Bonding boars is a tricky business! We would firstly recommend if your boy is under 4 years, that you neuter him. Boys are much happier with girls. You can read more about neutering here.
We no longer bond young boars, as we find it often fails a few months later, as hormones are still active! If your boy is too old to be neutered, we will try and find him a younger, neutered friend, so next time you can easily add a girl. It’s a case of waiting until we have a laid back boar who might be a potential friend. Many boys come to us because they have fought with their friend, so we wouldn’t try and bond these with another boar. Your boy would need to stay at the Nest for about a week, so we can assess how they are getting on.
Another option is to add a baby boar. If we have babies born at the Nest and we have someone waiting, we will usually have the baby leave their mum at 3 weeks and have the older single boar come and stay at the Nest for a week before the baby leaves. This makes for an easy bond; older boars always make good uncles! We assess that the baby is eating and drinking and happy with the older boar before leaving us. This is earlier than we would usually let babies leave the Nest, and it’s only for the reason that we find it a more successful, long term bond. Because we neuter all our boys, they would need to come back to us and stay for a few days, when the baby is old enough to be neutered. This means that in time, you won’t be in the same position again, and a girl can be added in with your neutered boar.
When boys come us for bonding, there is a £30 fee to cover their stay with us. They would usually be here 3 or 4 days, but it could be up to a week if we need to try more than one boar with your boy. If successful, there will be our usual adoption fee. If unsuccessful, we can try again another time, with no further bonding fee to pay.
What to Expect When Adding a Neutered Boar to Sows
Bonding a neutered boar with your girls is usually straight forward if you allow them to meet in a neutral area, such as a room they don’t usually go in, or in a run outdoors in the summer. Don’t use hides to begin with, just a pile of hay that they can munch, or hide in if feeling nervous. Sometimes there’s very little reaction from the boys, but often it’s the first time they’ve been with girls so they can be a bit full on. They might mount and chase the girls, but girls are usually very good at telling the boys off! When they seem settled (this could be 30 minutes or a few hours later), pop them back in their cage, with some veg as a distraction. It might be best to only use tunnels and houses with 2 entrances to begin with, so no one gets stuck!
It’s important to just let them work it out; this behaviour could continue, on and off, for a few days, then it will settle. After that, boar and sow bonds are usually very stable. Often it’s still the girls in charge, the boys just think they are!
Bonding girls is generally straightforward. Ideally your girl will be able to meet some girls at the Nest and we can see who is a good match. Often girls will get along without any issues. Sometimes a dominant girl will want to put another girl in her place! Once they are together, it’s best not to separate, but let them work it out. Girls may chase and teeth chatter, but rarely fight. If you separate, every time they go back together, they will need to start the process again.