A pig nest and Extraordinarily cute piglets
This is a gorgeous video taken by Michael Hicks at Extraordinary Pork pastured pig farm near Dubbo, NSW, last week. He's showing how one of his sows turned her nose up at the hay they provided for her to farrow in (give birth) and sourced her own materials.
We know that birds make nests but many of us wouldn't know that a lovely big sow also makes a nest in which to give birth and protect her young. This nest, built independently by a very determined animal expressing an instinctive drive, provides a stark illustration of the cruelty of locking a farrowing sow into a concrete box that's so small she can't even turn around. That's how sows in intensive pig 'farms' are treated.
Even pigs in Free Range operations aren't given the same freedom to determine their own farrowing conditions as those on fully pasture-based farms.
Thank heavens for the 1% of Australian pig growers who choose to operate pasture-based farms where the pigs are:
- unfettered and free to roam
- regularly rotated to fresh paddocks
- carefully stocked so each pig always has the room they need and the soil is never over-burdened
- managed with respect and care by intelligent, mindful, compassionate people
- valued both in life and in death because the customers who choose to eat them make a conscious decision to support an extensive, humane and sustainable meat production system.