Guinea pig sitting questions


Post   » Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:47 pm

I will be "guinea pig sitting" for two boars over Christmas. I have two sows already. I know that they need to stay 100% separate at all times, but I"m wondering about some other stuff. For instance, should they be in the same room, where they'll be able to see/hear/smell each other, or should they stay in different rooms? Also, when I give them floor time, can I do it in the same area (at different times)? Basically, can they know about the other pigs, or should they stay in totally different areas?

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Post   » Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:10 pm

They can know about the other pigs, and they can use the same floor time area.

The only issue you may have is if/when one or both of the sows are in heat. That may upset the boars a little. But maybe not.


Post   » Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:47 am

Ok, thanks. The boars are both pretty mellow (I took care of them a few months ago, before I had my own piggies) so I doubt that they'll go crazy when the sows are in heat.

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Post   » Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:51 am

I used to foster only boars, because I was unsure how they would react in the presence of sows. As it turned out, there was no need to worry, and currently I have six of my own boars and five foster sows. At the most the boars find the sows an entertainment and visit them once in a while. They usually only say hello through bars, and the more testosterone driven boars spend a little more time beside the female cages, "singing" and rumblestrutting. They never, ever turned aggressive because of females who were housed in separate cages.
Frankly speaking, I had once boars who were not aggressive towards each other even when visited by a spayed sow. They all were very polite.


Post   » Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:08 pm

Two follow-up questions: First, at what age do sows start going into heat? Mine are around 5.5-6 months; do they go into heat at such a young age?
Also, could the boars make the sows more irritable or anything? The boars are the most well-paired pigs you'd imagine; never any squabbles, rumblestrutting, etc, but my girls don't get along super well (Lots of rumblestrutting from the dominant one, squealing/"arguments", etc. Could the girls be bothered by the boys? I don't want to disrupt what seems like a pretty fragile peace between them.

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Post   » Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:00 pm

They go into heat around four weeks of age. The presence of the boars probably won't bother them.

I think you're overthinking this.


Post   » Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:07 pm

Ok. I tend to be a bit nervous :) There will be another person watching all four of them for a couple days, so I want to make sure they won't go crazy for her, either (she doesn't know much about piggies).

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Post   » Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:45 pm

Tell her to keep them apart, always, and they'll be fine.


Post   » Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:32 am

Yes, my only advice is to be 100% SURE the boys and the girls do not have any physical contact whatsoever, even through bars.


Post   » Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:43 am

Yes, total separation is the most important thing! Their cages are a few inches apart and I don't see any way that anything could happen. The girl who's watching them for me is super responsible and I know she won't let anything happen, so I'm not too worried.


Post   » Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:16 am

Make sure the cages have covers. How high can regular pigs jump?

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Post   » Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:23 am

Ten inches or so.


Post   » Mon Dec 25, 2017 9:19 pm

So, I've been gone the last few days on vacation and a girl I know (and trust) has been taking care of the piggies. She did give them floor time, but obviously, not several hours per day. I just came back tonight, and when I was saying hi to piggies, I noticed a bit of a scab under the fur of one. I looked further, and there's a large area scabbed over; it looks like a scraped knee, a large part is scabbed over (and much of the skin is also raw). What could this be? The other pig is completely fine - no raw skin, no scabs or anything. Could they have fought? Could it be something like mites (and if so, are my piggies at risk of getting it?

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Post   » Mon Dec 25, 2017 9:27 pm

I doubt that it's mites. It could be an injury. I'd watch it carefully to make sure there's no infection, and to see if the pig is aggravating it by licking or scratching it. If so, you'll need to treat it and possibly cover it.


Post   » Mon Dec 25, 2017 9:38 pm

Okay, it does look like it's healing properly. although he wasn't super thrilled about me pushing his fur backwards to get a good look and touching around the scabs, nothing looks infected. I'll watch him carefully.
If it is infected or gets opened, can I use something like Neosporin on it to prevent/treat infection? I don't want anything to happen, especially since they're not my piggies.
The owner also said that something like this happened to his lip and went away. I don't know if that means they have fought before...

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Post   » Mon Dec 25, 2017 10:11 pm

Yes, you can apply Neosporin very sparingly and rub it in very well. You don't want him to lick it off, which is why I didn't suggest putting it on unless it looks like it's beginning to be infected.

How large a cage are they in? And do they have hideys with only one door?


Post   » Mon Dec 25, 2017 10:19 pm

I just went in to check on him, and his side is now bleeding! I think he was trying to itch it, which, of course, led to the scab breaking. It doesn't seem infected, but I at least want to cover it so he doesn't mess with it any more, but how should I do that?

Their cage is small (there's another post about it, I believe you suggested dropping a concrete block on it). Their hidey is usually knocked down, so it has more than one entrance, but it is made to be against the side and have one. It's too small for both of them, though. That's one of the main things they fight over, actually. I would put in a second, but the cage is too small for it; they would have NO space to do anything with another hidey.

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Post   » Mon Dec 25, 2017 10:21 pm

Can you separate them? Put one in the bathtub or something?

Where exactly is the sore? Is it on his body, or his leg? And how large is it? Can you post a picture? You can send one to Lynx and she'll post it.


Post   » Mon Dec 25, 2017 10:41 pm

It's not a sore so much as a big scab. Kind of like what a scraped knee looks like - kind of widespread with sort of a bumpy scab. It's on his side and butt. I can't tell its exact size, but probably at least an inch around. It's hard to get a look at, so I don't think any picture I could somehow get would be any good. He's pretty squirmy, and it's all beneath his fur, anyway.

As for separating them, I might be able to put down my spare fleece pad and put one in a bathtub or laundry basket. Now that I'm back, I will be resuming "floor time all the time" for every waking hour I'm home, so that should help. For the last few days they've mostly been cooped up together in their puny cage.

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Post   » Mon Dec 25, 2017 11:51 pm

Is it an area that he can scratch with his feet? Or bite at with his teeth? It may be mites after all -- I misread your first post and thought the sore was on his leg. The classic sign of mites on a pig's back is a V-shaped pattern with the bottom of the V at the middle of the upper back and the two legs pointing toward the pig's rear legs. It's the area a pig can reach when it's trying to bite at mites. And if this pig only has an infestation on one side and can reach that area, it could be mites.

It could also be a fungus. It would really help if you can get a picture to Lynx so we can see what it looks like.

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