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Thread: Adoption Fears

  1. #1
    Cavy Slave
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    Adoption Fears

    Okay, so I'm considering getting my guinea pig a friend... He's been alone for something like three months, and I'd like him to have a friend, even though save for 8 hours a day, I'm right next to him.
    Now, the only things I have concerns about are these.
    The cage is small for 2 boars, and I have absolutely no option to expand the cage, as this one is already pushing the limits of what I can have.
    Besides my cage troubles, I have another problem. Any adoption center is at least an hour to two hours away and I have no way of bringing him with me were I to travel that far, nor would I want to as it's going to be dropping below freezing soon here, and I'd rather not put him through that as well as another I'd be bringing home.
    Anyway, there's one more problem, and it's that, well, he's been alone with no emotional issues, he's not sad or depressed in any visible way, and he's had the cage to himself for three months. I worry, honestly, that it might actually be sort of mean to bring a piggy into the picture who might seek to have dominance of the cage, since well, he's had free reign to the cage for his whole time here.
    I gues i'm just a worrier, so ... maybe could you reassure me on some of these things?

  2. #2
    Cavy Slave miniver's Avatar
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    Re: Adoption Fears

    I think many reputable adoption centers are aware of the possibility that a new pairing may not work. Talk to them about what they can do if it doesn't work out.

    There will always be dominance "issues" but that is normal. My girls are constantly testing each other's limits but no serious fights. A lot of noise and whining and rumbling when one is in heat but they always settle back down. All guinea pigs are drama queens, or kings!

    How big is you cage? He may not seem like he's unhappy but I bet he would be much happier with another guinea pig to keep him company.

  3. #3
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Adoption Fears

    it's a 2x4 c&c cage. I've been told that's fine for sows but that it isn't enough for boars. It's just one of those things where I feel like f he starts getting bossed around by another guinea pig it's like... he was fine till he had another pig around, i guess is my thinking. But I'm just a human so...

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Adoption Fears

    My two boars always push each other out of the way, if one is in the igloo and the other one wants to use it, he rumbles and pushes the other one out. They don't share anything or cuddle up. They like to have their own space. They have a 2x6 and my dominant still mounts the other, but all of this is totally normal. Despite all of this I think they still like to be in each others company, just to watch another one of themselves eating and drinking etc gives them comfort. My lone boar perked up, got more active, ate more, popcorned more ever since having a friend. However, I thought they would cuddle each other or act like best friends (maybe like sows would) and I was wrong. So don't have too high expectations. My two were introduced at 4 and 5 year old and still get along fine.

    I recommend bringing your piggy to them to have a meet and greet before bringing him home in case it does not work. There's always that possibility they might fight.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Adoption Fears

    How old is your guinea pig? The younger males have more problems getting along than the older ones. (Of course, guinea pigs are quite fond of disproving generalizations).
    A 2 x 4 grid cage may work, or it might not. It all depends on the piggies. We've had some that got along fine in a 2 x 3 grid cage, and others that wouldn't get along if they had a whole football field.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Adoption Fears

    I would recommend at minimum having a 2x6 for boars. That way, if you have a problem and they need to be separated, you can just throw some grids in the middle and still have two adequate cages.

    I just got home from the vet because one of my boars was injured a few days after we introduced them. I divided their cage in half and I don't know if we'll try putting them together again.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Adoption Fears

    Okay, again, I cannot cannot cannot expand the cage anymore.
    The male I have now is about 9 months old I think now.
    This is all great advice but hasn't ultimately made me feel any better about sticking another pig in with him.

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    Cavy Slave sallyvh's Avatar
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    Re: Adoption Fears

    A pair of boars definitely could work in a 2x4 or they may not.

    Try and find a good guinea pig rescue that will work with you and can let you try out some combos. I would recommend getting an adult though so you won't have to go through the "puberty" stage in a few months.

    You would need to just space things out in the 2x4 and make sure all hides have 2 entrances. You would want to plan your cage so it has flow.

  9. #9
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Adoption Fears

    Quote Originally Posted by VellaBella View Post
    Okay, again, I cannot cannot cannot expand the cage anymore.
    The male I have now is about 9 months old I think now.
    This is all great advice but hasn't ultimately made me feel any better about sticking another pig in with him.
    Your pig has many years ahead of him, and you can't predict how your life will change in that time. If you aren't sure that you're prepared to handle the worst case scenarios, like suddenly having two pigs that don't get along in the space you have, it might be better to hold off on getting a friend for him for now.

    This is only my opinion, and others will probably chime in with their own, but I feel like I rushed into getting a friend for Cosmo. We had him as an only pig for about two months, he was our first and I hadn't found this forum yet, and what I read here convinced me that I immediately had to get him a companion. As novice pig owners, we weren't prepared or experienced enough to handle the dominance behaviors of adolescent boars. We've tried twice to introduce them and both attempts have ended in injury and separation, this time ending in a pig who is in a lot of pain and can barely walk.

    My recommendation would be to give your boar the best possible care as a single pig, until you have the space, time, and means to set up a larger cage and find him a good buddy.

    You have about another year to go before he's out of puberty, and any introductions with another boar before then will probably require a lot of space.

    If you wait, you might find a spayed sow or an older boar that will be a good match in a smaller cage. You might find that your living arrangements change and you can build a bigger cage.

  10. #10
    Cavy Slave CavyChrissy's Avatar
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    Re: Adoption Fears

    I agree with @kairi26 on this one. My first reason is that your 2x4 is likely not big enough. I have 2 sows in a 2 x 4.5 and honestly it's just barely big enough. They are a pair that aren't besties, they just tolerate each other because it's better than being alone. Second reason, intros may not work out and if so, you would need another cage and it sounds like you don't have the space for it. Several months ago we adopted a neutered boar Randy who we tried to introduce to the girls. Intros went ok-ish and they all lived in the cage (a 2x6) for a few weeks. However Snickers was VERY dominant and Randy wouldn't back down from her (even though he was a little 5-month-old guy!). She bit and bit him on the butt and one day we came home to find he had a bleeding bite from his nose to his lip. So we divided our cage and added an upper level, so Randy has his own space but can still see the girls through a grid wall.

    Although this makes me think, would you consider making a stacked cage? Something like this one I found in the gallery:



    It wouldn't take up any more floor space. Good luck!

  11. #11
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Adoption Fears

    If I can get rid of my dresser then I may consider stacking, but only if i can do that. just one of those things. We'll see what happens.

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