Boars Living Together

Charybdis

Post   » Tue Dec 31, 2002 2:41 pm


Prospective adopters call me, looking for a guinea pig pair to be kept as pets.

"I should probably adopt two females, because I heard that males will fight," is a phrase I hear so often, to my ultimate sadness as I look around at the abundance of sweet, gentle, healthy male pairs waiting for homes.

People are only repeating what they are told, and like urban legends and old wives' tales, the myth about boars is a hard nut to crack, especially when there is so much counter-information.

The truth is, boars can get along in twos, threes, fours, and so on, as long as you are a conscientious cavy caretaker. This means taking account of a few important factors. The following list are what I consider priorities in keeping 2 cavies together (of any gender).

1) Cage Space -- 2 guinea pigs, whether male or female, need ample living quarters. See http://www.cavycages.com for accepted standards.

2) Having Two of Everything -- This means that nobody has to wait in line for amenities. It cuts down on friction.

3) Health -- All animals become irritable when they are sick. Mites, URIs, UTIs, and other illnesses will contribute to squabbling.

4) Personality --This is key! I try to match up a dominant
with a submissive and most often put a baby with an adult. An adult may push a baby around at first (or I have seen it happen the other way around!) but an adult will most likely not hurt a baby.

5) Proper Introductions -- A neutral, unfamiliar area is the best place for introductions. Never just put a new guinea pig into an old one's cage! While they are being introduced, thoroughly clean and disinfect the cage to be used.

Most of this information I initially learned from Cavy Spirit: http://www.cavyspirit.com/sociallife.htm#Initial
It is knowledge that has been reinforced by experience. I strongly suggest that you visit this site and read all of the wonderful detailed information about guinea pig pairing.

A lot of this is common sense. How would you like it if a stranger moved into your tiny house without your permission and started sharing your only food dish, water glass, bed, and toilet? You wouldn't be happy, believe me.

However, when matched under the right conditions, the majority of boars are delighted to have a friend. Here are some successful boar couples.

Netscape users can click on this link for the boar stories and pictures:

http://www.nikspiggies.org/boars.html

Charybdis

Post   » Tue Dec 31, 2002 2:55 pm


Squeakers and Scottie--Adopted and living happily together.
http://nikspiggies.org/ScottieSqueaks3.jpg
Squeakers, my first foster piggy, was rescued from the pound. He waited a long time for a friend and in the meantime became very lonely. Now he and Scottie are inseparable. Scottie, the cream/chocolate/white baby, is the dominant one!

Possum and Snickers--Adopted and living happily together.
http://nikspiggies.org/PS400.JPG
Possum was the loneliest piggy I ever saw. He would cry pitifully whenever he saw another pig. Their introduction was a little rough, though, but once Possum learned how to behave, they became a very attached pair.

Malcolm and Dexter--Adopted and living happily together.
http://nikspiggies.org/maldex400.JPG
Malcolm and Dexter are brothers, although most of the boars I
pair up are not. They were adopted Christmas eve.

Charybdis

Post   » Tue Dec 31, 2002 3:09 pm


Piggy Boy and Billy Bob -- Living Happily Together.
http://nikspiggies.org/pbbb400.JPG
These are my own boars. They were introduced when Billy Bob was 3 (he was dumped then rescued) and Piggy Boy was 4 months old. When I took them to the vet together, he told me that boars cannot live together. Shows what he knows. They are now 4 and 1.

Fudge and Sparky -- Living happily together.
http://nikspiggies.org/Erinboars.JPG
Fudge and Sparky were introduced when Fudge was 7 weeks and Sparky 5 weeks old. They never had any problems with each other, the first introduction on neutral space went so well that they went straight to the same cage that day. They've been together since. Fudge is the dominant boar, and Sparky will cry if Fudge gets cuddle time and he's left in the cage without his friend.

These are Erin's young boars. Aren't they adorable?

Charles, Nelson, and Reilly -- Living happily together.
http://nikspiggies.org/leebeeboars.JPG
These are Lebee's boars. About their introduction, she writes: "Nelson (the abby) was younger (3-4 months, about)
when introduced to the two older males. They had small squabbles, but really got along very well. Boars have so much personality! I can't imagine not having my boars."

Fido, Winnie, and Rover -- Living happily together.
http://nikspiggies.org/Sunnysboars3.JPG
These are Sunny's boars. Here is her advice on peaceful cohabitation: "I think the KEY to boars living together is giving them PLENTY of room and exactly the same size house. If one house is bigger than the other, they will fight over it. Also offering two food dishes and water bottles may help. And put hay in more than one area of the cage. Just limit the things they have to share."

Charybdis

Post   » Tue Dec 31, 2002 3:29 pm


Hopefully, this post will put things into perspective for those of you thinking about adopting two males or introducing a new boar to your own.

It is so sad that many males have to live by themselves due to misinformation and even more tragic when someone dumps a boar because he "fought" with his roommate. Guinea pigs are social animals and they are perfectly capable of, and deserve to live with a friend.

So the next time someone tells you that their boars "fight," take into account the source. Did they keep them in a tiny cage with limited amenities? Did they just throw them together and not give a second thought to proper introductions? Did the boars have any illnesses that made them miserable and cranky? Was it a bad match between two dominant boars?

