Guinea Hogs are a rare breed of pigs which has its origin in the United States. Their moderate size, good temperament makes them ideal farm pigs. Their meat is considered a gastronomical delight.
|Also Known As||Pineywoods Guinea, Yard Pig, Guinea Forest Hog, Acorn Eater|
|Physical characteristics||Upright ears, curly tail, hairy coat, straight to somewhat arched back|
|Personality Traits||Calm, friendly, docile, excellent foragers|
|Weight||Males: Around 200 lbs|
Females: Around 150 lbs
|Lifespan||10 to 15 years|
|Skin Color||Black or bluish-black|
|Litter Size||1 to 14 piglets per year|
|Breeding Age||Males: Around 6 – 8 months|
Females: Around 8 months
|Gestation Period||Around 3 to 4 months|
|Diet||Feed on various plants, insects, mice, eggs, other small animals|
|Conservation Status||Rare Breed|
|Country of Origin||United States|
History and Development
Guinea hog originated in the United States, and as the name suggests, it is believed that the hogs belong to the Guinea coast of West Africa. The hogs were imported from Africa via the Canary Islands to America on slave ships in around 1804 as per historical documents. The true African Guinea Hogs were large and called Red Guineas as their hair color was red or sandy. Later, the hogs were crossbred with other breeds including Essex pigs, Appalachian English pigs, and West African Dwarfs. The new breed known as the American Guinea hog retained its original black color, but was devoid of the red tint.
Around 1880, the breed was on the verge of near extinction. The Red Guineas disappeared during that time. The exact relationship between the American Guinea and Red Guineas along with other breeds is not exactly known, but some relationship seems to exist as reddish pigs are occasionally born to usually bluish-black American Guinea hog parents. The American Guinea Hog Association was founded in 2005 to conserve and protect the breed.
The carcass of a six month old hog provides up to 75 pounds hanging weight of excellent quality, highly flavored meat.
Although their population has dwindled over the decades, at one time, the farms in the southeast United States had more Guinea Hogs than any other types of hogs.