Introducing a new aby boar to a sheltie boar

KateF

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I had two boars, one of which passed away last month after receiving the news what he had was not curable.
The Sheltie (nearly 8 months) left has been fine in himself since it happened usual personality, habits etc. The exotic vet believes he will have already understood for a while what was happening and come to terms with it.
We have since found another boar who will come with us at seven weeks, but my question more so surrounds the new piggy - he lives with his brother and dad at the moment but when he comes to us, he will have to be placed in his own separate cage until him and my sheltie are correctly introduced, with this in mind I have concerns of him being lonely outside of having a safe toy for him to have and the usual blankets etc.
I know they need a day or two just to settle in I’m just curious of the best way to make him feel safe and happy and how quick could the introducing start? I have read often that quarantining a new piggy can be done too which would mean the new one would on his own even longer unless I could have him checked over by the vet of course. Can the cages be kept in the same room prior to the introducing or will it send them mad because they can hear each other but not interact? Tia
 

Siikibam

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Piggies under four months of age need companionship more than anything. That need far outweighs any other concerns such as passing on illnesses (the reason for quarantining).

You will have to bond them as soon as the new boy comes home. If evening then the next day. Neutral place with just a pile of hay. All the best and we’d love to hear how the bonding goes. People sometimes start a thread while bonding. Have a good read of the guides below in preparation.
A Comprehensive Guide to Guinea Pig Boars
Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics
 

Piggies&buns

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:agr: He needs to be bonded with your boar (following the correct process as detailed in the guides) straight away. He cannot be quarantined or kept separate at all as he is under four months of age so needs constant companionship and guidance from another piggy.
Good luck with the bonding. Do keep us posted.
 

KateF

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Thank you all very much for that guidance, it’s appreciated and pleased to have had my thinking corrected. I always look to improve my existing knowledge to ensure my pigs can have the best life possible, which was the reasoning behind my post as I wasn’t 100% confident and it felt my knowledge had gaps.
He doesn’t arrive yet for another few weeks with us and I’d like to ensure the little guy is welcomed correctly. If it happened to be quite late in the evening when we get him and we did it overnight (I’m hoping this isn’t the course and I’ll get him on a morning etc) would he be placed in his own cage next to my current sheltie cage? Or should the new boars cage be placed in a different room?
Perhaps documenting the experience on here wouldn’t be a bad thing and it could help others out too!
 

Siikibam

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If you get him late I’d suggest you put him in a cage next to your current boar so they can still interact. Then you can do the bonding the next day when you’ve got time. He shouldn’t be kept in a separate room under any circumstances. I’d also consider getting him booked in for a general check a week after he’s been home (if possible).
 

Piggies&buns

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Thank you all very much for that guidance, it’s appreciated and pleased to have had my thinking corrected. I always look to improve my existing knowledge to ensure my pigs can have the best life possible, which was the reasoning behind my post as I wasn’t 100% confident and it felt my knowledge had gaps.
He doesn’t arrive yet for another few weeks with us and I’d like to ensure the little guy is welcomed correctly. If it happened to be quite late in the evening when we get him and we did it overnight (I’m hoping this isn’t the course and I’ll get him on a morning etc) would he be placed in his own cage next to my current sheltie cage? Or should the new boars cage be placed in a different room?
Perhaps documenting the experience on here wouldn’t be a bad thing and it could help others out too!

if he has to be in a separate cage due to you getting him in an evening and don’t have the time to do the bonding immediately, then their cages must be next to each other in the same room so they can interact through the bars for the night.
 

KateF

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I plan on getting insurance cover and having him get a general first health check up by my exotic vet when I get him once he’s settled - I have two options here, I have a separate cage and also the current cage my sheltie is in, it’s a c&c big enough for two adult boars. If I could divide the cage with grids would that be acceptable or is there any risk of leaving them >that close< over night?
Thankyou for all the advice it’s really appreciated! Just have to think of a name for the little guy now!
 

