We had not planned to increase our herd of Guinea hogs beyond the two breeding pair we already had. But our waiting list of people wanting to buy piglets had grown to about a year and a half long. So we decided to shop around and see if we could find a couple more adult sows to buy, to try to keep up with the demand.
We ended up getting lucky: We found someone only an hour away from here who had two adult sows and an adult boar she was willing to sell to us for a very reasonable price. None of the new pigs were too closely related to the bloodlines we already had. And better yet, the two sows were already pregnant---and due to farrow probably within the month!
So, the coming of the new year brought three new Guinea hogs to the farm, and before another month is out we should have lots of new piglets.
Now to meet the newcomers. This is the new boar, Basil.
This is Thyme:
And this is Rosemary:
We kept all the newcomers isolated for a while, but yesterday we rearranged everyone so that all the sows are together and all the boars are together. This meant that all the pigs spent the afternoon squabbling, shoving, screeching, and biting, trying to determine who was going to be boss hog in each pen.
Our boar Magick was peaceful to start with, but once the others brought the battle to him, he established himself as king of the boar pen, after giving the new boar Basil several painful looking slashes along his sides. I put some ointment on the cuts, and today poor Basil is acting very sore and submissive, but I think he's going to be just fine.
Here's Magick, looking very fierce:
In the sow pen, Cerridwen quickly established dominance by fighting dirty: she went straight for the ear-biting. After chomping on each of the other sows' ears until they screeched, she was undisputed queen of the sows.
Meanwhile: Despite all of Circe's theatrics last week about how VERY pregnant and uncomfortable she was and how she was going to farrow ANY DAY NOW, she has still not had her piglets. Apparently she got pregnant on the following cycle, not the time that I saw her bred. The young boar Jack was still only just barely tall enough to do the job at that point, and I guess he needed another few weeks of growth to be able to get it right. Which means that Circe should instead be due to farrow in about 2 weeks.
The two new sows look like they're due quite soon as well. Cerridwen, who is supposedly due about February 1, does not look sufficiently far along to be due that soon. So she may also end up farrowing later than I expected.
Either way, before much longer we're going to have a population explosion of piglets. Just doing our part to help preserve this very rare, endangered breed!