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Boars squabbling!

(14 Posts)
fridayfreedom Wed 19-Sep-12 21:51:23

our two rescue boars are now indoors as it was getting very chilly outside.
Have got them the biggest cage I could 2'x4', with a next box area without a front so they can both go inand out freely.
I know that when you move them they go through a resettling period re who is alpha pig but for the last few nights there has been a lot of rumblestrutting from Big pig and squeaking from ? both. Also this morning Gary was giving Big pig a few nips. Inbetween they eat together and seem to live together fine.
Maybe they were like this outdoors but we didn't see or hear it, although occasionally we would if we were in the garden. If they are frightened or we try to pick them up tehy snuggle together.
Have others experienced this and should I be concerned??

70isaLimitNotaTarget Wed 19-Sep-12 22:14:07

Hi friday - I had this last year with my 2 boars when they were indoors. My cage is about the same size as yours and though in theory it should be ample room, mine were a bit meh.
Then one night they chomped a load of coriander (I gave them parsley that had no ill effects and thought "Oh this looks the same" ) but our little hog had a complete character change and attacked his brother quite viciously.

My DH put a heavy metal grid between the two pigs (so making 2 cages of 2'x2') .Not ideal, but they were only sleeping in it, and every day they went out in their Pighouse with hotties and Snugglepads ,loads of hay and a fan heater run for 15 minutes before they went outside.

In their haybox they climb over each other and bicker in a boary way, GP1 rumblestrutts and GP2 bickers back and tries to take the food out of GP1s mouth hmm.
But they have their 'Get Out' space which I think makes all the difference.

I haven't brought mine in yet, they've got their heater on tonight and were both buried in their haybox (hopefully peacefully).
As you say, you don't know what they get up to out in their house.

They are quite high maintence aren't they , boars grin

(Bonkey has had to side-by-side her two.Hers are indoor pigs and her little pig made a bid for supremacy and had a go at her BigPig).

My DH wants us to try the hogs in one cage (ie without the grid divide) when they come in at night. I'm going to play it by ear.I'll give them loads of hay to keep them busy and a dish of veg.

Maybe wash the hogs to give them both a neutral smell? Should be fine if they are indoors and you dry them properly.

KRITIQ Wed 19-Sep-12 22:15:37

It's important to keep an eye on them, but it might just take a bit of settling. My boys get on fine, but still have their odd altercations.

Squirting them with water can help diffuse the tension. A bath works as well (and they'll smell lovely.) I dried "Dog Appeasing Pheremone" when a couple boars were arguing alot (has to be the dog and not the cat one,) as this was recommended on a website, but I'm not sure if it made any different.

Generally if they start clacking their teeth or raising their heads in a sort of "face off" it's possibly something to worry about, but having said that, mine do that from time to time if one gets on the others' nerves, and it's never come to blows.

Best of luck.

BonkeyMollocks Wed 19-Sep-12 22:33:22

Ha, it made me grin that I had a mention! <glares at Pigs!> hmm

I would keep a eye on them closely, any teeth chattering, nose ups, more harassment than usual then be ready with a spray bottle of water and a towel and watch them like hawks! (Spray to squirt them, towel to chuck over them if they need separating).

Boars need a lot of space to stay settled. My two were separated at night after they first got arsey (same set up as 70 with a grid), and went in their day pen fine.

They got separated permanently after they had a mouth to mouth fight and drew blood. I have since tried to get them back together resulting in more blood and some very sorry piggies sad

Are they going to be in that cage all the time? Do they have a day run? Abit of variety may help.
A bath may also help, they can be arsey with being wet rather than each other. wink

Tbh loud continuous teeth chattering was what gave my two away. Not just the usual 'feck off I'm eating' it was a 'feck of or else angry' . You will know what I mean if they do it, its a awful sound sad . If they draw blood then give them time to cool off and take it from there. Like I said, I have tried with my two but it hasn't worked, they are happy with their side by side set up for now. I haven't had the balls to try again since especially as they still piss take each other through the grids hmm

Make sure you have 2 of everything, water bottles/food bowls...everything!. Maybe take the house/hidey (one that sits full length across the bars?) out so there is nothing that they can be territorial about. If one gets under there and the other one wants to but isn't allowed, it could cause trouble.
Lots of hay and plenty of floor/run time and hopefully you will be ok!

I found this very helpful!

Good luck! smile

fridayfreedom Thu 20-Sep-12 06:57:03

thanks for the advice. Haven't seen any teeth chattering, saw that in a previous Diva sow! so know what it's like.
We haven't got an indoor run as no romm but they are brought out for lots of lap time in the evenings.
There is an open ended tunnel and I have taken the front off teh nest box area so they can't get trapped or refused entry!!
watched them last night and it happened maybe 4-5 times in the evening when Big pig did his strutting!! he definately is alpha pig as Gary is much quieter and nervous.
Rescue lady said that anytime they change environment this can happen, hoping they calm down soon as they normally live quietly together, as far as I know.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Thu 20-Sep-12 08:22:04

friday when our boys go anywhere that is a bit different, and that includes when the cage has been cleaned and there's fresh bedding (even though I clean it every day in summer, and now we are in deep litter bedding it's every 2-3 days, depending on how messy they are hmm )- our GP1 does his prowl round. He rumblestrutts, walks into every corner, the houses, the haybox.He pauses at the edge of the haybox to deposit some pee, to mark it.
He ignores GP2 or pushes him aside.GP2 stands there like Father Dougal from Father Ted fame.
When he's done his tour, GP2 is welcome to join him.
Same in the outdoor run, if anything moves in the run, or we've moved it to a new patch.

