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Happy Hogs

With the addition of two more piglets (male is the one in the back, female in front).

American Guinea Hogs are only about the size of a soda can when they are born. These two are not much bigger than that.

With our first two hogs, we ended up with two females (the male ran off into the wild...). This didn't leave us with any to breed with and thus, no way to continue producing pork. So, we deemed it necessary to bring home another male, and try again.

While it will take a while for the boar to get to breeding size, we now have two females he can sire a litter with, and one female that will be ready for processing in the Spring.

While it is difficult to see how cute they can be, and know that we can't keep them forever (these are NOT pets), it is helpful to keep in mind that we are going to have litters of itty bitty piglets, and that is something to look forward to.

In all honesty, I truly did not want pigs.

The Homestead Husband did though, so I found a breed I could compromise with. I was not about to sign up for an 800+ lb. pig - but these little guys, with their interesting American history, and less domesticated statures, won me over (only enough to want to raise them for better quality food). If you're interested in keeping a pet pig, I'd recommend an American Pot Belly in place of a pig that is typically raised for pork purposes.

After a few weeks of getting a routine down with the hogs, they have started to become more friendly, and are less ready to bolt when we go in to feed and water them.

We feed our pigs Blue Seal pig pellets from our local feed store, Willow Brooke Farms in North Berwick, ME. They carry a whole line of Blue Seal feed products, and all of our critters are supplemented with some of it. Our birds are all allowed to free-range regularly, which keeps the tick-count down for us humans and our dogs! The pigs get to scrounge up any acorns from the oak tree above their pen, and are fed all of our kitchen leftovers and scraps. Doing so, has made our kitchen trash content less smelly and it means zero waste of food for us. Any food we don't eat, gets fed back to the pigs and chickens, and in turn we will end up feeding ourselves again in the future. The circle of life, happening before our eyes.

Scraps are also donated to us by various family members. So far, the pigs love sweets, and cole slaw! So much so, that upon sight of it in the scrap tray, one of the pigs did a full-on belly flop into it - you know what they say, "happier than a pig in sh*t"! While very messy, I don't think I have ever seen anything so innocently full of glee.

Other things we have found that work, is using a kid's sandbox or kiddie pool for wallow. Hogs and pigs cannot sweat, so on hot days it is important for them to have a place to cool off. Instead of letting them create a huge mud pit, we gave them a pool and they love using it. They also enjoy kicking around a large rubber ball (dog toy found here: ).

ABOVE: pic taken just after rain - usually it is not this wet in the pen.

If anyone local is interested in composting their scraps and bringing them by to feed the pigs, shoot us a message!

I am finding that I do like having them around more and more. The smell, even on the most humid days, has been practically non-existent (as long as you do a weekly mucking of the pen using a tool like this: Thankfully, they do not have to be located too close to the house. An oink or grunt from across the yard here and there, is pretty sweet however.

Stay tuned for more on our hogs and when the bacon will be ready!



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