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How Long Should I Let Them Work It Out?

kyliebowers

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Hi everyone,

I've posted about bonding my pigs already, but would like some more advice please...

I have four sows and am introducing a boar.

I have taken it slowly and had them living next to each other for about 4 weeks.

I have introduced them a few different times but have separated for various reasons (my dominant sow escaping, my child accidentally scaring them).

Yesterday I introduced them and all seemed to go well. After 2 hours they were napping.

I transferred to clean cage with large run and they have been in there for about 36hours.

The tension levels are still so high - how long do I leave them to work things out?

The boar chatters his teeth whenever he comes face to face with one of the girls. They can eat next to each other but the slightest noise sends the boar flying away. They still seem to be deciding who's the boss of who and it seems like they can't work it out (except for who's at the very bottom).

They are still having little face offs, lunging at each other, chasing and I've seen the boar yawning a few times this morning (could these be genuine yawns?)

I hate seeing them all so tense. Is it time to give up or should I persevere?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts.
 

Wiebke

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Hi everyone,

I've posted about bonding my pigs already, but would like some more advice please...

I have four sows and am introducing a boar.

I have taken it slowly and had them living next to each other for about 4 weeks.

I have introduced them a few different times but have separated for various reasons (my dominant sow escaping, my child accidentally scaring them).

Yesterday I introduced them and all seemed to go well. After 2 hours they were napping.

I transferred to clean cage with large run and they have been in there for about 36hours.

The tension levels are still so high - how long do I leave them to work things out?

The boar chatters his teeth whenever he comes face to face with one of the girls. They can eat next to each other but the slightest noise sends the boar flying away. They still seem to be deciding who's the boss of who and it seems like they can't work it out (except for who's at the very bottom).

They are still having little face offs, lunging at each other, chasing and I've seen the boar yawning a few times this morning (could these be genuine yawns?)

I hate seeing them all so tense. Is it time to give up or should I persevere?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts.
I would give them an overnight break from each other and then see how they are - if they are all a lot happier and calmer when apart, then you have your answer. The advice in this guide here is also valid for a new bond where dominance tension levels are not settling down.
The dominance phase last around 2 weeks on average, but highly defensive and unsettled behaviours should be absent. Personally I abort a bonding in those circumstances and tried to find a different solution. Any unresolved issues have a tendency to surface again and again.
Bonds In Trouble
 

kyliebowers

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I would give them an overnight break from each other and then see how they are - if they are all a lot happier and calmer when apart, then you have your answer. The advice in this guide here is also valid for a new bond where dominance tension levels are not settling down.
The dominance phase last around 2 weeks on average, but highly defensive and unsettled behaviours should be absent. Personally I abort a bonding in those circumstances and tried to find a different solution. Any unresolved issues have a tendency to surface again and again.
Bonds In Trouble
Ok, thank you. I know the girls will be happier if I separate. I think the boar is not willing to accept being under-dog and all but one sow won't let him be in charge. Doesn't help that they are all in the teenage months!

Plan B it is then... now I just need to make a plan B! :(
 

Cavy Kung-Fu

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I went through the same issues when bonding my boy to my 4 girls, it's really hard with all the different personalities and hormonal ages.

It took me a while with a few separations when tensions got really high but it did work out for me in the end. I really hated the bonding and was a nervous wreck, constantly on edge which really didn't help matters haha.

I'd recommend to persevere with it (providing there's no blood drawn) and just see how things go, it can take a while for them to sort things out. My boy got a little injury to his mouth when bonding which was a bit scary but I think that was a misjudged nip.

What size cage have you got? Sometimes more space can help while they sort things out :)
 

kyliebowers

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I went through the same issues when bonding my boy to my 4 girls, it's really hard with all the different personalities and hormonal ages.

It took me a while with a few separations when tensions got really high but it did work out for me in the end. I really hated the bonding and was a nervous wreck, constantly on edge which really didn't help matters haha.

I'd recommend to persevere with it (providing there's no blood drawn) and just see how things go, it can take a while for them to sort things out. My boy got a little injury to his mouth when bonding which was a bit scary but I think that was a misjudged nip.

What size cage have you got? Sometimes more space can help while they sort things out :)
See this is the thing, if I can persevere and it works out, it would be amazing... but I definitely don't want to keep them together for my own benefit when it's not what's best for them.

Would you say your pigs are stable now? Can you tell they are happy together?

I just want them all to be happy.

They have lots of space. Almost 6ft x 6ft...
 

Cavy Kung-Fu

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See this is the thing, if I can persevere and it works out, it would be amazing... but I definitely don't want to keep them together for my own benefit when it's not what's best for them.

Would you say your pigs are stable now? Can you tell they are happy together?

I just want them all to be happy.

They have lots of space. Almost 6ft x 6ft...
I had the exact same fears and questions as you, even though there was no big fight I was so worried that they weren't going to be happy together and that I was being selfish.

Now we're a few months down the line, the 2 girls he had problems with initially have certainly accepted him. One of them is actually a little flirt with him now! When she's in season they're inseparable, they're like boyfriend and girlfriend :)) The other girl is a highly strung little madam (I call her The Heart Of Darkness XD) and she just goes about her business, occasionally they have disagreements but she does that with all the pigs :))

I truly think that only time can tell, I certainly don't regret my decision to keep trying and I'm so glad I didn't give up. It's hard as all piggies and circumstances are different but as long as they're living along side each other then it's good news. None of my piggies cuddle together or look super affectionate but they'd be lost without one another :) Iggy is just happy to be there, when he's told off or kicked out of bed he popcorns away and sounds quite pleased with himself for some reason :))
 

kyliebowers

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I had the exact same fears and questions as you, even though there was no big fight I was so worried that they weren't going to be happy together and that I was being selfish.

Now we're a few months down the line, the 2 girls he had problems with initially have certainly accepted him. One of them is actually a little flirt with him now! When she's in season they're inseparable, they're like boyfriend and girlfriend :)) The other girl is a highly strung little madam (I call her The Heart Of Darkness XD) and she just goes about her business, occasionally they have disagreements but she does that with all the pigs :))

I truly think that only time can tell, I certainly don't regret my decision to keep trying and I'm so glad I didn't give up. It's hard as all piggies and circumstances are different but as long as they're living along side each other then it's good news. None of my piggies cuddle together or look super affectionate but they'd be lost without one another :) Iggy is just happy to be there, when he's told off or kicked out of bed he popcorns away and sounds quite pleased with himself for some reason :))
Haha, sounds very similar to our situation! Glad it all worked out in the end for your pigs.

Yes, they are inside. In the living room :)

I've separated for now... not sure what I'll do next. The boar can always go back to the rescue if things don't work out, but I've fallen in love with him already and it would break my heart to take him back.
 

Cavy Kung-Fu

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Haha, sounds very similar to our situation! Glad it all worked out in the end for your pigs.

Yes, they are inside. In the living room :)

I've separated for now... not sure what I'll do next. The boar can always go back to the rescue if things don't work out, but I've fallen in love with him already and it would break my heart to take him back.
With them being inside it'll be a lot easier for you to monitor them which is great :)

I'm sure it will work out! It's so hard when we bond with them, I know. I knew I couldn't give Iggy up as well, after everything we'd been through. Sounds like a very similar situation, I hope you have a break through with your herd! :)
 

kyliebowers

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With them being inside it'll be a lot easier for you to monitor them which is great :)

I'm sure it will work out! It's so hard when we bond with them, I know. I knew I couldn't give Iggy up as well, after everything we'd been through. Sounds like a very similar situation, I hope you have a break through with your herd! :)
Thank you :)
 
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