Proposals, birthdays and anniversaries. These are all times of celebration, which are often celebrated with loved ones. People go to great lengths to make these occasions special and memorable and there are always new trends for celebrating developing. Recently, I came across another, surprising one. Micro pigs.
As the nation’s animal obsession continues to grow, it’s no longer just dogs and cats that are grabbing our attention. I must admit, it took me a while to understand the obsession with pigs and images of enormous boars, covered in mud and grunting have plagued my mind in the past. However, the discovery of micro pigs changed this view, and if I had any reservations left, a visit to Kew Little Pigs displayed the beauty of these animals to me.
This female-run business is one of the only micro pig breeders and company in the UK and currently have 75 pigs, including three litters of piglets, which were born late April/early May. The private farm has been situated in Old Amersham for over a year now, but first began in Olivia, the owner’s, back garden. She began the company purely because of her love of pigs and since then has developed into the female-run company that exists today. The first pig was named Kew, as they lived in Kew Gardens at the time, which paved the way for the business’ name.
Kew, now a great-great-grandmother, is quite a star herself. She has been sponsored by Moon Pig and has inspired a series of books about her adventures. I was introduced to her, alongside the other pigs. Olivia’s ability to reel off their names and tell them apart is remarkable and demonstrates her care and love for them all.
This affection is displayed even more clearly with the three litters of piglets, which were born less than a week before our visit. With their small stature, large snouts and playful fighting, these tiny animals could convert even the strongest critic of micro pigs. It was impossible not to smile when I saw one of the litters huddled together in their hutch, making sure the runt, which was even smaller than the rest (if that’s possible?), was kept warm. Seeing this made my heart ache and, after a cuddle, I was fully considering a career change to work on the farm.
This led Olivia to mention that they do have three job openings available. It’s hard to imagine a more inviting place to work than in such a beautiful, open space, on top of having pigs on hand to cuddle whenever you please. The farm is based on ethical values and is one of the only ones of its kind in the UK that focus on exhibiting micro pigs and educating people on their intelligence, as well as understanding their needs and the responsibilities of owners.
In fact, for those hoping to buy pigs for the first time, there’s a mandatory two-hour husbandry course to teach the correct way to care for them. It is possible to buy pigs, but they are usually sold in pairs as pigs are very sociable animals and they can get lonely if they’re isolated. For those not quite up to the challenge of looking after them, or lacking space, there’s also the option to adopt and let the farm take care of them instead.
It is also possible to hire show pigs for private events and even weddings. The popularity of the business has increased greatly in recent years and they regularly find themselves travelling great distance to a pig-lover’s party. The flexible nature of the business means that they will do their best to facilitate requests and we were told that they once took ten pigs to a private event.
The most popular service the farm offers are 60 and 90 minute pre-booked sessions, where you get to interact with all the pigs. As the farm is private all visits must be arranged before, which adds to the exclusive feel of the experience and ensures everyone has ample time with the pigs. We had a taste of one of these and the volume of information we received combined with the freedom we were given with the pigs demonstrated why they are so popular.
Other options, including a pig spa experience, which has proven particularly popular with hen parties, are also available. The clear and concise website details all the packages and displays how innovative Kew Little Pigs is.
And nor are they content to settle with what they’re already offering. Their future plans include building an agility course in the field and even an official quarantine centre, as they receive a lot of interest in the pigs from international buyers. Olivia explained that she’d love to take the show pigs to festivals, such as Glastonbury, to continue to spread their customer base across the country. In the meantime, I’ll be back for some more pig cuddles.