Preparing to bond boars. Advice needed.

piggiepair

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I’ve read Wiebke’s excellent thread on here about bonding piggies (thank you Wiebke) but have a couple of questions I hope members might help me with.
Am preparing to bond our existing boar Steve ( 9 months, so a teenager) with new boy, 5 months). Steve’s buddy died very suddenly nearly 2 months ago and it has taken a while to find a single boar to try to bond him with.
New boy Georgie has been with us a week now, in a separate room.

Questions
1. I know it is advisable to put them in side by side accommodation for a while before attempting to bond but is it best to allow them to hear and smell for a few days before we let them see each other? We first put them side by side , but without being able to see each other, when we brought Georgie home and he hid ( understandable) but Steve was very agitated , running around sniffing but also doing a fair amount of teeth chattering. I don’t want to wind them up or terrorise the newbie!)

2.. How long should we wait with them living side by side before attempting to introduce?

3. Is it advisable to let them spend a day or two in each other’s pen ( to get each other’s scent) before we take the step of introducing them to each other on neutral ground?

Never done this before so would be very grateful for experienced advice!
Thank you!
 

Piggies&buns

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1. Leave them to be able to see each other as well
2. A few days would likely be enough.
3. Absolutely not. Don’t ever put a guinea pig in another piggy’s cage - it will be seen as a territory invasion as lead to fights.
You need to do the neutral ground introduction and then from then on (provided it goes well) they need to remain together permanently. Guinea pigs do not do play dates, so you cannot do a little introduction, separate and then reintroduce again. It causes the bonding process to be interrupted and it is stressful. Once you put them together, then they need to stay together.
 

Wiebke

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I’ve read Wiebke’s excellent thread on here about bonding piggies (thank you Wiebke) but have a couple of questions I hope members might help me with.
Am preparing to bond our existing boar Steve ( 9 months, so a teenager) with new boy, 5 months). Steve’s buddy died very suddenly nearly 2 months ago and it has taken a while to find a single boar to try to bond him with.
New boy Georgie has been with us a week now, in a separate room.

Questions
1. I know it is advisable to put them in side by side accommodation for a while before attempting to bond but is it best to allow them to hear and smell for a few days before we let them see each other? We first put them side by side , but without being able to see each other, when we brought Georgie home and he hid ( understandable) but Steve was very agitated , running around sniffing but also doing a fair amount of teeth chattering. I don’t want to wind them up or terrorise the newbie!)

2.. How long should we wait with them living side by side before attempting to introduce?

3. Is it advisable to let them spend a day or two in each other’s pen ( to get each other’s scent) before we take the step of introducing them to each other on neutral ground?

Never done this before so would be very grateful for experienced advice!
Thank you!

Hi!

Thank you!

- Ideally you place them side by side where they can see each other and interact, so they can get the initial overexcitement out of the way before the bonding. You may find it hard to sit by when a boy goes bonkers for a couple of days (trust me, he can't sustain it indefinitely), but it will make the bonding process a bit smoother when it doesn't happen while they are together in the bonding pen!

- Personally I prefer to give my piggies several days to a week next to each other so the newbie can settle into their new home, the new routine and all the strange smells and sounds - the more extraneous stress factors you can get out of the way and the more the boys can get to know each other and make friends through the bars, the better. But in a pinch a night will do.
If possible, plan the bonding for a weekend/two days off work when you can leave the boys in their bonding pen overnight in case you still have concerns before transferring them to the cage and then still have the time observe.
Don't rush the time in the bonding pen, either; it is easier if you allow your piggies to get as much of the heavy hierarchy establishment stuff out of the way and get them used to their mutual presence on neutral ground than in the cage. They are much calmer and less into dominance when they have had the opportunity to work through it before the transfer and get used to each other's company.

- You can switch sides once the newbie has settled in although in my own experience it doesn't make much of a difference when they can interact directly through the bars. Intruding a smelly cosy or rug you have rubbed over the other piggy will have the same effect and is less messy. In the end, it always comes down to whether they get on with each other not - and that is entirely down to their personality and the dynamics between them, which you cannot influence.
 

piggiepair

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1. Leave them to be able to see each other as well
2. A few days would likely be enough.
3. Absolutely not. Don’t ever put a guinea pig in another piggy’s cage - it will be seen as a territory invasion as lead to fights.
You need to do the neutral ground introduction and then from then on (provided it goes well) they need to remain together permanently. Guinea pigs do not do play dates, so you cannot do a little introduction, separate and then reintroduce again. It causes the bonding process to be interrupted and it is stressful. Once you put them together, then they need to stay together.
Thank you , Piggies&buns. Very helpful and I’m really grateful for the swift response too. I’ll drop the piggie pen swap idea! Appreciated.
 

piggiepair

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Hi!

Thank you!

- Ideally you place them side by side where they can see each other and interact, so they can get the initial overexcitement out of the way before the bonding. You may find it hard to sit by when a boy goes bonkers for a couple of days (trust, he can't sustain it), but it will make the bonding process a bit smoother when it doesn't happen while they are together in the bonding pen!

- Personally I prefer to give my piggies several days to a week next to each other so the newbie can settle into their new home, the new routine and all the strange smells and sounds - the more extraneous stress factors you can get out of the way and the more the boys can get to know each other and make friends through the bars, the better. But in a pinch a night is will do.
If possible, plan the bonding for a weekend/two days off work when you can leave the boys in their bonding pen overnight in case you still have concerns before transferring them to the cage and then still have the time observe.
Don't rush the time in the bonding pen, either; it is easier if you allow your piggies to get as much of the heavy hierarchy establishment stuff out of the way and get them used to their mutual presence on neutral ground than in the cage. They are much calmer and less into dominance when they have had the opportunity to work through it before the transfer and get used to each other's company.

- You can switch sides once the newbie has settled in although in my own experience it doesn't make much of a difference when they can interact directly through the bars. Intruding a smelly cosy or rug you have rubbed over the other piggy will have the same effect and is less messy. In the end, it always comes down to whether they get on with each other not - and that is entirely down to their personality and the dynamics between them, which you cannot influence.
Thanks Weibke. That’s very reassuring and I appreciate you taking the time. I’ll move them into side by side play pens tomorrow and plan the bonding for next weekend. Originally we had Steve and his buddy outside , then in a summer house but we brought them in when autumn became winter, just before Steve’s buddy died as it turned out. That hadn’t been the original intention so Steve and now Georgie are each in a temporary home . We have a c and c on order and I though about bonding them in that new cage then adding the bits and pieces like food bowls etc once they’ve hopefully bonded . I have new gear to put in there. Does that sound ok?
 

Wiebke

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Thanks Weibke. That’s very reassuring and I appreciate you taking the time. I’ll move them into side by side play pens tomorrow and plan the bonding for next weekend. Originally we had Steve and his buddy outside , then in a summer house but we brought them in when autumn became winter, just before Steve’s buddy died as it turned out. That hadn’t been the original intention so Steve and now Georgie are each in a temporary home . We have a c and c on order and I though about bonding them in that new cage then adding the bits and pieces like food bowls etc once they’ve hopefully bonded . I have new gear to put in there. Does that sound ok?

Yes, that sounds OK.

If you can order some extra grids and connectors to always have a divider on standby you will find that that can come in very handy over time!
 
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