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Thread: Is It Time for Separation - 2 Boars

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    Is It Time for Separation - 2 Boars

    Hello all. I am new to guinea pigs and have a huge dilemma. A few weeks ago Sunday I rescued 2 boars from a horrible situation. I am their third home and they are under a year old (the person who owned them said between 8-10 months as she had no idea... neither did the person before her I guess). They are extremely under-socialized. One is a Peruvian with long hair who had huge matts everywhere (managed to cut those out). The other is Abyssinian and has also messy fur. I managed to clip their nails as they were curling under themselves and out sideways. I also gave them both a bath - they were surprisingly well behaved! Now all the poop and pee is out of their fur.
    When they came to me they were in a small cage (it is some kind of Living World cage - way too small for 2 piggies), and the lady had put a barrier between them the day or two before as they were fighting. Here comes my mistakes - I had done some research and it seemed to me that unless they drew blood/the fighting is really bad, you shouldn't separate them. So after a day in their new cage (2x4 C&C) I took the divider out and let them be together. They have 2 of everything - 2 hay racks, 2 pellet dishes, 2 veggie dishes, 4 hides, etc. However, since then, they've been fighting every day or two from what I can tell. Chattering, baring teeth - no humping. When I finally was able to examine them both a few weeks ago, there were old (healed) scabs (cuts) on their rumps from where they've obviously been biting eachother. The Abyssinian has his ear torn (it's healed from before I had them, however). Which is awful. I feel awful. None are fresh but still I have kept them together. It's been a few weeks, the fighting is staying about the same. Not worse or better. Again, I read that I should separate them but also some opinions on that they're probably teens and may work it out. They are both maintaining weight and eating well.
    I honestly just wanted to save them from their situation as fast as possible, just get them somewhere clean (they were living in their own feces and pee, on a single puppy pee pad, weren't fed enough so were eating the pee pads and hay nets, etc) and with proper food, and more space. I am hoping for advice - should I keep together (I don't think so), keep barrier between them, or perhaps try to rehome one and find a friend for the one I keep? I really am hesitant to just send one away because I don't wan't them back to a bad situation/poor care again - I am attached to both of them but at the end of the day I want what's best for them. I just don't have the space/money to build a second cage. Help, please?


    Also can anyone give advice on C&C smell - I have a fleece layer on top (washed a million times beforehand, washed in vinegar on hot) with about 6 layers of towels on top of puppy pee pads. I am cleaning out daily and washing everything once a week - sometimes it smells really bad like pee 3-4 days in and sometimes it doesn't until weekly changes on Sunday.

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    Re: Is It Time for Separation - 2 Boars

    Thanks for rescuing these guys.

    Part of your problem is that they don't have enough space. Two boars need at least a 2x5, and larger is better. You can help some by taking at least two of the hideys out, and seeing if they'll use the same pellet dish. They need room to run, and you need to break up the lines of sight in the cage so they're not easily visible to the other -- fleece forests work well for that.

    You can try giving them a buddy bath -- the shared terror may change the dynamics of the relationship. When you put them back in the cage, make sure it's totally clean -- nothing smells like either pig. And put a tiny drop of vanilla on each nose and butt. They'll both smell the same, and that may also help. You can repeat the vanilla for a couple of days if it seems to help.

    They're likely to squabble until they're out of puberty, but if you can provide more space, they may get through it together.

    Vinegar won't clean the fleece. You need to wash in hot water and detergent. You can soak in vinegar if you like, but it won't address the smell.

    The absolute best thing for controlling odor is wood pellets. I used them for years, with a layer of thin fleece over the top. The pellets last forever, and the fleece is easy to change. You will want to wash the fleece in some sort of bag so that the sawdust doesn't clog your washing machine.

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    Re: Is It Time for Separation - 2 Boars

    Towels are not good under fleece. They soak up pee but they don't dry quickly. Try U-Haul pads or a similar material. I had sown fleece pads with towels and matress protectors and have to dry them in the machine for 3 hours to be totally dried. Changing materials might fix your smell issue.

