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Sudden Aggression/Humping after almost a Year of Peace?

Dystopoly

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I have two boys currently being housed together in a custom C&C cage that’s 4x2 with an extra 1x2 space to the side, along with a 2x2 (talking in panels, not feet. I believe each panel is about 11-13 inches?) upstairs area. They’re brothers and have been housed together since they were born, and are approaching the 1 year mark. I have seen absolutely no problems from them aside from the very occasional lighthearted chasing/rumbling fit that ends less than 5 minutes later, but today out of the blue it seems that they’re having a more intense spat and have been chasing/humping each other RELENTLESSLY all morning. As soon as one lets up, the other starts chasing. I do not see any blood, and for the most part it seems to be mostly chasing and humping. After watching them for a while, I made the decision to separate them when I noticed them both baring teeth at each other and making scarily loud chattering noises. Nothing has changed in regards to their setup or the room they’re being housed in. I currently have them separated (one in the upstairs, one in the down.) as an emergency temporary measure just to give them both a break. What should I do from here? How should I attempt to reintroduce them? Is there hope for them being able to live together peacefully again? I’m so worried because up until now it seems as though everything was going so well. I don’t want to have to house them separately if I can avoid it, but I’m really not sure how to proceed. Any help/advice would be GREATLY appreciated......
 

Wiebke

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I have two boys currently being housed together in a custom C&C cage that’s 4x2 with an extra 1x2 space to the side, along with a 2x2 (talking in panels, not feet. I believe each panel is about 11-13 inches?) upstairs area. They’re brothers and have been housed together since they were born, and are approaching the 1 year mark. I have seen absolutely no problems from them aside from the very occasional lighthearted chasing/rumbling fit that ends less than 5 minutes later, but today out of the blue it seems that they’re having a more intense spat and have been chasing/humping each other RELENTLESSLY all morning. As soon as one lets up, the other starts chasing. I do not see any blood, and for the most part it seems to be mostly chasing and humping. After watching them for a while, I made the decision to separate them when I noticed them both baring teeth at each other and making scarily loud chattering noises. Nothing has changed in regards to their setup or the room they’re being housed in. I currently have them separated (one in the upstairs, one in the down.) as an emergency temporary measure just to give them both a break. What should I do from here? How should I attempt to reintroduce them? Is there hope for them being able to live together peacefully again? I’m so worried because up until now it seems as though everything was going so well. I don’t want to have to house them separately if I can avoid it, but I’m really not sure how to proceed. Any help/advice would be GREATLY appreciated......
Hi!

Adult boars can occasionally experience sudden testosterone spikes (even neutered boars!).

Please put a divider in for a couple of days until the testosterone has died down. Then reintroduce on neutral space or in their roaming pen. They should go back without major problems.
 

Dystopoly

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Hi!

Adult boars can occasionally experience sudden testosterone spikes (even neutered boars!).

Please put a divider in for a couple of days until the testosterone has died down. Then reintroduce on neutral space or in their roaming pen. They should go back without major problems.
I’ll definitely keep them separated for a few days, but I’m glad to hear they’ll probably be okay with each other after! When I reintroduce them on neutral territory, should I keep doing that for a few days before attempting to keep them back in the undivided cage together? Or is reintroducing on neutral terms and then going back into the cage on the same day as long as everything seems fine good? Is there anything I can do Inside the cage to help nullify aggression once they’re back together? (Moving houses around, changing liners, etc.?) Sorry if I’m asking a lot of questions, I just really want to make sure my boys are okay... I love them so much and I’m so anxious about them fighting...😭
 

Wiebke

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I’ll definitely keep them separated for a few days, but I’m glad to hear they’ll probably be okay with each other after! When I reintroduce them on neutral territory, should I keep doing that for a few days before attempting to keep them back in the undivided cage together? Or is reintroducing on neutral terms and then going back into the cage on the same day as long as everything seems fine good? Is there anything I can do Inside the cage to help nullify aggression once they’re back together? (Moving houses around, changing liners, etc.?) Sorry if I’m asking a lot of questions, I just really want to make sure my boys are okay... I love them so much and I’m so anxious about them fighting...😭
Two days is usually all that it takes; the spike generally lasts only around a day. Please do not separate any longer than absolutely necessary.
Boars are either together or not, but they don't do on and off well. Any existing bond between adult boars will only break if there are underlying problems in the bond.

Please do not split again once they have gone back together unless they are fighting. Ideally any dominance behaviour should be short and on the mild side, and the boys should go back together as if nothing had really happened.
 

Dystopoly

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Two days is usually all that it takes; the spike generally lasts only around a day. Please do not separate any longer than absolutely necessary.
Boars are either together or not, but they don't do on and off well. Any existing bond between adult boars will only break if there are underlying problems in the bond.

Please do not split again once they have gone back together unless they are fighting. Ideally any dominance behaviour should be short and on the mild side, and the boys should go back together as if nothing had really happened.
Okay. Do you think I should try putting them back together tomorrow, or wait until Sunday?
 

Dystopoly

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I you have separated today, I would wait until Sunday.
Sorry, one final question. I’ve heard that bathing pigs together can be a good way to encourage a bond, do you think that would be a good way to introduce them again? I plan on fully cleaning out their cage to remove any scents, and I thought maybe reintroducing them that way would both remove any scents on them and possibly be a good bonding experience. What are your thoughts..?
 

