Routinely neutering boars?

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cavykind

Please, please please, drop this Susie. It isn't personal so don't make it that way.
I had a feeling you would bring vet fees into it and you did...

I appreciate everyones thoughts who has commented...cheers :)

Barbara
 
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I am a rabbit and guinea pig rescue. For both animals. The guinea pigs are not just an adjunct to the rabbits. I am a bit offended that someone would think that I only neuter the boars as a carry on from the rabbits. I am perfectly aware that it does not alter their behaviour. I also know that experienced people with no sows about can pair up adult boars. But people such as yourself that can manage that are few and far between and I don't want my lads going off to live lonely lives on the off chance that they are lucky enough to find another experienced person if their boar/boar pairing goes wrong.

The op is trickier than for a rabbit. You have to have a competant vet. Which I do, or I wouldn't get it done.

If you saw the look on a boars face when his girlie day comes around you might be less inclined to react badly to it. I'm sure the boars are grateful:) I can not bear the thought of the lads going off to live lonely lives and end up smelly, impacted and unwanted. I regard the op fee as an investment in the lads future happiness, well worth it, and no one has objected to the adoption fee either. As it is only £6 higher than P@H asks for an unneutered boar they couldn't really. They think it well worth it to have mix-sex group that displays the full range of piggie noises/behaviour.

Of course I won't neuter where there is a higher risk than usual. Rusty is now living with neutered sow becasue the vet and I agreed he wasn't up to the op. I also have a pair of older lads who have been together for 4 years that I may not neuter, although I haven't completely decided. I don't want one to end up lonely when his partner dies.

There is space in the piggie world both for people experienced in pairing up boars, and for people with competant vets that neuter routinely. It doesn't have to be an either or situation.
 
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I am so worried now that of anything were to happen to me my poar boys might get operated on and seperated. I am making sure I have left clear instructions about this just incase!
 
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Hello.
I hope you will not mind a new member replying on this thread.
About five years ago we got our first piggies, a pair of brothers. Nobody said anything to us about neutering and, as we did not intend keeping any females, we never gave it another thought. The brothers lived together very happily for four years until, sadly, one brother died.
We decided we would like to get a new companion for the surviving brother. We felt that another adult boar would be best, since that way any problems would be apparent during the early weeks when we were alert to the likelihood of conflict, rather than if we got a baby and they appeared to settle well, only for trouble to arise as the youngster grew up.
I was keen to get a rescue boar, and had all these wonderful ideas about offering a loving home to a deserving but lonely boar. I started to ring round our local rescues...but again and again the response was the same: Was Sammy neutered? As soon as I admitted he wasn't, they just didn't want to know. In vain I tried to explain that we would not be putting the two boars in together immediately - they would be introduced only very slowly if at all. It made no difference. Neutered boars were re-homed to live with sows, sows were re-homed to live with neutered boars. End of. One rescue even added insult to injury by offering me a rabbit as a companion instead.
I began to despair of ever finding a new friend for Sammy and for a while it seemed the only options were: to have him neutered at over 4 years old, to try to get a pig from a non-rescue source, or to keep him as a single boar and give him lots of fuss ourselves.
Well, fortunately for Sammy, this story does have a happy ending. We found, via the internet, a rescue which did not apply the '100% neutering' rule, who were able to offer us a young adult boar. Better still, after slow and careful introduction following the procedures set out on the 'barmy4boars' and cavyspirit websites, Sammy and Rupert (hence my username!) became such good friends that they are able to live together full-time. But if all rescues had stuck to a full neutering policy, that happy ending would not have happened.
So, for those of you who do/would routinely neuter all boars, how would you react if somebody approached you, as I did, wanting to offer a loving home with a recently bereaved full boar?
It does seem that full boars are a bit of a 'niche market' with comparatively few people looking to adopt one, and perhaps the answer is for regional and internet-based networks to be set-up so that potential adopters can be put in contact with those rescues which, for whatever reason, do have boars for re-homing. This would, of course, create problems with home checks (we were not checked, although we would have accepted a check if required) and also means long stressful car journeys for the boars concerned. But perhaps it is the most practical solution?
 
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So glad it worked ut for you. This weekend a lady is coing with a gp to see if we can bond it with Ginger. I have only done this once so I am keeping my fingers crossed!

