“A happy pig is one that is given the ability to enjoy everyday with all their needs met, plenty of space and the opportunity to express all their funny habits,” says pig farmer Helen Andrews. “That’s the way we raise our pigs and they really thrive.”
Helen and husband Mark’s pig farm is nestled beneath the Southern Alps, near Pleasant Point in South Canterbury, providing the perfect moderate climate, free draining soil and low rainfall for outdoor pig farming.
Their sows farrow in paddocks, each with their own hut and are fed a specially-formulated diet, including barley, wheat and maize. Their piglets scamper and play in the field together before being moved to open-sided covered enclosures with deep straw bedding as weaners.
“We love working with pigs,” says Helen. “They are so rewarding for a stock person. Every one of our sows gets individual care. We know exactly how each pig is doing, how they are eating and performing and that everything is as it should be – that’s the skill of raising contented pigs and high quality New Zealand pork.”