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Introducing Male Pigs

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Merithimas

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I had two three year old male pigs but I've just found one dead. They'd been brought up together and had always got along very well. Obviously, I'd like to give the remaining pig a companion, but I've heard that it's difficult to introduce one male to another. The pet shop just told me it would be absolutely impossible and would result in a 'bloodbath' - is this true? Is there nothing I can do?
 

Wiebke

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Hi and welcome!

I am very sorry for your loss! Your are welcome to post a tribute to your boy in our Rainbow Bridge section.
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/forums/rainbow-bridge-pets.16/

Here are our tips on what you can do for a bereaved guinea pig: https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/looking-after-a-bereaved-piggy.110463/

Adult boars past their big teenage hormones are easier to bond. The critical issue for a stable boar bond is character compatibility. Ideally you find a place you can take your bereaved boy for a meet&greet under expert supervision, but that is unfortunately not an option everywhere. We have got a UK recommended rescues locator on the top bar and can also provide contacts for other good standard and piggy savvy rescues in other countries.
If you cannot get to a rescue that offers boar dating, you can always consider whether you have the space to keep a companion boar as a next door "neighboar" with interaction through the bars for constant stimulation if a bonding fails. Age is less important than mutual liking. Not every boar likes every baby for instance.

It is vital to stage any introductions in neutral space under strict supervision and to make sure that boars have plenty of space. Just plonking another piggy into a small cage is a recipe for disaster indeed!
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/introducing-and-re-introducing-guinea-pigs.38562/
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/boars-a-guide-to-successful-companionship.76162/
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/dominance-behaviours-in-guinea-pigs.28949/
Here is proof that it can be done with boars of any age, but you will also have to be aware that not every piggy necessarily click with every other one. Piggies are a lot like people in that respect! https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/boar-dating-service-wales.59233/

Could you please add your country, state or - for UK - your county or city to your details. We have got members from all over the world, so our advice and recommendations can vary enormously, especially when it comes to access to good rescues and vet care. Please click on your username on the top bar then go to personal details and scroll down to location.
 

Merithimas

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Thank you for your speedy reply! So if I were to buy a young male and introduce them carefully, would you say I stand a chance of a successful pairing?

If it's of any relevance, the older boar in question has always been friendly and very placid, largely unafraid of people and interested above all in food. However, he was dominant over his previous companion, but without any violence.
 

Wiebke

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Thank you for your speedy reply! So if I were to buy a young male and introduce them carefully, would you say I stand a chance of a successful pairing?

If it's of any relevance, the older boar in question has always been friendly and very placid, largely unafraid of people and interested above all in food. However, he was dominant over his previous companion, but without any violence.
Thanks for your location! You have got two good guinea pig rescues within your closer area, so I would strongly recommend to contact both in view of letting your boy choose his new friend under expert supervision at the rescue himself. I means that you only come back home with another guaranteed healthy (i.e. quarantined and health cleared) boar if there has been success, at minimal risk to yourself.

On average, it seems to take about 2 boars to find a new "Mr Right", but that can mean anything between having to meet 1-3 boys (some even may need a second round of dating), so with just buying a boar on spec, you are running only about a ca. 50% chance of your new piggy getting on. If you ask me, it is so much safer to go through a good rescue that will support you throughout the whole life of their rehomed boy that it is well worth going to the extra effort for the sake of not ending up with two boars that won't get on!

We have got a fair number of members who have found a stable new boar bond for their bereaved boars via boar dating at a knowledgeable rescue.

Contacts for your closest recommendable rescues can be found here: https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/pages/guinea-pig-rescue-locator/
 

Merithimas

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Thank you so much for your help! I've looked up the guinea pig rescues and we're about to contact them. Will it be easy to tell at once if the two boars get on?
 

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If piggies really don't like each other, you see pretty straight away - and those are specialist guinea pig rescues, so they have got experience and can spot the relevant signs pretty quickly.

Best of luck! It was very upsetting to find a piggy in its forever sleep, but you will hopefully regain a measure of cheer to see your remaining boy come alive and get that extra sparkle again.
 

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Sorry to hear you lost one of your piggies so suddenly and well done you for looking for another companion. I would second the recommendation to use a good rescue centre to help in your search. It can be tricky and take time, so by not rushing things you stand a much better chance of having a lasting and stable bond. Wishing you all the best and let us know how you get on :)
 

Merithimas

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Thank you both for your advice! I've contacted a rescue centre and we're going to visit tomorrow, taking the surviving pig with us. Hopefully he'll find a friend!

The only trouble is that a week or so ago we bought an indoor cage for the guinea pigs, as their outdoor one had begun to rot. Today I've done a lot of research about guinea pigs, and I've just seen that the minimum hutch size for two is 0.7m^2. This new indoor cage is only 0.6. Is this going to be a serious problem? They have a spacious run for the summer and I let them run around my bedroom most evenings, but is their cage still inappropriate? Obviously we're very reluctant to return it unless we have to.

Sorry to keep bothering you!
 

Wiebke

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Thank you both for your advice! I've contacted a rescue centre and we're going to visit tomorrow, taking the surviving pig with us. Hopefully he'll find a friend!

