Low to the ground with 6 stubby but muscular legs while normally slow moving they are able to gallop at the pace of a riding horse once they get to speed, but lack stamina and soon tire. Each of their legs end in rather blunt claw tipped feet and while they lack ears and can only sense sound as a general vibration – their eyesight is exceptional – with two front facing eyes and two additional eyes that they can rotate to the front or to the back of their head, giving them panoramic or focused vision as the requirements of the situation dictates.
Completely hairless, their pink hide is only slightly thicker than human skin, but they are well insulated by several layers of marbled fat and muscle and can weigh up to 140lbs.
Giving birth to litters of 10-20 young with a gestation period of only 2 months, these creatures reach maturity in 3 months and can live for 16 years or more in good conditions. Furthermore, they are able to sustain themselves on a diet of mud and grasses by sucking anything edible into a toothless, round vacuum like mouth – and when all these factors are taken together; their fast life cycle, minimal nutritional requirements and rapid breeding has meant that famine in Eletreus is practically unheard of – especially when combined with the many magically enhanced grains and other edible flora.
Extremely placid and docile, the Chowhog is also easy to herd and has no natural defenses, though if attacked by wild animals, they emit an ear piercing wailing sound that can be heard for several miles and is so loud many predatory animals will recoil and hesitate to attack them long enough for their keepers to come to their aid. Curiously, this alarm call is never triggered by a human, only by what they perceive to be a potentially dangerous predator.
None of these characteristics are by accident, for the Chowhog was first magically created by the mages of Notarikon specifically to be bred as livestock – and in addition to being easy to raise, are also extremely tasty and can be processed to make Chowham, Chowpork and Chowbacon.
Due to the prolific pace of their breeding – Chowhogs can sometimes be encountered in the wild. Feral Chowhogs have lost their instinctive trust of humans, and are extremely skittish – running away as fast as their six legs can carry them when they encounter anything that could be a potential predator. But when cornered or attacked, feral Chowhogs emit a strange multi-toned sub and supersonic scream much louder than their domesticated cousins, so loud and powerful that the sound can burst eardrums and induce waves of nausea if several of them vocalize at the same time.