Farsley Farfield Primary School

Pigs join Farfield Farm

Our new pigs have created quite a stir and have settled in very well. They have plenty of space to root around in. They particularly enjoy looking for windfall apples that the children have hidden around their enclosure. The pigs are of the heritage Gloucester Old Spot breed that used to be kept in orchards  and, according to folklore, their black spots are bruises from falling apples. They are the perfect breed for Farfield Farm.

Through keeping the pigs, the children will learn more about the provenance of their food and issues around animal welfare. We will be investing in information boards for outside the enclosure. The pigs will not be pets and will only be with us for 9 months. The pigs will have a life twice as long as modern commercially-reared breeds and will have a truly free range life.

Children will go into the enclosures during farming sessions if they wish (and whilst the pigs are small). They will feed the pigs and can stroke their backs. Everyone must keep their hands away from the pigs’ snout and mouth.  If a person touches the pigs, they should use the hand-wash on the fence to sterilise their hands on the way out. Children don’t need to use the handwash if they haven’t touched the pigs.

Families are very welcome to go into the viewing area before or after school, but please DO NOT feed the pigs anything at that time.  Juniors can go into the viewing area at playtime but, again, should not feed the pigs.


I would request that Muslim families discuss with their children the extent to which they should engage with the pigs so that they are clear. There is a range of opinion, with some children asking to stroke the pigs – with gloves on perhaps – others viewing from a distance and others not wishing to go anywhere near. To help us get this right for your family, we would be grateful if Muslim families would kindly complete this very brief questionnaire for each of their children: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Farfieldpigs


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  • Melanie Ward says:

    Such a great value add to the school farm. A great way to extend children’s learning and understanding of the food chain, animal welfare and how pigs live that goes beyond the classroom.

  • Ellen (Rhys and Erin’s Mum) says:

    Really love the idea of teaching kids about life cycles and animal welfare in the real world, not just in books. Welcome little piggies.

  • Tanya Hepton says:

    Despite some individual’s views on social media I think having the pigs on the farm is a brilliant idea.
    All of my children have been brought up knowing where our food comes from and it does not stop them eating any of it.
    Setting aside this it is also a chance for children from all walks of life to see and or be close to a farm animal which they may not get the chance to ever see other than on tv etc.
    Fantastic and I hope this keeps going for many years and the future generation.

  • STEPHEN WARD says:

    I’m fully behind the pig idea

  • Melissa says:

    Another fantastic opportunity for the kids to learn.

  • Jade Thomson says:

    fab addition to the school, my daghter is very excited to have them in the school and what a great way for the children to learn the true food cycle

  • Mx DeMartino says:

    I find it odd that this is considered by some parents learning about the food chain when domesticating animals for agricultural purposes is about as far from the natural order as you can get.
    Pigs can live to be as old as twenty years, though most don’t make it that long. These pigs will still be babies if they are sent to slaughter at nine months old.
    I think they are very cute and I hope many children befriend them and that they will live long and happy lives.

  • Carol Boardman says:

    I think what you are doing is disgraceful why not teach the children to show compassion. all lives matter how can you let the children engage and become attached to the animals then after a very short life span kill them. You are showing them nothing good animals are not food they have as much right to a life as you do.

  • C says:

    While I think it is important for children to truly understand the foods they are consuming, I don’t think that normalising and desensitising children to the meat industry and domesticating wild animals is a wise choice. I hope these beautiful little piggies get a long and happy life and do not get inhumanly killed for the greed and wrong doings of us humans.

    • Peter Harris says:

      Good evening Caitlin. I think that we are raising awareness of the meat industry, and some of the issues around animal welfare and sustainability. I don’t agree that this project has anything to do with greed. The pigs will live twice as long as commercial pigs and appear to be enjoying their outdoor life with plenty of opportunity to root around. Their welfare standards are much higher than most pigs. I don’t think that we are desensitizing the children: I suggest that our children will be more knowledgeable and sensitive to animal welfare than most of their peers.

  • Adilys Ramirez says:

    Children education about animal welfare could save the planet, as well as family planning and birth control