We see very few pigs in our area, with these animals being more and more specialised in their production and care. They tend to be found in the main cereal growing areas of the UK - N-E Scotland and Eastern, middle England.

Some sows are kept outside in kennels where they have free range and they farrow here (have their young). The piglets stay here until they are weaned, then they are fattened in straw yards or smaller pens, with ad-lib food, warm bed and adjacent toilet! They are very clean animals and keep their accomdation clean if they are given space to do so. Most sows these days are kept indoors with the whole cycle from farrowing to fattening taking place here.

Piglets are grown on until they are heavy enough for pork, or heavier still for making bacon. A pig's food consists of mainly barley with added vegetable protein - often soya - to balance the diet. They are NOT fed antibiotics as a routine and would only be treated if they were ill, when the drug and batch number are recorded on meticulous records.

We now tend to see more pet pigs reared in small holdings, from Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs to the small Kunekune dwarf pigs from New Zealand.