Male and female in same cage

squeaaaak

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Hi everyone,

We bought 2 pigs, believing them both to be sows, but it now looks like one of them is in fact a boar and keeps trying to defile his sister. We have a 2-storey cage, so can keep them separate in there, but I'm not sure about the run. My plan is to build a mesh divider and put it down the middle of the run, so that they would at least have each other's company for the time being (neutering is currently under investigation), but I don't know if this would be even worse for them - being able to see each other but not physically interact beyond sniffing.

I'd really appreciate any opinions on this one, I need to get it resolved quickly.
 

Piggies&buns

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Have you checked the sexes yourself? I note you say ‘bought’ - unfortunately missexing amongst pet shop piggies is common so you do need to check straight away.
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/illustrated-sexing-guide-for-all-ages.156297/

Mounting is not necessarily a sign that they are opposite sex though - mounting can be a dominant behaviour which same sex pairs do. You absolutely must check the sex of the piggies for yourself though.

If they are indeed opposite sexes and need to live separately, then a two storey cage is not appropriate. Separated piggies need to live side by side for through the bar interaction. It’s not worse to be alongside each other, it’s best and essential if they can’t physically live together
 

Betsy

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I would double check the sexes yourself. Mounting is normal dominance behaviour and even a sow in heat can be quite relentless in pursuing their friends.
Absolutely! I have an X Rated video of Betsy doing exactly that:eek: I dare not put it on here as we are a family forum.
 

squeaaaak

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Thanks for the replies, we've had a look and it looks like there is a penis there, but (s)he is not particularly keen on being handled so it's quite difficult to check.

Piggies&buns - our piggies are spending about 7-8 hours per day in the run at the moment, do they need to spend the whole day together, or is that enough?
 

Reenie

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Thanks for the replies, we've had a look and it looks like there is a penis there, but (s)he is not particularly keen on being handled so it's quite difficult to check.

Piggies&buns - our piggies are spending about 7-8 hours per day in the run at the moment, do they need to spend the whole day together, or is that enough?
Do you mean with the divider in place? Until you're 100% sure of their sexes they shouldn't be able to get to each other at all.... Babies are made very quickly😏
 

squeaaaak

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Do you mean with the divider in place? Until you're 100% sure of their sexes they shouldn't be able to get to each other at all.... Babies are made very quickly😏
We only realised today, so I haven't had time to make a divider yet, but they're currently being kept apart. I just hope the stork isn't already on the way...
 

Reenie

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We only realised today, so I haven't had time to make a divider yet, but they're currently being kept apart. I just hope the stork isn't already on the way...
Have a wee look at the sexing thread. You should be able to be pretty sure once you know what you're looking for. Good luck!
 

Piggies&buns

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While they can’t be in the same cage, then they need to be next to each other but divided all the time to maintain interaction to prevent loneliness, so 7-8 hours alongside means there’s still 15-16 hours without interaction and that’s not an ideal situation.
You will need to put your female on pregnancy watch for the next 10 weeks
 

squeaaaak

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We could extend the time they spend in the run to about 10 hours, they also come inside for about an hour every evening to get cuddles with my sons, so that would be about 11 hours together. I'd have a harder time making a divider for the hutch than the run, but I suppose where there's a will there's a way...

Once we get the boar neutered (we now both think this would be the kindest thing to do, having looked at the advice here and elsewhere), it would be about 6 weeks until we could get them back together. If I can't build a divider for the hutch, would spending 12 hours a day apart for 6 weeks be really bad for their welfare? We're also concerned about limiting their space and making their accomodation too cramped.
 

Piggies&buns

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We could extend the time they spend in the run to about 10 hours, they also come inside for about an hour every evening to get cuddles with my sons, so that would be about 11 hours together. I'd have a harder time making a divider for the hutch than the run, but I suppose where there's a will there's a way...

Once we get the boar neutered (we now both think this would be the kindest thing to do, having looked at the advice here and elsewhere), it would be about 6 weeks until we could get them back together. If I can't build a divider for the hutch, would spending 12 hours a day apart for 6 weeks be really bad for their welfare? We're also concerned about limiting their space and making their accomodation too cramped.
Its not ideal, but understand your situation. Give them as much side by side time as you possibly can.


If she is pregnant then it won’t necessarily be as simple as them being back together for the long term though. depending on the sex of any pups then living arrangements may need to change. If any pups were Male they would also have to be separated from mum and any sisters at three weeks of age so would need somewhere else to live and also have to be kept alongside for interaction. Boys (once they hit their teens) can only be kept in pairs so you could need to look at some long term living solutions there. If all pups were female, then mum, dad (once neutered) and daughters could all live together but the cage would have to be bigger.
 

squeaaaak

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OK, a rudimentary divider (or contraceptive barrier, as we have named it) is now in place in the run. Unfortunately we are self-isolating at the moment while we wait for the results of a Covid-19 test for my son, so I can't go out and buy the wood I need to build a divider for the hutch. Our guinea pigs are only 10 weeks old, and I've just seen that neutering isn't usually done until the age of about 5 months, so it looks like this situation is going to last for a few more months at least, assuming lady pig doesn't have a bun in the oven.

Thanks for all your advice, now we'll just have to do our best to keep them as happy as possible.
 

Wiebke

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Thanks for the replies, we've had a look and it looks like there is a penis there, but (s)he is not particularly keen on being handled so it's quite difficult to check.

Piggies&buns - our piggies are spending about 7-8 hours per day in the run at the moment, do they need to spend the whole day together, or is that enough?
HI!

Could you please post clear day lit pictures of the genitalia so we can have a look?

Unfortunately mounting is very much a social interactive gesture as well as a procreative one where a sow will submit to a boar at the end of her being in season when she is finally ready to conceive for a very few hours. Sows will mount sows and chase them (they may also chase the boar and try to mount him before they are ready to mate), so that is not confirmation of a different gender.
However, mis-sexing is sadly anything but uncommon in pet shop or breeder piggies. :(
New guinea pigs: Sexing, vet checks&customer rights, URI, ringworm and parasites

Unfortunately if you have a cross gender pair, it is likely that your girl has been in season and is now pregnant. Please make sure that they cannot be together until we sort this out with you.
 
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