Moral Dilemma

Tara95

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Hello everyone, I purchased two young bonded sows to go with my two older bonded sows of 15 weeks of age so each pair would have a friend and there wouldn't be an "outsider situation" Bonding has been successful and I feel like all the research I have done did not prepare me for seeing this young litter of only 3 (2 girls and one boy, with no other boy to pair up with despite their being 3 other younger litters of all girls) He was being kept with his two sisters who are part of my herd. Despite him being young he appears to be quite dominant and big for his age. (Small litter, only male, grass reared on a farm) so to cut to the point I decided to take him in (All I've seen on all these websites is single males constantly being rehomed, abandoned due to bonding issues/fighting etc all or supposedly bonded males with visible injuries from fighting when they are not bonded from a young age/brothers) apparently someone had also rung the breeder about just having a solo male guinea pig the day before my visit to keep him by himself which made me feel like I really didn't want to leave him there. The hope is to get him nuteured so in a few months he can be with his sister's again. All the information I've read is the forum has hinted the most successful match is one male to atleast 2 sows compared to male bond which are riskier. I took the difficult decision to seperate him from his female sisters despite him living with them for just over 4 weeks as I couldn't risk him making them or my older sows pregnant and the male cycle repeating myself all over again if there's not an even number etc. I wasn't sure if it was too soon but a week later he was getting too distressed living directly next to them, ( a piece of glass seperating) trying desperately to get to them and appeared to be trying to mate with them ( at only 5 weeks). It's really hard to seperate them as I don't want him to be by himself but equally I can't risk him making them pregnant. He's at the top now so he still talks to them and can see them from a height, but he doesn't get as distressed. Is this the right thing to do or do you think it's stressful for him being able to see them and not actually be in the cage with them? Many thanks,
Winston, Bear, Boo, Mittens & Bee
 

Piggies&buns

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Piggies who need to be kept separate need to have their cages next to each other, on the same level, to be able to have interaction. If he is in a cage above them he cannot interact with them fully - a lot of interaction is through smell and body language, but being above, he has lost the element of communication via body language.
It’s quite normal for them to bar bite/appear to want to be in with them etc, but once they get used to the fact they are there, then they usually calm down. Putting a covering between the two cages and then slowly removing it can work.

It’s not necessarily the case that boar/boar bonds are riskier - when the right character piggy is found then boar/boar bonds are absolutely fine. Sows can fall out and sow/boar pairings can fail just the same if they don’t have character compatibility. A neutered boar to a sow or sows is most stable though but it still has to go through the acceptance stage and can still fail at that point.

The fact he was kept with his sisters for over 4 weeks can also be problematic - boars can get sows pregnant from three weeks of age or 250g in weight so need to be separated at that point. It sounds as if he has been in with his sisters for too long. Sows come into season somewhere between 4 and 6 weeks of age and they then have the risk of becoming pregnant if a boar was present.

To correct from the way i read your post, boars who are brothers are no more likely to get on - siblings boar pair fail just the same as non-siblings pairs do. And being bonded at a young age also makes no difference - piggies can be bonded and rebonded at any age.

As you have sows, then neutering him and attempting to bond him in with your sows is your option. He can’t be bonded with another boar given you have sows if you would intend on keeping them in the same room. He could be bonded with a character compatible boar but they would need to be kept in a different room as a boar/boar bond can run into trouble if they can smell sows.
 

Tara95

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Thank you for you help and advice. Have moved the cages directly beside each other and he seems happier making more contented squeaks not seeming distressed atall. Beforehand they were in the same cage but with a piece of hutch glass dividing which was probably a bit too close and less stable. I will weigh the females tomorrow if one of the youngest is a fair bit overweight could that imply pregnancy? Her stomach does feel chubbier than my other sows but equally her brother (also a teddy breed) also has a fairly chubby stomach. So perhaps that breed stores fat differently or they've just had a better diet being reared on a farm with access to a run everyday compared to a pet shop.
 

Piggies&buns

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Thank you for you help and advice. Have moved the cages directly beside each other and he seems happier making more contented squeaks not seeming distressed atall. Beforehand they were in the same cage but with a piece of hutch glass dividing which was probably a bit too close and less stable. I will weigh the females tomorrow if one of the youngest is a fair bit overweight could that imply pregnancy? Her stomach does feel chubbier than my other sows but equally her brother (also a teddy breed) also has a fairly chubby stomach. So perhaps that breed stores fat differently or they've just had a better diet being reared on a farm with access to a run everyday compared to a pet shop.
I do highly doubt a young piggy is overweight - I think from one of your other posts that they are 6 weeks old (is that right?).
Hopefully they didn’t come into season while he was with them so hopefully they aren’t pregnant. Equally though you can’t tell pregnancy weight gain until the last few weeks of the 10 week pregnancy so if I remember their ages correctly, they are far too young to be anywhere near the end of a pregnancy anyway
 

Tara95

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Okay thank you, relieved! And yes 6 weeks old yesterday, and would've been seperated at around 4 weeks two days old so I guess it's really unlikely that they would be pregnant? I keep worrying that that one of them is. I guess it's rare for a male to be able to make a female pregnant at 4 weeks too!
 

Siikibam

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It’s not exactly rare. But it’s possible hence separating at the time mentioned above. Keep an eye on them and have a read of the pregnancy guides as a precaution. But hopefully they’re not pregnant.
 

Piggies&buns

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:agr:
Boars can make babies from 3 weeks of age and sows can come into season as early as 4 weeks of age. Removing boars at 3 weeks of age protects their mothers from becoming pregnant by their sons as soon as their have their first post-birth season at around that point, but also prevents the risk to any sibling sows who come into season at their earliest point.
 

Tara95

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It’s not exactly rare. But it’s possible hence separating at the time mentioned above. Keep an eye on them and have a read of the pregnancy guides as a precaution. But hopefully they’re not pregnant.
Will do thanks :)
 

Tara95

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I do highly doubt a young piggy is overweight - I think from one of your other posts that they are 6 weeks old (is that right?).
Hopefully they didn’t come into season while he was with them so hopefully they aren’t pregnant. Equally though you can’t tell pregnancy weight gain until the last few weeks of the 10 week pregnancy so if I remember their ages correctly, they are far too young to be anywhere near the end of a pregnancy anyway
At the time the cream and black teddie and the white guinea pig were 5 and a half weeks old and the two others are 16 weeks old. To me it doesn't look like there's a huge comparison and when I first got the two older sows at 8 weeks they were tiny and certainly smaller than the size these three were at 4 weeks! But I guess every guinea pig is different.
 

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