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Dead GP - can I keep one

(14 Posts)
hillyhilly Wed 17-Dec-14 09:17:31

We bought two brothers in January this year (long haired).
Frankly, they've not been brilliant as we don't seem to have been able to get them used to being with us/ handled, and they spent a great deal of time hiding if we were in the room.
Now the friendlier one has died overnight and we are left with one, abjectly scared of us, young male pig.
I don't really want to get another as surely you'll always be playing catch up then ie what if one dies and you replace it then so on and so on, we were all in agreement that when they went we wouldn't replace but I know that guineas can live for a few years and prefer company.
I don't want to make the one we have left and more unhappy than he already is, if I get another I'd prefer short haired but could I introduce it successfully? Should I look to rehome?
Cute creatures but I do wish we'd not got them even though we did the research and followed all the advice.

bonzo77 Wed 17-Dec-14 09:33:19

Get some rabbits to keep it company?

WowserBowser Wed 17-Dec-14 09:37:13

I thought it was a bad idea to keep pigs and rabbits together?

70isaLimitNotaTarget Wed 17-Dec-14 12:57:55

No to rabbits as pig companions (many reasons- they eat different foods, pigs need Vit C, rabbits eat a tiny amount of pellets and loads of grass/hay. Rabbit can injure or kill a pig with a kick. They can bonk it. Your shy pig will be terrorised by a huge rabbit. They carry a respiratory bacteria that can kill rabbits. They 'speak' rabbit - it would be like me being forced to live with someone who speaks only Cantonese )

So pig alone:

How old is he?
You can introduce another pig but your best bet is a very young boar. It's not a 100% guarentee that they'll get on but providing you do it properly, it can work.

Or you can ask a rescue to boar date him. They may have a single affable boar adult?

We boar matched our adult boar when his brother died. We got a 6 week rescue boar. They were lovely, the odd rumble as the piglet grew and took over, but nothing nasty.
When the piglet was a year, the older boy died.
We didn't feel a young boar would be safe with our huge (3lb) sex-pest (he spent a fair amount of time jumping on his older cage-mate and being told to "Do One"

We got two adult rescue sows (same age) kept them side-by-siding while the boar was neutered and his 4 week waiting for sterile phase.

They get on well, the sows are feisty and take no prisoners grin I did ask the Rescue for stroppy girls .

Short haired bigs are much less effort I agree and IMO , the more 'bred' they are , the more health problems. A good solid smooth (like our girls) or a Rex (like our boy- but my DD is allergic to his fur)

A Rescue might have a neutered sow. Less common than boars to be neutered.
Our boar was a year old , they need to be fit and healthy to be neutered if that's the option you choose, but it's not taken lightly.

dorothymichaels Wed 17-Dec-14 13:07:57

We were in the very same situation when we had two rescue boars and one sadly died. They had been rescued by the rspca in a nasty cruelty case so were really scared of us despite careful handling. One sadly died and we didn't want to get another as we were about to do some major building work.
Out bereaved boar was taken in by the local rescue, who paired him with a less dominant piggie, and they were rehomed back to new friend's home. I like that he found new company late in life. He was the only one left alive from loads rescued from one mad person who kept them in stacking boxes.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Wed 17-Dec-14 14:48:03

dorothy that is heartbreaking sad. Sometimes despite all your best efforts, animals are too mentally scarred to respond positively to people after they've been badly treated.

But it shows that they can find some comfort with their own kind.

GooseyLoosey Wed 17-Dec-14 14:52:00

When one of ours died aged around 2 we got another of the same age to replace her - we've had the new one for about 2 years now. I'm never sure that the 2 of them get along as well as the original pair but they ahve never fought and do follow each other around.

dorothymichaels Wed 17-Dec-14 15:19:56

70 it was really sad. The woman they were taken from had hundreds stacked in boxes, and was not looking after them. Our boys had no fur and were horribly thin when they came to the rescue, but had been brought back to health by the time we adopted them. Their owner very likely had significant mental health problems.
I like to think we gave Bubble (our boy who died) a lovely last year with lots of hay and tunnels and fresh fruit and veg. It was a shame we didn't have a positive experience with piggies, I hear so many tales of them being friendly and happy to see owners. Sadly ours were not like that. I felt very guilty for rehoming his friend, but it was the best thing for him to live out his days with company rather than alone with us.

KittiesInsane Wed 17-Dec-14 15:28:09

Does the remaining one still hide when you waft parsley under his nose?

fortifiedwithtea Wed 17-Dec-14 20:21:11

Guinea pigs can live a long time. My Old Boy was a month past his 6th birthday when we said our good byes. I'm guessing you had your boys from babies so lone piggy is still a young adult. He needs a friend but not necessarily with you.

I wouldn't normally say it but in your circumstances I think giving him to a rescue is the best thing you can do for him. The reasons I say this are

He was terrified with a companion, he'll be worse alone.

If you have him neutered that will be another 6 weeks living alone until he is sterile.

Neutered sows are almost unheard of. They are only neutered for medical reasons. It's a terrible operation, a real last resort. My sow died shortly after her op.

Boars are best bonded with baby boars. You've said you don't want a continual cycle of guineas.

Please don't advertise him on Gumtree or Preloved. Too many of them end up as snake food.

HowsTheSerenity Wed 17-Dec-14 20:28:02

Every time I see this thread on active convos I think you have a dead grandparent or doctor stashed away.

Nothing helpful to add sorry.
I'll just go now shall I........

hillyhilly Wed 17-Dec-14 23:18:09

Thank you all, the remaining g pig seems ok today, he's eating and drinking and been seen much more than when he had his brother to hide behind.
My preferred option would probably be to rehome in the New Year but my 9 yr old, whose g pigs they actually are is currently talking about the need to get him a companion.
We'll make a decision in the New Year and hope he's not too lonely in the meantime.

millimat Thu 18-Dec-14 21:36:22

We had the same situation when over off our 5 month old boars became poorly and died. I hated setting the other one alone. We struggled to find any local rescues that could boar match so ended up nervously at pets at home. They were brilliant. They let us try lots of different young boars and we watched to see who seemed ok together.
That was in August. We have two very happy Guinea pigs - one is huge compared to the other, but they don't have any fighting and I'm glad we risked pairing him up. There's not a huge difference in age so no guarantee who will outlive the other.

hillyhilly Fri 19-Dec-14 16:17:48

Thanks Millimat, that's good to know.
I'm not sure how we'd know if he's lonely or pining, so far he seems happier if anything as he's out of his house more and eating plenty.
Still very timid though.

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