Mary
 
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We took three w(h)eeks over bonding Sammy and Rupert. It might have been possible to do it more quickly but we had never tried before and did not want to risk a fight.
The first week, the only contact they had was 'through the fence' - they were put in adjacent run areas with just a grid fence in between which allowed them to see, hear and smell each other, but not touch.
The second week they had an hour together on a lap every evening. The first time they were quite tense, but by the end of the week, they were snuggling up like old friends and I decided it was time to try putting them in a run together.
There was a bit of initial rumblestrutting but after that they settled down peacefully for about 45 minutes. Then the dominance rituals began. From then, we gave them time together whenever anybody was available to keep an eye on them, gradually reducing the amount of supervision over the next few days as we saw that nothing worse was happening than a bit of mounting and some 'nose to nose face off' behaviour.
It was slow and time-consuming, but not difficult as such.
And very rewarding when we first found them snuggled up together!
 
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Thanks for sharing that Sammy roo. I am so pleased that you were able to find Sammy a new friend in Rupert. I know myself how happy my boys are together. Its a lovely thing!
 
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piglover

I'm with you on this one Susie 100%. I don't believe in putting a little piggy through an unecessary operation when we do everything we can to find a vet / rodentolegist to do their teeth without an operation!

I'm ahead of you - in the event of my death / hospitalization - I have already left instructions exactly where piggies should go and that they shouldnt be neutered and must stay together!

We do everything we can to have boys live together because they are in a minority, it must be good to see a little boys face if he gets a lady friend but boy its even more rewarding when two boys hit it off and go toddling up the room together or you find them resting in a dark corner together!
 
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Yeah Piglover... thank you for that. At the end of the day the fact they have some kind of companionship is the main thing isn't it. And I think because each guinea pigs personality is so different the decision as to how that should be done should be made in light of the individuial animal rather than a 'policy', thats all I am saying. ;)
 
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piglover

A little patience and a whole heap of rewards thats all. Maybe we are lucky to have success with pairing up boys - Thank God! - My final word....
 
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its just that I have seen it so many times... male piggy is ready for adoption - noone wants it. and after weeks and sometimes month, he gets neutered - and in 90 percent of the cases I have seen, within a couple of weeks he had a new home, mostly with someone with sows.

also the situation mentioned somewhere before - you have two males, they get older, one dies. you are thinking about getting another piggy to keep your old one company, but a young one might be too much stress esp. if yours is already frail, an old one might be trouble introducing (and not everyone is a boar expert, I am happy for those that are, but not everyone is comfortable and experienced enough to introduce to adult boars!), and the piggy itself is too old for neutering.
So if the piggy had been neutered earlier in life, you could put him with some grown up friendly sows and most of the time there is no problem. I agree with the "I regard the op fee as an investment in the lads future happiness", completely.


Also, neutered boars mean less unwanted litters - how many times have you read "my friend has piggies too, and we put them together to play... oops!" or the person says they already have a boar (which they got from a petshop wrongly sexed) which turns out to be a sow..

As a rescue, you can not control all the stupid things an unexperienced owner might do. Even if you give out a care sheet.
I think neutering is a good way to prevent some of them.
 
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I hear what you are saying Abnoba and yes, single adult males do take longer to rehome. But they do get homes... and mostly good ones I think. Extra specail. I made a conscious decision to rehome a single adult boar when I got my first piggy precisely for this reason. I don't believe it is really particularly difficult to pair boys up, in my experience anyway. Apart from the fact you can't just put them in and have to introduce them more slowly and carefully its not too hard. Elderly boars are usually more mellow and easy to pair up. Boars who have previously had a companion also seem to be more ready to accept another, with a little thought about personality compatibility.

I also see what you are saying about neutering relating to future death of a companion. All I can say is if one of my Piggy's died even if the other was neutered I couldn't get a sow. I have other bonded boars in close proximity and no where else to house my pigs so the smell of the sow could cause fights and separation with my bonded boars. I know many many other people in the same situation. Neutering would have been a waste of time and money for us. Again- totally individual circumstance dependent.
 