So maybe the change of cage is enough to send them into overdrive? And with 2 boars there's always a bit of a tussel going on somewhere, especially if food is involved.
Luckily our little boy knows his 'place' and lets his brother get on with it.

FernieB Thu 20-Sep-12 09:56:03

Our boys are like The Odd Couple - can't live with each other, can't live without each other. Scruffy pig will do his aggressive strutting quite often to Smooth pig, however Smooth pig is much bigger and just curls up and goes to sleep, leaving Scruffy pig to strut about by himself. They bicker like mad but if we remove one from the cage for cuddles/bath etc, the one left behind starts squealing until they are reunited.

They are about 18 months old now and are a lot better than they used to be - when they were about 8 months old they were quite aggressive with each other but we let them work through it (Smooth pig did lose a small piece of ear at one stage but otherwise they are still intact) and now they are okay. I would let them work through it so long as they aren't fighting (sadly I wasn't in, when the ear biting happened), separate them for a bit if they fight, or throw some parsley/cabbage in to distract them.

dietcokeandwine Thu 20-Sep-12 09:59:21

Friday we also had this kind of experience following a holiday period where our two boars spent 3 weeks at my mum's house. The change of environment prompted our quieter pig to have a go at being dominant, and they came to blows on their return home with quieter pig having torn his brother's ear sad

We had to separate them for a short while but have since successfully reintroduced them.

Agree with what Bonkey advises - bath them together, scrub clean the cage (perhaps use a new pet disinfectant too so it smells 'different'), make up with 2 separate bowls, hidey spaces etc. When we re-made up our boar's hutch (also a 2x4 which was the biggest I could find) we took out the single 2 door hidey space that had been in there and replaced it with the two plastic pigloos from their run, which made a big difference - it gives them each somewhere to retreat to. We also made sure they got as much out-in-the-run time as possible and they have a larger indoor playpen for winter (extra space really helps with boars, even if they only get a couple of run-about hours a day) And we have banned parsley shock as their altercation came directly after a huge parsley fest, rather like 70s boars with coriander.

So far, so good smile And interestingly they have returned to their original status quo, with our tricoloured pig being dominant.

As KRITIQ says, boars are prone to the odd minor strop, and a bit of rumblestrutting and the like is totally normal, and nothing really to worry about. It's the major teeth clacking and facing off that could lead to problems. But hopefully yours will settle down.

BonkeyMollocks Thu 20-Sep-12 11:43:55

Good news.for your two dietcoke ! smile

fridayfreedom Thu 20-Sep-12 23:07:08

Thanks for all the support. Spoke to rescue lady today....must think I'm a bit neurotic by now!!
advised taking out the ttunnel as well as the nest box bit and putting in loads of hay to snuffle through.
Have done this and it has been quieter tonight, some rumbling from Big pig but very little sqeaking and chasing.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Thu 20-Sep-12 23:39:19

I went to the Pighouse to give mine supper and a SnugglePad at 9pm.
I heard unholy shreeching from inside shock.
Opened the haybox and saw GP2 (who I have never known to squeak) sitting on GP1 who was buried in hay shock.
I presume it was him shrieking in anger.
FFS GP2 confused .

smacked his bum hoisted him off GP1 and gave them supper.

Little gits!

FernieB Fri 21-Sep-12 13:10:59

70 ROFL at GP2. Had he noticed GP1 or did he just think it was a comfy place to sit?

Our smooth pig was confused last week when running about in the conservatory as the rabbit used him as a springboard. Usually he loves the rabbit, but I think that put him off a bit.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 21-Sep-12 19:48:36

He knew GP1 was there alright (the haybox is big and I could hear GP1s frantic hollering from outside the Pighouse) hmm

Personally, I think it was revenge- GP2 got himself wedged between the run and their wooden outdoor house. GP1 came up behind him and 'helped' by sticking his nose under his brothers rump , hoisting his rump up. (Not reeeally helping there GP1).

Poor smoothpig being a rabbit springboard ! grin Was that him "binkying" ?

FernieB Sat 22-Sep-12 20:12:49

No binkying that time. Rabbit has a small dog basket (so spoilt) with his cuddly bunny in (really spoilt) and was leaping out just as smooth pig was pootling around the basket. Normally he puts his paws on the edge of the basket, but this time used smooth pig instead. May have been deliberate - he does not like the pigs.

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