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Introducing new GP to young female...

(10 Posts)
Mummyzzz Sat 27-Feb-16 22:42:53

So, we entered the world of GPs just 4 weeks ago when we bought 2 baby females. But yesterday one of them suddenly became very poorly and had to be put to sleep (heart problem apparently). Remaining GP looks so sad and quiet so we'd like to get her a new companion, but have been getting mixed messages about what is best. Would introducing another young sow be successful? Have been told a neutered male would be better, but struggling to find one. Or we could take ours to meet another girlie to check they get on, but worried the drive to the pet shop would be extra stress for an already sad piggy. Any advice would be very welcome.

FernieB Sat 27-Feb-16 23:01:25

Sorry to hear about your loss. Your remaining piggie will be feeling lonely especially as she is so young. Give her loads of attention and if possible, can you put her cage in an area where the family are, so she has company.

Given her age, I would definitely find her a companion. Have you any rescues nearby? (I have a brilliant piggie rescue about an hour from me, but it took a bit of research to find it). Rescues quite often get full of single boars and usually neuter them as it's easier to rehome them with a female. A good rescue will let you take your lonely pig to choose her new friend and supervise the introduction. If you're struggling to find a rescue, let us know which area you're in and someone on here will probably know a rescue not too far away.

FernieB Sat 27-Feb-16 23:12:15

Do you have a carry case for your pig? Any journeys my boys undertake involve a snuggly towel lined case with some hay, cucumber, celery, carrot and parsley to keep them amused. The longest they've done is the hour to the rescue which my older boy did alone to choose his new nephew. He was fine. I put the case on the floor on the passenger side and talked to him the whole way but then I am slightly mad! On the way back, he had his new nephew for company (and a fresh packed lunch to share). They were fine.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sun 28-Feb-16 11:13:25

Oh sad poor piggie.
Were they littermates? Has your vet recommended the remaining piggie has a check up to make sure the heart problem isn't hereditary?

WRT a cagemate:

My pigs travel from the Pighouse to the house in a big plastic sealed crate with newspaper on the floor and air holes drilled. it takes 1 minute. They bellyache like a coop of pidgeons while they're in transit. If the box is on the floor (like when I had to get hay from the garage) they are silent.
So with mine, it's a protest.
Cuddly towel, lots of bribey food and no jostling, she'll be happier.

A neutered boar is an option and lots of rescues will have some either ready or waiting ( they need 4-6 weeks (depending on what website you use) to go sterile after neutering.
And neutered boars don't 'think' any different to entire boars so they'll still try it on.

We got two adults for our GP3 (he was a huge Rex, 3lb weight) because (though DD would've loved to Rescue some baby pigs, and so would I, truth be known) we didn't think a couple of tiny females would cope with lardy great GP3 if he was trying to bonk them . (As it happens, I never saw him try, though he did with his male cagemate)

If your piggie is young adult and you get a boar (you'd still need to quarentine him a while even if he was sterile) . We had ours side by side , we had a high side cage in the Pighouse.

Or, yes a new female companion, it's impossible to say if an older sow or a baby sow would be better. It depends on the piganality.
But the females piglets at the Rescue we got ours were all snapped up , it was the boars that are trickier to home.

I'm biased grin and would recommend a neutered boar plus a couple of sows, so you could have your sow, a boar and another lone sow who would love a piggie home with company.
You could ask a Rescue to match them.
(I've asked for what my piggies 'need' rather than what I want, and we've had really good matches)

It's on all the piggie sites that it's the most 'natural' way for piggies to live grin
Though , IMO, two boars is a 'manufactured domestic' set up, it works well for lots of boars.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sun 28-Feb-16 11:21:51

And Rescues give you back up.
I know if there was any reason I couldn't keep my pigs , they'd have the option of going back to Rescue.
They will advice, some do check ups and nail cutting for a donation.
They will know some of the history of the guineas (all mine have a story to tell, none cruelty cases but you do think "Why" when you hear what has happened to them)

And there are literally 10000s in Rescue. Not to mention all the selling sites (Gumtree, Preloved)

Most Rescues are run by volunteers, alot of them work so they might take a couple of days to get back to you. But if you find a local one, leave a message , let them know what you're looking for.
Tey might have pigs in foster homes that they need to bring in.

Good Luck.

EastMidsGPs Sun 28-Feb-16 13:51:33

Echo all advice given. Yes find a playmate for your remaining piggie. Our rescue encourages 'play dates' for new friends to get to know one another. They are such social animals and seem incredibly sad when on their own. Have always managed to bring 'strangers' together as friends .. and there are people here with such a wealth of experience and good advice i am sure they'll help you establish your new family unit.
As to travelling although they moan and grumble we take ours in the car to East Anglia 4 or 5 times a year and it often takes 3+ hours. We have ours in a large plastic box - the ones where the sides fold in to make them flat. They have enough room to sit apart, newspaper, hay, parsley and cucumber etc a fleece that smells of them at one end to snuggle into and another fleece over to top so they feel safe. We put them in the foot well. If i am taking them in the car on my own i talk to them constantly blush if with OH he puts the radio on .. but we still talk in any case. Usually arguing about directions or driving!!! Only ever had one piggie who didn't like the car .. but even then she tolerated it when wrapped inside my jumper.

EastMidsGPs Sun 28-Feb-16 14:00:16

Oh and i have been known blush to give a sad grief affected piggie a knitted toy and a well wrapped warm hot water for comfort

Mummyzzz Sun 28-Feb-16 16:05:47

Hi everyone thanks so much for your replies. It sounds as though taking our one along would be a good idea to make sure she approves of her new friend. Unfortunately there aren't any of the same litter left. Has anyone had experience of introducing a 2nd female (there are some we can see on Tues) or would it definitely be better to wait until we can find a neutered boar? I don't want to leave the little one on her own for too long. Thanks again

EastMidsGPs Sun 28-Feb-16 16:26:06

Hiya. I've only ever had sows and have managed apart from once (and we were very inexperienced then) to bring together 'strangers'. Never really had any fighting. A bit of bickering and nips taken out of youngster's ears but generally its always worked ok. Plenty of space and places for each to retreat to, neuteral smells, peace and quiet and all goes well. We had to find Sadie quickly and introduce her to Mollie last year as Mollie was really miserable at loss of her long term friend .. so we did all above and all was fine.

The one GP we couldn't integrate was a rescue, after being nasty to our lonely piggie she went to live with my DB opp norf. She never settled in her cage would escape regularly and disappeared out of their garden for days on end and then would just reappear. She lived to be 6 and just died of old age. We think she had more than one home and visited each .. bit like a cat smile she lived on her wits and really was never tamed .. but am sure she was a one off
All will be fine ... as 70.often says ..appeal to their stomachs!

Mummyzzz Sun 28-Feb-16 18:16:04

Oh that's a relief! It has all been a bit traumatic, I can't face another disaster! Our 1st 2 piggies were dominant boys who kept fighting so had to go back. Then of course one of the next two had to be put down after we'd only had her 4 weeks. Interesting the reaction from the kids...DD (7) was devastated 'but she was the best little pet anyone could ever have...can I make her a little box to bury her in...'etc. Whereas DS (5) was much more matter of fact about it 'WHAT?! It's deaded?? Why did they kill her?? HOW did they kill her??' Much to the horror of his sister! Was surprised how attached I had become to her too after just a few weeks and she was such a pretty, gentle little thing. Will be hard to replace.

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