Piggies&buns

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I plan on getting insurance cover and having him get a general first health check up by my exotic vet when I get him once he’s settled - I have two options here, I have a separate cage and also the current cage my sheltie is in, it’s a c&c big enough for two adult boars. If I could divide the cage with grids would that be acceptable or is there any risk of leaving them >that close< over night?
Thankyou for all the advice it’s really appreciated! Just have to think of a name for the little guy now!

personally I wouldn’t bother with insurance and instead just have a separate savings vet fund account. That’s what a lot of us do on here so that you then don’t have to worry about the restrictions of insurance not paying out, paying the excess etc. There is only one Uk insurer who will insure guinea pigs - exotic direct.

i would just use the separate cage as it’s only going to be for a very short space of time - and if you get him in the morning, Then you won’t even need a separate cage as youll be using a neutral territory bonding pen as soon as you get home. I would not divide the C&c because each half could be too small - you don’t say what size the c&c cage is but as two boars need a 2x5 c&c, dividing it means each piggy would only have a 2x2.5 and even though it’s only temporary, it’s too small

You also need to make sure your c&c bars are baby proof as such small piggies can sometimes just squeeze straight through them. Are you grids 9 square grids?
 

Wiebke

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I had two boars, one of which passed away last month after receiving the news what he had was not curable.
The Sheltie (nearly 8 months) left has been fine in himself since it happened usual personality, habits etc. The exotic vet believes he will have already understood for a while what was happening and come to terms with it.
We have since found another boar who will come with us at seven weeks, but my question more so surrounds the new piggy - he lives with his brother and dad at the moment but when he comes to us, he will have to be placed in his own separate cage until him and my sheltie are correctly introduced, with this in mind I have concerns of him being lonely outside of having a safe toy for him to have and the usual blankets etc.
I know they need a day or two just to settle in I’m just curious of the best way to make him feel safe and happy and how quick could the introducing start? I have read often that quarantining a new piggy can be done too which would mean the new one would on his own even longer unless I could have him checked over by the vet of course. Can the cages be kept in the same room prior to the introducing or will it send them mad because they can hear each other but not interact? Tia

Hi!

I am very sorry for your loss.

The need for company and quidance in babies and sub-teenage is so overwhelming that they need to be introduced on neutral ground straight away above any quarantine and settling in considerations and then face any medical issues together, including a vet trip. It is A LOT less stressful for your baby if he is not facing that frightening experience alone. What you need to do is double-check the gender before introducing.
Illustrated Sexing Guide
New guinea pigs: Sexing, vet checks&customer rights, URI, ringworm and parasites (see chapter quarantine)

Unless there is a clear personality clash/refusal to accept straight away (which can happen), bondings have a pretty high rate of acceptance as the baby will happily accept any adult bachelor that is willing to take them on; it doesn't mean that your won't accept other baby boars, just not this one. He will be as likely totally smitten by a more character compatible one, as rescue dating forum members have made the experience. In guinea pig society, some bachelor boars are happy to become guardians of any weaned baby boars to socialise them and teach them to master their environment.
Arrival in a home from the perspective of pet shop guinea pigs

Please follow the advice in our bonding guide. The guide is very step-by-step through all stages of the much more complex process than most people expect but also contains a chapter on baby bonding with videos.
Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics

All the best!
 

KateF

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personally I wouldn’t bother with insurance and instead just have a separate savings vet fund account. That’s what a lot of us do on here so that you then don’t have to worry about the restrictions of insurance not paying out, paying the excess etc. There is only one Uk insurer who will insure guinea pigs - exotic direct.

i would just use the separate cage as it’s only going to be for a very short space of time - and if you get him in the morning, Then you won’t even need a separate cage as youll be using a neutral territory bonding pen as soon as you get home. I would not divide the C&c because each half could be too small - you don’t say what size the c&c cage is but as two boars need a 2x5 c&c, dividing it means each piggy would only have a 2x2.5 and even though it’s only temporary, it’s too small

You also need to make sure your c&c bars are baby proof as such small piggies can sometimes just squeeze straight through them. Are you grids 9 square grids?
That’s interesting what you say about the insurance, I currently have mine through exotic direct and its something I do go back and forth of which method is best savings vs insurance! My grids are the newer kaviee brand style so they’re rectangles that are 9 by 9 so are quite narrow. But I wouldn’t want to cause any issues like you said overnight is too small even though temp. I’ll do the separate cage method if it turns out I cannot get him during the day for x reason. I have a playpen the same size which I can freely build up and put away which I will use for the bonding. Once the initial introduction has taken place how long should the neutral territory be in place for providing they of course get along and no fights before then transitioning to the current c&c cage?
 

