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Thread: Brothers fighting over 11 ladies, 1 boy

  1. #1
    Cavy Slave
    Mar 19, 2013
    Tacoma, WA

    Angry Brothers fighting over 11 ladies, 1 boy

    I've got a bit of an interesting situation. Yes, I know boys fight when girls are around. Yes, I know they also need a lot of space. Please don't tell me that all over again.
    My fiance and I both had a large herd of guinea pigs when we moved in together. His boys, the brothers, always lived in a 2x4 c&c cage a few feet away from four girls. Meanwhile, I have one boy, Rubeus, whose cagemate recently passed away, and seven girls. When we moved in together, we combined the herd into 11 girls, and the brothers moved into a larger cage immediately next to Rubeus. Then they began fighting! They've smelled girls next to them their whole life. Why is this time any different?
    We've tried a few things. We've tried introducing them to Rubeus during floor time, and they kept continuously mounting him and arguing over him. We tried putting up a wall between theirs and Rubeus' cage, but that has only calmed things down a little. Maybe they think Rubeus is a girl? Maybe they're gay? (I've had gay piggies before.)
    We're in track to neuter Rubeus and put him with the ladies, and then we'll combine his old cage with the brothers' cage to give them more space. But since there's so many ladies, I have a theoretical question. How many ladies does it take for boys to stop fighting? I've heard that wild guinea pigs have herds of about four pigs, with one male. If we have such a big herd, could we possibly neuter all three boys and bring everybody together? (We also have a massive c&c cage setup, as you could probably imagine. It takes up our entire living room.)
    We also don't have space to move the boys further away from the girls. Worst case scenario, we will split the boys up, but they've been brothers forever and I'd hate to see that happen.
    Anybody familiar with large herds would be extra helpful, too!

  2. #2
    Cavy Slave pigmommy89's Avatar
    Apr 01, 2014
    North Carolina

    Re: Brothers fighting over 11 ladies, 1 boy

    I wouldn't chance it. You might neuter them and split the girls up into smaller groups. Or neutering the brothers might lower their aggression and allow them to stay together in their own cage.

  3. #3

    Re: Brothers fighting over 11 ladies, 1 boy

    You can't put multiple males in with a group of females. They'll fight, even if they're neutered.

    Anything can set off dominance issues -- the death of one pig, a new cage, moving them around, putting a new group next to them, whatever. There's no way to know what set them off.

  4. #4

    Re: Brothers fighting over 11 ladies, 1 boy

    I think your current issue might have more to do with trying three boars together rather than the presence of girls nearby. Three boars together almost never works. As for how many sows it takes for neutered boars to not fight, I don't think there is a number rather it depends on the boars, I'm sure there are some boars where it wouldn't matter how many sows there are he will still take issue with another boar in the area. The mixed herds with multiple boars I have seen have been like 20+ girls to two mellow boars.

    I would agree with your original plan, neuter one of the boys and have him with the girls, leave a boar pair together but enlarge their cage.

    Now as to which boar you neuter that is something to think about, if the brothers are still having issues with each other you may have to split them, pair one with Rubeus and neuter the other brother. Having the original pair suddenly take issue with one another and need to be house separately from each other is one of the big risks of trying a boar trio (worse case scenario with trying a boar trio aside from injuries occuring is winding up with three solo boars none of which can be housed with either of the other two).

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