Issues Every time I put the two boars back in their cage after cleaning

jlbda

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Hi,
Since about 3 weeks ago, the two boars, dad and son, seem to become very aggressive towards each other after I have cleaned out their cage and place them back into it. They do run around after each other outside but eventually just eat grass and leave each alone but it usually ends up with intense fighting when back in the cage (chattering teeth and lunging in the air at each other and biting sometimes)and lasts for about 30 mins and then slowly calms down. I have read the section on ‘Boarsonalising’ the new cage as I thought this seemed to be the relevant place to look. Is this because their scents have been removed and they are re-establishing their hierarchy? Is there anything I can do to minimise this behaviour each time their cage is cleaned? Thanks for any advice 🙂
 

Piggies&buns

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Yes that’s exactly why - their territory has been changed and their smells removed. It can help if you leave some soiled bedding in their cage at each clean so that it still smells of them.

How old are they and how big is their cage?
They sound like they can be quite tense together. If they are in their teens changing territories/smells can make issues worse. Always ensure you handle the dominant piggy first.
 

jlbda

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Yes that’s exactly why - their territory has been changed and their smells removed. It can help if you leave some soiled bedding in their cage at each clean so that it still smells of them.

How old are they and how big is their cage?
They sound like they can be quite tense together. If they are in their teens changing territories/smells can make issues worse. Always ensure you handle the dominant piggy first.
Dad is probably 10 months...not really sure exactly and son is 4 months old.
I think their cage is also probably too small for them and is 1 1/2 ft by 3 1/2 ft. Maybe larger space would help.
 

piggieminder

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A larger cage would definitely help your cage is very small for two hormonal boars. You need at least a 5 x 2 grid C&C cage (approx. 6ft x 2.5ft). I'm having behaviour problems at the moment with a pair of boars triggered by the 9 month old, having a 5 x 3 cage certainly helps cool the situation as they can easily get away from each other. Mine are on fleece bedding so when I change the main fleece I leave the pee pads until the next day so that all their smell has not been removed. Both your boars are at 'difficult' ages. Fingers crossed things cool down soon.
 

Piggies&buns

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Their ages and cage size explain a lot of this.
They are both right in their teens, displaying a lot of hormonal tension and a lack of space I’m afraid.
Two boars need a cage measuring 6ft x 2ft.
However, you can’t just increase their cage size and put fresh bedding in. This alone constitutes a change in territory and can in itself create problems. They do absolutely need a bigger cage, but you are going to need to ensure you fill the cage with soiled bedding so that it still smells of them and so they still see it as their space. You will likely see renewed dominance behaviours as well. Details of this can be found in the guides below.
I will add in links to boar behaviour guides for you to read
A Comprehensive Guide to Guinea Pig Boars
Dominance Behaviours In Guinea Pigs
Boars: Teenage, Bullying, Fighting, Fall-outs And What Next?
 

DougalandDiego

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I sympathise as I have two boars (my first pigs) who are now 14 months (roughly) old. I change their cage whilst they’re in it and do half at a time and feed their veggies whilst doing so to take their mind off it and they don’t worry - they’re used to it as I sweep the cage twice a day as they’re on fleece bedding. If they’re on fleece like mine I rub the old bedding on the new before adding it so it smells ‘right’ and mine have two litter trays so I never change their litter tray and bedding at the same time so at least they have something that smells like them.

Also might be an idea to scatter their veggies that they would be given around the cage to take their minds off when you put them back in it possibly?

I would also recommend a bigger cage. My two boys have had quite a few hormonal spikes but I have found that the increased cage space really does make a difference. I upgraded my c and c cage from a 2x5 to a 3x5 so that they have their own space to get away from each other and they have one of everything on opposite sides of the cage so one pig can’t block the others access to hay, water, hidey, pellets etc.

Sorry for the waffling - hope some of this May help!
 
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