Piggies&buns

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That’s interesting what you say about the insurance, I currently have mine through exotic direct and its something I do go back and forth of which method is best savings vs insurance! My grids are the newer kaviee brand style so they’re rectangles that are 9 by 9 so are quite narrow. But I wouldn’t want to cause any issues like you said overnight is too small even though temp. I’ll do the separate cage method if it turns out I cannot get him during the day for x reason. I have a playpen the same size which I can freely build up and put away which I will use for the bonding. Once the initial introduction has taken place how long should the neutral territory be in place for providing they of course get along and no fights before then transitioning to the current c&c cage?

The guides linked in explain the full details of how to bond, signs to look for, when to transfer to the cage etc but they will be in the bonding pen for several hours. You also need to make sure the c&c cage is also cleaned down thoroughly and rearranged before you transfer them to it
 

KateF

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Hi!

I am very sorry for your loss.

The need for company and quidance in babies and sub-teenage is so overwhelming that they need to be introduced on neutral ground straight away above any quarantine and settling in considerations and then face any medical issues together, including a vet trip. It is A LOT less stressful for your baby if he is not facing that frightening experience alone. What you need to do is double-check the gender before introducing.
Illustrated Sexing Guide
New guinea pigs: Sexing, vet checks&customer rights, URI, ringworm and parasites (see chapter quarantine)

Unless there is a clear personality clash/refusal to accept straight away (which can happen), bondings have a pretty high rate of acceptance as the baby will happily accept any adult bachelor that is willing to take them on; it doesn't mean that your won't accept other baby boars, just not this one. He will be as likely totally smitten by a more character compatible one, as rescue dating forum members have made the experience. In guinea pig society, some bachelor boars are happy to become guardians of any weaned baby boars to socialise them and teach them to master their environment.
Arrival in a home from the perspective of pet shop guinea pigs

Please follow the advice in our bonding guide. The guide is very step-by-step through all stages of the much more complex process than most people expect but also contains a chapter on baby bonding with videos.
Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics

All the best!
Thank you! It was very sudden and unexpected and for all we jumped on the situation immediately all the effort in the world unfortunately couldn’t stop him leaving us 😔 so this next stage wasn’t ever quite planned but I want my sheltie to be able to experience life as he should have with a bonded friend. I am hoping that he accepts the new little one and like you said of him accepting a baby as it will learn etc from him. I’ve read that in several places and hoping to a degree I luck out here and of course doing everything possible to help the process along. He got along very well with my aby that left us, the new one is the same breed and seems to be showing very similar characteristics so far from what I’ve seen.

Thankyou for linking those articles too - I do the whole ear rub and eye area strokes etc with my sheltie it’s quite useful to refer back to!
 

KateF

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The guides linked in explain the full details of how to bond, signs to look for, when to transfer to the cage etc but they will be in the bonding pen for several hours. You also need to make sure the c&c cage is also cleaned down thoroughly and rearranged before you transfer them to it
I’ll have a re-read of those to ensure I can become as knowledgeable and prepared as possible and thank you very much for taking the time to offer advice and guidance!
 

Wiebke

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Thank you! It was very sudden and unexpected and for all we jumped on the situation immediately all the effort in the world unfortunately couldn’t stop him leaving us 😔 so this next stage wasn’t ever quite planned but I want my sheltie to be able to experience life as he should have with a bonded friend. I am hoping that he accepts the new little one and like you said of him accepting a baby as it will learn etc from him. I’ve read that in several places and hoping to a degree I luck out here and of course doing everything possible to help the process along. He got along very well with my aby that left us, the new one is the same breed and seems to be showing very similar characteristics so far from what I’ve seen.

Thankyou for linking those articles too - I do the whole ear rub and eye area strokes etc with my sheltie it’s quite useful to refer back to!

Shelties are overall the least skittish and uptight compared to coronets and perus in my own experience. I currently have got two lovely natured neutered 'husboars', Gethin and Gareth, living with a pair of sows each. However, the individual personality is always stronger and more important. You can never predict how piggies will gel until they meet.

Like humans, they need the company but finding Mr/Mrs Right isn't as straight forward as sticking two of them together in an arranged partnership... And the longer I have piggies and have got to know more pigsonalities, the more complex they become - as much as humans...


Wishing you all the best - but please don't keep the baby alone for any length of time! You will also find the boar baby bonding video in the bonding guide interesting as it is an evaluation bonding with two baby brothers to find the more personality compatible one, so it is interesting to watch how Dylan is reacting differently to the two baby brothers with very different personalities. ;)
 
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