Mulefoots are classified as "Critical" by the American Livestock Breeds Conservacy & are the rarest American pig breed.
This means that there are less than 200 annual registrations of these hogs, and less than 2000 in the global population.
The most distinctive feature of the American Mulefoot hog is the solid hoof, which resembles that of a mule or horse. Pigs
with solid hooves (also called syndactylism) have attracted the interest of many writers over the centuries, including Aristotle
and Darwin. The American Mulefoot is the only syndactyl breed with a documented history & breed standard. Mulefoots are
solid black with occasional white points (feet or nose), medium flop ears & a soft body coat. They are typically docile,
friendly & exceptionally intelligent animals.
In the early 1900’s, mulefoots were considered premium "ham-hogs", and were fed to great weights before slaughter.
A typical mulefoot today will reach 400-600 pounds by age 2.
For some years breeders claimed that Mulefoots were immune to hog cholera. That claim has been disproved, though the breed
does seem to possess remarkable hardiness.
Our mulefoots are raised in a tree stand & pasture, with plenty of fresh air, mud and the opportunity to behave "naturally".
Raised in this manner, pigs don’t produce the offensive odor you might notice when going by a confinement. They are
very playful & like to run, wrestle, lift things (like dumping their water buckets) & mischievous. They enjoy a large
variety of foods, especially fruit & treats from the bakery. We trained our pigs to be friendly & to gently take food
by feeeding them bananas. Our Mulefoots also like to sit like a dog & relish a tasty mouthful. It is very entertaining
to have our mulefoot herd.
All pigs love to eat, roll in the mud, play with their mates and take long naps. Contrary to public belief, pigs are very
clean animals. They pick their "spots" to use for beds, dining, and potty, and do not mix them up. All mates in a pen will
use the same area for each particular activity.
A sow’s nesting habits are quite amusing & amazing! She will gather her materials, such as straw, hay & sticks,
& build an elaborate hollow in which to farrow (give birth). A sow’s gestation lasts for 3 months, 3 weeks &
3 days on average. The piglets will be born & up nursing within minutes. By three days or so, the little ones will be
venturing out of the nest to explore their surroundings. Several sows living together will share the mothering duties, &
a piglet can get lunch from any mom with an available teat.
A Brief History of Mulefoots:
A remnant population of the American Mulefoot has been owned by R.M. Holiday of Louisiana, Missouri, for nearly forty years.
He remembers from boyhood that his family and others raised these hogs by putting them on islands in the Missouri and Mississippi
rivers to forage during the summer and then rounding them up in the fall for slaughter. This practice was terminated by the
Army Corps of Engineers in the 1950's.
In 1964 Mr. Holiday gathered together stock from all the known breeders and established his herd. During 1976 he swapped
animals with a breeder in North Dakota, which introduced some undesirable traits such as prick ears, wattles and split hooves.
Nevertheless, Holliday's strong and consistent production selection has maintained a generally uniform and characteristic
herd. After his experience with this "exotic" animal dealer he sold no more stock except those contracted for slaughter.
During these years the Mulefoot registries folded and all known copies of the herd books were lost.