My boars are fighting :(

Mye_B

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Hi all,

I’m looking for some advice. I have two boars aged 14 and 16 weeks and they’ve started fighting, it was quite vicious today. The older one was definitely the aggressor. I’ve separated them for now and was planning to reintroduce them in the morning but was told this probably wouldn’t help as once separated that would be it. Has anyone had experience of this? They have been living in the same cage since they were 8 and 10 weeks old (sadly we lost the older one’s cousin after 2 weeks) and have been doing fine up until then but I’m aware they’re now reaching sexual maturity. I’m thinking of getting a two level cage but is this enough? As I’m well aware they can still access each other’s level and scrap again! I don’t really have the space for two separate cages. Help, please!

Thanks in advance,
M
 

Piggies&buns

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Sadly when piggies become teenagers (4-14 months of age), hormones rise and any character incompatibilities can come out. If such a vicious full on fight breaks out, then due to them not being compatible, not being able to establish a hierarchy and having dominance issues, then it requires immediate and permanent separation.
You will need to have them in separate cages which will need to be side by side to enable them to have through the bar interaction to prevent loneliness.
As such a nasty fight has taken place, then you cannot attempt a reintroduction. Its not the fact youve separated them that prevents a reintroduction, its the fact they don’t like each other so reintroducing would be likely to result in another fight.

Two boars need a cage of 6ft x 2ft. (on one level, upper levels don’t count towards the cage size in any event but For boars, sometimes the ramp can become part of a territorial dispute so having upper levels, in some instances, can make things worse). However, if they aren’t compatible then no amount of space will help.

Have you checked them over for injuries?

A Comprehensive Guide to Guinea Pig Boars
Boars: Teenage, Bullying, Fighting, Fall-outs And What Next?
 
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Wiebke

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Hi all,

I’m looking for some advice. I have two boars aged 14 and 16 weeks and they’ve started fighting, it was quite vicious today. The older one was definitely the aggressor. I’ve separated them for now and was planning to reintroduce them in the morning but was told this probably wouldn’t help as once separated that would be it. Has anyone had experience of this? They have been living in the same cage since they were 8 and 10 weeks old (sadly we lost the older one’s cousin after 2 weeks) and have been doing fine up until then but I’m aware they’re now reaching sexual maturity. I’m thinking of getting a two level cage but is this enough? As I’m well aware they can still access each other’s level and scrap again! I don’t really have the space for two separate cages. Help, please!

Thanks in advance,
M
Hi!

Your boys have now hit the teenage hormone spikes unfortunately. Whether they are personality compatible only shows throughout that time. The time around 4 months is a typical clashing point for the least well matched boys to get into trouble. A baby boar trio (irrespective of whether any boars are related or not - we have seen more than ample evidence on here over the months to de-bunk that persistent myth) has about a 90% fall out rate while a same age teenage boar pair has a slightly more than 50% rate of making it. It all depends on their personalities and how they mesh. Two dominant brothers will fight just the same as any other boars. :(

Please take the time to read these guides here which list acceptable and not acceptable behaviours and all possible options with fallen-out boars.
Boars: Teenage, Bullying, Fighting, Fall-outs And What Next?
Dominance Behaviours In Guinea Pigs
A Comprehensive Guide to Guinea Pig Boars

Living on top of each other as singles means that they will lack important companionship and mutual stimulation since interaction is complex and multi-level via scent (pheromones), body language, and vocalisation. They count as singles and not as bonded pair with their own territories as single piggies in adjoining cages do.
 

Siikibam

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May I ask what you mean when you say ‘fight’? Some people use it when the piggies are just displaying normal dominance behaviour. Also how big is their cage? Have a read of the guides linked above then you’re in a better place to decide how to proceed.

Sorry for your loss. However, boar trips rarely work out, especially those in their teens. Hope you find a solution that works for all three of you.
 

Mye_B

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They were doing the classic teeth chattering and bum wiggling and then the one was chasing the other around the play pen and they managed to latch onto each other and spin around. The dominant one has a bite mark on the back of his ear and tuffs of hair have been pulled out from both sides.
 

Mye_B

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Thanks all for your replies. I’m not sure what I’m going to do as I don’t have room for 2 x6 ft cages alongside each other, which is why I considered the two levels but I don’t want to deprive either of their space. I don’t want to give them up either. Is it possible to house them outside?
 

Wiebke

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Thanks all for your replies. I’m not sure what I’m going to do as I don’t have room for 2 x6 ft cages alongside each other, which is why I considered the two levels but I don’t want to deprive either of their space. I don’t want to give them up either. Is it possible to house them outside?
Sorry that yours have got into deep kimchi so quickley

If you have the footprint of a 2x6 C&C cage you could consider either two 2x3 pens with a hay loft or a 2x4 cage on each level with a 2x2 hay loft on the other level so the boys can still see each other and interact.
 