Wiebke

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Sorry, one final question. I’ve heard that bathing pigs together can be a good way to encourage a bond, do you think that would be a good way to introduce them again? I plan on fully cleaning out their cage to remove any scents, and I thought maybe reintroducing them that way would both remove any scents on them and possibly be a good bonding experience. What are your thoughts..?
Generally after two days the piggies have cleaned out the scent of testosterone laden pee from their coats, but if you want to do a bath, then do it tonight and not immediately before the bonding. Your boys are no longer hypersexed teenagers anyway and they haven't been in a fight.

What a bonding bath does is to remove the scent of testosterone from their coats; a lot of it comes from the highly pheromone and hormone laden pee that gets sprayed everywhere; irrespective of whether the boar still has his big guns or not by the way. My neutered boars can still stink up a whole room in no time flat if they put their body to it (mind is generally turned off at that stage)!

Bathing is only necessary if you want to reintroduce pretty quickly after a near fall-out. In that context it can help to defuse a situation in terms of the boars going at each other as soon as they see each other - however, you can achieve the same simply by waiting a day longer and more effectively by giving them an extra day for tempers to cool down. If they have really gone off each other, that will still come out pretty quickly whatever you do. It basically comes down whether and how much grudge and hard feelings are between them.

What a buddy bath does else is to put extra stress on the piggies at a time you want to remove as much stress from the situation as possible. And it simply delays the re-bonding process for about half an hour at the most, but it will not influence the ultimate outcome in any way. That is down how the boys feel about each other when the chips are down.
Bathing doesn't change your personality or how you feel about somebody else before you meet them; the same goes for guinea pigs, too.

Many of us have of course tried it out in the decade since it has been around, but the vast majority have not found that it contributes positively. You will find it mostly thrown into the ring by some helpful soul without any personal experience with them so it become this self-perpetuating urban myth. ;)
Our bonding guide includes our stance on buddy baths: Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics

However, what you can do to help is to please try to not be so tensed up yourself that your anxiety is transmitting to your boys. Just treat like some roaming time with a big pile of hay or some fresh grass in the middle and then you take it from there. Ideally they just fill their bellies and carry on as if nothing had ever happened. ;)

All the besy!
 

Dystopoly

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Generally after two days the piggies have cleaned out the scent of testosterone laden pee from their coats, but if you want to do a bath, then do it tonight and not immediately before the bonding. Your boys are no longer hypersexed teenagers anyway and they haven't been in a fight.

What a bonding bath does is to remove the scent of testosterone from their coats; a lot of it comes from the highly pheromone and hormone laden pee that gets sprayed everywhere; irrespective of whether the boar still has his big guns or not by the way. My neutered boars can still stink up a whole room in no time flat if they put their body to it (mind is generally turned off at that stage)!

Bathing is only necessary if you want to reintroduce pretty quickly after a near fall-out. In that context it can help to defuse a situation in terms of the boars going at each other as soon as they see each other - however, you can achieve the same simply by waiting a day longer and more effectively by giving them an extra day for tempers to cool down. If they have really gone off each other, that will still come out pretty quickly whatever you do. It basically comes down whether and how much grudge and hard feelings are between them.

What a buddy bath does else is to put extra stress on the piggies at a time you want to remove as much stress from the situation as possible. And it simply delays the re-bonding process for about half an hour at the most, but it will not influence the ultimate outcome in any way. That is down how the boys feel about each other when the chips are down.
Bathing doesn't change your personality or how you feel about somebody else before you meet them; the same goes for guinea pigs, too.

Many of us have of course tried it out in the decade since it has been around, but the vast majority have not found that it contributes positively. You will find it mostly thrown into the ring by some helpful soul without any personal experience with them so it become this self-perpetuating urban myth. ;)
Our bonding guide includes our stance on buddy baths: Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics

However, what you can do to help is to please try to not be so tensed up yourself that your anxiety is transmitting to your boys. Just treat like some roaming time with a big pile of hay or some fresh grass in the middle and then you take it from there. Ideally they just fill their bellies and carry on as if nothing had ever happened. ;)

All the besy!
I just want to thank you again for all your help - I reintroduced them again this morning over some veggies and it went BEAUTIFULLY, one of my boys ran right up to the other and made sure their power dynamic was in tact and then they went straight to following each other around and happily squeaking. They’re now back in the cage together and seem so much less depressed now that they both have company and aren’t in time out anymore, lol. They’ve never been the most ‘picturesque’ bonded pair, (I don’t see them bathing each other or really laying together) but seeing their personality change over the past day to being completely depressed and introverted without each other, and then to super active and happy together has reassured me that they do have a bond in their own way and I’m just so relieved it isn’t broken.
 

Bill & Ted

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Aw, so glad it all went well, they are better together than apart x
 

Wiebke

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I just want to thank you again for all your help - I reintroduced them again this morning over some veggies and it went BEAUTIFULLY, one of my boys ran right up to the other and made sure their power dynamic was in tact and then they went straight to following each other around and happily squeaking. They’re now back in the cage together and seem so much less depressed now that they both have company and aren’t in time out anymore, lol. They’ve never been the most ‘picturesque’ bonded pair, (I don’t see them bathing each other or really laying together) but seeing their personality change over the past day to being completely depressed and introverted without each other, and then to super active and happy together has reassured me that they do have a bond in their own way and I’m just so relieved it isn’t broken.
Glad that all has gone to plan! With a well bonded adult pair that is usually the outcome. :tu:
 
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