Or were they just ignorant of the typical dominance dance that goes on between guinea pigs (male OR female) when they meet for the first time? Teresa Murphy of Cavy Spirit calls this act "the dating game," and she has this to say about her experience with it:

"We have probably gone through the dating game process close to 100 times! To date, over the course of several years, NONE of the guinea pig pairs that we have matched up and adopted out have ceased getting along, and that includes many boar pairs and some boar trios. "

For more details on what the "dating game" looks like, visit
http://www.cavyspirit.com/sociallife.htm#Introductions

And spread the word. Only when people become more informed about the social behavior of guinea pigs will the boar myth disappear.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Tue Dec 31, 2002 3:37 pm


Good job! Some cute as bugs boars. Are you interested in my putting up a page on the GL reference with your text and pictures? Most people will be able to see this page alright, but some using old versions of Netscape will see overlapping pics and text and be unable to read it (see notes on New Topic and Reply Page concerning problems with Netscape).

They all do look like they are getting on together so well.

Erin8607
Knee Deep

Post   » Tue Dec 31, 2002 4:32 pm


good information, I also sent you some text for under my boys.

Charybdis

Post   » Tue Dec 31, 2002 4:32 pm


Are you interested in my putting up a page on the GL reference with your text and pictures?
Sure. Just need a little time to collect some quotes and compile some links.

Charybdis

Post   » Tue Dec 31, 2002 4:39 pm


Thanks, Erin, but only Lynx can edit it now--maybe she will?

Here is Erin's quote about Fudge and Sparky:

"Fudge and Sparky were introduced when Fudge was 7 weeks and Sparky 5 weeks old. They never had any problems with each other, the first introduction on neutral space went so well that they went straight to the same cage that day. They've been together since. Fudge is the dominant boar, and Sparky will cry if Fudge gets cuddle time and he's left in the cage without his friend."

That is so cute! Scottie and Piggy Boy are the same way--they both cry without their roomies.

User avatar
Sunny

Post   » Tue Dec 31, 2002 4:45 pm


Excellent resource Charybdis! Thanks for your efforts.

HollyT
Get on your bike.

Post   » Tue Dec 31, 2002 4:54 pm


You're so helpful Nicole :)

pinta

Post   » Tue Dec 31, 2002 5:48 pm


The pics are all overlapping the type and the pics. Doesn't read on Netscape.

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Tue Dec 31, 2002 6:57 pm


This is what I was referring to. If I can do up a separate html page with the pics, then we won't have this problem.

I also think you should include some common questions and answers -- we get them all the time concerning boars and problems. How to know if they are not going to get a long and need to be separated and other things.

Charybdis

Post   » Tue Dec 31, 2002 8:59 pm


Netscape users can click on this link for the boar stories and pictures:

http://www.nikspiggies.org/boars.html

Lynx, can you please move this link up to the bottom of the first frame? I hope this solves the difficulty.

pinta

Post   » Wed Jan 01, 2003 4:53 pm


The pics are still overlapping other posts so they are unreadable.

User avatar
Scooters Pet

Post   » Wed Jan 01, 2003 7:19 pm


Hi,
Just thought I would throw in my experiences with boars living together.
As of right now I have 6 boars.
I have 3 in one cage:
Scooter was almost 3 yrs old when 2 baby boys(4 weeks)Peanut and Lucky that I had hand raised where put in with him full time.Before that Scooter would visit their cage.He taught them how to eat the pellets,veggies ,hay and taught them what the water bottle did.Right now Scooter is 3 and a half and my babies are now just over 6 months old,all are living in harmony.Even with 9 girls in the room.
The other three,Sonny,Pilgrim and Gizmo are in a cage together.This is due to Sonny was over a yr(we think)when we got a call that he was found in a dumpster.So he and Scooter got along for 3 weeks then they both decided they both wanted to be head pig,started fighting so we split them.We put Sonny in his own cage.But Pilgrim was introduce when he was only 8 weeks and Gizmo was 4 weeks when he was introduce to them.All get along famously.NO fighting what so ever between my boys.
I love my boys and wouldn't give them up for the world.
>>ANGIE<<

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Wed Jan 01, 2003 7:53 pm


Pinta, I can't change this page without rewriting everything or making all the pics into links. If you go to the bottom of the top post, Charybdis added a link to a page that should be readable with the text and pics from subsequent posts she put up.

This is the link:

http://www.nikspiggies.org/boars.html

Does it work for you?

Charybdis

Post   » Wed Jan 01, 2003 9:20 pm


Lynx, the link worked for me on Netscape. If you like, I can re-write it with the pics as links. Let me know.

Angie, how about some pics of those boars for my website? You could send them to my email address :)
Charybdis444@aol.com

pinta

Post   » Wed Jan 01, 2003 9:29 pm


The link worked fine but the pics are still overlapping the 31 Dec 2002 12:29 post which I assume is separate from the post above.

----------

Why not ditch the pics from the thread entirely and stick to the link or post the pics one at a time(I think that works).

All I see is slices of overlapping pics covering type. Don't even see a full pic except for the first one.

Charybdis

Post   » Wed Jan 01, 2003 9:42 pm


I have no problem doing that. Lynx, just let me know--but don't delete the post until I've copied everything down! :)

User avatar
Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Wed Jan 01, 2003 10:26 pm


What Pinta means is just using links, not images. People can click on the link to see the pic. The way you laid it out messed it all up for Netscape people. I had directions on the post page about this.

I'll just change them to links vs. pics and leave them in order.

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