Little Dorrit (Little Pig)

Little Dorrit's Story

Brother to Tatty and Pet, Little Dorrit was the runt of his litter and is half their size. He was born with what we believe to be a heart defect, and nearly died despite us hand feeding him around the clock. The cold was too much for him and his sisters were bullying him. He wouldn’t even get out of bed in case he lost his spot! This resulted in him becoming dangerously dehydrated. 

We decided it was best for us to remove Little Dorrit from the barn and bring him into the house with us. It was the only way we could keep him alive and a real last resort. He cuddled up next to the fire and over time he started to relax, gaining a healthy appetite and a real love for life. Unfortunately, being the runt of the litter will always affect Little Pig as his immune system is weaker than it should be. Even on the warmer days, he can only be outside for a few minutes. Outdoor sessions can often result in a very poorly little piglet. 

Luckily though, he’s learned to love being in the house and enjoys family life. He snuggles up with the dogs on the sofa or in their beds and adores his big (dog) brother Cossy – and Cossy has learned to love his naughty piggy behaviour.

Sprawled out in front of the log burner is where you’ll find Little Pig in the evenings. This is where he’s at his happiest. Although he rather enjoys zoomies around the house, too, often resulting in our coffee table being relocated. 

This cheeky little boy has his snout in everything. Daily tasks become a nightmare when he’s around. Even charging my phone can be impossible sometimes (he likes to run off with the cable and charging base). My husband Morris’ conference calls tend to be disturbed by Little Pig’s grunts that let Morris know he’s ready for his next meal. 

Little Pig has learnt many tricks including walking backwards, standing on a box and twisting round. It helps to stimulate his clever mind and keep him entertained. His big straw bed takes pride of place in our hallway where he can enact natural rooting behaviour as part of his enrichment. Our house tends to become an extension of his bed when he finishes rooting around in it and decides to then run around the house, covering the kitchen in straw and hay. 

Although you may be giggling reading our tales of Little Pig’s adventures and misbehaving, we felt it was important to let you know how difficult pigs can be. They’ve become a fashionable pet in recent years, but the reality is that they are nothing like dogs. He has destroyed our house and occasionally our lives. Houses are not a pig’s natural place – they are intolerant, stubborn and they will take every opportunity to outsmart you. Little Pig is only in the house with us as it was his only chance of survival. 

Even as part of our inside family, he still has a limited number of days – we’ve already nearly lost him 3 times in his short life and the number of emergency vet callouts he’s required probably makes him the most expensive little piglet in the UK. We’re not sure how long he’s got left, but we will never stop doing everything we can to make him happy (even if that means living in a crazy, straw-covered house).

How You Can Help

Like most of our wonderful rescue animals, Little Dorrit needs a lot of feeding and looking after. Her weakened immune system makes her susceptible to illness and can make her vet bills skyrocket. If you would like to gift any of the items below to Little Dorrit, we’d all be extremely grateful.

We opened the Far From Holiday Retreat in order to provide us with funds to enable us to continue our work with these beautiful animals. During the Covid crisis alone we have taken in eight horses, five pigs and a feral farm cat! All new arrivals must be microchipped and passported (and normally they aren’t), vaccinated three times, rasped, wormed and given a general health check by the vet – with the majority requiring many more visits to ensure that they are happy and healthy.

If you are unable to come and visit us, you can still help us to continue our work by supporting us financially. We have included a couple of options below.

Fresh Vegetables (One Week)

£5

The pig nuts have everything they need to keep them healthy, however pigs are intelligent animals with a love for food, so a variation in their diet is important. After living with a house pig we clearly see that their appreciation for different flavours and textures is much greater than dogs.

Pig Feed (3.5 days)

£10

We use Badminton Country Pig Nuts for all of our pigs as it’s a high quality protein source and contains digestible cereal which is great to support their growth and encourages a balanced diet.

Barley Straw Bedding (One Month)

£10

Pigs love digging around and sleeping in a deep bed of Barley straw as it offers comfort, warmth and the ability to carry out natural behaviour. Even our house pig has a deep bed of straw in the house.

Hay (Two Weeks)

£10

Pigs need forage and love chomping and squeaking on a bit of hay each day. Often consumed in a horizontal position by the more lazy members of the parcel.

One Weeks' Worth of Pig Feed

£20

We use Badminton Country Pig Nuts for all of our pigs as it’s a high quality protein source and contains digestible cereal which is great to support their growth and encourages a balanced diet.

Fresh Fruit (Two Weeks)

£20

The pig nuts have everything they need to keep them healthy, however pigs are intelligent animals with a love for food, so a variation in their diet is important. After living with a house pig we clearly see that their appreciation for different flavours and textures is much greater than dogs.

Vet Bills

£30

Little Dorrit and Pet have health problems due to the interbreeding involved in creating miniature pigs. To keep them happy and healthy, requires vet treatment more often than other animals we have on the farm.

Two Apple Trees (for a NEW orchard for all the pigs)

£30

We have extended the pig pens and are creating an orchard for the pigs to enjoy. Rooting around is a natural behaviour for pigs and helps stimulate these intelligent animals, mentally and physically. An apple tree will give them years of food and entertainment.

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