Mye_B

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Sorry that yours have got into deep kimchi so quickley

If you have the footprint of a 2x6 C&C cage you could consider either two 2x3 pens with a hay loft or a 2x4 cage on each level with a 2x2 hay loft on the other level so the boys can still see each other and interact.
Thanks so much for your response. I’m afraid this is all alien to me 😟 Would it be possible to send me some links as I’m better visualising if that makes sense. Feeling a bit overwhelmed 🙁
 

Wiebke

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Thanks so much for your response. I’m afraid this is all alien to me 😟 Would it be possible to send me some links as I’m better visualising if that makes sense. Feeling a bit overwhelmed 🙁
Have a look at our members' gallery. There are some interesting space solutions in there: Member Gallery: C&C cages/homemade cages
 

Chickenpies

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Hi! I have two boars, and a two level hutch. When I got them they would argue a lot (it’s normal), but things seemed aggressive so I seperated them. A few weeks after, I introduced them again. Things seemed to be going really well until I came out one morning and they started fighting more aggressively than I have ever seen (it looked like two syrian hamsters fighting and rolling around). So I decided to seperate them again, but due to having a two level hutch, unfortunately I need to give one of them away (I’m so attached to them) to another herd/pair. I’ll get the other guinea pig neutered and get him a girlfriend (I’m picking who I think would be a better leader!). Sorry I have gone on so much about me but I’m telling you my experience (not saying you should return one) but maybe get them neutered and get them a girl each, in different cages? Or get a cage side by side so they can see each other. Just don’t make the same mistakes I made! Hope things go well :)
 

Mye_B

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Hi! I have two boars, and a two level hutch. When I got them they would argue a lot (it’s normal), but things seemed aggressive so I seperated them. A few weeks after, I introduced them again. Things seemed to be going really well until I came out one morning and they started fighting more aggressively than I have ever seen (it looked like two syrian hamsters fighting and rolling around). So I decided to seperate them again, but due to having a two level hutch, unfortunately I need to give one of them away (I’m so attached to them) to another herd/pair. I’ll get the other guinea pig neutered and get him a girlfriend (I’m picking who I think would be a better leader!). Sorry I have gone on so much about me but I’m telling you my experience (not saying you should return one) but maybe get them neutered and get them a girl each, in different cages? Or get a cage side by side so they can see each other. Just don’t make the same mistakes I made! Hope things go well :)
Thank you for your response and your advice! I think I will get a side by side cage if I can so that they can see and smell each other but can’t be in direct contact. I can’t bear to lose either of them!
 

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Mye_B

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I’m afraid that wouldn’t give them enough space if you split it in two. If you have a corner you could put the two cages (or c&c)in an L shape where they’d be able to meet in the corner for interaction. Something like https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ferplast-Arena-Rabbit-Wooden-Black/dp/B00FRFS8KM Hopefully you’ll get some inspiration from the housing threads you were linked to above.
Thanks so much. I really appreciate all of the advice. I’ve been looking at the housing thread and think that c&c is the way forward to I will further investigate tomorrow.
 

Mye_B

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Please can you keep your questions to your other thread, or start another in the housing section. This is for photos of setups and not questions. I’ll answer but do put further questions elsewhere.

In terms of size, singles really need 2x4 at minimum. A split 2x4 (2x2) is not enough space for them each. It’s easy to split the cage, just cable tie some grids in the middle with connectors for added stability. Is there anywhere else you could keep them that has more room? Could you perhaps jig things round so your child’s things are where the cage currently is?

As for the base, you can buy 4mm correx on eBay or in sign shops. Or you can buy proplex from wickes. It’s 2mm but I have that in my boys’ cage. It’s been in there about 2 years or so and is still okay if a little chewed in some places.

When you say sawdust don’t you mean woodshavings? Bedding depends on what works for you. I started with shavings, then fleece. Didn’t get on with it so went back to shavings again. Then aubiose which I absolutely loved, but reacted to. Then back to fleece which I use now as well as bath maths.

Any further questions do start a new thread. I’m also going to ask for your post and mine to be moved elsewhere.
Sorry, I’m still not used to all of the different threads etc. and what goes where.

My child’s stuff can’t be moved as the boys are currently in the back of the kitchen and I can’t have my child out there playing. My husband also doesn’t want to have the guinea pigs in our living area.

I’ve rejigged some stuff around in the area of the kitchen they’re currently in so should be able to get more space along the back.

Yes, I meant wood shavings not saw dust.
M
 

Mye_B

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BTW the boys were never in the cage the entire time, only at bedtime really. They were in a playpen which measures 3x3 or outside in a dog playpen on the lawn (bigger again). Sadly they can’t go back together now so will have to find an outdoor solution for them both when they have lawn time.
M
 

Mye_B

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Their cage still needs to meet size requirements for the time they are in there.
The cage is 2x4. For now one is in the cage and the other in the pen until I get the c&c grids sorted.
 
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