Introducing Neutered Male To Female Trio....please Help!

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AnnaLorelei

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Hi everyone,

I'm hoping to get some advice on potentially introducing a neutered male to my trio of girls. I've always only had girls, and lost my dear Molly a few weeks ago so am down to three. A local rescue just down the road (very small organisation, mostly deals with dogs) has one guinea pig desperate for a home but he's a boy. Naturally I said I couldn't take him but the rescue have been back in touch to say he's been neutered and asking whether I might have a home from him. Obviously I want to help, and it makes me really sad to think of him alone when I have a nice home for him here, but I'm worried about the impact on my girls.

Two of them are rescues, Pepper and Sorrel, and they had a rough time of it before coming to me. I was told they had been kept by someone who was unable to sex guineas (or didn't care, they are beautiful silver rex agoutis and I suspect an unscrupulous breeder is more likely, it's pretty obvious they're females when giving birth!). Apparently the males were kept with them through pregnancy and birth and immediately afterwards so they were constantly harassed and both were pregnant when rescued. Sorrel (who we think is likely Pepper's mum) only had one baby in her last litter, and they both had lost patches of fur through stress when they came to me. Since being with me (I've had them a year now) both girls have flourished and they are the sweetest natured guineas.

I want to help this lonely little boy, but I worry that putting a male with Pepper and Sorrel might bring up old traumas! What do you all think? Will a neutered boy make a good companion for them? I have to put my girls first before saying yes, but it makes me sad to think of him all alone, I don't know what to do!
 
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Wiebke

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Hi and welcome!

- Would the rescue allow your sows to meet the boy to see whether acceptance happens during a short meeting at the rescue, (ca. 30 min)? We call that dating.
All my piggies are rescues and even the ones that were rescued from an indiscriminate breeding situation have had no problems. You can get the occasional traumatised ex-hobby/show breeder sow that has been intentionally stuck with boars in a very small cubicle that can have issues, but generally, problems are usually down to dominance/personality, like a very dominant older sow ruling her herd with a rod of iron not wanting to share with a rival; hence the dating recommendation. ;)

- Please be aware that babies can happen as late as 5 weeks post neutering operation; one of my sows is the daughter of a supposedly safe over 5 weeks post op boar. In accordance with best rescue practice, we therefore recommend strongly to wait the full 6 weeks until a boar is 100% safe and to not gamble with statitistics.

- I would let the boar live alongside the girls for a few days so they can get to know each other through the bars while he settles in. That will take a lot of stress out of the introductions proper and hopefully prevent the boy from losing his brain altogether in a humping spree if the hormones take over. Make sure that you do mixed gender bondings only with open doors or windows and preferably in a room that you can wipe down afterwards as it is going to be a testosterone laden pee fest! You can string intros out over more than one day with mixed groups if necessary (i.e. if the tension level stays persistently high), provided that you give them as long a stretch in one go to work through the dominance. Some mixed gender bondings can go right up to the line when it comes to sorting out who is going to be the top pig, but they are more often very careful to not cross that line and get into a scrap. But it is not necessarily for the faint-hearted!

- If things go wrong with introducing "husboars", it is right at the beginning during the acceptance or dominance phase of the intros in case they really don't like each other or they cannot sort the dominance question. That is when scuffles can happen.

Otherwise, please follow out tips:
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/

I have currently four "husbours", living with 2-6 "sowves" each.
 

flintstones

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I have two Trio's each with one male and two sow's. They both get on wonderfully, the boy's can be a bit frisky at times but the girls don't have any problems giving them into trouble. I have found boy/girl pairings work very well and as Wiebke has mentioned when it goes round it generally happen's very early in the meeting.

When I introduced my Fred to his girls both adult's, he just slotted in it was so uneventful. He was very glad to have his new friends. :)

Perhaps re-home him on the condition he can go back if it doesn't go well. I'd definitely give him a chance male piggies have huge characters and I'm sure he would appreciate the new companions!

Good Luck, pic's are essential if you decide to go ahead. :)x
 

AnnaLorelei

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Thanks for the quick replies and advice!

I'm so pleased to hear all your positive stories with mixed sex groups. Really great to hear that it's unlikely the girls will have been traumatised against boys too. The really dominant iron rod dictator of my group was Molly who's no longer with us and the other three seem to just bumble along now so hopefully that will be a good sign (though Sorrel always gets the best house, rules is rules).

Thanks for all the advice on dominance, especially the wipe down, duly noted! I will find out when he had his op, I suspect rather recently but I use a C+C cage so I can build him a little section next to the big cage until he's in the clear.

Looks like Cookie's coming home then! How exciting, I will let you know how we get along and definitely post some pics. In the mean time here are the girls celebrating Christmas (Molly's the ginger one who passed away a few weeks ago).

:) x

santacrop.JPG
 

scottishthistle

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Awwww fantastic pigture! Sorry to hear that you lost Molly.

Good luck introducing Cookie. We expect lots of photos when you get him.
 
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