putting adults together - advise needed on behavior

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Post   » Sun Jan 27, 2008 5:59 am

Hi All, You were so helpful to me approx 2 years ago + hoping you can help again...please!
I had 4 boars - living in pairs (2 hutches). recently my old boar Bolly passedaway after long heart troubles. He was 5 yrs.

Leaving behind his young male Fuzzy - only a year and he laid back in temperament. The other 2 boars we have being 2 years old. I want them all to live together and started trying the 3 of them in run yesterday. This is where I am asking for help........(and Ive been reading other posts too) I not sure of the behavior and from what they were doing not sure if this is a good idea ...though I hope they could live together -
One of the boars Charly is very bossy and clearly always been the agreesive leader - he started mounting fuzzy (fuzzy on his hisown) then they were both going round in circles both trying to mount each other. Which they did and I could smell the scent. This goes on for few minutes sometimes they both rear the faces to each other - not had a fiht yet but I am so anxious. Then the 2 of them calm down and ate grass - only then minute later charly at fuzzy again trying to mount and making the brooping noises. Then we had teeth chattering - What does that mean???

Meanwhile the 3rd pig who lives with charly just ignores them - so he isnt the prblem.
My questions please to you folks is =Is this normal and does it sound like they may settle and get on? Ive read on other posts its the pecking order and maybe they will sort it out. Do I leave them on their own and sort it out? Is the teeth chattering a sign they in fear of eagh other?
I am so trying to avoid having to get another baby pig for fuzzy - who I know cant live on his own - not being fair. But I work ful time - So worried if I put them all together they might fight.

Is mounting normal (and the wiggling of bum and brooping) in trying to get on...? Any advise I would be so grateful (upsetting enough loosing my pig this week and now I worrying.

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Post   » Sun Jan 27, 2008 6:49 am

The mounting and rumblestrutting (wiggling the bum and the burring noise) is normal behaviour, they are trying to establish dominance.

This page has lots of very useful information on what is and isnt normal behaviour when introducing new pigs to your herd, if you scroll about halfway down you should find a list of signs that tell you when you should be concerned.


Post   » Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:02 am

Thanks for that - I will try look at that page. Actually I put them all together again for while - There was a lot of teeth chattering and rounding up- We had lots of teeth yawning to each other and sizing up - So I am thinking maybe they wont get along. I left them for 15 mins and then took Fuzzy out in case of a fight........Am I giving up too early?

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Post   » Sun Jan 27, 2008 9:08 am

Make a big effort to read that linked page. It's 110% worth it. Seriously the best advice on the net is there so it's not worth out retyping ya know. If you have some questions after reading, please, feel free to keep asking. They really do best with a buddy.

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Post   » Sun Jan 27, 2008 10:50 am

First thing, all three won't be able to live together unless you have a cage large enough. Check out the cage size standards at www.gineapigcages.com .


Post   » Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:56 am

Thanks - I keep trying to view Cavyspirit - but page not opening so will try later before I askany other questions. Thanks for the link.
We have a huge cavy hutch with 2 bedrooms and large run area -so caging is not the problem.
As I have been watching them today - I do not think that 2 of the piggies like each other and just not sure how long you should leave them together as it must stress them out. Thanks for advise - will keep trying the site you recommend - amybe everyone is looking at it!

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We miss our sweet Oreo

Post   » Sun Jan 27, 2008 12:28 pm

This all sounds very appropriate. I have 2 boars who have lived together for 2 years and they still do the teeth chattering thing at each other all the time. In fact, if one is in a feisty mood, he'll try to mount the other. It just never stops. But the majority of the time, they coexist and don't hassle each other. I've found that the trick is to have enough hiding places so everybody has a safe place to retreat to. We've just added a baby male to the mix. Poor guy went through a couple of days of teeth chattering and humping, but it never got viscious. He quickly realized his place in the group and all is somewhat peaceful again. I wonder, though, what will happen when he reaches adolescence.

Hang in there, and just wait it out. Everytime you separate them for any time then put them back together, the entire dominance process will start over again.

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Post   » Sun Jan 27, 2008 12:46 pm

Best advice is to leave them together even if you hear chattering and see mounting. It's worth the stress of leaving them alone without watching them.


Post   » Sun Jan 27, 2008 1:32 pm

Hi, thanks so much - my only concern with leaving them alone is they have a fight. Today they did try have apop at each other - seems neother of them wanted to back down. Will try again in my lunch hour tommorow.
Thanks Amy0204- maybe thats where i am going wrong as yuo say - I do separate them and put them back in separate hutches. Only problem with working full time I dare not leave them all in together just yet.
Do yours lift their heads up to each other -i keep thinking they might bite each other..? I also noticed Fuzzy yawning showing off the teeth as if to say - look these will bite.....maybe a rescue pig is needed. Just shame because I am trying to down size and was hoping all 3 could live together.
Still cant get on the website recommended (cavyspirit) - anyone else having problems with it?

