Why pigs are the new must-have urban pet

U.K - They're low-maintenance, family-friendly - and incredibly tasty. No wonder urban folk want pigs as pets. Jack Watkins meets the people bringing home the bacon
calendar icon 22 March 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

Could keeping a pig in the back garden be the next big trend for urban dwellers worried about how they source their food? The continuing rise of the "Grow Your Own" movement is apparent from the crop of new magazines and television programmes catering for the revival of the practice. Getting a few egg-laying hens is also proving popular.

Raising your own pig would be history coming full circle. Between the wars, many Londoners kept one in the backyard, according to Linda McDonald-Brown, whose Bidgiemire Pig Arc Company, run in partnership with her husband Graham, supplies weaners, start-up equipment and advice to pig-keepers. And she says demand for pigsties has quadrupled in the last two years, with most of the interest coming from non-farming individuals latching on to the idea of keeping pigs in their gardens.

At present, the growth mainly comes from those living in or on the edge of the countryside, but, says Linda, thanks to role models such as Gordon Ramsay, who had a pig arc installed in his city garden for The F Word, interest is likely to spread to urban areas. She says: "A lot of people still think pigs are smelly and difficult to keep. Television programmes such as Jimmy's Farm, although they have brought pigs to the fore, mean people still associate them with farms. But pigs can be kept in a small place."

Source: The Independent
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