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Thread: Successfully housing 2 pairs of boars - connected or disconnected cages?

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    Cavy Slave
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    Successfully housing 2 pairs of boars - connected or disconnected cages?

    I currently have 4 boars, 2 of whom live together and the other 2 living separately. I am about to try an introduction between the 2 who live apart (Bluey and Benny) and have got an amazing amount of information from here and Guinea Lynx on how to do it. So fingers crossed!

    The only issue I have involves how to arrange the cages. At the moment, I have a large cage divided into three sections. Is the new pairing likely to be more successful if their cage is completely disconnected from the other pair's? I will be giving them a buddy bath and cleaning the whole cage out but I am concerned about smells coming in through the shared cubes from the other boys' cage and the negative effect that may have on the new pairing (that's if the introduction is a success).

    Another question I can't seem to find an answer to is: is an introduction a one shot event that either works or doesn't or can it be done over several supervised sessions on neutral ground?

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    Pigaholic Extraordinaire Paula's Avatar
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    Re: Successfully housing 2 pairs of boars - connected or disconnected cages?

    The introduction is generally a one time thing. If it goes "well," and there's no bloodshed, ideally, you will leave them together to work out the dominance issues. If it doesn't go well and they draw blood, separate them immediately. It's up to you at that point whether you want to try another introduction at some point later down the line or not. It's very hard to watch boys sort out dominance issues, especially if you feel one is being "picked on," but it is best to let them work it out as long as they aren't hurting each other. If you try an intro, then separate, then try another one, then separate, etc., it really is more stressful for the pigs and might even turn what could have been a successful pairing into a disaster.

    Now, as for housing the pairs of boys. In my experience, if guinea pigs can see each other, they are more likely to start squabbles and fights amongst themselves. So if I were you, I might have the cage connected, but put a little barrier (maybe of extra coro?) so they can't see the pigs on the other side. At least at first. I had a pair of brothers I had to split up because they came to a bloody confrontation, but they have since each gotten spayed girlfriends. In the beginning, when the boys could physically see each other on each side of the divider, they would go and pick fights with their ladies. So at first I put up a blanket so they couldn't see each other at all, and gradually worked down, to where they had a coro barrier (in addition to the grids) and could peek over the top if they wanted to see each other. Now, after many weeks, there's nothing in there to divide them except the grids and the brothers will lay side by side at the divider. So, the moral of the story is, you might eventually not need to block them from seeing each other at all, but it might help smooth the transition if you do at first. I don't think the boys being able to smell each other would be as much of a problem - they are all already living in close proximity, right? So presumably they should be well used to each other's scents.

  3. "Thank you, Paula, for this useful post," says:


  4. #3
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Successfully housing 2 pairs of boars - connected or disconnected cages?

    Thanks Paula, that was useful information.

    Quote Originally Posted by paula.m.moore View Post
    I don't think the boys being able to smell each other would be as much of a problem - they are all already living in close proximity, right? So presumably they should be well used to each other's scents.
    They currently live in this connected cage and are more than comfortable to sleep next to each other. Benny and Bluey have fought each other before so I'm not so sure it will work; if not, they can at least interact with the others through the cage walls.

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