Successful bonding

Pumpkin&Courage

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Hi everyone

I thought I would post a positive update on here following the quite sad posts I had last year.

I lost my boy Courage to bladder stones last year, with the stones returning after an initial successful surgery. I was devastated and his brother Pumpkin was all alone.
Knowing pigs should be kept in pairs, I kept an eye out locally for a suitable new pig but nothing was appearing. In addition, Courage and Pumpkin fell out badly around their hormonal stage and so lived separately side by side. I was worried that a new pig wouldn’t be well received given Pumpkin seemed to be the instigator of the fights. I worried about them fighting when I was at work And doing serious damage.

As lockdown eased, a young boar was left over from a herd locally and I went to view him and fell in love. During a spaced out bonding period, new arrival Boo was introduced to Pumpkin and they got on like a house on fire. It was perfect as I’ve worked from home during lockdown so was able to keep an eye on them, we‘re 4 months in now and they are still happy in together. They’re both very vocal and there’s lots of popcorning and zoomies round their space.

The best thing honestly is watching the bounce return into Pumpkin’s behaviour. He had slowly started becoming withdrawn even though I was spending lots of time with him. He’s like a brand new pig. I cannot emphasise enough if people are keeping single pigs to take the time to find them a suitable partner.
 

Wiebke

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Hi everyone

I thought I would post a positive update on here following the quite sad posts I had last year.

I lost my boy Courage to bladder stones last year, with the stones returning after an initial successful surgery. I was devastated and his brother Pumpkin was all alone.
Knowing pigs should be kept in pairs, I kept an eye out locally for a suitable new pig but nothing was appearing. In addition, Courage and Pumpkin fell out badly around their hormonal stage and so lived separately side by side. I was worried that a new pig wouldn’t be well received given Pumpkin seemed to be the instigator of the fights. I worried about them fighting when I was at work And doing serious damage.

As lockdown eased, a young boar was left over from a herd locally and I went to view him and fell in love. During a spaced out bonding period, new arrival Boo was introduced to Pumpkin and they got on like a house on fire. It was perfect as I’ve worked from home during lockdown so was able to keep an eye on them, we‘re 4 months in now and they are still happy in together. They’re both very vocal and there’s lots of popcorning and zoomies round their space.

The best thing honestly is watching the bounce return into Pumpkin’s behaviour. He had slowly started becoming withdrawn even though I was spending lots of time with him. He’s like a brand new pig. I cannot emphasise enough if people are keeping single pigs to take the time to find them a suitable partner.
Hi!

Glad that Pumpkin is a very happy boy again and that he has found a little friend again!

Teenage is the time when the hormone output is at its highest and most fall-outs happen. After that the testosterone output gradually settles down and eventually fizzles out around 4-5 years. As adults and especially oldies, boars are much more accepting of other piggies and much less aggressive. I know of unbondable rescue teenagers (thankfully not as common as most people seem to think who buy shop piggies for their looks and not for who they hang out with most), who in their older years became very caring 'uncle boars' of several lots of freshly separated baby boys until their adoption.
The hurdle is mutual liking and character compatibility right at the start. While not all baby boars will always vibe, most adult boars will find a baby of their liking within a couple of tries. Acceptance or failure of it is pretty instant; you will know within 15-30 minutes whether they will get on or not.

Acceptance is pretty instant. Babies up to teenage (i.e. 4 months) are desperate for company and guidance and should be introduced instantly. A slow introduction in little meetings for boars is like a constantly disrupted bonding process that they have to restart from scratch every single time but can never really work through the complex bonding process, which develops over several stages. Dominance behaviour is part and parcel of any bonding process while the hierarchy is established, confirmed and the relationship is worked out in detail.
You may find our comprehensive bonding guide helpful to understand the process better. The guide looks at both dynamics and typical behaviours at every stage and also at special aspects of boar, sow, mixed gender and baby-adult bondings: Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics

More information about the different ages of boars: A Comprehensive Guide to Guinea Pig Boars
 

Swissgreys

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Thank you for coming back to share such a happy story.
I am so pleased everything worked out for Pumpkin in the end.
 
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