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Guinea pigs are fighting

(12 Posts)
ilovexmastime Fri 03-May-13 12:32:33

Hi all, I've gathered from reading a few threads on here that it's completely normal for male pigs to fight when they are introduced to each other, but I was wondering whether they'll ever stop or should I separate them?

I had one male pig (his friend died) and now my friend has given me her two male pigs. I thought, great! scruffypig needs some company, and so put them in together (an outdoor run with hutch). Trouble is, scruffypig and one of the new ones, mohicanpig, are fighting. It's not got too heated, so I thought I'd let them sort it out between themselves, but now I'm wondering if I should give up and separate them. It's been about 2 weeks now.

plum100 Fri 03-May-13 12:40:05

HI. IME 3 boars are tricky. We had 3 all together from the same litter - they are two yrs old now and of them have never got on from about 6 mths of age and have to be seperated. I have tried on numerous occaisons to get them together but they still fight. We adopted a fourth and put the picked on piggy in with him. They don't love each other and still have the odd spat but they don't draw blood so i let them get on with it - sometimes I find them snuggled up together.

I suppose it depends how bad they are fighting. You dont want them getting hurt . you have to keep an eye on them also as even if they are not fighting, one may be being bullied and may be sad.

3 boars didnt work for us - maybe get a fourth!!!!

ilovexmastime Fri 03-May-13 13:02:43

Thanks Plum!

We seem to have become the guinea pig/rabbit rescue home for my DC's friend's unwanted pets... so I expect we'll have another pig soon!
On a serious note though, I have thought about this, but if I put another boar in with scruffypig will he not just fight him too? I guess the ideal thing would be to ask around if anyone has a spayed female they don't want anymore.

If I separate them, so scruffypig is alone again, do you think he'll be ok? He's in a run in the garden and I have 3 rabbits living loose in the garden, so do you think that it will be company enough for him to be able to see them?

The fighting doesn't seem to be too bad, a few scratches but mostly they just seem to chase each other round a lot whilst making that funny clicking noise at each other.

plum100 Fri 03-May-13 13:10:33

You never can tell if they will fight or not - our adopted piggy had lost his friend so we took him on the basis that if he didnt bond with our 3rd that the family would take him back as I was not going to have a 3rd hutch in the garden.

It took a week of them living next to each other/swapping cages etc before I put them on together and they did use to chase and click ata each other but they have now got over it.

Our 3rd piggy was lonely on his own. And he used to shake when you picked him up like he was scared - now he will sit sill for you so you can get him.

Be careful with the female- i don't have any experience but have read that if the female is too close to the the other boars hutch that they can sense her and that it can cause upset between bonded males.

guineapiglet Fri 03-May-13 13:18:14

hi there! - like you I was the local repository for various rescues over the years, but my guinea experience of integrating new ones was usually for girl guineas - reading the other threads on here you will see that boars have their own way of doing things! Integrating new guineas to established pairs can be very time consuming and in some cases took months not weeks, and some cases of boars on here shows that it doesnt ever happen!!! From what you have said, I would take it a bit slower, if they are fighting all the time, one of them will end up getting hurt or worse -if it is just endless 'bickering' that is them trying to establish alpha male status and getting the pecking order sorted out.

I used to have separate runs and hutches on the go all the time, so they could see each other and get used to each other, and them let them free range a bit in the house or garden, so they could 'escape' from each other. The secret is not to let one of them become 'cornered' - so no igloos, but shelters like shoe boxes with sides cut out, and on neutral territory so no smells lingering etc. If they are in a run together, it sounds a bit too constrained and I fear Scruffy may get hurt if he is being constantly bullied. It is always hard with 3 especially adding one to a pair, so it may take more time. Try Freecycle or gumtree for additional hutches, but this depends on how much space you've got. IF they are physically hurting each other after two weeks, you can either grin and bear it all or decide enough is enough, and separate them, but have them so they can see each other - Bonkey ran some threads about this a few months ago, and as far as I know now has them separated but visible to each other. It is so time consuming, so you have my sympathy, but in some cases it works, - it sounds like if you did separate them scruffy pig ( how old is he?) will have plenty going on around him anyway. let us know how you get on.

ilovexmastime Fri 03-May-13 13:40:33

Thanks guineapiglet and plum!

I've got igloos in the run at the moment, so I think I'll try taking them out and see what happens. I can't decide whether they are properly fighting or not.
scruffypig fought badly with his friend previously (the one who died - they came as a pair and were fine for a while but then started fighting - puberty?!), they drew blood. But this time it seems to be more posturing.
I've got two spare hutches (the rabbits have dug a burrow and live in there!) so separating them isn't a problem, but I just wanted scruffypig to have some company!
He only fights with one of the new ones (mohicanpig), the other, quietpig, must be submissive to mohicanpig already and scruffypig takes no notice of him really.
When I've got more time (ie not at work!) I'll search out Bonkey's posts, thanks for that!

ilovexmastime Fri 03-May-13 13:41:37

ps. did you get some good excuses for why the pigs needed rehoming? I wish people would just say that their DC aren't interested in them and they can't be bothered to look after them themselves!

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 03-May-13 16:21:51

Hi ilove -

I reckn a neutered girlie pig would be a difficult find. You could get your boar neutered and find a female. But it would be unfair for the other 2 ,they'll know there's a female.
And neutering won't change boar behaviour. He might still think like a boar especially if the boars are in proximity and your female would get 'pestered'.

Could you side-by-side? Two in one cage and one by itself but keep the cages next to each other. Then they'll have the company but not the aggrevation.
You could try them with supervised play (like guineapiglet says careful with boxes. Mine have a long green plastic tunnel that they love. They both go in the haytunnel and refuse to move though hmm )

Look on the Barmy4Boars site too. They've got "Boar Options" which will give you some ideas.

ilovexmastime Fri 03-May-13 18:01:40

Thanks 70, I will check out Barmy4Boars.

Putting the hutches next to each other is a lovely simple idea too, I think I'll try taking out the igloos first and see how they get on and if that doesn't work then I'll rearrange the hutches.

It feels good to have a plan smile

guineapiglet Fri 03-May-13 19:25:53

Hi again - just reading it through again, if you take the igloos out, do put something in which they can still 'hide' under, but run away if they feel threatened, so cannot be cornered anywhere, it is still important for them to have shelter, but open shelter if you get my drift. If the guineas are older they may be harder to convince, but there were times I felt like banging their heads together because they refused to cooperate, just explaining ' Im doing this so you can all be together and have fun, you won't be lonely on your own etc etc' cuts no ice with them!

BonkeyMollocks Fri 03-May-13 19:54:08

I would be very careful about having the three in together - more so that it could upset the bonded pair and then you could be stuck with three separate.

Nothing really more to add except that I have two singletons who live side by side and they are quite content - we are working through supervised playtime together at the moment which is <touches wood> going well but I have no idea if they are ever going to tolerate each other 24/7 .

The one thing that does seem to keep them happy when they are together is buckets of hay , both just romp through it squeaking and tend to leave each other alone mostly .

You do not want to see the state of my kitchen floor during the hay romp hmm .....

KRITIQ Sat 04-May-13 00:29:28

Yes, good advice from others here. I've heard you can have some male trios (don't mean the Three Tenors!), but that's only usually when they are brothers or have been bonded from a very early age. Even introducing two adult boars can be tricky. Many years ago, I went to a specialist in Hertfordshire for this, but wouldn't have attempted without her knowing what to do (and that only worked because my boar was the biggest laid back softie of all time.)

Side by side sounds the best option, or finding a home for the new bonded pair and a new very young companion for your solo boar. Best of luck!

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