Mercury (Hobart) - Magazine - - Up Front -

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.”

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