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rescue guinea pig

(5 Posts)
DizzyHoneyBee Sat 13-Oct-12 16:16:48

We're about to rehome a rescue guinea pig from the RSPCA. We're getting our boar neutered (poor thing!) so they can go in the same cage without having lots of babies. Does anybody have any tips for introducing them to each other? They are both the same age and the sow will have her own cage to start with as the RSPCA are lending us one for her whilst we wait for the boar to be sterile (not sure how long that takes, no doubt the vet will tell us at the time).

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 13-Oct-12 21:03:44

Put a shout out to agnesf - she had exactly the same situation as you earlier this year.
Her bachelor boy was 'married' up to a female who IIRC was a little bit older but wasn't settling with female pigs.

AFAIK neutered boars take a month to go Jaffa . The neutering doesn't change what's going on upstairs (in their brain) just downstairs. They might still try to mate with a female but she'll most likely tell him to sling his hook.

You need to introduce them on completely neutral territory- so a room where your boy doesn't go, otherwise it's 'his' territory.
When they go to the main cage scrub it completely (steam, vinegar, Hutch Cleaner ) to get his smell off. (Some people use Dettol, but anything like that would need rinsed well after)

You could try swapping a bit of their bedding between the two cages so that they get used to each other's smell.

Your new girl will need quarentined (the rescue will tell you how long for)
And your boy will need time out to let the neutering take effect.

I think fortifiedwithtea has her OB (Old Boy) side-by-sided with 2 females so he gets the benefit of company but he's not neutered.
I kept a boar in one room and a sow+ female piglet under the staircase (huge caged off area, open front) when I was a child. They could chat through the bars but we had to watch them like hawks.

Find out how long your sow will need quarentined then you could let them be in the same (neutral) room with the cages together.
I'm sure your boar will be delighted with the company grin

And yay for Rescue Pigs!

DizzyHoneyBee Sat 13-Oct-12 21:42:04

Thanks for all that great information smile

We need them both in the same cage eventually as they go to a neighbours when we are on holiday and two cages would be too much. Luckily we got a big cage for the boar and about all we need to buy that is extra is another guinea pig house so they will have one each.

We collect the sow next week! Then have to keep them apart for 6 weeks at least..could be interesting...

guineapiglet Sun 14-Oct-12 18:16:18

Hi - lovely to hear of another guinea rescued, good for you - hope she settles in well. I have quite a lot of experience of integrating rescues, but all of the same sex, so hope it might be helpful! Your new girl will be very stressed and anxious for the first few days/weeks in a new home, do you know anything about her background? She will need to get used to you, your voice, your smell, your routine until she is happy and comfortable and can trust you. Do keep her separate until you feel she is content with you.

Integration can take a very long time, so you need to introduce them by keeping them side by side, sharing food - I used to put a huge pile of grass on a large piece of newspaper in a room with igloos in it , so they could come out, see each other and then run away again - with girls it ended up with a lot of teeth chattering and bossing. You can put them in the same cage once they have got used to each others smell by doing the hay swap, but they must be separate (so some kind of divider so they can see each other but not touch etc) - this can take quite a while so they get used to being in the same space.

You will probably know when they are ready to 'live together' - it may take a number of weeks of hard work, depends on their characters, I guess the boy will want to be allpha male. Do you know if the girl was a singleton before - is she used to sharing? It will be quite a shock for both of them - try freecycle for extra cages and runs, we just gave away a HUGE run which would have been ideal for sharing - it is quite time consuming, but it will be worth it in the end! good luck.

DizzyHoneyBee Mon 15-Oct-12 17:30:44

Thanks for all the great advice.

We don't know anything about her except that she is used to being handled and has passed all the health checks at the vets, I think she must be rehomed because her owners can't keep her rather than cruelty. The RSPCA are lending us a cage for as long as we need it.
The one we have now is in a cage in a bedroom, we were planning to introduce them downstairs in the lounge once the boar is sterile. Until then we're planning to have one child with one pig on the sofa and the other on the chair so they are in the same room but not touching - we don't want babies - and see how they go.
I will try and get a divider for the cage, thanks for that thought - i didn't know you could get them.

We don't have a run in the garden, our garden is all enclosed and so we put the GP out (weather permitting) to run wherever he fancies.

the boy is very friendly and sociable, I've no idea about the girl though.

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