As if the first lambs of the year weren't exciting enough, we also had some other very important arrivals yesterday: Our three new Guinea Hogs!
Guinea Hogs are an extremely rare breed. They are listed as critically endangered by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. Because they are smaller sized (150-300 lbs), good foragers, and very docile, they're good for small, homestead-type farms.
I am so excited to be adding these awesome animals to the farm. By raising them, we will be helping to preserve a critically endangered heritage breed. In return, they will improve our pastures, root out weeds, till our gardens, and provide us with meat to eat and piglets to sell.
They've only been here 24 hours, and I'm already totally in love. They are just such happy, confident, charming creatures. They arrived here after dark last night, and we shuffled them into the pens I'd built---the boy in one pen and the two girls in another, because the girls aren't quite old enough to breed yet. This morning, they were completely content and peaceful, not at all weirded out to have been suddenly shipped hundreds of miles from home and dropped in a strange place.
When the boar saw me, he grunted a greeting and came right over to say hello. He had no hesitation to step right up and let me pet him.
He is an absolute delight. His registered name is Carmine because he was one of the extremely rare piglets who was born red (in what is essentially an all-black breed), and turned black when he grew up. But we didn't think Carmine was a very "manly" name for a boar, so we're going to call him Magick instead.
He is friendly toward people, polite toward our cats and our rudely barking Pomeranian. He likes to be petted, and he flops over on his side so you can rub his belly.
When I was rinsing his water dish, he decided to take the opportunity to have an impromptu shower.
The two girls are younger and not quite so confident as Magick, but even so they let me pet them after I scattered a little feed on the ground at my feet.
This one is Cerridwen:
And this one is Circe:
As you can see, we aren't the only ones who are excited about the pigs:
The dog and the cats are a bit unnerved, but for some reason, the sheep are simply awestruck. It was hilarious to see all the sheep come streaming over to the fence, with such amazed expressions on their faces. They have no idea what the pigs are, but they loved them instantly!
For more information about the pedigrees of our pigs, click here.
If all goes well, we hope to have our first piglets available for sale by November 2010. Contact me for more information!