This is me having a sow wow with my newest gal pal, Brooke.
Brooke is a Middle White pig, who lives in Billingshurst.
I think she bears an uncanny resemblance to the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman. Which only made me respect her more.
Brooke’s been helping me swine tune my pig husbandry skills ahead of getting my own porkers next month.
As you can see, I’ve got ear scratching sussed.
But I’m not all that good at steering.
My friend Rebecca and I headed to West Sussex today to meet Brooke and her mates.
Our piggy course covered all feeding, caring and paperwork required when getting trotters.
And one or two added extras for breeding enthusiasts.
As a good ‘pig husband’ I’ve also learned how to get my sow in the mood for artificial insemination.
Sex is apparently all about the smell for swines. But when you don’t have a boar, you have to fake that aphrodisiac aroma.
Forget Tinder. All pigs need is a boyfriend in a can.
My own Gloucester Old Spot/Berkshire-cross piglets arrive at Rowan Farm just after Easter.
They’ll be about the same size as these little crackers.
I will give them a taste of the good life for the next six months.
I will fence off a large part of the farm for them to roam in. I will feed them pig nuts twice a day. I will spoil them with tasty fruit treats. I will offer them toys to play with. I will scratch their tummies.
And once they’ve fattened up, I will send them off to slaughter, butcher them and eat them.
This may sound brutal.
And in many ways it is.
Pigs are fantastic characters. I will likely form a close bond with the blighters and it won’t be easy packing them off to the abattoir.
But I will know just how plush those pigs have had it. And I will feel much better about my salami than I do about the stuff you get in the supermarket, which invariably will have come from a much poorer welfare standard.
My pigs will be very happy pigs. Like Molly here.
So get ready for the arrival of Huff, Puff and Snuff.
Rowan Farm’s first livestock in decades.