WORDS PENNY McLEOD PHOTOGRAPHY AMANDA DUCKER
At least once a week, Louise Archer’s 180kg, four-year-old pet pig Aggie joins her on a walk to Macquarie River at her historic farming property, Brickendon Estate, at Longford.
“We go for a walk down to the river where she has a jolly good roll in the mud on the riverbank,” Archer says.
“Sometimes I take the shetland pony and our dog, too. Aggie is part of the crew. When we go walking, she’s definitely walking with me. She’s not just a random farm animal wandering around the place. She relates to me. We have a lovely friendship.”
Archer, pictured at Brickendon offering Aggie a piece of bread, has had the affectionate Berkshire pig since it was three months old.
She taught Aggie, who used to sleep on her lap as a piglet and now lives in a large pen, to sit like a dog so she could handfeed her without fear of being bitten.
“She loves scratches and cuddles, but pigs can get excited and they do have teeth and can actually hurt you quite badly if they wanted to. I only hand-feed her when she’s sitting down,” Archer says.
“They start out cute as babies, but even as babies they are very solid animals. A puppy is soft and cuddly, whereas a piglet the same size is a bit like a brick with legs on the end.”