Separation.. what next?

DougalandDiego

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Hi everyone,

So I’m sure everyone will know my rollercoaster of a ride between my two boars. They’ve always bickered on and off but it has been quite constant lately. I took them both to the vets yesterday as Dougal has a lump on his back that they think is possibly any tumour. Since coming back from the vets they were fine to start with but woke me up early hours. Diego (Dominant pig) was doing the following:

- constantly chasing Dougal out of hideys at either end of the cage whilst both were teeth chattering and they were both raising their chins at each other
-charging at him in the hideys to move him whilst trying to nip Dougal’s bottom
- lied down outside the hidey and yawned before he would then proceed to move Dougal

I’m heart broken I’ve had to separate them but I don’t feel like their bond is stable enough as every time they either have a vet visit or floor time it causes chaos in their relationship.

I work full time and I feel like the stress of watching them and the fear of something happening between them is getting too much and I’m worried if Dougal needs surgery that this will happen when they’re brought home.

Now they have been separated there was a bit of complaining, squealing, rumbling and biting at the bars (biting from Diego) as I think they were confused that they couldn’t get to each other but I honestly feel that the arguing out weighs the calm times they have in their relationship and don’t feel that’s fair on Dougal?

Hope to have some re-assurance that I’m not an awful person and that they can have a happy life side by side as neighbours. 😔

Thanks in advance
 

Piggies&buns

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I’m sorry you’ve had to separate them, but I know you’ve always been worried about their relationship and i know that the slightest change in environment has caused them problems.

If Dougal, as submissive, has now perked up and happier being away then that is the sign that they were not in a good relationship. Diego, as dominant, will be annoyed by the separation but he will calm down.

They can be happy as neighbours. They can still communicate through the bars.
 

Siikibam

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I’m sorry it hasn’t worked out. Be reassured you’re doing the right thing by Dougal’s behaviour. Hopefully the stress will now drop significantly and you can enjoy your boys.
 

DougalandDiego

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Thank you I really hope so too. Just hope they suddenly don’t start showing signs that they’re upset with the divider in the cage and make question it all!
 

Piggies&buns

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Thank you I really hope so too. Just hope they suddenly don’t start showing signs that they’re upset with the divider in the cage and make question it all!
if you do see things then you can always come back and check with us - for example, it’s normal for the dominant to chew bars and be upset by a divider - it’s not necessarily because they want to be together, but it could just be because he wants to argue with Dougal. It they lay side by side on the divider, again, that can be a territory marking exercise rather than a sign they want to actually be together.
 

DougalandDiego

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Thanks @Claire W thats nice to hear. I second guessed myself as soon as I’d done it as they were at the bars making noises but like other members have said that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re wanting to be together for the right reasons. I decided to make the decision because of Dougal possibly needing surgery too - it wouldn’t be fair on him to have that from Diego when he was trying to recover.
 

Rumbles&flash

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Thanks @Claire W thats nice to hear. I second guessed myself as soon as I’d done it as they were at the bars making noises but like other members have said that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re wanting to be together for the right reasons. I decided to make the decision because of Dougal possibly needing surgery too - it wouldn’t be fair on him to have that from Diego when he was trying to recover.
Hi there
We had a similar situation with our two boars, where one was constantly turfing the other out of hideys and generally bothering him. After a while the "bullied" boar was starting to nip back as he had enough and tensions were rising and I too was worried about leaving them unsupervised. We followed guidance through the experts on the forum and tried a trial separation and reintroduction on neutral ground, but they are too closely matched in dominance and neither wanted to back down.
I cried when we had to put a divider in as I felt at the time we had failed. The first couple of nights the dominant one was biting the bars, digging the woodshavings and desperately trying to get through. The "bullied" one started to look more relaxed immediately and would be happy to lie down outside the hideys, knowing he had his own area.
Within a week, we noticed a massive difference in both boys, in our case it has definitely worked better putting a divider in their c&c cage. They meet at the bars for a sniff and talk then go about their business. They both seem so much happier now that each one has his own area and though we see a bit of rumblestrutting at the divider, which is perfectly normal, its all very friendly and there is an air of calm in the room, whereas before it was quite tense and very noisy.
Good luck with your boys! X
 

alpacasqueak

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Definitely don’t feel bad about separating them, you made the right decision for your boys and I hope you feel a bit better about it now. With all the bickering recently and Diego’s dominance hopefully Dougal will feel a bit happier having a rest from it all now too. And can get a good kip without being chased from his bed! Hopefully they’ll be calm when you get home and you can get one as well then! xx
 

