Guinea hogs, or Guinea Forest hogs, most likely originated on the Guinea coast of Africa and were spread widely though the slave trade from Africa to England, France, Spain, and America. At one time they were common homestead pigs in the southern U.S., but are now practically unknown. Guinea hogs were also used for breeding with English pigs in the 1700 and 1800's and the very distant relationship between the two types made for an excellent cross.
Historically, Guinea hogs were large and square, with reddish bristly hair, a long tail, and pointed ears. They were hardy grazers and foragers that could be raised on mast and pasture and still produce both lard and pork. Their numbers declined drastically with the collapse of the lard market and the shift away from backyard pork production.
Today's Guinea hogs are small, only 150-300 pounds and 15-20 inches tall when fully grown. They are usually black and often hairy. Guinea hogs are very gentle and easy to care for, making them popular at children's zoos, though they remain suitable for small scale pork production. Investigations are continuing into the relationship between modern and historically documented Guinea hogs.
Associations and Registries
American Livestock Breeds Notebook. The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, Pittsboro, NC. 1989.
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