Kay’s tip: pigs are not meant to live in houses

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Feature -

A PIG DOES NEED its own shel­ter, some­where warm and dry like the great pig houses Kay has in her pad­docks (right), but she can tell you first­hand that an adult pig has no place in­side.

“If they can get out, they come into the house, tip the dog’s wa­ter over and lay in it, the wa­ter goes all un­derneath the fridge, it’s not very nice.

“There are a lot of peo­ple who think they can just treat them like dogs and put them in the house but I say you’ve got to be re­al­is­tic: they grow. Imag­ine sit­ting there hav­ing a cup of cof­fee with your bick­ies – the whole ta­ble would be turned up­side down by a pig.”

Over all the years she’s had pigs, Kay still finds them fas­ci­nat­ing. She now knows the say­ing “piggy in the mid­dle” is based on be­hav­iour she’s wit­nessed where piglets all squab­ble to be in the warmest, cosiest spot (the mid­dle) – “They love to be snug!” says Kay – that a herd of big, hairy High­land cat­tle will re­spect­fully (and very quickly) de­fer to their short, fat grunt­ing pad­dock mates, that goats and pigs will live and sleep in har­mony, and that all the com­forts pro­vided by a hu­man won’t stop a sow’s nat­u­ral in­stincts.

“One sow got the hose that was run­ning through the pad­dock and she dragged it along and put it in her house. Then she got all the rub­bish from the rub­bish pile – branches of trees, big, big branches – and we watched her keep car­ry­ing stuff over. She al­ready had half a bale of hay (in her house) but she wanted to make her own nest. It wasn’t a very com­fort­able nest at all… it was the most fas­ci­nat­ing thing.”

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