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Updated: Sep 22, 2019

Many people go to pounds to adopt cat or dog, but not many go to adopt a pig. Sadly, a large number of farmed animals find themselves impounded by councils or are surrendered by their family for various reasons. The fate of these animals in most cases is not the happy ending they deserve.

A piglet, soon to be named Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, was impounded by nearby city council when he was found running around a suburban area. He was covered in cuts and scratches, and was hungry and scared, and things were looking pretty grim for the little man. But despite his rough start to life luck was on his side as he quickly enchanted all the pound staff with his gentle nature.

They were determined to find him the loving home he deserved. Unfortunately, many people enquiring about adopting Henry did not have his best intentions in mind. There were plenty of bacon jokes, breeding enquiries and – well, you can probably guess the rest.

Henry spent four long months at the pound, waiting patiently for his forever home.

We at Head Over Hooves heard about Henry and his rapidly diminishing prospects, and soon he found his place at Head Over Hooves Farm Haven. While we were all very excited about his impending arrival, as we were still in our early setup stages, we did not have a suitable pig area ready. We quickly constructed a secure bedroom (dog proof) and a short-term day area using cattle panels. Much straw was bought to give him the snuggly bed he had only dreamed of. Being up north, it gets very warm so a paddling pool for the handsome boy to lounge around in and blow as many bubbles as he could was bought.

Then there was the food - probably the most important thing in a pig’s world. As we do not want Henry to gain excessive weight we had to work out a healthy, balanced diet. (The majority of commercial pig feeds are designed specifically for optimum weight gain.) Making home-made pig feed is a challenge as you must ensure there is enough fibre, protein, minerals and a variety of vegetables with a small amount of fruit.

Before his arrival, Henry had one more stop… at the dreaded vet…. to be castrated. With pain relief and antibiotics on board and his pig pass filled and lodged, he was ready to roll.

Henry was an angel to transport. As he was still a little pig he fitted into a straw filled extra-large transport cage which he happily walked into with the enticement of his favourite food in the whole wide world - a banana.

On the drive home he happily fell into a deep sleep in his plush bed. To welcome him to his new digs we had fresh watermelon waiting for him to take his mind off his big move. He also had a welcoming committee of sheep excitedly waiting to say hello.

Henry adjusted to his new life at Head Over Hooves very quickly. He gets all the belly rubs he desires, he has acres to run around, trees to snooze under, a dam to lounge around in, a permanent bedroom fit for a king, a best buddy, humans that adore him and most importantly in his eyes: FOOD!!

We might be biased but Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is the coolest pig ever.

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