Porcine displays of affection

Ever-curious, the OSBs often sniff out a photo opportunity
Ever-curious, the OSBs often sniff out a photo opportunity

For our first foray into pigkeeping, James and I were determined to maintain a level of detachment from our porcine charges, lest we found that we couldn’t do the deed and take them off to the abattoir, resulting in more pets and no ham, sausages or chops. During the five months or so that they were rootling around at the end of the garden, we gave the pair a good life and enjoyed their company, but we didn’t stroke or pat them and avoided naming them – we’re still not keen on giving a moniker to any animal that will ultimately be eaten. Having managed the whole cycle, from picking out our piglets to bringing home the bacon, we now feel we can relax a little and make a fuss of them, plus I can’t help feeling that more affection from us will make our trio a little happier and boost their welfare in general.

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The Oxford Sandy & Blacks seem more interested in us, too, and love bolting over to have a good scratch courtesy of our Wellington boots every time we enter their run. It’s also lovely to give their back or neck a good pat, stroke or rub and see how much they enjoy it.

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I don’t think this will mean their end is more difficult to carry out – hopefully, knowing that they’ve had as good a life as possible will make it easier. I’d love to hear from other pigkeepers about their approach to affection…

Partial to a good kip on a regular basis, the trio of Oxford Sandy & Blacks regularly emerge from the ark rather sleepy
Partial to a good kip on a regular basis, the trio of Oxford Sandy & Blacks regularly emerge from the ark looking seriously cute and rather sleepy

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