This is not intended to replace http://www.cavyspirit.com/sociallife.htm#Introductions OR the GL Care Guide in any way. Just some tips that aren't explicitly stated and some reassurances for when your beloved babies start acting like crazed maniacs.
How To Start
-Go somewhere the pigs have never been. NOT the floor time area, even if you've cleaned it with bleach. New place!
-Have things in there that the pigs have never seen. This means you really can't have houses or towels from the cage. Actually, don't have houses at all! Drape freshly washed towels over the corners instead.
-Make the space as big as possible. I blocked off my kitchen. Use a hallway, the entire bathroom, or a pen outside in the shade.
-Load it up with tasty things. You need at least 2 piles of veggies and hay.
Here we are!
See that yellow tube? That was bad- I had to remove it because it caused fights. Those stools were almost an issue too. Really, just food and pigs is good.
Add The Pigs
-Put them all in at the same time! Dont' put one in and then go get the other. That gives them a chance to leave their smells and will set the next pig up to be defensive.
-Follow all the rules from Cavy Spirit for standing ready with a dustpan and separating them if necessary.
Let The Pigs Do Their Thing
-Unless you see blood, they are fine. No, really. So many people want to remove pigs as soon as someone squeals. I'll show you what a MILD intro looks like:
Max is the black self on the left, then Oliver and Jacob. Jacob is the dominant pig doing the rumblestrutting at both of them. Apparently, if you wiggle your butt and make a *brrrrr* noise it proves that your testicles are the biggest. They're fine to leave do this!
The pig who gets their nose the highest in the air wins. They might lunge after this, but unless you see blood they are fine. Biting, screaming, hair pulling, are all ok.
Pigs do this to smell eachother's butts or to get in position for some humping. Probably not going to lead to any bleeding, so they're fine to do this all day long!
This is a different intro, with Fred and Henry, but here's what it looks like! They can mount any side and they can keep it up for a long time Again, there's not likely to be any bleeding so let them have at it.
Give It Time
-If you don't see blood, leave the pigs there for an hour or more!
-Don't even think of putting the pigs in the house until at least 30min have gone by.
-If pigs aren't exhausted by the end, they've got energy to pick on each other in the smaller cage. Let them get it all out in the big space where it's harder for this to escalate into a real fight.
Here's some MILD stuff that went on in my kitchen for about 2 hours. It wasn't constant, the pigs took short rests for eating and laying down.
Videos so you can hear the noise, see the chasing, and see that they're FINE! :)
Plan old, sniffing, squealing, and chasing.
Fred and Jacob nose off, Jacob attempts to shoot pee, Jacob grooms Max's ear, Max cowers and cries and tries to get away
Max is ganged up on and can't rest
Here's an exhausted Fred at the end.
Give Them A Bath
- If all else fails, bathe the pigs together to remove smells and scare them into forgetting they were fighting.
Prepare The House
-The house should be about 2 grids bigger than the recommended size if you can manage it.
-Clean every single speck of that house. This includes washing the grids with vinegar solution and throwing out anything wood or cardboard.
-You need one more of everything than you have pigs and it all needs to be placed as far apart as they can be.
-NO houses. Drape corners with towels, set up a half loft, use Cuddle Cups. We can't even use sacks.
Put the Pigs In The House
-You need to watch them to be sure the smaller space doesn't cause trouble. Ramps in particular should be watched.
-Weigh the pigs daily. If you don't see blood or weight loss, leave them! You might think one pig isn't getting food or water, but if their weight stays the same they are.
-If one pig has a small weight loss, you can take them out for some extra veggies in a cuddle cup where they feel secure. This should not go on for more than a few weeks. Max needed this.
They're Going To Keep Doing It
- The pigs will have outbreaks of dominance behavior for as long as a month.
-I've had pigs completely trash the cage after 2 weeks of peaceful living
-Keep the pigs a little unsettled by changing locations of food, water, and sleeping spots. You can run the vaccum near the pigs too!
-Take the pigs out for extra floor time so they have some extra room. Doing this in new spaces helps.
