Pig farmer Robert McGregor has been digging muddy wallows in order to keep his outdoor sow herd cool in the rising summer temperatures.
Mr McGregor runs an outdoor unit in Norfolk, where he farms for the supermarket Waitrose. His pigs live outside all year round and, although they have access to well ventilated pig arks, he is using muddy wallows to provide his herd with immediate respite from the heat. Plus, once the mud dries, it acts as a sunscreen on the animals.
“It might not be a five star hotel swimming pool, but if you happen to be a pig – a muddy wallow is the ultimate luxury,” said Mr McGregor.
He added: “I know my pigs well enough to recognise when they are happy and they really do appreciate somewhere to cool off during the heat.”
Jake Pickering, senior agriculture manager at Waitrose, said: “Our sows are outdoors all year round, which allows them to express natural behaviour. But we do have to go the extra mile to keep them comfortable in the summer months.”