Insecure Boar and Over-dominance

Dom R

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Hi all,

So this has been going on since last September, when I rescued two baby boars (at different times, due to unfortunate circumstances). In short, what happened was:
Peanut, my 2.5 y/o Boar, and Ash, my 2 y/o boar fought and fell out, at this time I had Rodney (Unknown age, quite old though), who managed to bond with Peanut for a couple of months until his passing. Due to Ash being on his own and him being extremely insecure (Constant bar biting, restlessness etc.) while being by himself, I had to get another piggy, being Oscar (Around 3 months old) at the point I got him. Since then, he's just been over-dominant in my eyes, he rarely allows Oscar to do anything by himself; the only time is when they're both sleeping. He pretty much just mounts Oscar, and around once a month decides to 'glue' his back end; which has given Oscar many hours of stress. At this moment, most of what Oscar does is sleep and hide away, to avoid him; with the odd exception where he can actually move around freely. He often lays in front of where Oscar is hiding, preventing him from moving without seeing him.

Please note that Oscar hasn't lost weight, he's sitting at a healthy 1.1kg. Even after just getting rid of two chest infections (with a month in between).
My cage layout is using the C&C grids, and made it a 2 layer (for each pair), so it provides plenty of room, its above the recommended space for 2 boars; so this isn't an issue. There's also two of everything, minus the food bowl and water bottle (neither of them drink a lot); which is placed near hides for Oscar to be able to use most of the time. So that isn't really an issue either. The layers in the cage are separated by the Metal grids, Lino, Carpet, a Cotton sheet then some sort of bedding.

The second part of the problem, is because of the second Boar I rescued, Coco. Ash seems to be overly obsessed with him. As in, he often sits at the edge of the cage, digging away at the floor trying to get to him, he also bites the bars a lot, squeaks loudly; which will add to the dominance routine over Oscar I think. I can't move the cage anywhere, due to my parents not wanting their cage outside of my room, and I also have other animal enclosures which take up a lot of room too. Please note that Coco and Peanut are happily bonded, and that Coco and Ash's personality clash completely, as in Coco cannot stand Ash.

Is there anything I can do (other than separate them; which I am not in favour for) to calm down Ash? It's been 7 months and he's not changed one bit, if not he's gotten worse due to Oscar becoming older. It's not really fair on Oscar, but its also not fair to allow him being by himself. Is there also anything I could use to sort of 'stop' the scent of Coco from making Ash more obsessed with him.
I'd also like to add, that this behaviour only occurs in their enclosure, when he's having floor time, if something spooks him, he runs to Oscar for protection.

I've thought about getting him neutered; to prevent him glueing Oscar, but I'd rather tackle the problem head on and I'm out of ideas to try, so I'd appreciate the help.
 

Bill & Ted

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Sorry you are having boar problems, but neutering won’t make any difference at all to boar glue production, it only stops them fertilising a female.
 

Wiebke

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Hi!

Please work out whether Oscar is really OK with Ash with the help of this guide here (temporary separation).
Bonds In Trouble

Neutering will unfortunately not change Ash's personality and it won't stop his hormonal behaviour. Neutered boars can still produce boar glue although it is not quite as frequent as in full boars and they still react to other boars. I have room of neutered boars living with sows in adjoining cages, so I have plenty of experience on that score!

If you want to neuter, you have to be aware that it may only cap at the very best some of the worst excesses but that is about all you will achieve and it may not bring you the kind of relief that you desire, especially where interactive behaviours are concerned. Neutering basically takes away the ability to make babies, but it won't do much more. Testosterone continues to be produced even in the absence of testicles; it is excreted via the pee. A neutered boar can still stink up a room nicely all by himself... :(
Neutering would mainly give you the option in the longer term to rescue date Ash and see whether he is better off with a submissive girlfriend than a submissive boarmate.
Neutered / De-sexed Boars And Neutering Operations: Myths And Facts

Otherwise Ash has still another 1-2 years until his testosterone is starting to gradually fizzling out.
 

Nassala

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Can't be of much help to you with Ash and Oscar, but between Ash and Coco's cage, can they see each other? While there may still be smells, Ash should calm down towards Coco if there is a solid barrier and he has less of an idea where Coco is.
 

Dom R

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Can't be of much help to you with Ash and Oscar, but between Ash and Coco's cage, can they see each other? While there may still be smells, Ash should calm down towards Coco if there is a solid barrier and he has less of an idea where Coco is.
The way I set the cage out, he can't see him, due to the bedding and things in between, but he must find it fun to dig at the bedding; he's actually eaten quite a large chunk of carpet and lino just to be able to see him if he digs the bedding out of the way. He seems to have a pretty good sense of smell, as even when Coco is laid on the bottom (2 layers down), he smells at the exact point he's laid down, and when Coco is on the layer below Ash, Ash follows him everywhere.

Hi!

Please work out whether Oscar is really OK with Ash with the help of this guide here (temporary separation).
Bonds In Trouble

Neutering will unfortunately not change Ash's personality and it won't stop his hormonal behaviour. Neutered boars can still produce boar glue although it is not quite as frequent as in full boars and they still react to other boars. I have room of neutered boars living with sows in adjoining cages, so I have plenty of experience on that score!

