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By Artemis L.

February 16th, 2024

Boar Basics

Boars. Male guinea pigs. Stinky boys. Whatever you call them, they have some extra requirements to their care that sows (females) do not have. The main difference is boar cleaning, which entails cleaning the perianal sack and penis. Besides the stench, it is relatively straightforward. They are also known to be more territorial than sows and need more space.

Bonding

 

There is a myth that boars can’t be bonded to any pig besides their brother or while they’re young. This is simply not true: bonding an older boar to a younger one has a higher success rate than two boars of the same age. With brothers, the idea is if they’ve been together forever, you don’t have to deal with bonding. But you will have to deal with them hitting puberty together, which is a time of turmoil and dominance displays. Mounting, rumblestrutting, and chasing are all normal, along with one pig sticking their head above the others. On the contrary, drawing blood and pulling out chunks of hair isn’t. Boar bonding takes time and patience, and sticking to a neutral area is extremely important. All hides must have at least two entrances/exits, and there should be multiple hay areas to ensure no pig gets trapped.

Boar Pairs:

Easiest

  • Senior to young (under six months)

  • Pubescent to young

  •  Senior to senior

  • Young to young

  

Slightly Difficult

  •    Adult to adult 

 

Most difficult

  • Pubescent to pubescent

* The key here is trying to bond a submissive boar to a dominant one. That is most important; age just tends to be a factor in hierarchy.  

How to Bond Boars


Bonding boars is just like bonding sows, but you generally need more space and a more watchful eye. 

 

  1. As always, quarantine for at least 10 days

  2. Set up your neutral area (must be 10+ square feet)

  3. Add hay and chopped veggies

  4. Watch

  5. If things are going well (dominance behaviors but no signs of aggression) add hides, all hides must have at least two entrances

  6. Once they are more comfortable with each other (leaving each other alone or toleration dominance behaviors from the submissive pig), clean the enclosure they are to live in, add the hides you used, and add the pigs

  7. Supervise until you feel comfortable leaving them

 

Note:

When bonding is taking days, you can leave the pigs bar to bar. Aggression is not the end of the world, separate and resume the next day or in the case of injury, when it’s healed. 


For groups of boars larger than two:

To put it bluntly, this is not a good idea in the majority of circumstances. As someone who attempted to bond three boars, it didn’t succeed. And any more than that is a really bad idea.

Neutering

 

Neutering for aggression isn’t always going to work. If it’s hormone-related, it may help. However, if it’s behavioral, the only benefit is the ability for the pig to live with females. My aggressive pig, Tommy, got neutered in March of 2022. He is still aggressive, as it’s a behavioral issue due to trauma instead of something hormonal. Neutering tends to be expensive, for me it was about $500 USD. There are inherent risks when it comes to neutering even though it’s not an extremely invasive surgery. Make sure your vet is “cavy savvy” and has performed surgeries on guinea pigs before. 
 

Boar Cleaning

 

Back to boar cleaning again. Despite it being disgusting, it is necessary at the very least to check the perianal sack. Boars, especially intact (not neutered) seniors, are at risk for something called impaction. Impaction is a blockage of poop in the anal sack, the muscles in the sack are weakened and cannot expel the poop. How often do you have to do it? It depends on the pig. When my boys (Mars and Jupiter) were younger, they were prone to getting gunk around their penises, and I had to check weekly. Now, they need monthly cleans to get hair out of their perianal sacks. Tommy, being neutered, rarely needs boar cleans, and since he lives alone it’s not like he’s rumblestrutting to pick up debris regardless. 

How to Do a Boar Clean

  1. Acquire a boar

  2. Prepare for the stench

  3. Extrude the penis, clean any smegma and/or hair

  4. Reward your pig for his cooperation

  5. It is recommended to find someone to help you when doing the anal sac, one to restrain the pig, and the other to clean. It’s doable alone. What I do is sit down, use my arm to restrain the pig, and use my hand on that arm to open the sac. From there I reach in and grab matted hair, which is what is commonly found in my boys sacks. 

  6. Reward your pig again

  7. Wash your hands

Housing

 

Boars, being territorial, require more space. The universal standard is to go one cage size up from the cage size for sows. This means the bare minimum is roughly 10 sq. ft for 2 pigs (12+ ideal), 12 sq. ft for 3 pigs, etc. 

 

However, since boar groups larger than two are usually so unstable, it is not recommended to keep a group of three in anything smaller than a 2x6 (16 square feet).

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