For pigs

First among equals

Winston Churchill once said, “I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.”

It’s true. Talk to a pig and you’ll swear they’re talking back. And it’s you who’s dumb because you can’t understand them. Pigs are extraordinarily intelligent — or perhaps ‘street smart’ might be more accurate. They’re also friendly, socially gregarious and, mostly, gentle animals.

But wait, there’s more. Of all the domesticated animals, the pig is the most useful. There is not a single part of these porcine garbage disposal units that cannot be used for our benefit. Imagine a world without bacon. All of which makes them beloved of the hobby farmer with a few acres and a few dozen fruit trees.

There has to be a downside to such a near perfect animal and, with pigs, it’s the fact that they are delicate creatures, affected by cold, by heat, by poor housing or diet and prone to succumbing to a bewildering range of illness and disease.

They need careful management to keep them in the pink. The information collected here will help the small scale pig farmer better understand the health issues affecting pigs, and provide tips and advice on management, housing and feeding.