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    Re: Is It Time for Separation - 2 Boars

    Thanks for the reply. I took one hide out for now, and I have some spare fleece I can make a fleece forest with (I was going to make a second level but read they can box one another in, so I just use it to store pellets and such). One of the hides is a tunnel, 2 are igloos - should I be doing something else? I also have one super long tunnel but I think it was too long for their cage.
    Do you have a suggestion to make it bigger without me having to totally scrap my current base and fleece - it cost me a lot of money since I'm in Canada, the materials here unfortunately aren't cheap.
    When would be a good time to give them another bath? I just gave them one last week and I dont want to strip their fur too much.
    Last question - how long will it be until they're out of puberty? Since I don't know their exact age I guess it would be a guess at this point. When do you think it would be bad enough to separate them and when should I just be at the point to keep going.
    Ah! Also I should add I use detergent - Persil. I just didn't mention in my post. Vinegar + detergent + hot water. It comes out smelling not like pee.

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    Re: Is It Time for Separation - 2 Boars

    Yes - this is my next foray, using those uhaul pads to make absorbent pads, its much more environmentally friendly than the puppy pads too. If I make one large pad to cover the entire base, and then a couple (6 or so?) smaller pads to go under high-pee areas (around hay and food areas), would that be enough?

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    Re: Is It Time for Separation - 2 Boars

    Pigloos are just invitations for one pig to trap another and get its face slashed for its efforts. Every hidey in a pig's cage should have at least two doors so no one gets boxed in. And pigloos need holes drilled all over to improve the air circulation. Otherwise, the pig is just sitting in its own wastes.

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    Re: Is It Time for Separation - 2 Boars

    Quote Originally Posted by miina View Post
    Also I should add I use detergent - Persil. I just didn't mention in my post. Vinegar + detergent + hot water. It comes out smelling not like pee.
    Don't mix the vinegar with the detergent and hot water! Vinegar cuts the sudsing power of the detergent. Consider adding it in the final rinse cycle. In my case, I wash with detergent and a bit of bleach first. My machine has a short "rinse and spin" cycle which I then run with a good amount of vinegar which gets rid of any lingering odor.

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    Re: Is It Time for Separation - 2 Boars

    Quote Originally Posted by spy9doc View Post
    Don't mix the vinegar with the detergent and hot water! Vinegar cuts the sudsing power of the detergent. Consider adding it in the final rinse cycle. In my case, I wash with detergent and a bit of bleach first. My machine has a short "rinse and spin" cycle which I then run with a good amount of vinegar which gets rid of any lingering odor.
    Good to know! Thank you!

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    Re: Is It Time for Separation - 2 Boars

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    Pigloos are just invitations for one pig to trap another and get its face slashed for its efforts. Every hidey in a pig's cage should have at least two doors so no one gets boxed in. And pigloos need holes drilled all over to improve the air circulation. Otherwise, the pig is just sitting in its own wastes.
    Darn - thats what I thought. I'll have to go get some other hides then. Any recommendations?

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    Re: Is It Time for Separation - 2 Boars

    More tunnels, fleece forests, cardboard boxes, among others.

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    Re: Is It Time for Separation - 2 Boars

    Hi Miina, what I use for bedding is washable incontinence pads with a sheet of fleece over the top. The pads are made to wick liquids and have a waterproof backing. They can be washed hundreds of times and can be bleached. I have one guinea pig and in a 2x3 cage. Every 3 days it all gets washed.

    Using potty pads in the corners of the cage and replacing them each day will really help. Usually guinea pigs back into a corner to go to the bathroom. I make these pads using lightweight kitchen towels, bar towels or microfiber towels sewn between fleece on one side and woven cotton fabric on the other. They are about the size of a place mat. The woven cotton side is good if you have a hay pile. The hay doesn't stick to the fabric and it's absorbent.

    For hideys, I get stacking bins at the Dollar Tree and flip them over. They are angled on each end so the guinea pig can enter and exit at either end. And they can be scooted around and positioned by the piggies. I've also bought other plastic bins and organizers and cut 3 openings in them. I sand the edges so they aren't sharp or jagged. Just make sure your piggies don't chew them.

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