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Guinea Pig Boars Fighting Over Dominance

Sam Kitcher

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Hey Everyone,
This is my first post on the forums and I have a problem as well as a question that I cannot find an answer to anywhere.

I have four guinea pigs and they are all males. My friend (the owner of my pigs' parent pigs) assured me that they should get on fine as they are all brothers. Two of the pigs are 3 months 10 days old and are the biggest of the group. The other two are 5 weeks old (also born on the same day as each other) and share the same father as the older two. Crazy family right? I was told they should get on fine but after doing my research I have become worried that it will be impossible to have them live together? The two oldest pigs (named Pip and Oliver) have started to fall out over who is the dominant one and have often been chattering teeth at each other. Pip seems to be the current alpha as Oliver is often sat by himself away from the rest of the group. It isn't as bad as it could be, since Oliver still is able to sit with them and share food with the group. I just don't want the two brothers (my first pets) to fall out :no:.

Oliver and Pip have had two fights that we know of and no damage has been sustained. I am hoping that they decide who's in charge and calm down. This also make me worried about what will happen when the younger twins reach the age where their testosterone levels increase.

The question I cannot find an answer to is this. Oliver has since today started to turn his rear end towards Pip as if he is presenting his butt. I assume this is a submissive behavior, but I cannot find any confirmation mentioning this action?

To describe it exactly, Pip may be walking around outside the cage, and then Oliver would get close to him and turn his butt in the direction of Pip. I have also seen him do this to the other small piggies once, but maybe he just got carried away. If anyone can confirm whether or not this is a sign that Oliver is submitting to Pip and hopefully calming down the dominance drama, I would be grateful! Any reputable sources would also be appreciated :)

 

Merab's Slave

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Hello and welcome. You have gorgeous boys there.
I can’t help with your question as it’s outside my experience but check the forum thread that deals with bonding.
Someone with more experience will be along later.
 

Wiebke

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Hey Everyone,
This is my first post on the forums and I have a problem as well as a question that I cannot find an answer to anywhere.

I have four guinea pigs and they are all males. My friend (the owner of my pigs' parent pigs) assured me that they should get on fine as they are all brothers. Two of the pigs are 3 months 10 days old and are the biggest of the group. The other two are 5 weeks old (also born on the same day as each other) and share the same father as the older two. Crazy family right? I was told they should get on fine but after doing my research I have become worried that it will be impossible to have them live together? The two oldest pigs (named Pip and Oliver) have started to fall out over who is the dominant one and have often been chattering teeth at each other. Pip seems to be the current alpha as Oliver is often sat by himself away from the rest of the group. It isn't as bad as it could be, since Oliver still is able to sit with them and share food with the group. I just don't want the two brothers (my first pets) to fall out :no:.

Oliver and Pip have had two fights that we know of and no damage has been sustained. I am hoping that they decide who's in charge and calm down. This also make me worried about what will happen when the younger twins reach the age where their testosterone levels increase.

The question I cannot find an answer to is this. Oliver has since today started to turn his rear end towards Pip as if he is presenting his butt. I assume this is a submissive behavior, but I cannot find any confirmation mentioning this action?

To describe it exactly, Pip may be walking around outside the cage, and then Oliver would get close to him and turn his butt in the direction of Pip. I have also seen him do this to the other small piggies once, but maybe he just got carried away. If anyone can confirm whether or not this is a sign that Oliver is submitting to Pip and hopefully calming down the dominance drama, I would be grateful! Any reputable sources would also be appreciated :)


Hi and welcome!

It is a persistent breeder myth that brothers and family won't fall out; we have seen plenty of evidence to the contrary!

Quartets are unfortunately the most instable of all boar combinations; the only working ones I know of are either old age pensioners where the testosterone has fizzled out or disabled/carer companion set-up with very different dynamics.

You may want to consider splitting them into pairs with the baby boys going with the teenager they get on best in the hope of ending up with two functional pairs that will hopefully survive puberty. Most quartets end up with a pair and two singles in our experience on here although we have had a case on here where the owner has ended up with four single boys that would not get on with any of the others. :(

Please take the time to read these quides here. They will hopefully explain your two older boys' behaviour and help you to get all four boys through the tricky teenage months, even if it is not as a quartet!

(PS: For your friend - I hope that they have now separated their sow and boar, as back-to-back pregnancies really take it out of sows and the general 20% risk of death for pups and/or mother increases with every successive prgnancy. :(
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/forums/pregnancy-baby-care-and-sexing-no-breeding.11/)

Boars: Teenage, Bullying, Fighting, Fall-outs And What Next?
Interactive social and dominance behaviours: Bonding: Illustrated Dominance Behaviours And Dynamics
Boars: A guide to successful companionship.
Boars, sows or mixed pairs; babies or adults?
 

Pound Shilling & Pig

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Hi, I agree it is highly unlikely they will be able to live as one group, so would split them into pairs before things get worse.

If I am picturing it right the rear end behavior you describe sounds like he is trying to scent mark the other pigs
 
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