Can’t tell if my pig is unhappy or a weirdo.

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FurdyPeanutMomo

Post   » Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:26 pm


I have three boars. Furdinand and Peanut, who are both about two and a half and Momo, who is almost exactly a year old. We initially had all three of them together and they got along pretty well. Momo was clearly the low man on the totem pole but they all got along more or less. About six months in, Momo got noticeably more violent and aggressive and we had to put him in a separate cage next to his brothers. Since then, he seems to be obsessed with getting at this brothers. He constantly rumbles at them from his cage, he pulls on the bars between the cages very forcefully and seems almost singularly obsessed with them to the extent that he will immediately stop eating if he hears the other two rumbling or mounting each other in the other cage.

He has always been a very hyper pig, but these days he hardly seems to relax at all. He used to have hideys that he would be content to rest in, but I really can’t recall the last time i’ve seen him make use of it. Momo also has stopped letting my girlfriend and I have lap time with us, and will even go so far as to try to jump from the couch if he so much as hears a noise coming from his brothers. He seems to eat inconsistently as well. He will always eat his veggies, but some days I will come back from work and his pellet dish will be almost untouched, other days he will have eaten all of it.

I’m afraid that I have failed Momo and have created an unhappy environment for him. Is this normal for an adolescent pig, or are these signs of a perpetually stressed out Guinea Pig? I know he might do better with a cage mate, but i’m afraid to introduce another pig considering Momo’s past aggressive behavior.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:37 pm


This makes me wonder if a testosterone depressant could help some of these boars. But I have no idea if they would. Is he losing weight? Perhaps also hyperactive?

FurdyPeanutMomo

Post   » Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:48 pm


He has been maintaining weight. I’m not familiar with testosterone depressants, is there anything I should know that I won’t find from a google search? I’ve seen other recommendations here and there to minimize the shared wall by putting fleece over part of it, do you have any input on trying this as well?

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:56 pm


I wouldn't put fleece over it. But if you line the wall on Momo's side with plexiglass, you may save him some tooth problems.

I'm afraid you've learned the hard way that boar trios almost never work. A pair usually works, a big herd sometimes works, a trio almost never does.

If you could find a neutered female for him, that might be the best solution.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:41 am


Testosterone in humans is sometimes regulated if there are issues or medical problems like prostate cancer. Testosterone in humans is associated with aggression.

I like bpatters idea of trying to find a neutered female for your solo guinea pig.

WICharlie

Post   » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:01 am


What type of cage is he in? Even if he is living in his own cage, he still needs the appropriate cage space. If he is in an area that is too small, he can't run around like he should and have a release for all that pent up energy. Even a single male pig should have at least a 2X6 grid sized C&C. That would be the first thing to evaluate. If they are living in store bought cages, check out how to make a large and easy to maintain cage at guineapigcages.com
Providing your pig with an appropriate living space could reduce his energy level and his trying to get to the other pigs. It goes without saying that the two pigs sharing a space should have plenty of room as well.

If the problem still persists, consider having him checked over by a cavy savvy vet. Make sure there is nothing going on medically with him. Mites could be making him miserable (if he has mites, all three would have to be treated).

If he is in an appropriate sized cage and nothing is found at a vet visit, you might consider separating him to where he can't see or hear the other pigs temporarily. Give him lots of attention and see if he still acts the same. It may be that he is just a very high energy pig and that is his typical level of activity. After a few weeks, you can try to put him back where he can see the others and see if the behavior starts up again.

Finally, you could get him neutered. It's far easier to neuter a male than it is to spay a female. The neuter alone might reduce his behavior a bit, but, if not, you could then consider adopting a female to keep him company. Try to find a reputable rescue near you that would do meet and greets.

I don't think at all that you have "failed him." You are looking for the right solution to make all your pigs happy and I think you will find it with a little experimenting and observation.

Gessika

Post   » Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:30 pm


2x6 for a single male? I thought 2x3 was ok, although the minimum.

bpatters
And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sun Feb 25, 2018 9:27 pm


Two by three is the bare minimum for a sow, more is recommended. Boars definitely need more room than sows, so I wouldn't put a male in anything less than a 2x5.

WICharlie

Post   » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:15 pm


Oops, yes, the 2X6 is the minimum for a pair of pigs. But bigger is better.

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