-Weigh them weekly and unless you see blood or weight loss, the pigs are fine!
Have you noticed the theme here?
1. You're reducing the chances of a real fight by giving the pigs space and eliminating smells.
2. You're leaving the pigs alone to sort out their social structure. Removing them too early wrecks all the hard prep work you did!
Good Luck! (If any one wants to add to this or sees a mistake, please feel free.)
- For Pigs' Sake
When I put Wilbur, Larry and TC together, they basically went all out on their boar smell. Ugh. It was bad. I put some veggies in the middle that they eat together and when they started to whinge and getting really tense again, I just heaped a lot of hay in the middle. They got distracted again and they are happy to be together since then.
They still do the rumblestrut, nose in the air and sniffing but no blood. I think they have all agreed that Wilbur is the dominant.
PS: That is a very explicit mounting photo you have there. :D
I put that explicit picture in there because people have been asking if that is ok. Then, when you say "yes. they mount" people STILL don't know if humping is ok. I figured if I put pictures and videos in and said "This is FINE!" people might get it and I dont have to repeat my self.
I do have a picture of Edward and a stuffed animal. That's something I forgot- having a stuffed animal for your overly hormonal teenage boar to, uh, exercise with can help take some of the attention off a less dominant pig.
Caught in the act
Checking out the result!
(I still can't get all the boar glue off of that poor thing)
I want a collection of all the weird, horrifying, odd, offensive, and inexplicable stuff pigs (particularly boars, but sows do it too!) do so that brand new owners can really get it. And so I dont have to retype every time.
There's an excellent reason why those two haven't been adopted yet. One potential new Mom saw that whole little show and was kind of horrified.
- In Memory of Mama
- GL is Just Peachy
Jackie enjoys dragging his empty scrotum on the ground to pick up carefresh. He also enjoys eating carefresh, the dirtier the better.
One thing that's a big hit with Jackie is a box or bag that smells like "OMG GIRL PEE!!!!" He will rumble at a girlbox for half an hour, easily.
- Lethal Lover
I tried to put my two boys together without success. I did everything that Feylin suggested. Both times, they drew blood. They live in a huge divided cage now and seem the best of friends as long as they aren't together. It seems they like their own bachalor pads.
- GL is Just Peachy
See the separation between Jackie's testicles? He's working on getting some airflow in the butt to stink up the place. You can also see he's walking sideways to impress that other boar.
This is fairly normal:
"I'm going to back my butt up in your general direction!"
"Well, I'm going to lick it then!"
These pics were from Einy and Jackie's playdate with a friend's boar, Chief.
The thing Einy and Jackie did all the time was bump their butts together (from the side), while rumbling and chattering. I really don't know what it was supposed to show, but they did it a lot.
Please. Right now: They're in their own 2x3 chattering at their reflections in the window, humping their stuffed toy, romping and wrastling and throwing their hay around. They're really cute and unusually colored, but good god they're hormonal. Once they grow up they'll probably be perfect cuddly men. Rather like human men, actually.
Edward and Jacob are unusual extreme examples of teenaged boars. Henry sits calmly with me and loves to be brushed, an old foster loved to cuddle under my chin, and Max is even discovering it's nice to sit on my shoulder. Boys can be just as nice as girls....once they grow up! Plus, they do not have the once a month bitchyness.
I'm trying to figure out how to make the videos not private. I did something wrong on flickr.
Salana, I think Fred might be able to compare testicles with Jackie sucessfully. I'm just glad he's got no need to be dominant! Thanks for those pictures and descriptions, that's what I was after. I forgot about how the boys have to lick one another's butt or butt draggings on the floor. :D
Robyn, you did follow the rules sucessfully. If you see blood, separate them. There's nothing you can do with pigs who want to take bleeding chunks out of each other.
There were some nose offs, some rumbling, lots of chattering, but mostly they were fine.
Just now, there was a screaming hair pulling fight between the new guy and Fred. Fred's not even dominant! Thankfully, it was just hair that got yanked out...not bleeding so they stayed in the cage! Everyone is now settled eating extra veggies. All perfectly normal, acceptable pig behavior. :)