The only trouble is that a week or so ago we bought an indoor cage for the guinea pigs, as their outdoor one had begun to rot. Today I've done a lot of research about guinea pigs, and I've just seen that the minimum hutch size for two is 0.7m^2. This new indoor cage is only 0.6. Is this going to be a serious problem? They have a spacious run for the summer and I let them run around my bedroom most evenings, but is their cage still inappropriate? Obviously we're very reluctant to return it unless we have to.

Sorry to keep bothering you!
It very much depends on the individual rescue you are using; you will have to take it up with them.
Please be aware that we can only guarantee for our recommended rescue centres as to the standard of care and experience. Any others you use at your own risk.
 

Merithimas

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Thank you so much for all your advice! We went to a rescue centre this morning and we've brought home a lovely agouti male, who seems to be getting on very well with his new friend.

We took my guinea pig for 'boar dating' as you recommended and he got on well with both males. The first one we tried was a lovely golden pup only ten weeks old, but in the end we settled on the agouti as he is the same age as my one and they got on so well. The centre in Yate was fantastic and I'd definitely use them again!

I've attached a picture of them together in their hutch - they've been sitting like that for about half an hour. Again, thank you so much! If I hadn't contacted you I'd have a very lonely pig now!

DSC_0087.JPG
 

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AWWW - two happily snuggled up boys! Glad that boar dating has worked well for you and that you have enjoyed your rescue experience. it must be such a relief for you after your sad shock.

Fingers firmly crossed that your two boys are going to settle in well together over the coming days. You are bound to see some dominance behaviour, but it is going to be hopefully on the mild side as both boys are happy to have company and they are no longer plagued by their hormones so much.
I would recommend that you have everything in twos - food bowls (about a body length away from each other), water bottles and hideys (during the dominance phase preferably with two exits to minimise the chance of alteractions.
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/introducing-and-re-introducing-guinea-pigs.38562/
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/dominance-behaviours-in-guinea-pigs.28949/
 

Merithimas

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The two pigs have been perfectly happy sleeping together for the past few hours, but they've suddenly started wildly chattering teeth and staying away from each other. I've taken one on my lap and he's still charttering. Should I put them back together? What should I do?
 

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The two pigs have been perfectly happy sleeping together for the past few hours, but they've suddenly started wildly chattering teeth and staying away from each other. I've taken one on my lap and he's still charttering. Should I put them back together? What should I do?
Try to sit it out unless things escalate into fights (behaviours and tips are detailed in the links I have given you in my previous post). They have hit the reality of them sharing a cage and need to establish dominance. Have you cleaned out the cage before you put both in, so it is more neutral? You can try to distract them with a big plate of hay in a neutral space that also allows them to get away from each other. The most critical time in piggy bonding is usually after the first nap together when they wake up to company.
 

missdoofus

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We had these issues on and off, initially it wasn't a problem and we mainly ignored their Saturday night arguments etc. However it turned bad after about 3 months and we had to separate. Shame but we will get them friends soon :)
 

Merithimas

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The teeth chattering is still going on, very loud and with squeaks too. There's no mounting but a bit of running around and the occasional lunge. They're eating occasionally in between. I'm really scared, this is horrible.
They're in an indoor cage (fresh bedding) but the outdoor one is slightly bigger. Should they be in there? I'm so worried there's about to be a fight
 

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The teeth chattering is still going on, very loud and with squeaks too. There's no mounting but a bit of running around and the occasional lunge. They're eating occasionally in between. I'm really scared, this is horrible.
They're in an indoor cage (fresh bedding) but the outdoor one is slightly bigger. Should they be in there? I'm so worried there's about to be a fight
You can try the outside cage and put a pile of hay in to see whether that will distract them and calm them down a bit, but another change of surroundings can also upset the cart completely.

Can you put in some more hay in the cage to distract them? PS: keep your hand well out of range.
 

missdoofus

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Keep watching from a distance and keep an oven glove at the ready in case you have to stick your hand in to the cage.

I wouldn't move them right now as that might just start their discussion off again.
 

Merithimas

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I've put in loads of hay and they've calmed down a bit! They're both cuddled up right next to each other in the hay, squeaking and with a little teeth chattering but much less.

In fact, they've stopped completely now and are eating hay. Is this good or will it just flare up again later? Their heads are touching each other and they seem quite happy!

Again, thank you so much! You have all been so incredibly helpful, I really can't thank you enough!
 

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I've put in loads of hay and they've calmed down a bit! They're both cuddled up right next to each other in the hay, squeaking and with a little teeth chattering but much less.

In fact, they've stopped completely now and are eating hay. Is this good or will it just flare up again later? Their heads are touching each other and they seem quite happy!

Again, thank you so much! You have all been so incredibly helpful, I really can't thank you enough!
it may flare up again to some extent, but hopefully this has been the worst and they will decide that they like being together. they have still obviously to sort out which of them comes on top.
 

missdoofus

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lol typical piggies! Just keep an eye out for them over the next few weeks, it's creepy when they start arguing out of nothing!
 
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