I love AGH's! I love that they are so easy and so smart. 2 of our new piglets, 2 days old, with their papa.
We are still pretty new to pigs and 2 weeks ago we didn't even know piglets were coming. I hear that's common in this breed if the females are housed with a boar. One day you look out and see the mother pigs teats enlarging and soon after you have a litter of adorable little piglets running around. I had thought that my 2 gilts (females that have never had piglets before) were overweight and would need to be slimmed down before they would be able to have babies. If a gilt or sow gets overweight the fat around their ovaries can sometimes interfere with their abiity to concieve. Not only was Rosemary able to concieve, her sister, Thyme, is expecting too. Rosemary gave us 3 little boars and 2 little gilts.
AGH's are smaller pigs often mistaken for pot belly pigs because they too have a bit of a pot belly. AGH's size is wonderful for homesteads like mine without much land. They are a favorite in many zoo's childrens petting area's because they are so friendly. They love to graze and only root when everything they can graze is gone. I leave them in my fenced backyard many nights to graze on my grass. They go back in their pen in the woods behind our yard during the day. I think it's cooler back there for them amongst the tree's and their wallow is back there too. They spend a lot of their days in cooling off in that wallow.
The other 3 babies sleeping in their house
We gave Rosemary plenty of space and were very resectful of her the morning we found she had had her babies. We co-house her with her sister and the boar, Basil, but wanted to make sure she could have the house to herself in case it rained so made an quick shelter for the other 2. It did rain that nigh, they did use it and now she's out with all the piglets in tow using it as well. Coming from a dog backround rather than farm animals, I was surprised she was so OK with them and us being with her babies so soon. She came out the second day followed by all her babies, laid down and rolled over to be scratched while nursing. She clearly trusts us.
Even more surprising to me was how patient and gentle the boar was with the piglets when they got a bit confused and attempted to get him to nurse them. He just rolled over and let them till they gave up.
Got milk???? No kids, Papa's do not have milk.
The hogs were initially purchased as weanlings because my 10 y.o. wanted pigs and since then she has been responsible for much of their day to day care. Growing up with her as their primary care giver they've enjoyed much attention and become very people friendly.
Momma in the foreground with Papa back by the wallow. Our 2 females are short nosed and our boar is long nosed. Some short nosed AGH tend to put on weight easier than the long nosed hog do so I'm told. It's certainly true in this family. I can already see difference in the noses of some of the piglets.
A very pregnant Thyme is enjoying getting cooled off in her wallow
We are members of the AGHA and encourage you to visit their site or the ALBCA site if your interested in more info about American Guinea Hogs.
The AGHA is in the process of updating their site so check back with them again too as their new site promises to be even more informative.