I bought a pair of baby American Guinea Hogs, a critically endangered breed of pig. We are always excited at the Buck ‘n Run to get animals on the endangered list. It is fun and rewarding to help the cause of saving them. The guinea hog has a long history in the United States but nearly became extinct due to hog farming trending towards the large hogs for butcher. The Guinea hog is a fattier pig, and was actually considered a lard pig. People do butcher and eat them still and those who do say the meat is juicy and succulent. I am not a vegetarian, but I draw the line at eating something I have raised. I know that goes against the homesteading rationale but it is not something I can do. I applaud those who can but I just can’t.
Guinea hogs are small, up to 125 pounds full grown. They are said to be docile, easy on fences, and the graze much like sheep on free range. That sounded like the perfect pig for us. Michael drove down to meet Nancy and her son Lucas at the Yellow Rose Ranch in Sacramento. He came home with our pigs in the back of the Hummer. If that Hummer could talk, the stories it could tell! Anyway, they arrived home after trashing the back of the Hummer. Michael drove them down to the barn where the plan was to put them in the goat shelter and lock them up for the remainder of the day. Michael took the male, the bigger of the two and carried him to the goat house. I was left to guard the female. The minute Michael walked away, my girl took a flying leap out of the back of the Hummer and the race was on from there.
He chased her here and there. Who knew pigs could run so fast. The emus helped.
The goats helped.
Apparently everyone helped but me. Things got really scary when Stuart, our hyper vigilant guard emu decided the little pig was an intruder and he chased her and stomped her. I was screaming, Michael was running, the pig was squealing. It was pandemonium.
We decided that for the safety of the pigs we would house them in the chicken yard until the emus became comfortable with them at which time we could move them. Michael brought the male pig up and they settled in to the jail yard right away.
Her mate was found with incriminating evidence around his snout.
I went out later to find the male pig had climbed up into a nest box and had a wooden egg in his mouth. Suddenly this plan to house pigs with chickens clearly would not work. Had that been a real egg he was eating, I would be out some real money. They had to go. We ended up at the feed store buying a 6 x 9 fenced pen for our pigs. We brought it home, assembled it next to the goats and emus, added a dogloo for sleeping, covered it with a tarp, gave the little trouble makers some food and water, and came back to the house. The plan, as it stands now, is to integrate them with the rest of the animals when they are all comfortable with each other. What I can tell you is that the Buck ‘n Run Ranch looks great with Prentiss and Petunia in the yard!
If you are curious about where Prentiss got his name and you can handle delicate subjects you can read about it HERE. My online chicken friend Kathy sent me the link when she found out I was getting pigs.