Giant pig given new best friend as hen moves into house in Carluke after avian flu ‘flockdown’

A giant pig which lives in a house has a new best friend – a hen which had to be moved indoors due to the avian flu ‘flockdown.’

Vietnamese potbellied pig Francisco, aged four, was bought as a micropig for a teenage girl’s birthday but began to grow – so was taken in by animal-lover Morag Sangster.

Morag, who runs Tribe Animal Sanctuary, in Carluke, Lanarkshire, lets him have the run of the house and along with four dogs.

In November, she moved poorly chicken Alice indoors – and the hen and pig are now unlikely best friends.

They like to eat the same kind of food and Alice is often giving Francisco a backscratch by standing on him and stretching her claws.

Alice, who was rescued from a battery farm along with 60 other chickens which are currently living in sheds due to ‘flockdown’, needed to recuperate from her fast-food production former life.

But an outbreak of avian flu meant all birds needed to be kept outside.

She was moved into the conservatory, and now spends most of her time with her new pal.

Morag is not worried giant Francisco might squash his wee pal – as he is so noisy and grunts all the time.



The pair spend most of their time in the conservatory

Alice, aged two, will eventually be moved outside when the weather improves, but Morag does not think she will want to leave the conservatory.

Morag said: “There’s a ‘flockdown’ because of bird flu – to stop it from spreading in the UK, people have been told to keep birds inside.

“We take in hens from battery farms and they are often quite poorly.

“Alice was really poorly, we took her into the conservatory as she was being bullied.

“She’s been in the conservatory ever since.

“I think all pigs love to have scratches on their back.

“Alice will jump on Francisco’s back and you can tell he likes it.

“Francisco has pretty much reached his full weight.

“We feed him pellets, especially for pigs, but if we want him to lose weight he needs to eat less pellets and more fruit and veg.

“He loves carrots.”



Alice likes to jump on Francisco's back
Alice likes to jump on Francisco’s back

Tattoo artist Morag and her partner John Ryan also have four Highland cows, seven pigs, and 50 sheep grazing on their land.

There are three donkeys, seven goats, and five geese and five turkeys, as well as 60 hens.

The couple’s four dogs also live in the house.

Morag said they used to be keen on interior decor until their animal family expanded.

She said: “When we first moved here, we had loads of old furniture and ornaments, and now it’s quite sparse.

“We like to see animals as fun-loving creatures, there’s no difference between pets and livestock.”

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