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Would you get a lone guinea pig?

(8 Posts)
PeterParkerSays Tue 09-Jun-15 13:54:48

We've considered for a while about getting DS a pet, and came down on probably getting a GP for him, probably for his birthday (DS is 5, nearly 6). We've done some research and were looking at getting a pair of sows who would live indoors in the winter and have access to a run outside in the summer. We've looked at books in the library with DS and talked about how we'd have to give fresh food, bedding and water daily and clean them out once a week etc and we've talked about how to hold them gently and he's had a hold of them at a local farm and a pet shop. Fine so far as a general "if we get a pet, it will be guinea pigs" way.

My SIL texted this morning and asked if we want a free guinea pig. It's a lone boar and an "indoor guinea pig" which I guess is a way of saying don't just stick it in a hutch in the garden. He's about 4 years old and the owner is having a baby so "is getting rid of some animals" before baby arrives and takes up time, it's not that she's getting rid of him because the kids have got bored with him or he's bitten someone. He'd would come with food and a hutch.

From what I've read, boars are better as individuals or in threes, because of potential bullying by the dominant male, but I feel uneasy about it being a lone pig and we couldn't afford to get another two right now, or a hutch large enough to accommodate a group like that. We're also going on holiday in 5 weeks, but my Stepmother could have him for us, she's had them before.

Are we mad to consider this?

PurpleDaisies Tue 09-Jun-15 14:08:51

The chances are, whoever takes on this poor unwanted guinea pig will keep him as a lone pig anyway so I wouldn't let that put you off (can you tell I am a total sucker for a sob story-our piggies were unwanted too). Boars don't usually do well in groups of three-usually they live in pairs or get neutered and live with ladies.

It is usually best to get more than one guinea pig but if he's out on his ear anyway a loving home with a kind new owner is a great deal for this little guy. It sounds like you've been thinking really carefully about this for a while anyway. Guinea pigs make really great pets and are pretty easy to care for. Good luck with whatever you end up doing.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Tue 09-Jun-15 18:28:17

YY - don't go down the Boar Trio route (that way madness lies) grin

This boy is probably too mature to neuter which is a shame because inless you want to boarmatch him, he;s destined to spend his life alone .

Was he with other piggies when he was with his previous owners? ('some animals' might be rabbits/cats etc not guineas)

Do you want a middle aged lardy boar? They are lovely and snuggly but you have the joys of boar aroma (it's not bad, the hay smells more than pigs) and possible impaction (Google it wink )

If this chap is basically out on his ear , and you want to rehome him, then he'll be forever grateful.
Or your SIL can find a rescue who might boarmatch him, or at least he'll have company and might find a home (but they'll expect a donation)

Your DC might want a couple of young baby pigs, in which case, will they feel 'cheated' with this pig.

Our pigs are all rescued, our latest addition is a boar who was seperated from his brother (fight) and neutered 2 weeks before we got him. We had to keep him and the sows apart for 4 weeks (you know the Chicken/Grain/Fox crossing the river and you can only carry one puzzle? it's like that grin )

Some pigs will live their entire lives alone sadly.

AMcoffeeLover Fri 12-Jun-15 13:38:09

My boy lost his brother very early in life and spent 5 years as a single (he rejected all attempts to bond him with another piggy). I work from home and was his constant companion (plus an expensive toy habit.......grin ). He roamed the house in the day with cages in my study, sitting room and bedroom so he was always with someone or with toys in a cage of his choice if we were out.
The only thing was we couldn't go on holiday and leave him. So 5 years of no holidays and not being out for more than 12 hours (or he'd pull his leg fur out)
I don't think id intentionally get a lone piggy as the work of being a constant companion was hard! But I don't resent my boy and the effort of looking after him.
So basically it all Depends on what life you can offer him?

millimat Fri 12-Jun-15 16:16:06

AM I'm intrigued what toys he liked?
One of our GPs got poorly and died only 5 months old. GP1 was then on his own for the longest month ever until we found him a companion. I felt very sad for him sad though to be fair not sure how bothered he was. It was such a relief to find him a buddy.
But if this GP is used to being on his own it's different really.
Expert piggie owners, is he too old to be matched with a baby?

AMcoffeeLover Fri 12-Jun-15 16:50:45

Much too old! It'll just annoy him which will cause fights.
He loved anything wooden (hated plastic-smell). Things like wooden houses (he had 24 on rotation!), "flexi sticks" (don't know if still called that?), tunnels (17of them) , hay balls, hiding food games and Kong like things, wooden see-saw thing (to chew it, walking on it took too much energy grin ) kitten baskets, puppy blankets, rat tents, chinchilla boxes, and a custom made maze to put him food around.

millimat Mon 15-Jun-15 12:26:49

Gosh, and I thought our GPs were pampered grin

fortifiedwithtea Tue 16-Jun-15 13:36:27

I think I maybe in the minority here but NO don't give this boar a home. Why should you solve someone else's 'problem'. TBH I'm a bit angry at pg woman. An animal is a responsibility for life. It was her decision to get the guinea, she should let him live out his days.

Which brings me on to my next point. At 4 he is getting on and guinea pigs find a space very easily in your heart and when they die its devastating. My lovely boar was just over 6 yo and I was heartbroken, I still cry over him and he went over 2 years ago and I'm nearly 50 and should get a grip.

In your shoes I would get DS a couple of young guinea pigs, a few month old as they are easier to handle still very fast though just more of them to catch and hopefully they will have long lives with your DS.

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