Also if anyone else has any similar situations re rearing up and chattering- Would love to hear your feedback and whether was a happy ending?

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Post   » Sun Jan 27, 2008 1:34 pm

They're all normal behaviors. I'd leave them together and check on them often. Only separate if you see blood.

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Post   » Sun Jan 27, 2008 1:35 pm

it is working fine here, maybe its because your one a different browser to me? the link is http://www.cavyspirit.com/sociallife.htm

hope that works this time


Post   » Sun Jan 27, 2008 2:53 pm

Hiya all (and thanks Maria1986-kind of you - and yes hooray, it worked). I just been reading the article on introducing piggies.

I can see from the pig dating game - I started wrong by introducing in one of current pigs home.

But can anyone advise - How many times do you try the dating game - And if they bite each other - Is that it- Game over??

How many attempts do you give them? If they draw blood - Do you then decide they wont get on so not put them back together and thats the end of it? Just dont want Fuzzy living on his own for long.

Thanks for great website on piggies- and all your help so far.
Its clear today trial was definatly getting ready for battle. The signs of concern were there- I shouldnt have separated I know now.

If anyone can advise how many times I shoulf try to introduce them - And also how long does it take for them to sort the pecking order out? Should I be putting them together every day for a time? I cant leave them together as said I have to go to work.
Any further replies to help me - sorry to go on-

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Post   » Sun Jan 27, 2008 2:56 pm

Basically the thing to do is one big, long introduction, planning for the long term. This means a buddy bath, floortime introductions in a neutral place, a thorough cage cleaning, and a "cage furniture" redesign in a suitably sized enclosure. If things go really poorly after this, you may be looking at building 2 adjacent cages for them to be neighbors.

If it were me, I'd want to wait until next weekend when they could be closely observed for a long period of time. It may give them some time to chill out after today's interaction as well.


Post   » Sun Jan 27, 2008 4:44 pm

Thaks Rshevin - thats good advise - I am going to do as you say. see what next weekend brings and report, bit cold here in the Uk for buddy bath as they housed in shed but I am going to try other things. Thanks again and all. I report on that soon.

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Post   » Sun Jan 27, 2008 5:15 pm

For the health and safety of your pets, you should really bring them indoors.

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Post   » Mon Jan 28, 2008 3:21 pm

Rubes, I'm in the UK to and I don't know about where you are, but here its pretty cold and has been pretty windy. because of the temperature the piggies would probably be happier indoors over the winter, you will also be able to keep a better eye on them as well while they are getting used to each other. Also if they are in the living room or the room you spend most time in you will have great fun watching them running around, popcorning and playing. "Guinea pig TV" is now a favourite in our house!

Also if they are in the shed what size hutch do you have them in, as if the space is too small they will fight because of lack of space, I know that it is a standard thing in the UK to use hutches like the ones in Pets at Home and keep them outside, but the Petshop ones rarely meet the RSPCA standards for 1 pig, let alone 3!


Post   » Tue Jan 29, 2008 1:47 pm

Hiya Maria1896, I am in Kent. They currently are housed in 2 hutches in shed - but the big 2 bed hutches we had especially made are outside for spring/ summer use.
I give them microwave heat pads when cold.

As I am worried about Fuzzy being on his own (he already stpped the chirping and popcorning on his own) then we are going to take end panels out of hutches (which are next to ea other) and put in wire so Fuzzy can see the other 2.
We definatley going to take yuor advise (and others)and try the buddy thing on towels this weekend. The annoying thing is with working full time we can only try this at the weekend.

If it goes ok at the weekend (no major fights) can you advise whether they be alright to house together - Or is this a gradula thing and I have to try the buddying thing many times???
Only read that if it dosent work 1st time - You have to start all over again - Hpw many attempts do you give?

Thanks Maria1986 - Where are you in UK?
I totally agree with what you saying about petshop hutches in the UK.

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Post   » Tue Jan 29, 2008 3:19 pm

I was given the advice that if you don't see bloodshed after and hour, house them together after giving the cage a really really good scrub and then just keep an eye on them. You may find that they are never best buddies and just tolerate living together, but every time they try to establish dominance and you break them up, they will have to go through the same thing again the next time (or so I have been told). So maybe do the neutral territory and buddy bath at the weekend and if they are OK for the first hour then just leave them and see where it goes. If they end up seriously fighting and drawing blood then separate them obviously.

Mine have been housed together for a while now, and still act like it is a pain to have the other one about, untill something startles them, then they run to each other for comfort and if one has lap time they wheek to each other and miss the other when they are not there!

I am currently in Oxford, but lived in Kent too until I moved about a year ago.

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