Waitrose pork farmer goes extra mile to keep pigs cool as temperatures soar

As a heatwave hits the country, humans are not the only ones trying to keep cool. But instead of flocking to the nearest beach or lido, and slapping on the sunscreen - these ladies have a much muddier alternative.

One of Waitrose pig farmers, Robert McGregor, has been hard at work digging muddy wallows to provide his sows with somewhere to retreat from the warm temperatures. As well as keeping the animals cool the mud has the added benefit of acting as a sunscreen when it dries.

Robert’s sows live outdoors in his Norfolk fields throughout the year. While they have well ventilated housing [pig arks] in which to shelter, it’s important to also provide some respite from the heat.

Robert McGregor, Farm Manager at Norfolk Farm LSB Pigs, said, “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.

“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, added, '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.”

It comes as no surprise that the care and attention given by farmers like Rob has helped Waitrose win awards like the coveted Good Pig Award from Compassion in World Farming.

In May, the supermarket announced a further £16m support package for our British pork farmers to ensure our high animal welfare standards could continue to be met.