Bromancing (male guinea pig introductions)
by Saskia Chiesa, Director Los Angeles Guinea Pig Rescue
Bromancing ( or male guinea pig introductions)
By Saskia Chiesa, Director Los Angeles Guinea Pig Rescue
I just got an email asking for tips to a successful boar introduction. Since this is a topic that comes up all the time I decided to write a detailed answer and share it with you all on Facebook.
I have no magic tips. This is a mixture of hormones, personality and how those energies work together. That is what determines the outcome. Online there is a lot of talk about neutral space (guinea pigs are not territorial) and clean cages (only matters if the cage housed females right before) but to be honest I don’t think any of that matters. They either get along or they do not, there is no magic sauce to influencing that. What does help is make sure they have a large space for the intro. If they are cooped up in a small intro space and also a small cage they are likely to become irritated with each other and with certain personalities too small a space will likely make them fail to get along.
If a male is Alpha and has a high sex drive (usually the males under 1.5yrs – lots of purring and humping)
then you want to try and make a match with a male that is the opposite.
The opposite would be what I call “Buddha Pigs” and are the ideal companion for any boy. They do not get bothered by a lot. They don’t take offense when the other pig sniffs, humps and rumbles and chatters away. And doesn’t feel the need to do any of those things himself. He remains Zen in the face of an annoying and relentless humper. Those two would be the exact opposite of each other and of
course there are a lot of degrees of behavior in between. It is not a science and I make my decision whether or not the boys may or may not be a match by feeling their “vibe” together when we do the
We can usually tell in the first 5 minutes if a match is likely to work out, however, every now and then happen boys may appear to be a match but will decide a week later that they are not going to get along
after all. Babies (between 3 weeks and 2.5 months) are almost always a match. But when that baby becomes a teen and the hormones start raging they may take issue with each other. Although humpy teens usually get better after 1.5yrs old. So if there is no fighting but the teen is just annoying the other with humpy behavior then it may be worth sitting it out.
Lastly if they don’t get along but you love both pigs and don’t want to give up either of them the next best thing is to have them living “apart together”. This can be achieved by dividing the cage so that they
can touch noses, smell and see each other. You will even see them snuggling and sleeping right next to each other with the divider in the middle. They just cannot be together. The minute you remove the
divider they will act like this is the 1 st time they have seen each other and go right back to where they were they left off before the divider was put in. There are exceptions of course but usually this is how
they respond. When going for this option make sure that the individual space for each guinea pig is large enough.
Single pigs need about as much space as pairs. 2 x 3ft would be the minimum recommendation.
Coroplast made cages would work really well for this purpose.
Good luck with the Bromancing!!