DougalandDiego

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Thank you everyone! Yes @alpacasqueak ill be pleased if I can get a full nights sleep knowing they’re both safe and can’t hurt each other. Watching them at 3am this morning til I went to work at 7 wasn’t fun! 😔 just feel so awful still. The only positive is that because I’m not worried about putting new things in to set them off they’ve had a fleece tunnel each and some toilet roll tubes to chew on and at least they will be able to have separate floor time and change of scenery.

Just a quick question when I left them this morning they were making a squeaky noise at the bars a bit like they were complaining/talking to each other. Is that what people mean by talking? Worried it means they’re upset at being apart?
 

alpacasqueak

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Thank you everyone! Yes @alpacasqueak ill be pleased if I can get a full nights sleep knowing they’re both safe and can’t hurt each other. Watching them at 3am this morning til I went to work at 7 wasn’t fun! 😔 just feel so awful still. The only positive is that because I’m not worried about putting new things in to set them off they’ve had a fleece tunnel each and some toilet roll tubes to chew on and at least they will be able to have separate floor time and change of scenery.

Just a quick question when I left them this morning they were making a squeaky noise at the bars a bit like they were complaining/talking to each other. Is that what people mean by talking? Worried it means they’re upset at being apart?
Sorry I was snoring or I’d have given you some support! Try not to feel awful, you’re doing the best thing for them and now they can’t hurt each other like you say. Hope they both enjoy their new stuff!
Yes they’ll still be talking/communicating which other as they can see and smell each other just as they would together, just now poor Dougal can’t get targeted when Diego gets a bee in his bonnet like he seems to sometimes! It’s great your cage is so big and they can be next door so they won’t get lonely, try not to worry xx
Hope you can sleep better tonight!
 

CV26

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I know you shared your experience on my thread recently and I know exactly how you feel. Last night I was very tearful and was awake at 4am with piggy problem solving things rolling around in my head. I know logically I've done the right thing to separate my boys but it's still upsetting...especially as I'm worried whether they're upset!

They had a decent loud grump at the divider this morning and they were both chewing on the bars so I was a bit nervous that they weren't even sure about being neighbours. But since then they do seem to have been a lot more active and chilled today. My office is a mess with two cages jerry rigged together but I can already see positives in their general demeanour.

And I have just had the best lap time so far with Dash. He was curious and happy to climb over me but then he also made himself comfortable rather than freezing and hiding. That's a huge change! Spud was the more nervous of the two but hopefully I might see some more love from him too now the sibling rivalry is eased.

It wasn't the outcome either of us wanted for our piggies, but we've totally done the right thing for them. Hopefully we'll both sleep better tonight!
 

DougalandDiego

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Thanks for commenting @CV26 ! Completely get how you are feeling! I never thought I’d have to do it for my two boys especially after being together all this time. Mine were doing a slight bit of bar chewing too this morning when I was sweeping them out and giving them their fresh hay and veg before work but think it was because they thought the other one had nicer goodies! 😂 I’m hoping that they’re ok living side by side as I feel much calmer knowing that they can’t hurt each other and that poor Dougal might have a quieter life.

Hope your boys are getting on ok today 🤞🏻
 

CV26

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The grass is always greener...or the veggies in this case! Hopefully they'll both appreciate their new situation and the extra effort from their lovely pet slave, and Dougal can feel more rested :)

Mine haven't said hello this morning that I've seen, although judging by the amount of poop along the divider they did spend some time together overnight.

Just found a seller online offering a brand new half price Ferplast 160 so I've snapped that up. Not sure if they can both have a full 160 in the space I have but at the very least I'll be able to have a matching pair of 120 portions. I've also ordered some grids so I can do 2 play pens and bought a second carrier for their vets visit tonight. So just like my cat, they're wearing down my bank balance!
 

DougalandDiego

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Oh that’s brilliant news about the cage well done! Yes they are very expensive creatures... my pigs cost me more than my dog! 😂 yes I’m going to need to do the same now with buying extra carriers!

Quite good if they’re not spending too much time together at least it means they’re not that bothered about being together all the time! Hope you’re feeling better about it all today too!
 
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