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American Guinea Hogs

The American Guinea Hogs have all been sold.

These are another heritage breed that is perhaps the original homestead hog. AGH's (American Guinea Hogs) are a small breed of hog that grows to just 200-300 lbs at maturity (2-3 years of age). Typically these hogs are butchered at 7-8 months of age and have a hanging weight of around 75-80 lbs.  They are excellent foragers and if given good pasture and/or woodlands, they can often find much of their own food. Their small size and gentle nature also makes them excellent for garden clean up in the fall or living out under the orchard to keep it clean of windfalls.

Guineas are what is known as a lard hog, which means that they are naturally inclined to produce a fair amount of fat on their carcass. Their meat is fattier through and through and they have plenty of back fat to spare. Being an old homestead breed, it makes sense that they would be a lard type hog. Lard was used for so many things on a homestead that it was important to have pigs that produced a lot of it. Additionally, a fattier carcass meant that the meat was better for long term curing and storage. A ham that wasn't covered in a fair bit of fat would dry out and not keep as well as one that had a good layer of fat covering it.

Guinea sows are good mothers that are gentle and easy to work with for the farmer. That isn't to say that they aren't protective of their young, but if your sow is well socialized and friendly and you take care and pay attention, you can generally get along with the sow when it comes to her piglets. Litter size varies but a good average number is 6 - 8 piglets.

Guinea Hogs are listed on the Slow Foods Ark of Taste list which means that the meat produced by the Guineas is outstanding in terms of taste and found to be well worth saving from extinction. Food items found on the Ark of Taste are not generally found in your local grocery store and tend to be produced by small farmers that are dedicated to bringing taste and quality back to the table.

Here at Heritage Farms Northwest, we are pleased to be using the Guineas in their traditional role. They are used to clean up the garden after the season is over. They also spend much time out in the pasture foraging for a living. While we do sell the occasional piglet for breeding stock (strict standards must be met to make a breeding piglet), we are focusing on producing a high quality pork product for your table. If you are interested in curing your own hams or learning to do your own meat cutting (have you taken one of the many available home butchery classes yet?) these are the hogs for you. Their small size makes them easily handled in the kitchen and their smaller hams are perfect for today's families. And if you have never cooked with real, fresh lard (not that lard bought at the grocery store, ugh) then you have been missing out on one of the great secrets of fabulous cooking.

We have sold our breeding stock and have processed our remaining market animals. If you are interested in individual USDA cuts of American Guinea Hog Pork, please contact us for pricing.


Heritage Farms Northwest
Jim and Wendy Parker
(503) 606-9883
Dallas, Oregon

info@heritagefarmsnw.com

last updated July 22, 2013

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