Spayed/neutered combos?

Amassey

New Born Pup
Joined
Dec 3, 2019
Messages
2
Reaction score
1
Points
55
Hi all!
I am wondering if anyone has ever had any success with certain combinations of guinea pig bonding/living. We have 2 young boys (Darth Sidious "Sid" and Chewbaca "Chewie"). Currently, we are not looking to expand our herd, but looking at all those unwanted piggies on craigslist makes my heart hurt and I know that eventually we will give in. Everything I have read says more than 2 males is generally a no-go, and we definitely don't want babies. So, I am wondering if anyone has had success with 2 unneutered boys paired with 2 spayed girls? Or vice versa: 2 neutered boys with 2 unspayed girls. Or maybe all 4 being unable to pop out little piggies. We aren't looking at the moment, but I am trying to do research before my heart breaks on craigslist and we make an impulsive, albeit well intentioned, decision.

Thanks!
 

Eviolus-

Teenage Guinea Pig
Joined
May 19, 2019
Messages
712
Reaction score
542
Points
495
Location
Swanely, Kent
I have heard of it working but generally the boys would've had to be neutered very young and have a lot of space
 

Swissgreys

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 15, 2016
Messages
7,590
Reaction score
16,429
Points
1,965
Location
Zürich, Switzerland
It is extremely rare that 2 boys could successfully live with a female.
It is also very rare to find spayed females.
I have only had early neutered boys (prior to sexual maturity at around 2 - 3 weeks old) and even they will still fight over a female.

In this case your best options would be to keep your boys as a pair and adopt another pair to live in a seperate cage, or have both boys neutered and then they can live with a female or two of their own.

And welcome to the Forum - nice to have you here.
:wel:
 

Lady Kelly

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Messages
14,623
Reaction score
20,960
Points
2,115
Location
Leicester
I've not come across it working before. We had one member @Betsy who kept two neutered males with 3 females previously but even then in the end she had to split into a two and three because they wouldn't get on long term. Neutering doesn't change behaviour with piggies it just simply removes their ability to reproduce. Also, I'm guessing you are US based given the mention of Craigslist, you have to factor in the sheer cost. Neutering in the US can cost up to $1000 per pig and even then you need to make sure you have a cavy savvy vet to minimise complications. You would be better considering additional set ups and perhaps taking on a separate pair of males who can live side by side with your current pair or even stacked cages so they are above or below.
 

Eviolus-

Teenage Guinea Pig
Joined
May 19, 2019
Messages
712
Reaction score
542
Points
495
Location
Swanely, Kent
I've not come across it working before. We had one member @Betsy who kept two neutered males with 3 females previously but even then in the end she had to split into a two and three because they wouldn't get on long term. Neutering doesn't change behaviour with piggies it just simply removes their ability to reproduce. Also, I'm guessing you are US based given the mention of Craigslist, you have to factor in the sheer cost. Neutering in the US can cost up to $1000 per pig and even then you need to make sure you have a cavy savvy vet to minimise complications. You would be better considering additional set ups and perhaps taking on a separate pair of males who can live side by side with your current pair or even stacked cages so they are above or below.
I've seen the youtuber LittleAdventures make it work but she's in Germany and one of the boars was a newborn so it got neutered within a week
 

Piggies&buns

Forum Donator 2020/21
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Messages
9,595
Reaction score
11,621
Points
1,925
Location
Cambridgeshire
I completely agree with the others.
You can’t put any other pigs (of either sex) in the same cage with your two boys without risking fights.
You could take on other pigs but they would need to be kept separately. Having a separate pair of boys would be the safest thing. Having females in the same room as boys (even in separate cages) can cause the boys to fight. The only way if can be done is to have stacking cages and make sure girls are at the bottom cage and boys above them to minimise the smell of the girls going towards the boys. That isn’t a guarantee of no problems though.
Adding More Guinea Pigs Or Merging Pairs – What Works And What Not?
 

Lady Kelly

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Messages
14,623
Reaction score
20,960
Points
2,115
Location
Leicester
I've seen the youtuber LittleAdventures make it work but she's in Germany and one of the boars was a newborn so it got neutered within a week
As @Swissgreys explained there are countries that do neuter that young (hers being one of them) but it's still rare that it will work out in the long term. The teenage years are still likely to cause problems. It's also not a practice carried out in the UK or US to neuter so early so, if we are having to rely on early neutering for a small possibility, then it's only a possibility in set countries
 

Betsy

Forum Donator 2020/21
Joined
Mar 26, 2017
Messages
30,228
Reaction score
41,804
Points
2,925
Location
Broadstone, Dorset
I've not come across it working before. We had one member @Betsy who kept two neutered males with 3 females previously but even then in the end she had to split into a two and three because they wouldn't get on long term. Neutering doesn't change behaviour with piggies it just simply removes their ability to reproduce. Also, I'm guessing you are US based given the mention of Craigslist, you have to factor in the sheer cost. Neutering in the US can cost up to $1000 per pig and even then you need to make sure you have a cavy savvy vet to minimise complications. You would be better considering additional set ups and perhaps taking on a separate pair of males who can live side by side with your current pair or even stacked cages so they are above or below.
I did indeed have 2 boys living with 3 girls for around 2 and a half years but only because I had 1 VERY DOMINANT sow (Velvet) who was :yikes::yikes:DA BOSS:yikes::yikes: (cue music to shower scene from Psycho) and Mum of the 2 boys. Everything she said went. When a there was any trouble Velvet was there almost before it started to break it up. Dennis and Christian were also extremely well bonded brothers and were used to female hormones. Then in May of this year one of her sons (Christian) took over in a surprise coup and started to bully his brother Dennis and not let him eat. Dennis was a quiet little thing and never caused any trouble. I had to separate them and now Dennis is a completely different piggy with the love of his life Betsy and rumbles and struts away something he didn't dare do before because Christian was more dominant than Dennis. Looking back now I realise that Christian taking over was probably because Velvet wasn't very well and I had to help her to cross the Rainbow Bridge 4 months later. It doesn't work more than 1 male with females. I think I was very lucky that it did work for as long as it did.
 

