Should I try to house 6 males?

Bradshaw Piggies

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My husband and I are currently building a huge enclosure.
I have 6 boars (3 pairs). Each bonded pair live together in separate cages and can see the other pairs and interact through the bars.
We wanted to build one huge enclosure so that they can live as a herd, but I’m wondering if it would be better to keep each pair separated by bars within the enclosure?

Any thoughts much appreciated!
 

Piggies&buns

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It would not be advisable to do this as you run the risk of fights and breaking bonds meaning you could end up with lots of single piggies. Boars do much better kept in pairs.
A boar herd can work if you have absolutely loads of space (a square metre of space per piggy) and lots of piggies (likely more than you currently have) and their characters are right but it could end up being an outright disaster.
Adding More Guinea Pigs Or Merging Pairs – What Works And What Not?
 

Bradshaw Piggies

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Sorry, just bumping this to see if anyone has anymore ideas? As some sources say small groups can live together?
It’s going to be a huge enclosure so lots of room. Multiple beds, multiple feeding stations etc.
 

Piggies&buns

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Space, multiple hides, multiple feeding stations are not completely relevant - it’s getting the correct mix of characters between the piggies which is going to be the deciding factor - you can give them all the space in the world but if they don’t like each other and the dominant piggies aren’t prepared to relinquish their position as dominants and can’t establish a working hierarchy, then it isn’t going to make any difference.
To attempt it, you will need an enclosure allowing for one square metre of space per piggy - so a 6 square metre cage in this case - and ideally more piggies (more helps diffuse any tensions) (again though, adding more means more characters to try to get right!)
You will also need to have plans in place in case putting them all together breaks existing bonds and piggies end up single - if a group attempt fails and you then need to split them back up into pairs, there is not a guarantee that those pairs would then go back as they were so you could end up with single piggies.
I absolutely would love to hear of a bachelor herd working though!
 

Bradshaw Piggies

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Space, multiple hides, multiple feeding stations are not completely relevant - it’s getting the correct mix of characters between the piggies which is going to be the deciding factor - you can give them all the space in the world but if they don’t like each other and the dominant piggies aren’t prepared to relinquish their position as dominants and can’t establish a working hierarchy, then it isn’t going to make any difference.
To attempt it, you will need an enclosure allowing for one square metre of space per piggy - so a 6 square metre cage in this case - and ideally more piggies (more helps diffuse any tensions) (again though, adding more means more characters to try to get right!)
You will also need to have plans in place in case putting them all together breaks existing bonds and piggies end up single - if a group attempt fails and you then need to split them back up into pairs, there is not a guarantee that those pairs would then go back as they were so you could end up with single piggies.
I absolutely would love to hear of a bachelor herd working though!


How long should I give them to establish hierarchy? As I expect there will be some disagreements to start?
 

Piggies&buns

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How long should I give them to establish hierarchy? As I expect there will be some disagreements to start?

You may not get to the point of being able to establish a hierarchy - If they don’t have the mix of characters and aren’t going to get on then it’ll be almost instant fights when they’re put together and if that occurs then they need immediate separation and don’t attempt it again.
In a pair or sow group, if acceptance happens when they are first together, then establishing a hierarchy takes a couple of weeks. Failure can occur at any point though even months down the line.
I would urge you not to try it for their sake of their current functioning relationships though. It would be an awful shame to have relationships destabilised and piggies then becoming singles
 

Bradshaw Piggies

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You may not get to the point of being able to establish a hierarchy - If they don’t have the mix of characters and aren’t going to get on then it’ll be almost instant fights when they’re put together and if that occurs then they need immediate separation and don’t attempt it again.
In a pair or sow group, if acceptance happens when they are first together, then establishing a hierarchy takes a couple of weeks. Failure can occur at any point though even months down the line.
I would urge you not to try it for their sake of their current functioning relationships though. It would be an awful shame to have relationships destabilised and piggies then becoming singles

thank you, great advice. I will look at how I can build something big enough that still keeps the pairs separate. They seem quite happy just being able to see each other through the bars
 

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I really think this is the best idea.
If you have stable boar pairs that work then it would be a shame to risk upsetting them and potentially ending up with single boys.
Your new enclosure sounds amazing - it would be lovely to see pics once it is done.
 

DougalandDiego

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I can’t add anymore advice than already given but I would also advise against it as you would risk disrupting their already stable bonds if it didn’t work out. I think it’s pretty rare (I think I read on the forum over 90%) that boars in groups of over two will make it so I wouldn’t think it was worth the risk if your boys are very happy already! Good luck with the enclosure though - will be good to see pictures when you’re finished!
 

piggieminder

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Good luck, I hope you can find a way to split your enclosure so you can keep your boars in their pairs. I have 6 boars in 3 pairs I wouldn't try to put them into a larger group, it's a huge risk and I don't have room for lots of singles.
 
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