Girl guinea pigs that turned out to be boys!

Beccav2320

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Hi everyone, I’m new to the forum, and I have owned guinea pigs in the past. A month ago I went to buy 5 female guinea pigs from a pet shop in wigan and they were really helpful and the place had really good reviews so I didn’t doubt thier expertise.

I have now found out that all 5 guinea pigs are actually males!
I don’t really want to rehome any of my piggies so I plan on having a pair and then a trio in separate hutches.

I want to know if anyone has had any experience of having two groups of males and if I can or not mix them together in a separate run.
 

Piggies&buns

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I’m so sorry this has happened. Unfortunately pet shop missexing happens but it has left you with quite a situation going forward.

Boars can only be kept in pairs. The chances of a trio fighting and falling out as they get to their teens (4 months of age onwards) is incredibly high. Most won’t make it to adulthood together and trios have a 90% failure rate. It’s very hard to get the character compatibility right in a boar trio and this is why they mostly fail. You are highly likely to end up with one of them needing to be separated out of the trio and will then need a new character compatible piggy of their own (ideally bonded with another piggy via dating at a rescue centre as that way you can be guaranteed of compatibility) to live with - you are going to end up with three six foot hutches, three runs and three pairs of piggies

Boars need more territory each and a boar pair need a hutch of 180cm x 60cm (6ft x 2ft). Anything smaller can cause issues due to lack of space.
A boar trio, if you are going to go ahead and attempt it, need a cage much bigger than is commercially available. Their hutch will need to cover 3 square metres (so 3 metres by 1 metre) to give each a square metre of space. Space alone won’t be a guarantee of them making it together though but certainly having too small of a space for a trio will not help in the slightest. If you do attempt it, and they do fight, then they will need to be immediately separated, so you will need a spare cage to separate one into. That cage will need to be alongside one of the pairs so the single can interact through the bars with the pair to prevent loneliness while you make a plan to get the single a new friend.

You will need to find out which two get on best and pair them with each other but also prepare for issues if it turns out they aren’t compatible when they hit their teens (even within a pair). More boar pairs make it together than not and hopefully you can find a combination between yours that will work but Character compatibility is vital to any piggy bond. Sadly just putting any two together can mean it fails and they fight And this is why pet shop piggies can sometimes have issues as they are sold with little regard for their compatibility.

You cannot mix any of them at all once you have separated them out into compatible pairs. They must remain in their own pairs at all times. Putting piggies who don’t live together, together will cause fights and potentially break all bonds meaning you’ve then got multiple single piggies.

the guides below cover information relating specific to boars and their behaviour.

When it comes to boars, you need to ensure you two bowls, two bottles and multiple hideys for each pair. Ensure all hideys have two exits so no piggy can get cornered.

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

Cage Size Guide

I would complain to the pet shop that they have completely missexed them all (like i say, it happens quite a lot though) but I would not return any of your piggies to them. If you do decide you can’t manage three separate pairs and do need to give one piggy up, then It would be best to surrender your piggy to a rescue centre as they will ensure he is bonded with a character compatible friend and found a good home.
 
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Roselina

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Hello and welcome to the forum ! It’s a great place for info advice and help and support ! Gosh that was a big mistake from the pet shop ! You won’t be able to have a trio of males that bond never works ,but hopefully two would but ....be prepared for possible failure. That leaves a single piggie ..... I would go back to the pet shop because they mis sold those guinea pigs.Read the guides on here about bonding as it gives excellent advice. Good luck and we’d love to see some pigtures !
 

Wiebke

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Hi!

A hutch is unfortunately too small to try and see whether your quintet of teenage boys can make it; it is about the smallest group size that has a chance. But you would need about 1 square metre per boar minimum to allow them to get away from the others and you need to have exactly the right mix of not too dominant teenage personalities.
If I were you, I would observe your boys to see which ones would pair up best to have two stable pairs but considering that you are currently in the highest tier, you may want to see whether you can hang onto a trio for the time being as there are no good rescues in your immediate area. The RSPCA only offers adoption of neutered boars or cross gender bonding with neutered boars as part of their policy of preventing more unplanned pregnancies.
You can then (depending on how things go) either pair up the odd one out by rescue dating or contact a good welfare standard rescue as to whether they can take your extra boy in and ensure him a safe home with a suitable companion he clicks with.

I would report the pet shop to your local council over trading standards. That is more than just a little accidental mis-sexing!
Glad that you have at least got all the same gender so you are not ending up in our pregnancy support section over a flood of unplanned babies.

Are your piggies outside and how are your winter and summer protections? Guinea pigs are no hardy and should be safe from wind, rain and cold. They should be ideally treated like you would treat tender plants. Please be aware that boar pairs still need a minimum of 2x5 ft space on one floor and an extra hut with two exits to allow them to get away from each other.
Cold Weather Care For Guinea Pigs
Hot Weather Management, Heat Strokes and Fly Strike

Here is our rescue locator with our carefully vetted recommended good welfare standard rescues: Rescue Locator
Please note that anybody in this country can call themselves a rescue or a breeder without licensing and supervision. The results can be accordingly; you have that already found out in terms of pet shop quality. We can only guarantee for the listed rescues; they all have a mandatory quarantine, full vet care and a mandatory pregnancy watch for any incoming sows past weaning. They will only rehome properly sexed and stably bonded piggies, and - provided that they can do this safely in the current fluid pandemic conditions - offer dating for single boars (full and neutered).

Please take the time to read all the guide links. Think things through and do your research. We are here to answer any questions you have connected with this problem in this ongoing thread, so we can keep all information together and if necessary refresh our memory of the background and the conditions you are currently placed under; which will impact on your options.

PS: Could you you please use your general area as your location in your account details which make it appear with every post that you make. We are all volunteers doing this unpaid in our own free time and would rather not have to spend that time on googling so we can help with more local tips without having to ask - the general area is enough for us to tailor any recommendations.
It is also for your own personal protection that you are very careful with giving out any too specific information about yourself. Thank you!
 

Beccav2320

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Hi everyone, I’m new to the forum, and I have owned guinea pigs in the past. A month ago I went to buy 5 female guinea pigs from a pet shop in wigan and they were really helpful and the place had really good reviews so I didn’t doubt thier expertise.

I have now found out that all 5 guinea pigs are actually males!
I don’t really want to rehome any of my piggies so I plan on having a pair and then a trio in separate hutches.

I want to know if anyone has had any experience of having two groups of males and if I can or not mix them together in a separate run.
Thank you for your help, I couldn’t afford to house the guinea pigs separately so I contacted a guinea pig rescue charity and The three I couldn’t keep, they have been rehomed already. Sad but it’s the best thing for them
 

Wiebke

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Thank you for your help, I couldn’t afford to house the guinea pigs separately so I contacted a guinea pig rescue charity and The three I couldn’t keep, they have been rehomed already. Sad but it’s the best thing for them
I am very sorry for you that you have to pay the emotional cost for somebody else's gross neglect.
Please enjoy your remaining pair of boys and try to console yourself that you have found safe futures and home for the ones you couldn't keep!
 

Roselina

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Ah well done for considering the guinea pigs needs and welfare. Two boys can be a handful so you did the right thing. It’s a shame you were put in that position but you can really enjoy your boys now.
What are you calling them ? If you get chance to post some pigtures .....🥰
 

Merab's Slave

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Sorry that you had to give up 3 of your piggies.
It takes courage to make that decision, even if it is the best decision for the piggies.
You will probably feel like you are grieving for the loss - that is perfectly normal so be kind to yourself.
Lucy and Gamora are so beautiful
 
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