys are young (Under 2) at the worst age for fights and bonding and as injuries have already occurred, the chances of them re-bonding isn't great. Ideally they would both be re-paired with someone who suited them (either a boar via dating to let them find someone they like, or a sow after neutering). At a young age they are at the most difficult age to boar bond so neutering is potentially the best option for them. If they are older then it is probably just a clash of personalities and they may well settle well with a new piggy if careful consideration of personality is taken when making the match. A good rescue will be able to advise on this and help you explore your options.

Both Wiebke & Span have also given you some good advice there....

I hope you find a solution that works for you and your boys. I know how you feel as I had to rehome a boy after a mega fallout but thankfully he lives with one of my friends so I still get to see him (and his new wife) regularly.
 

KenspppPets

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Thank you all so much, it's so helpful to get opinions from people who understand. I feel a little stupid, as I felt so proud that they had bonded so well, so now I feel I have egg on my face (with my parents helpfully pointing out 'maybe you shouldn't have got them in the first place :soz:). I think I won't rush into anything but might start asking about to see if I can find a new home for one of them and just keep them separate in the hutch. I don't want to rush into anything with a move coming up but actually at least that would save one of them the stress of a move and moving 1 pig maybe slightly easier than moving two?
It's really reassuring I'm not the only one who's been in this position.
 
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