Guinea Hogs, also known as Pineywoods Guinea, Guinea
Forest Hog, Acorn Eater, and Yard Pigs, are unique to the United States.
Despite their name, Guinea Hogs are not from the country of Guinea. The Guinea
Hog has a black coat, sturdy body, curly tail and upright ears.
Guinea hogs are very easy hogs to keep. They
are good as free-range foragers but they are also at home in a farmyard. If
farrowing is planned in the spring or summer, just a dry covered nesting place
is needed. They are easy to contain with a high tensile electric fence (you
will need a low wire at 6 inches, 18 inches, and 30 inches). They are even
handy to have around because they eat snakes.
If they are habituated to people as piglets, they become dog like and
actively seek out people for a scratch and tummy rub. They lay down at your
feet and go to sleep.
They do fine on just pasture and hay, but some ranchers supplement their
feed with sprouted grains. These are lard pigs so you should go very light on
commercial feed, except when lactating or they will grow too fat. A fat hog
will have trouble breeding. Sows need to be bred their 1st year or they will
lose their fertility.
Guinea hogs are small pigs compared to modern breeds;
they weigh less than 200 pounds and will yield 50 to 100 pounds of meat and
Guinea Hogs fell out of favor after 1880 and for a
while they were in danger of being entirely lost. In 2005 the American Guinea
Hog Association was formed which now ensures its continued existence. The
Guinea Hog is also included in Slow Food USA's Ark of Taste, a catalog of
heritage foods in danger of extinction. They are now on a comeback with around 1200
hogs as of 2014.