Two three month old boars fighting

jlpp

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We recently bought 2 brother guinea-pigs. After having 3 sets of female guinea pigs who all lived happy long lives we thought males would be much the same and easy going...

However, they started scrapping about 3 weeks ago and it progressively got worse resulting in one now missing half of his ear 😟 we had two of everything but think the problem was that they didn’t have enough space.

They now have a new 6ft long hutch and new large run. Both have been temporarily split into 2 using mesh/cage/bar things and have 2 entrance holes to the covered areas and two of everything in there.

They chat through the bars and often try to nibble each other through them. They also do a strange strut chattering & vibrating move when walking past each other sometimes.

We’re wondering if we will ever be able to take out the middle sections of their hutch and run so they’re able to live with each other again or whether it’s gone too far? And if anyone has any tips on how to try and get them to be friends again?

They’re definitely happier when they can see and chat to each other. (We had to split them up for a few days until we found a new hutch that was big enough to split).
We’ll be getting a new indoor cage for the winter and would love for them to be getting along by then!

Thanks in advance :-)
 

ThePotterPiggie

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I had the same problem with some boars a while back. The fought so I kept them separated but with chicken wire between them so they can chat to/see each other, like you have. Once they were out of their moody teenage years (for ours it as about one and 1/2 years old) they mellowed a bit, as their testosterone had lessened. So, we properly introduced them again like you would with any other guinea pigs and after that they got on for the rest of their lives.
Good luck!
 

Wiebke

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Hi and welcome!

I am very sorry; sadly it is a long debunked but much perpetuated breeder myth that brothers won't fall out.
Your boys are at the age where the testicles are just starting to descend and at the beginning of the strong teenage hormones. I would not try to reintroduce as the next few months are the most difficult in any boar's life; if there are already existing conflicts, they are bound to make a comeback with some added justified grudge whenever a testosterone spike hits and can cause another fight right out of the blue.
It is better to keep them as next door neighbours with full body interaction through the mesh/bars.

Please take the time to read the links in @sport_billy 's post.
You may also find this link here helpful as it contains some pictures and videos of behaviours: Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics

Rumble-strutting (which is what you are seeing) is a mild dominance behaviour for both genders although you see it in sows usually only during intros, stronger seasons or ovarian cyst issues. For boars, it is a way to measure up against each other - he who has the more impressive rumble wins! The loser will move away without a fight... I call this measuring up a 'boar haka'.

Here are two examples, a friendly one between two 9 months old new neighboars and one between a fallen-out boar pair that overnighted with me on route between two rescues. I am sure that you can see the difference!

 

jlpp

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I had the same problem with some boars a while back. The fought so I kept them separated but with chicken wire between them so they can chat to/see each other, like you have. Once they were out of their moody teenage years (for ours it as about one and 1/2 years old) they mellowed a bit, as their testosterone had lessened. So, we properly introduced them again like you would with any other guinea pigs and after that they got on for the rest of their lives.
Good luck!
Thanks for this reply, that’s good to know! Were they happy enough living like that for a year or so?
 

jlpp

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Hi and welcome!

I am very sorry; sadly it is a long debunked but much perpetuated breeder myth that brothers won't fall out.
Your boys are at the age where the testicles are just starting to descend and at the beginning of the strong teenage hormones. I would not try to reintroduce as the next few months are the most difficult in any boar's life; if there are already existing conflicts, they are bound to make a comeback with some added justified grudge whenever a testosterone spike hits and can cause another fight right out of the blue.
It is better to keep them as next door neighbours with full body interaction through the mesh/bars.

Please take the time to read the links in @sport_billy 's post.
You may also find this link here helpful as it contains some pictures and videos of behaviours: Bonding and Interaction: Illustrated social behaviours and bonding dynamics

Rumble-strutting (which is what you are seeing) is a mild dominance behaviour for both genders although you see it in sows usually only during intros, stronger seasons or ovarian cyst issues. For boars, it is a way to measure up against each other - he who has the more impressive rumble wins! The loser will move away without a fight... I call this measuring up a 'boar haka'.

Here are two examples, a friendly one between two 9 months old new neighboars and one between a fallen-out boar pair that overnighted with me on route between two rescues. I am sure that you can see the difference!

Thanks for your reply! Yes ours are like the bottom two haha. As long as they’re happy enough to live separated between the bars for a year or so then that’s okay, it’s such a shame as our old ones used to snuggle together and were best pals.
One did manage to jump over the other day but luckily no fighting broke out. I’ll take a look at the link you sent, thanks!
 

ThePotterPiggie

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Thanks for this reply, that’s good to know! Were they happy enough living like that for a year or so?
Yeah, they were fine - just make sure to interact with them so that they don’t get lonely.
 
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