Joyful Noise Home-N-Stead

Make a Joyful Noise to the LORD, all ye lands!

You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas. O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

We enjoy our pigs. They are able to root and forage, run, sun, and lay in their wallows and have plenty of room to do so.

The pigs love belly rubs and ear scratches, and we enjoy their antics, various grunts and squeals, and getting “pig kisses” on our legs (muddy nose prints):-)

American Guinea Hog History

The Guinea Hog is an American original. Prevalent in the southeastern US in the early 1900’s, these hogs, also known as Guinea Forest Hogs, Acorn Eaters, Yard Pigs, and Pineywoods Guinea, were at one time the most common hog on homesteads.

The American Guinea Hog is the ideal sustainable heritage farm pig having excellent foraging abilities; they were expected to forage for their own food, eat rodents and other small animals, grass, roots, and nuts, and clean out garden beds. The hogs were also kept in the yard where they would eat snakes and thus create a safe zone around the house. These Guineas were hardy and efficient, gaining well on the roughest of forage. While the American Guinea Hog is smaller than industrial hog breeds, it is a good-sized farm pig providing a nice, well-marbled carcass, excellently flavored meat and indispensable lard.

Guineas are one of the smaller breeds of pigs weighing 100-300 pounds, and black or bluish-black in color. Occasionally a Guinea hog will have some reddish tinting, white socks, or even some white or gray on the body. They have upright ears, a hairy coat, and a curly tail. Beyond this, conformation varies, as hogs could have short or long noses and be “big boned,” “medium boned,” or “fine boned.” It is likely that many strains of Guinea Hogs existed.

Guinea hogs have uniquely desirable flavor characteristics. The fat of the Guinea Hog is abundant and firm, and has found interest with chefs and butchers for making charcuterie (old world style cured meats). Their rendered lard would be of particular interest to pastry chefs for use in crusts and dough. The have an exceptionally tender meat and produce fine hams.

American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC) classifies Guinea Hogs as Threatened on the Conservation Priority List. The American Guinea Hog Association was formed in 2006 to preserve this rare breed for future generations of farmers and ranchers wanting a smaller pig to produce pork for the family on farmettes and homesteads.