Brandon, Killer GP

Taking in guineas when you are full is not good, but after the Human had told me she wanted to rehome her guinea pig because he was no longer welcome in the family after “killing his brother” and that I was not to put him with any other guineas or he’d do the same to them I became concerned about the emotional atmosphere he must be living in after being labelled like that, let alone what the future would hold for him if someone actually believed this!

He was brought to me immediately and we left his labels and all the other baggage at the front door and moved forward to Planet Guinea and the next chapter of his little life. I put him in a plastic bottomed wire top cage on the worktop in the shed as the permanent cages were full.

Chrissie takes up the story here:

Karen was already full and couldn’t take him in until he had been neutered so he could live with some sows.   So, I volunteered to look after him, get him through his “little op” and return him to Karen for re-homing.  Brandon was a very good looking boar, but very timid and not comfortable being handled.  He had been described as a “killer pig”, so I gave him the name Brandon (as in Brandon Flowers, lead singer of The Killers).  At no time during his stay did he show any aggression, so I feel that he was a very misunderstood guinea.

After settling in for a few days, Brandon went to see Sally the Vet for a pre-op check.  He was a very scared guinea and disappeared under the Vetbed!  After being declared fit and well, Sally was amused to hear that he was a “killer pig”!  In the meantime over at Karen’s, a gorgeous little boar called Felix was coming up to 3 weeks old and ready to be weaned from his mum.  It was decided that he would live with Brandon until they were both ready to find new homes.

Little Felix had the perfect start in life – his mum Belle was rescued from awful conditions and gave birth just a few days afterwards.  Felix and his two little sisters grew up in a safe, loving environment with Ice (who I have since adopted) on “dad duty”.   Having a boar around seems to make a huge amount of difference and all the pups were happy and confident little souls, of course that boar must be castrated or there will be unwanted pregnancies- sows are fertile immediately after littering.

When Felix was taken away from his family, he went straight in with Brandon and the two of them got on really well.  It was very noticeable how shy and retiring Brandon was compared to Felix who was tiny, but very confident.   Pups often make a lot of noise and fret when they are first separated from their mum, but because Felix was so well adjusted, he just slotted perfectly into to the next chapter in his life.

Brandon was neutered a few days later and Felix was with him for company at the Vets.  He sailed through the operation and was eating well when he came home. Over the next couple of months, Brandon really came out of himself and started enjoying life as a normal guinea pig.  He and Felix had a huge amount of fun together and loved playing with their Bags Of Fun Stuffed with hay and enjoyed playtime out on the grass.

During the time Brandon was with me I lost one of my own beloved guineas – Mr Magic.  He was much missed and his wife Chiara was left on her own.  I tried her with Brandon with a view to adopting him, but sadly he wasn’t man enough for her.  They were introduced on neutral territory and the first thing Brandon did, was to dive for cover in a pile of hay!  Chiara is a feisty guinea with attitude and she went up to Brandon, cornered him and rattled her teeth at him.  Poor Brandon tried to escape to the other end of the run, but she followed him and did the same again.  Clearly not a match made in heaven, so that was that.  Chiara did find a new friend in the form of lce who had helped Belle with her pups.  He is a lovely little chap that had been at the rescue for two years, so it was nice to be able to offer him a home as a Gorgeous Guinea.  In the meantime little Felix found a  new home with two lovely sows and Brandon returned to Karen.

Stefanie contacted me (Karen) after losing her castrated boar, she has a herd of sows and always keeps a castrated boar in the mix. Brandon was the only castrated boar I had at the time, I told Stefanie about his label (Stefanie hates labels too!). After hearing about Felix’s Mum and her sorry start to life as a teenage Mum she said she’d like to give her a Forever home too with the herd, they have a large pen in the summer and are put inside at night then free range in a heated shed in the winter. So Belle and Brandon both found their Forever Home with Stefanie who sends me regular pigtures and updates of her “Killer Pig” and shy Belle.

Stefanie says: “Mine love being in a big herd. I’m not sure HOW I know that, but I just do! I’m attaching a pigture of Belle. She’s silver, she’s long haired and she’s agouti on her face, but she’s not so little! I’m also attaching two pigtures of “grass time” for the herd. One has Brandon in it and the other has Belle in it. I think the pigtures speak for themselves as to whether piggies like to be in groups or not. Brandon, as I said, adores being in charge of everything. Belle is what you once described (and I think it’s an excellent phrase) as a “background pig”, ie the complete opposite of Brandon.”

So there we have the story of the Killer Pig… As long as the myth that only litter brothers or only babies and adults can be paired boars will continue to fall out, boars should be allowed to choose their life partner and also allowed to fall out with them and if necessary be separated!

Early Days at Planet Gorgeous...

Tiny Felix and Brandon

As time passes so felix's hair grows...

Brandon and his sowfriends.

Brandon with his girls