Wiebke

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 10, 2009
Messages
74,209
Reaction score
49,130
Points
3,466
Location
Coventry UK
Hi all!
I am wondering if anyone has ever had any success with certain combinations of guinea pig bonding/living. We have 2 young boys (Darth Sidious "Sid" and Chewbaca "Chewie"). Currently, we are not looking to expand our herd, but looking at all those unwanted piggies on craigslist makes my heart hurt and I know that eventually we will give in. Everything I have read says more than 2 males is generally a no-go, and we definitely don't want babies. So, I am wondering if anyone has had success with 2 unneutered boys paired with 2 spayed girls? Or vice versa: 2 neutered boys with 2 unspayed girls. Or maybe all 4 being unable to pop out little piggies. We aren't looking at the moment, but I am trying to do research before my heart breaks on craigslist and we make an impulsive, albeit well intentioned, decision.

Thanks!
Hi and welcome!

Sadly you will have to open a new group with any further arrivals. Neutering and spaying only affects the procreation but NOT the social behaviour or instincts. While spayed sows don't come into season anymore, they are still sows with sow behaviours and crucially sow pheromones. Neutered boars still produce testosterone via their pee and behave and mate with sows exactly the same as full boars.
I have and have had both neutered boars and a number of spayed sows; apart from the ability that they can live with the other gender (provided that they want to in the case of spayed sows), their behaviour doesn't differ at all from that of not de-sexed piggies. You wouldn't be able to tell the difference in my own piggies!

Please do not risk breaking a stable boar bond for your own gratification.

While there are rare reports of people being able to successfully keep two boars with a group of sows, these occurrances are RARE and rely on the fact that the group has massive space and that both boars are adult and very laid-back. Otherwise in a traditional cage setting it is a recipe for disaster. Please never count on you being one of the very lucky few! The rule is that there can be only one boar per sow group, and he needs to be accepted by the sows in the first place. Nor can you ever expect all sows getting on - if you think that teenage boars are tricky, you haven't yet met adult sows! :yikes:

The temptation to get more piggies when you have a delightful pair is always great but things are not as easy or straight forward.
As we get asked this question fairly regularly, I have written a detailed guide on which combos work and which have a high fail rate in normal circumstances. Here is the link: Adding More Guinea Pigs Or Merging Pairs – What Works And What Not?

If you want to understand better why certain constellations aren't likely to work, you may find this guide here interesting, which has a section on how guinea pig society works. It is always an uphill battle when you are going counter to social instincts - in these cases you have to basically provide more space than just a single group territory so the piggies can get away from each other without risking constant conflicts and fights: Guinea Pig Facts - An Overview

The challenges when taking in single piggies: Single Guinea Pigs - Challenges and Responsibilities

Here is information on neutering: Neutered / De-sexed Boars And Neutering Operations: Myths, Facts and Post-op Care

Please be aware that when rehoming piggies on spec from free-ads you always need to plan for the case that any bonding may not work out and that you need to have an alternative available. You also need to be prepared for the fact that owners desperate to get rid of no longer wanted pets will lie through their teeth, so brace yourself for unwelcome surprises from neglect, malnutrition, undisclosed major medical issues or 'surprise' pregnancies. You need to have the funds ready to be able to step in with vet care (ideally from a good exotics vet) and not fail the piggies any further by not giving them the support they need.
Rescuing is anything but cheap or easy, as any rescue can tell you. Vet cost are always the biggest headache because they can quickly run into the hundreds of pounds/dollars for any necessary surgery or care for complex health issues like bumblefoot, lumps/tumours, untreated abscesses, dental and digestive issues due to malnutrition etc.
It is great if you want to help unwanted piggies, but please don't do it if you can't provide the kind of medical and home care that is needed. We have seen from the example of other members just how difficult and heart-breaking it can get when you do not get into this with your eyes open!
Here is a list on what you need to consider before taking on piggies from unchecked backgrounds and with undeclared conditions. I am not saying that you shouldn't help piggies in need, but please do so only if you really have the necessary resources in terms of vet care, extra cages, quarantining space in another room and space to keep sows and boars ideally well apart and out of sight.
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/thinking-about-starting-up-your-rescue.158184/

Please take the time to really read through the information links I have provided and to think things through. If you have access to a good rescue, then please consider adopting from there in order to help make space for more piggies in need of expert vet and rescue care until you are ready and experienced enough to spread your wings yourself.
 

Amassey

New Born Pup
Joined
Dec 3, 2019
Messages
2
Reaction score
1
Points
55
Wow! Thank you all so much for your very quick responses! I appreciate all the information, and will use it all if/when we decide to expand our guinea pig empire (joke intended). tVPU6V6E-371759572_kindlephoto-127983927.jpguNWRhyni-371697842_kindlephoto-128191458.jpg
 
Top