American Guinea Hogs

We have been working diligently with our Guinea Hog Herd and have had amazing results. We have increased our herd and now have breeding stock gilts and sows available. We have great diversity including the small and large bones body type, and several with the curly hair gene.

Our lines include Sedgwick, Setty, Hale, Celesky, Biggers, Watkins, Reed, Brown, Keene & Sumrall.

We also have several Guinea Hogs who possess the rare “Blue” color gene.

If you are interested in raising Guinea Hogs or want to increase your existing herd, please contact us.

About Maveric Guinea Hogs:

The Guinea hogs at Maveric are in integral part of farm. We started with 2 males (George & Bullwinkle) and 4 very pregnant females (Chunky2, Patty, Penny & Esmeralda).

From those 6 pigs, we added 2 more males (Peter & Carlos) and 1 female (Petunia) from the Hesters herd (Indiana). These pigs represented the last of the Hale line of Guineas.

We then added several pigs from the Sedgwick zoo and our herd numbers really grew.

We were fortunate enough to meet some incredible farmers in southern Mississippi, who directed us to two families who had been raising guinea hogs for several generations.

We were able to add three guineas from the Sumrall family to our program. These three guineas (all females) represented the remaining pigs from the Sumrall family. The Sumralls had a history of raising guineas going back 5 generations. Since these guineas had not been mixed with any outside pigs in many years, they retained their original primitive features, such as shaggy ears, semi turned up snouts, very short stature and broad hips and shoulders.

At the same time, we were introduced to the Brown family. The Browns had been raising guinea hogs since the 1980’s, when they started with a group of guinea hogs from the Keene herd in Georgia. The remarkable part of this herd is that the Keene/Brown guineas retained the “Blue” color gene.

The blue guinea was reported to have been extinct as early as 1950. The old texts report of guineas having a hair coat of red, blue or black, but the blue gene was thought to be lost. We were delighted to meet the Browns and to be offered their blue guinea boar. After a midnight wrestling match, some cuts and bruises, we had him loaded onto out trailer for the ride back to South Dakota.

We also added four pigs from the Setty line via the Shaws.

We have been breeding, cataloguing, documenting and enjoying our guinea hogs for many years now. All of our original pigs listed above have been DNA tested.

We have focused our breeding program on the propagation of the lines that are most critically diminished (Hale, Sumrall, Keene) and also with an eye for revitalizing the blue color gene.

In addition to breeding and gene preservation, Maveric has heavily promoted the Guinea hog as a premium choice for pork. Maveric nominated the Guinea hog to the Slow Food Ark of Taste, where it was readily accepted for it’s outstanding flavor, sustainable husbandry methods and important agricultural heritage.

We have entered the Guinea hog in many tasting events and won. Maveric Guinea hogs are featured on several menus in fine restaurants across the American south.

The Guinea produces a small carcass, but it well worth the effort. A typical guinea pork chop is the same size as a lamb chop (roughly). The flavor is complex, tender and delicious. Guineas produce a ham with a substantial fat rind, that is ideally suited to long curing or slow roasting.

We have several Guinea females available that would be ideally suited to meat production, increasing herd size and as companion animals. Email is for more information and a list of available animals.

From The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy:

The American Guinea Hog is a small, black breed of swine that is unique to the United States. Also known as the Pineywoods Guinea and Guinea Forest Hog, the breed was popular for a long period of time in America, but today is nearly extinct. Hogs were imported from West Africa to America in conjunction with the slave trade. The imports were documented as early as 1804 by Thomas Jefferson and other Virginia farmers. These large, square animals were called Red Guineas, because they had red or sandy colored hair. Red Guineas were common throughout the mid-Atlantic region during the 1800′s. The breed disappeared as a distinct population, however, in the 1880′s, when most of the red breeds and types of hogs in the eastern United States were combined to form the Jersey-Duroc breed.

The name Guinea occurs again a few decades later in the South-eastern US, though describing a different animal entirely-a small, black hog common on homesteads across the region. Guinea hogs 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, and producing the hams, bacon and lard essential for subsistence farming.

Guinea hogs were widespread, and descriptions of them varied. Generally, hogs were small, weighing 100-300 pounds, and black or bluish black in color. They had upright ears, a hairy coat and curly tail. Beyond this, conformation varies, as hogs could have short or long snouts, and be “big boned”, “medium boned”, or “fine boned”. It is likely that many strains of Guinea hogs existed. Since most of these are extinct, it is now impossible to weave together all the threads of the guinea hog history into a single neat piece.

The guinea hog became rare in recent decades as the habitat of the homestead hog disappeared, and it survived only in the most isolated parts of the Southeast. During the 1980′s, new herds of guinea hogs were established, partly in response to the pet pig market.

Several mysteries confuse the breed’s history. The relationship between the historic Red Guinea and the Guinea Hog may be simply the common use of the term “Guinea” to refer to an African origin. “Guinea” may also refer to the small size of the hogs, somewhat akin to the description of miniature Florida Cracker and Pineywoods cattle as “guinea cows”. The guinea hog may or may not be related to the Essex, a small black English breed that was imported into the US around 1820, and used in the development of the Hampshire. Essex hogs were found in the Southeast around 1900, though the breed’s history is obscure. Guinea Essex were used in research at Texas A&M University in the 1960′s, though there is little information available about those hogs.

Though the guinea hog would greatly benefit from additional research and description, it is clear that the breed is genetically distinct from improve breeds of hogs and merits conservation. Like other traditional lard-type breeds however, the guinea hog faces great obstacles to it’s conservation. These hogs do not produce a conventional market carcass, since they are smaller and more fatty than is commonly preferred today. Guinea hogs are, however, appropriate for use in diversified, sustainable agriculture. They would be an excellent choice where there is need for services of a hog -such as grazing, rooting, tilling compost and garden soil, and pest control-and also the desire for a small breed. Under such husbandry, Guinea hogs would thrive.