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Yes, we have to think about whether to have Rupert neutered while he is still young enough, since the likelihood is that Sammy will die first, being nearly 3 years older. The problem is that the longer we have him, the less we want to risk losing him! Also it would mean having to separate them while he got over the op., and then re-bond them afterwards, although i imagine that should not be too difficult, having bonded once. Another point to consider is that he was apparently used for breeding before he went to the rescue, so i don't know how he would be with sows - ? Would he be forever trying to mate with them even though he couldn't any more?
At the moment I'm keeping a close eye on the rescue we got him from to see if they change their policy. If they don't, then I would approach them again, especially as they might remember Roo and be able to suggest a suitable new friend for him.
Hoping that it doesn't happen for ages yet, as Sammy is not quite 5 and seems pretty healthy at present.
 
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sammyroo said:
Another point to consider is that he was apparently used for breeding before he went to the rescue, so i don't know how he would be with sows - ? Would he be forever trying to mate with them even though he couldn't any more?

Well but thats not really a problem is it? ?

My Marvin was neutered at a very young age, and that didnt matter to him, he was randy as ever and everytime a new girl arrived hed go maaaad and do his little dance and try to hump her... well the girls showed him quickly that they want to be left alone, and he got it at some point... until the next girl arrived, then he tried his luck again ;) Thats normal piggy behaviour and I dont see anything wrong with it?
 
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Susie I agree with your point and you know how i keep my pigs both boars and sows and that I have great success pairing up my boys recently patch died as you may well remember leaving galaxy and jinx on their own, they were a very succesful trio for years, they looked dejected and lost very quite and gone off of their food, so Dipstick came into it he has been on his own next to others for months as he was a quite one who did'nt seem to like company, but to my pleasure he fitted in perfectly, the new trio are delighted with thier set up, never heard any moaning arguying or rumbling, all 3 sleep together despite adding an igloo they dont ever use it, all 3 are cuddled up together every morning, its a delight to see, will take my camera out and get some pics to show you how comfortable they are with each other, when any of my boars die they seem to take to another as if being grateful they are not alone anymore rather then see them as a threat, maybe because a lot of my boys are 3 or 4 they are more laid back and relaxed as Susie suggests my boys are keeping their bits and I too have left instructions about my pigs if and when I'm no longer around, as to what vet i prefer and what food etc and of course if anything ever happens to them, but my family know I'm a creature of habit and know me and my pigs as well as I do and I have no doubt they will be looked after 100% perfectly well or I'll haunt them lol
 
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piglover

I too decided to rehome a single boar when I first started becasue I heard that boars were harder to home and I have always preferred 'male' animals anyway. I find that older boars usually accept a younger boar quite well, My old boy has had three friends now and outlived them all, he just kicks them out of the way if they start to get on his nerves but never is aggressive, I admit young boars together are a challenge but a very rewarding one if they hit it off. Its also what someone else said - knowing your piggy's personality and trying to match another personality to it. I have never had some much as a whiff of female in my house too so perhaps that it why we have better luck, even babies that have come from their mum to me are rubbed down with bedding of whoever they will be introduced too! Once mine are paired up they usually stay that way and I make sure that they do everythng together to keep them friendly, i.e, if one goes to the vets then the other one comes too for the ride, they get bathed together, keeping them together gives them less chance of falling out. In fact when my Snowy was ill last year the vet had to keep him in overnight and they let Pooks stay for company........Ahh!
 
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ahhh thats sweet did you have to pay for a double room lol, I think people underestimate the power of a boars personality, especially if you automatically assume trouble, some of my boys would hate being without their mates or siblings if you put them out in the run they still stick together, I was amazed with dipstick he hated being with other pigs but accepted 2 older boys with no problems, they continue to surprise me,
 
M

minky

Well this makes interesting reading

I think if someone asked to have the boars nuteured before they rehomed them and they paid for it all well and done

BUT my concern is most of these boars that come into rescue are older isnt an operation dangerous for them

My boys are intact and so are my girls and they all will soon be freerange but separate with a partition i had considered having them done but after reading all the pros and cons i dont think i will
 
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Minky, everyone pro-neutering here has said: only as long as health and age of the piggy allow it.
Noone would neuter an old-ish boar just for the sake of it, when piggies get older every illness and every op gets more dangerous.

Off Topic:

your idea of keeping the boys and girls next to each other with just a mesh divider could be a real problem.
I hope it works out for you, but from what I have heard... I mean if the boars can see the girls, hear the girls, smell the girls - then isnt it just as likely they will start fighting over them as if they were in with them in the same cage?
I thought to make boygroups work you had to keep all the girlies out of sight and smell...

but I suppose we should continue discussing this in the behaviour section as this has nothing to do with neutering.
 
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