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Boars often get a rough deal! Many more people ask for girls. We find boys are generally bigger characters and more friendly than girls. They can be difficult to bond, but because our pairs of boars are here with us longer while we neuter them, they are thoroughly assessed. We wouldn’t home a pair unless we were sure they are happy together. Rescuing means that if there are any problems in the future, you can just come back to us for advice. When the time comes and you only have one of the pair, a girl can easily be added because they are neutered already meaning no stressful boar bonding for them or you.

People also believe boys smell more. Once neutered, we can’t tell any difference between the girls and boars in the rescue! People also worry about them getting impacted and having to deal with dirty bottoms. Generally this is only a problem for older boars, and again, it’s less likely to be a problem for neutered boars. A boar’s grease gland, found where they would have a tail can get grubby; this is easy to solve with an occasional bottom wash and a spot of baby shampoo.

Boars are happiest when neutered and with a few girl friends – but they can live happily in pairs. We don’t home groups of boys (three or more) at all, this very rarely works out in the long term.

We have lots of adopters that will only adopt boars because of their friendly characters. Girls are easier in many ways (they can live in groups for one) but a happy pair of boys are a lovely pair of piggies to have!

My boys aren’t getting on, what do I do?

This is a difficult time. Keeping your boys together will help their bond, but knowing when to separate can be tricky. If the boys are newly adopted from us, this isn’t relevant so please read here instead. Boys have surges of hormones at around 4 – 6 months and 12 – 18 months. This is the most common time for boys to fall out. If you can get them through these difficult times, you can hopefully keep a happy pair. Make sure your cage is at least 140 cm, ideally bigger. Ensure you have 2 bowls, water bottles, 2 hay racks and ideally 3 tunnels or hideys. Only use tunnels and hideys with 2 entrances so no one gets stuck. If your boys have a fight, you can separate them for 10 – 30 minutes to let them calm down, but don’t separate for long periods; this will make it harder for them to go back together. Some boys do rumble and chase each other regularly; this can be normal behaviour, but regular, full fights and constant bullying is not normal. At this point, you need to consider permanently separating, and finding both boys a new friend. Usually once boys have made their mind up, there is little chance of rebonding over time.

Why do you neuter all your boys if they only live with boys?

We neuter all boars for one main reason. It not only prevents any accidental pregnancies but also means that if pairs of boys fall out, or if one dies, in the future, they can be quickly and easily bonded with girls.

Try to always keep boys together

If you have boys – you should never separate. Even if one is poorly, the only reason you would ever separate is if they are fighting.

Always take both piggies to the vets, if you have a group, take a friend with the poorly one. Piggies can ‘smell funny’ after going to the vets, if they both go, there’s less chance of them falling out.

Piggies feel safer in pairs. We would always rather risk illness spreading – they’ve been together anyway so are likely to both have the same – than separate, and them not go back together. We spend a lot of time bonding and checking bonds, let’s try and keep them happy pairs!

Where do we neuter?

All our boars are mainly neutered at Rutland Vets in Oakham, their website can be found here.

We have also used Vets4Pets Oadby, which can be found here.

Julia Neville

Julia founded Neville's Nest in 2018 from their home in Oadby, Leicester. Now being based in Stoughton, the rescue has expanded but still remains home-based and offers a personal and friendly service.