To Separate or Not To Separate

denverguineas

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In May of 2018 I adopted two bonded intact boars. I was told they had come from a pet store and were together their whole lives. When I got them they were both a year and a half. One was bigger (then 1000g, now 1200) and one small (then 800, now just barely 900). The big one is named Denali, the small one Everest. Denny would constantly chatter at and chase Everest. It was a struggle to get Everest's weight up to a healthy point as it would constantly fluctuate. I took him to the vet and there wasn't anything wrong, it was probably from stress. From all the research I've done, it seems like the majority opinion is tho not separate boars unless there is blood. I was worried because they would constantly fight, but it would stop before anything got too serious until now. I just found a small bit of blood (nothing very serious, about the size of a pin prick) on Everest and am wondering what to do.

Here's a bit more info:
They have a 4x4 c&c cage
I have two water bottles, bowls, hay piles, and plenty of open ended hides.
Once I had to break up a nasty fight and I separated their cage in half overnight. Denali spent most of the night pulling on the bars and shaking the entire cage to get back to Everest.
Everest is so brave and exploratory when on his own during floor time, but as soon as Denali joins him, he hides away.

I have a separate cage in a separate room all ready and set up in case I need to completely separate the two immediately. I am worried about the two of them getting lonely if separated, but wary that Denny might never be good with another boar, as he is so dominant and he has problems with Everest, who is possibly one of the most relaxed boars. On the contrary, Everest wouldn't do very well with another boar as he is so easily dominated that he can't (or won't) stand up for himself.

At the moment, I am looking at separating them and bonding them each with their own sow after they've been neutered.

I would appreciate any and all thoughts on the matter. Thank you!
 

sport_billy

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Tagging in our behaviour expert @Wiebke for you. She is a sort of Piggy Whisperer and knows lots about behaviour
 

Wiebke

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In May of 2018 I adopted two bonded intact boars. I was told they had come from a pet store and were together their whole lives. When I got them they were both a year and a half. One was bigger (then 1000g, now 1200) and one small (then 800, now just barely 900). The big one is named Denali, the small one Everest. Denny would constantly chatter at and chase Everest. It was a struggle to get Everest's weight up to a healthy point as it would constantly fluctuate. I took him to the vet and there wasn't anything wrong, it was probably from stress. From all the research I've done, it seems like the majority opinion is tho not separate boars unless there is blood. I was worried because they would constantly fight, but it would stop before anything got too serious until now. I just found a small bit of blood (nothing very serious, about the size of a pin prick) on Everest and am wondering what to do.

Here's a bit more info:
They have a 4x4 c&c cage
I have two water bottles, bowls, hay piles, and plenty of open ended hides.
Once I had to break up a nasty fight and I separated their cage in half overnight. Denali spent most of the night pulling on the bars and shaking the entire cage to get back to Everest.
Everest is so brave and exploratory when on his own during floor time, but as soon as Denali joins him, he hides away.

I have a separate cage in a separate room all ready and set up in case I need to completely separate the two immediately. I am worried about the two of them getting lonely if separated, but wary that Denny might never be good with another boar, as he is so dominant and he has problems with Everest, who is possibly one of the most relaxed boars. On the contrary, Everest wouldn't do very well with another boar as he is so easily dominated that he can't (or won't) stand up for himself.

At the moment, I am looking at separating them and bonding them each with their own sow after they've been neutered.

I would appreciate any and all thoughts on the matter. Thank you!
Hi!

Your boys are still in the teenage months. Please use the advice and information in this very detailed guide here to conduct a trial separation; you will find the necessary details of how to in the guide.
See how your underboar is reacting. If he perks up noticeably when away from his mate, you know that the bond is no longer viable. If he wants back with his companion, you also have your answer. That is a better way of working out a relationship than waiting for blood because the second is not taking bullying issues or just a less than ideal personality balance into account. Piggy relationships are a bit more complex than that and it can sometimes not be easy to work out what exactly is going on.
Boars: Teenage, Bullying, Fighting, Fall-outs And What Next?
Neutered / De-sexed Boars And Neutering Operations: Myths And Facts

Could you please add your country, state/province or UK county to your account details (accessed via clicking on your username on the top bar), so we can tailor any advice to what is relevant and available where you are straight away. We have members and enquiries from all over the world and very different backgrounds, climates, vet and rescue access. Our default is UK based. Knowing where you are, we can help point you towards a good place within your reach if at all possible.

If you are indeed in Denver, Colorado, then you might like to see whether Cavy Care, Inc. are back in business or at least know somebody who could help you with finding character compatible new friends. They used to be the only guinea pig rescue for several Midwestern states but had to take a step back in the last few years. But they should still have the necessary local information.
https://www.facebook.com/cavycareinc/
 

denverguineas

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Hi!

Your boys are still in the teenage months. Please use the advice and information in this very detailed guide here to conduct a trial separation; you will find the necessary details of how to in the guide.
See how your underboar is reacting. If he perks up noticeably when away from his mate, you know that the bond is no longer viable. If he wants back with his companion, you also have your answer. That is a better way of working out a relationship than waiting for blood because the second is not taking bullying issues or just a less than ideal personality balance into account. Piggy relationships are a bit more complex than that and it can sometimes not be easy to work out what exactly is going on.
Boars: Teenage, Bullying, Fighting, Fall-outs And What Next?
Neutered / De-sexed Boars And Neutering Operations: Myths And Facts

Could you please add your country, state/province or UK county to your account details (accessed via clicking on your username on the top bar), so we can tailor any advice to what is relevant and available where you are straight away. We have members and enquiries from all over the world and very different backgrounds, climates, vet and rescue access. Our default is UK based. Knowing where you are, we can help point you towards a good place within your reach if at all possible.

If you are indeed in Denver, Colorado, then you might like to see whether Cavy Care, Inc. are back in business or at least know somebody who could help you with finding character compatible new friends. They used to be the only guinea pig rescue for several Midwestern states but had to take a step back in the last few years. But they should still have the necessary local information.
https://www.facebook.com/cavycareinc/
I have begun a trial separation and noticed an immediate change in the underboar - he perked up instantly and became so much more brave and even begun to explore during some alone floor time, which he's never done before. He is in a separate cage away from the dominant boar and loving it. Dominant boar isn't loving it as much, he was pacing and chattering for a good hour after the separation, but has since calmed down.
I am in Denver, CO, sorry. Cavy Care is still running, so I will be taking both boys in within February-March for some speed dating.
Thank you! I wasn't sure if I was doing the right thing by separating, but the huge positive change in the underboar has proven that it was the right thing to do.
 

Wiebke

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I have begun a trial separation and noticed an immediate change in the underboar - he perked up instantly and became so much more brave and even begun to explore during some alone floor time, which he's never done before. He is in a separate cage away from the dominant boar and loving it. Dominant boar isn't loving it as much, he was pacing and chattering for a good hour after the separation, but has since calmed down.
I am in Denver, CO, sorry. Cavy Care is still running, so I will be taking both boys in within February-March for some speed dating.
Thank you! I wasn't sure if I was doing the right thing by separating, but the huge positive change in the underboar has proven that it was the right thing to do.
I find trial separations a very useful tool in working out whether a relationship is still working or not as our piggies cannot tell us directly.
The dominant bully piggy won't be happy as he cannot understand that what he has been doing has been bad.

All the best for your two boys!
 
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