Other common names: Guinea Hog; Guinea Forest Hog; Pineywoods Guinea
According to the American Guinea Hog Association, "American Guinea Hogs are a critically rare breed of pig that is unique to North America. The original stock for the breed came from West Africa, and over the last 200-300 years developed through adaptation and crossbreeding with Appalachian English pigs to create an American original. They were commonly found on homesteads in the southeastern US.
"American Guinea hogs, also known as Guinea Forest Hogs, are now found on small farms and large ranches throughout the United States. American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC) classifies Guinea Hogs as critical on the Conservation Priority List."
Appearance / health:
American Guinea hogs have upright ears, a hairy coat and curly tail. They are usually black, but occasionally a Guinea hog will have some reddish tinting, white socks, or even some white or gray on the body.
Despite their energy and gregarious nature, pigs are sensitive animals. They are easily stressed by travel, vaccinations, extreme temperatures, and new surroundings. Stress makes them susceptible to ailments like pneumonia and bronchitis (due also to their small lungs relative to their size). They are also susceptible to animal viruses like influenza. Pigs commonly suffer from mad itch (or pseudo rabies), dysentery, and parasites (lice, ticks, and ascarid worms).
Healthy pigs have shiny hair, bright eyes, strong appetites, and high energy. Their normal temperature is 102.5F. Deviations from the normal temperature and other signs of poor health including diarrhea and coughing should promptly be brought to the attention of a veterinarian.
Behavior / temperament:
As omnivores that love to eat, pigs can be fun to watch while they explore their surroundings in search for something to munch on. They use their snouts to smell and unearth a potential meal. They are intelligent and social animals that quickly get used to the presence and affection of humans.
Some pigs are intelligent enough to learn tricks, obey commands, and use a litter box. Because they have no sweat glands, they tend to cool themselves by rolling in water or mud. The mud that dries on their skin serves as a sunscreen and protection from parasites like ticks, lice, and flies.
Housing / diet:
Pigs are active, curious animals that require room to explore, exercise, and just be their natural energetic selves. Sufficient space, relative to their size and weight, is a primary consideration because pigs that are crowded or confined to small spaces become stressed, and healthy growth and development is hindered.
Although constantly roaming and appreciative of open yards and fresh air, pigs also require a shed or housing that will let them sleep on a dry and clean area at night. Ideal ambient temperatures are 60-70F. Warm shelters with wood chip bedding are a must during cold months; water misters are recommended for the hottest months.
Pig housing should also include a feeder and a drinking water dispenser (usually a water barrel). Access to a water source makes it convenient to clean or hose out the pig shelters (and the pigs) as needed. Chain link fencing, shade trees, and a pond are recommended for backyard habitats.
Pig owners are advised to check with local authorities for legislation regarding the ownership and keeping of pigs in their homes and backyards.
As omnivores that eat plants and animals, pigs will consume almost anything that is edible like fruits, roots, flowers, grass, insects, worms, all types of meat, and even leftover scraps from the dinner table.
Unlike ruminant animals (cattle and goats), pigs have a single stomach. For healthy and fast growth, pigs require a high-energy diet composed of grain (corn, oats, wheat, barley), plus protein and vitamin supplements. Most commercially available feed for pigs combine various farm grains and the necessary supplements to ensure rapid and efficient development.
Pigs are best allowed to self-feed or eat as much as they want during the day to enable them to grow as fast as they normally can. Feeding should always include a good supply of clean, fresh drinking water.
hot weather, excellent foragers, long breeding careers, low maintenance, disease resistant, small farm hog
usable meat, smaller sized guineas, meat hog, lard, carcass weights
heritage breeds, ALBC Conservation Priority, good belly scratch, fabulous homestead hog
SWeet as Pie!
Sweet is not the word I often use to describe hogs - any hog - but my Sugar Pie is a sweety. As a child I had a scary experience with a hog and was very cautious of getting hogs myself. When I was young my father raised a pig every year for meat. I was instructed to stay away from the pig. Well my listening and obedience skills were not always the best. So one day my friend and I went to check out the hog. The hog was in a fenced off area in the back cow field. We climbed the hogs fence and went inside. Long story short - he was not happy. He chased us and we climbed a tree to get away. That hog kept us in the tree until it was past supper time when my father finally came looking for us. In 2012, I was introduced to American Guinea Hogs. They are a smaller breed and have a reputation for being mellow and easy to handle. So I purchsed six piglets. Sugar is the boar I kept for breeding. He has a pleasant friendly personality and likes to rub against my leg, until I scratch him behind the ears. American Guinea Hog can live in family units. Sugar was a great father and got along well with his piglets. He sired several liters. He is actually retired now and just leads a life of luxury. .
From Ame Vanorio Sep 3 2018 7:28PM
Salt Toxicity: Not just a dehydration issue
Salt Toxicity is not just a dehydration issue. It is a balance issue. The balance between salt and water in the pigs body is very important. When a pig does not have an adequate supply of water and too much salt their brain cells shrink. Upon drinking the brain cells swell. Too much water can cause the brain to swell leading to neurological problems. Pigs may exhibit aimless wandering or falling down and not being able to right themselves. I had this happen one day to three young pigs I had in a stall. I fed and watered the pigs before going to my teaching job. During the hot day my pigs dumped the water source and ate the food. This caused an imbalance and "salt poisoning", although I was unfamiliar with the term at the time. I came home to pigs that acted drunk and were falling over. I called my vet right away. He was able to diagnose them. I stayed up all night with them giving small amounts of fluids and Gatorade to slowly improve their salt/ water ratio. They were fine the next day but it was a very scary experience and a hard lesson! Now I use heavier water troughs that they can not tip over. .
From Ame Vanorio 141 days ago
If you want a meat hog, these aren't the way to go. They aren't horrible, but they have an exceptional amount of lard reducing the amount of usable meat. They are friendly as pigs go. If you want a hog to get started with, these guys are excellent. Easy to care for, easy to get along with, and fairly unobtrusive..
From PaulS Mar 6 2014 7:33AM