Bringing Your Guinea Hog Home

Transportation

If you bring your guinea hog piglet home when only two months old, it will easily fit into a dog crate.  Two or three will travel happily together as long as the crate is big enough. They feel secure if the crate is bedded with several inches of straw, and the straw helps to absorb odors and keep the crate dry and comfortable for the ride. I do not recommend putting food or water in the dog crate while the piglets are traveling. It will just spill (or the piglets will dump it out) and make a mess. 

Fencing

Piglets can get through quite small openings. A 2 month old guinea hog piglet may be able to get through 4x4 woven fence wire. Woven wire with 2x4 spacing will contain them. Hog panels will contain them but cattle panels will not at that age. Be sure that you have a secure place to keep your piglets before you bring them home. 

If you're not sure that your fences will contain them, or if you need a temporary place to keep them, make a pen out of hog panels. It is simple, cheap, and easy to do. Take three hog panels, stand them up, and tie or wire them securely together in a circle. The pen is free-standing and can be easily dragged to a new location. There is no need to set any posts. Put a large dog crate, dog house, or other house for them to provide shade and shelter. Add a water dish and some food, and you are ready for pigs! This temporary enclosure is always good to have on hand in case you need to keep a pig separate from the others for a few hours or a day or two. 

 

This pig is about 5 months old, still fits in a quite large dog crate.

Here, she's in a 3-hog-panel pen immediately upon arrival to my farm. 

Food and Water

Guinea hogs need plenty of water. They will dump it out in the summer to make mud. You can give them water in a black rubber tub, but in the summer you'll have to fill it up one to three times a day because they will dump it out. In the winter, you'll have to dump out the ice and put in fresh water if it freezes. Frost free waterers come in designs that hogs can drink out of; I have one of them and it is wonderful because it is automatic, the pigs cannot break it or dump it, and the pigs always have fresh water even on the hottest and coldest days of the year.

These are the black rubber water dishes I use for my hogs. 

The primary component of a guinea hog's diet should be pasture and/or hay. Vegetable and fruit scraps and seconds can also be fed, as well as milk and whey. Your pigs will probably need some grain too, but it should be fed with caution. Guinea hogs are easy keepers and can easily become obese. If they are obese, they will probably be infertile (possibly permanently) and can suffer irreversible hearing, heart, and respiratory damage. You'll need to learn how to assess the body condition of your pigs to determine if you are under or over feeding them. A good starting point is to feed about one pound per head per day of a balanced swine feed. If they start to look to fat or too thin, adjust accordingly. 

 

These sows are busy eating grass.

Shelter

Guinea hogs need shade (especially in the summer) and protection from wind and precipitation (especially in the winter). For my hogs, I use both A-frames and portable roofs with walls on two or three sides. 

This 6x6 foot A-frame will house two large or three small adult guinea hogs

or a nursing mother and her babies. See my blog post on how to build your own.

Separating Males and Females

At a young age, males will start trying to mount females. I separate males from females by around 4 months of age. After that, I keep gilts (females) separated from boars until they are at least 8 months old.