|Guinea hogs on pasture in SW Missouri|
|Guinea boar, "Buttercup"|
Modern hog breeds need free-choice access to a mixture of grain and soybean oil meal ground to 16% protein. Organic substitutes are hard to find around here and prohibitively expensive. The alternative is to raise a heritage breed of hog that was bred to scavenge most of its nutrition. Guinea hogs were once the most common yard pig in the South where they lived on grass, clover, acorns, food scraps, and their favorite... snakes. When it fell out of fashion to keep just a few hogs for the family, this breed spiraled toward extinction.
Guineas are quite a bit smaller than standard hog breeds, with the maximum weight of boars reaching 300 lbs rather than 800 lbs or more. The pigs are born at just 1 lb and take quite a while to reach their mature size, but since they require so little supplemental feed they shouldn't be overly expensive to raise.
Four-year-old, Buttercup, the boar and the sow at left will be joining us here on Bluestem Farm any day now. Pigs are expected in April!