Hamton the pig had a busy spring at Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo, cozying up with not one but two charming Guinea Hog sows, Jodie and Olivia. This past week, both sows gave birth to big litters, eight and six respectively, making Hamton the proud father of fourteen little piglets! Guinea Hogs are a domestic breed that was once the most prevalent in the American Southeast, but today their are only about 200 individuals left.
BRIDGEPORT, Conn - July 22, 2010 - Hamton and Jodie Plus Eight? Hamton and Olivia Plus Six? Either way you slice it - there has been a baby boom recently at Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo, at least where guinea hogs are concerned. Just days apart, both of the Zoo's female Guinea Hogs, Jodie and Olivia, gave birth to litters of piglets. The Zoo's lone adult male, Hamton J. Pig, fathered both litters. The 14 piglets, as well as their parents, are currently on exhibit at the Zoo. Visitors are invited to come to the Zoo to meet the rambunctious new additions to the Zoo's family.
"Hamton has been quite the busy guy," joked Zoo director, Gregg Dancho. "All of the piglets are doing well and spend their days eating, sleeping and playing with their siblings."
The piglets range in weight from just under one pound to two pounds. When fully grown, Guinea Hogs may reach 100 to 300 pounds. They also are known as Pineywoods Guinea, Acorn eater, Guinea Forest hog, and Yard pig. According to the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC), the hogs were once the most numerous pig breed found on farms in the Southeast but today there are fewer than 200. Guinea hogs are classified as critical, versus endangered, by ALBC and are unique to the United States.
The Zoo exhibits the Guinea Hogs in the New England Farmyard. The Zoo's one male and two female Guinea Hogs came from Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita and Virginia Zoo respectively. Hamton and Olivia last produced a litter of eight in April 2009.