If you want to neuter, you have to be aware that it may only cap at the very best some of the worst excesses but that is about all you will achieve and it may not bring you the kind of relief that you desire, especially where interactive behaviours are concerned. Neutering basically takes away the ability to make babies, but it won't do much more. Testosterone continues to be produced even in the absence of testicles; it is excreted via the pee. A neutered boar can still stink up a room nicely all by himself... :(
Neutering would mainly give you the option in the longer term to rescue date Ash and see whether he is better off with a submissive girlfriend than a submissive boarmate.
Neutered / De-sexed Boars And Neutering Operations: Myths And Facts

Otherwise Ash has still another 1-2 years until his testosterone is starting to gradually fizzling out.

Regarding the neutering, I knew it wouldn't change the personality and things, I was just hoping it'd stop the production of glue if anything; chances are I wouldn't have gone with it anyway, since anaesthetic and guinea pigs can be risky.

Regarding whether or not they're compatible is hit and miss. There are times where they both get along nicely, such as sharing food bowls and Ash not disturbing him. But I'd say that 3/4 of the time it's not like that, which the unfortunate part is where I'd say they aren't compatible. I was mainly hoping that Ash would calm down, but after 7 months I hoped to see a change, especially since he's over 2 years old; and out of his teenage time.

The times which are the most, Oscar can be just hid away in his hide, and Ash will just come up and mount/hump him constantly, chase him around the cage constantly, and this goes on for hours. There's been many times I've been up at 4, 5 AM listening to Oscar squeaking away in submission.

The main thing is that Ash can't be left by himself, but he also seems like he can't be with another pig; its stressful for me and him to be fair. I'd also like to add the fact that if Oscar tries telling him off, Ash will become even more aggressive with his dominance behaviours, with loud teeth clacking; so Oscar has no chance.

The other night, Oscar did actually tell him off (Small clefts of fur got ripped out of Ash, and a little out of himself). It got to the point where Oscar was puffing at him, with really loud teeth clacking; but this calmed down.

I can only offer support for you as you try to work things out with your boys
Thanks :)
 

Wiebke

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The way I set the cage out, he can't see him, due to the bedding and things in between, but he must find it fun to dig at the bedding; he's actually eaten quite a large chunk of carpet and lino just to be able to see him if he digs the bedding out of the way. He seems to have a pretty good sense of smell, as even when Coco is laid on the bottom (2 layers down), he smells at the exact point he's laid down, and when Coco is on the layer below Ash, Ash follows him everywhere.




Regarding the neutering, I knew it wouldn't change the personality and things, I was just hoping it'd stop the production of glue if anything; chances are I wouldn't have gone with it anyway, since anaesthetic and guinea pigs can be risky.

Regarding whether or not they're compatible is hit and miss. There are times where they both get along nicely, such as sharing food bowls and Ash not disturbing him. But I'd say that 3/4 of the time it's not like that, which the unfortunate part is where I'd say they aren't compatible. I was mainly hoping that Ash would calm down, but after 7 months I hoped to see a change, especially since he's over 2 years old; and out of his teenage time.

The times which are the most, Oscar can be just hid away in his hide, and Ash will just come up and mount/hump him constantly, chase him around the cage constantly, and this goes on for hours. There's been many times I've been up at 4, 5 AM listening to Oscar squeaking away in submission.

The main thing is that Ash can't be left by himself, but he also seems like he can't be with another pig; its stressful for me and him to be fair. I'd also like to add the fact that if Oscar tries telling him off, Ash will become even more aggressive with his dominance behaviours, with loud teeth clacking; so Oscar has no chance.

The other night, Oscar did actually tell him off (Small clefts of fur got ripped out of Ash, and a little out of himself). It got to the point where Oscar was puffing at him, with really loud teeth clacking; but this calmed down.



Thanks :)
Sadly, spayed sows are as rare as gold dust in this country...

The operation risk/risk of complications varies massively depending on a vet's experience and knowledge. The best vets in this country have as close to a 100% success rate as any surgeon can reasonably get. I have had a couple of my own young boys neutered, simply because they share the room with sows and the risk of chance encounters is too high.
 

Dom R

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Sadly, spayed sows are as rare as gold dust in this country...

The operation risk/risk of complications varies massively depending on a vet's experience and knowledge. The best vets in this country have as close to a 100% success rate as any surgeon can reasonably get. I have had a couple of my own young boys neutered, simply because they share the room with sows and the risk of chance encounters is too high.
I'm not planning on getting any sows luckily, since it'd send the other boys crazy too, I'm unsure if I said it like that in my previous comment; but I meant so he stopped producing glue and Oscar being the unfortunate soul to get that on his back end. I don't have any room for more pigs anyway, so that rules that out.

It did come across my mind to neuter him for the above reason, but in the end I just think it's unnecessary stress for Ash, when he's never going to be near any female piggy.
 
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