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Thread: New Canadian guinea pig mom to angry boys!

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    Cavy Slave
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    Question New Canadian guinea pig mom to angry boys!

    Hello! Just joined this forum as I've recently (2 weeks ago) adopted two male guinea pigs who were in need of a new home. They're my first piggies so I'm currently researching everything I can get my hands on!

    Han & Chewy are (we were told) approx. 2 years old. They've been a bit neglected over the past 4 months as they were in temporary housing while their previous owners tried to find them a new home. Working on getting their overly long nails clipped soon!

    They have major trust issues, but they've just started letting me occasionally give them some soft head pats, and they popcorned for the first time yesterday!

    I worked on expanding their cage to 2X4 and gave them a loft as they've been rumble strutting like crazy and they seem to NOT be getting along. There seems to be no break between them rumbling or getting in each others way (it escalated to lunging and squeaking, so I expanded from 2x3 to 2x4 and hoping that helps). I know it's only been 2 weeks, but I'm getting worried they just aren't compatible with each other, despite the fact they supposedly lived together for the past 2 years. Maybe that's why they were rehomed?

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: New Canadian guinea pig mom to angry boys!

    Welcome to the Forum! I'm sure that others will have lots of input for you.

    I have almost always had boars and what you are describing sounds like typical behavior. So long as there is no outright lunging, fur pulling, or blood drawn, I would relax a bit about their behavior. Often a change in surroundings and change in cage can provoke upset and arguments. Give them a little more time.

    I have two boars in a 2x5 with a 2x2 loft and that is barely enough room. I would expand the cage in a heartbeat if I had the space to do so. Your cage setup looks fine, but it appears that you have the room to expand? Why not do that when you can?

    As a last resort, you can have them neutered which generally removes a good deal of aggression. Neutering is very safe when done by a competent cavy-saavy Vet. I have had all my boars neutered and have never had difficulty with them getting along.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: New Canadian guinea pig mom to angry boys!

    Hey! Thanks for alleviating some of my worry, I'm going to leave them well enough alone since I've tweaked their cage a bunch since we brought them home, they probably need a break from me futzing with it.

    Unfortunately 2X4 is as big as we can go right now (hard to see from my picture, but it's almost lined up at the edge of the stairs, any farther out and we'd walk into it... and width wise our dining table is right next to it).

    I've already been daydreaming about re-purposing old furniture to expand their space... I sense a growing obsession with these fuzzbuts!

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: New Canadian guinea pig mom to angry boys!

    Lack of space is definitely one of their problems. A 2x4 just isn't large enough for two boars.

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    Cavy Slave Candalalala's Avatar
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    Re: New Canadian guinea pig mom to angry boys!

    Oooh an idea! Have you thought about making the cage into an L shape? Is there room for that kind of cage?

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: New Canadian guinea pig mom to angry boys!

    They're going to have to live with 2x4 for now while I try and dream up ways to shuffle my living room around (I'm downsizing kids toys, so I'm going to see if I can move them to a more spacious spot!).
    @bpatters if 2x4 isn't big enough, what's the "ideal" space for two boars? (I mean, ideal in their little minds would be an entire room I'm sure... but ideal within reason!)

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: New Canadian guinea pig mom to angry boys!

    I guess my (unfortunate) follow up question is... if I CAN'T give them a bigger space, is it better to rehome them? I worry that there are already so many piggies that are looking for homes, they would be happier in my less than adequate space vs someone elses even smaller space or even smaller shelter My original plan was to get two girls where this wouldn't be as much of an issue, but then these two needed a home and I wanted to help!

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    Cavy Slave Soecara's Avatar
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    Re: New Canadian guinea pig mom to angry boys!

    The ideal size for two boars would be a 3x4 or 2x5 or larger.

    Generally speaking boars do prefer to have the bit of extra width of a 3 grid wide cage but it can make cleaning a little bit more difficult. L or U shaped cages are also suitable options.

    Single floors only are more ideal for boars as a smaller upper floor and ramps can be places for boars to trap each other and fight. I generally would advise anyone who has a loft area on a cage with two boars that are having issues to take it off, and if it is possible add it onto the bottom floor.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: New Canadian guinea pig mom to angry boys!

    Quote Originally Posted by Soecara View Post
    Single floors only are more ideal for boars as a smaller upper floor and ramps can be places for boars to trap each other and fight. I generally would advise anyone who has a loft area on a cage with two boars that are having issues to take it off, and if it is possible add it onto the bottom floor.
    The loft seemed to help with these two. There have been a handful of squabbles over the ramp, but mostly one has claimed the upper level as his, which gets them out of each other's hair.
    I also ditched the store bought hides and made my own that had 2 exits, so no one could get trapped. Always having an escape seems to have made a big difference!

    I'm still worried they won't be happy long term in my space but rehoming is so hard

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    Cavy Slave LittleSqueakers's Avatar
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    Re: New Canadian guinea pig mom to angry boys!

    So far, it doesn't sound like any of the behaviors they are displaying are particularly worrisome, certainly not enough to warrant separating them at this point. I would continue looking into ways that you might rearrange things in your home to help give them a bigger cage. Sometimes it takes a bit of time and creativity to come up with a workable solution. It need not be a perfect solution. Those come along very rarely, so likely whatever you come up with will have to involve some sort of compromise.

    Personally, I would be very reluctant to rehome in your present situation. Like you said, rehoming them could mean that they end up somewhere with even less space. Right now they have an owner who actually cares enough about space to try and get them the most adequate setup possible, given your limitations. That's a lot more than most pigs will ever get. Unless something drastic changes that makes it impossible to provide the pigs with the space they currently have, I would keep looking for solutions.

  11. "Thank you, LittleSqueakers, for this useful post," says:


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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: New Canadian guinea pig mom to angry boys!

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowdrop View Post
    The loft seemed to help with these two. There have been a handful of squabbles over the ramp, but mostly one has claimed the upper level as his, which gets them out of each other's hair.
    I happen to a proponent of a loft when one has limited cage space. I have no room to expand so the only way to go was up. I have found over the past few years that the most common issue with a loft is when it is too cramped. A 1x anything is simply too small and can cause squabbles. Invariably, both boys would go to the loft at the same time and were in each other's face. I have a 2x5 main level with a 2x2 loft and each level has a litterbox/kitchen, hidey, water bottle and pellet bowl. They have room to get away from each other.

    The real benefit of a loft is that my cavies get more exercise running up and down the ramp than they ever do on the main level.

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