Sibling Rivalry

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wendyhouse

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Here I am back for some advice for the triplets...

After successfully re-introducing the boys just before Christmas after Bumble's hormonal spell, we bought a triple cage this week and put the boys in the top two tiers as they seemed happy in each others company. If they get separated from each other when they are playing outside the cage we get a bout of wheeking. Last night when we put them back after their playtime all hell broke loose, with Bumble tormenting and mounting Biscuit and Patch. We moved Bumble into one of the spare cages and left Biscuit and Patch together. Biscuit started then tormenting Patch so he was moved into the other spare cage.

This morning was full on squeaking from all cages, none of the boys happy at being separated. I decided tonight to let them have a run around, keep an eye on them and give them a bonding bath. When we checked on Patch he had a bite to his back and his fur looks like it has been glued together in a big clump. I can have a good guess at what the "glue" is.

We decided to give Bumble and Biscuit a bonding bath as they seem the more evenly matched pair. We did this and they seemed calm and put them back in a clean cage but after an hour Bumble started to torment Biscuit so we separated them. I can't risk another bite.

We gave Patch a bath (without the shampoo) just to try and loosen the clump but it didn't help, it won't budge. He had lots of cuddles after and seemed to really appreciate them, the boys generally have a 30 second rule about cuddles then they like to go off to explore.

I have attached a picture of the bite. We have thought about neutering, the boys are about 800 grammes at the moment and 3 months old so I am guessing they are too young.

Any ideas?

Thanks

Wendy
FullSizeRender.jpg
 

Wiebke

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Ouch! That looks like a proper bite, unfortunately! Please make sure that you disinfect thoroughly and see the vet if necessary, especially if you notice signs of an abscess forming. :(

Please be aware that with any boar juggling means that you will get dominance behaviour as they need to establish a hierarchy. if you ever wont to bond them, you have to sit through anything that is low to midlevel dominance and also do the bonding in a neutral space.
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/dominance-behaviours-in-guinea-pigs.28949/
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/introducing-and-re-introducing-guinea-pigs.38562/

The usual neutering age is about 4-6 months. it depends not just on the weight, but also on whether the testicles have descended. You also want to research for a good neutering vet in order to minimise the risk of complications like abscesses.
 

wendyhouse

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Thanks again Weibke. I've just been looking on other threads now I know the technical term for the white stuff (boar glue) and I noticed you gave the advice that's its difficult to manage a successful group of 3-4 boars due to the hierarchy.

My thought was potentially get Patch neutered and try him with the girls once it is safe to do so. Do I have any chance with the remaining pair of fiesty boars?

Thanks

Wendy
 

Wiebke

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Thanks again Weibke. I've just been looking on other threads now I know the technical term for the white stuff (boar glue) and I noticed you gave the advice that's its difficult to manage a successful group of 3-4 boars due to the hierarchy.

My thought was potentially get Patch neutered and try him with the girls once it is safe to do so. Do I have any chance with the remaining pair of fiesty boars?

Thanks

Wendy

You can try again and see whether they are settling down or not. Give them at least day or two to settle down, though; they are pretty messed around and upset at the moment, so a smooth bonding is impossible.

At the worst, you can end up with three single boars from a trio. As the real puperty has not yet started, I would strongly recommend to have a plan b ready at all times!
Subadult boar trios have unfortunately about a a fall-out rate of 90%, quartets one of 100%. Sadly, shops and breeders are still selling baby trios. Any rescues will rehome boar trios only if they are exceptionally closely bonded and stable and only to experienced people.

Sorry, I hadn't realised that you were looking for the expression we use for "boar glue"! I don't envy your little boy who has been stuck with it; it is pretty difficult to get off. :(
 

wendyhouse

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Thanks Weibke. The boys were the result of Zoe's pet shop pregnancy, an unexpected bonus! Can I ask when full on puberty starts?

We managed to get them back together after their pre Christmas meltdown but I won't try with Patch after the bite and glue experience poor little fella. He was the smallest when they were born so I guess he is bottom in pecking order. I've got spare cages now we have the new one, I was hoping to get them put away but I will keep them handy.

Thanks again I do enjoy this forum! :)
 

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I would think that yours have just started it. Normal is around 4 months old, but it can happen a bit earlier, depending on circumstances. the hormones often happen in spikes; usually at the onset (which you are currently experiencing), then around 6 months of age (those two times are the worst for fall-outs between two dominant boars) and the most difficult period are often the weeks between 8-10 months of age with pairs that have a good chance at staying together during that period. After that, fall-outs become a lot rarer as character incompatible boars would have usually clashed long before. ;)

I would have Patch neutered and living with his mum. Can you keep him next door to the sows so he can interact through the bars?
 

wendyhouse

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Hi Weibke

As you suggested Patch is now next to his mum and sister, he's been very timid all day but after the move he's been out and about having a sniff and starting to interact.

I will try the brothers together again at playtime over the weekend. Fingers crossed!

Thanks again ☺
 
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