RENT MICRO PIGS FOR SCHOOLS
By Natasha, February 2019
2019, being Chinese Year of The Pig, presents a perfect outdoor learning opportunity to explore what renting our micro pigs could bring to your school, nursery, toddler group or a pre-school. Our visit could fulfil your requirements for the Outdoor Classroom Days which in 2019 fall onto 23rd May and 7th November 2019; equally, it can form a fun part of Chinese New Year Celebrations. Although these celebrations in 2019 take place in the first couple of weeks of February, the whole year is symbolically represented by the Pig sign who symbolises wealth and fortune in the Chinese culture. So, how beneficial could a visit from The Pigfather be?
Did you know that our Miniature Piglets can be rented at your school or nursery for 2 days to a whole week providing many hours for the children to spend time with these inquisitive beings! For more information on this unique service, please, visit Borrow My Piggy page.
Educational Benefits of Micro Pigs for Schools
Firstly, the children will learn what Micro Pigs are. Micro pig is a recently invented term by the Media describing a pig which is smaller in size than a pig of a traditional farm breed. A few decades ago, a number of UK farmers decided to cross-breed some Rare Pig Breeds in order to develop a smaller sized pig which would be easier to handle and would also be suitable to keep as a pet. Traditional or Rare Breeds such as Oxford Sandy and Black, Gloucestershire Old Spot, Tamworth, Middle White amounts others were crossed with smaller pure breeds such as Kune Kune or Vietnamese Pot Bellied pigs, with an occasional crossing with a Wild Boar.
It took several generations to start noticing a marked difference in size of the resulting pig litters. These smaller pigs were then called Miniature Pigs. The Media quickly spread the word and the photographs of baby Miniature Piglets in tea cups flooded the news, and the terms such as “Tea cup”, “Nano”, or “Micro” pigs spread like wild fire. However, the public were misinformed, believing that these piglets would always stay “tea cup size” but they didn’t. An adult Miniature Pig weight can range from 28kg to 65 kg but they are known to weigh up to 70kg or more at mature age of 5 years. For this reason, at The Pigfather, we refer to our Micro Pigs as Miniature Pigs!
Secondly, children will learn the origin of all pigs and why this knowledge could be important when looking after pet pigs. In addition, visual presentation of a variety of pig breeds will make it fun to learn that not all pigs are pink and hairless like “Babe”! This will be followed by a discussion of the intelligence of pigs, their lifespan, normal behaviour patterns, feeding and their communication language including the importance of understanding pigs’ body language. Read more about pigs’ inteligence on our page Are Pigs Inteligent Animals.
Micro Pigs Inspire Children’s Imagination
On 4th February 2019 we visited a large Primary School in Surrey with our Certified Therapy Mini Pigs Mikey and Sunny and provided an educational programme to all 17 classes, 500 children in total! What an incredible day of experiential learning it was! Each class had a short age appropriate educational presentation covering the topics outlined above. This was followed by plenty of hands on experience with Mikey and Sunny. This outdoor experience concluded with Q&A and we had some very interesting questions from the children!
It was wonderful to see the change in the children’s (and adult’s) faces after their interactions with our mini pigs! Stepping into the cold rainy outdoors from the comfortable warm classrooms was not easy for many! However, just a few minutes later, the children’s faces lit up with delight as they had such a unique opportunity with the pigs, learning so much about them and clearly enjoying their special piggy cuddle times!
Our visit clearly inspired the children to want to learn more, triggering lots of follow up questions! Although some of the questions from reception children were a little embarrassing at times, they presented a great opportunity to discuss a range of often not discussed in great depth topics, such as poo (dung) matters!
Some of the questions that children asked included the following: “How long do pigs live?”, “Why are their tails wagging?”, “What is the yellow thing in their ears?”, “Why do they have such soft coats?”, “What is the colour of their eyes and eyelashes?”, “How do they drink and eat, do they pick up food with their lips or tongue?”.
The whole experience was to inspire creative writing themed Chinese New Year Celebrations! The feedback from the teachers on the day was that all the children were so inspired by Mikey and Sunny’s visit, they couldn’t wait to start writing! This is what a positive hands on experience with a real animal can bring and nothing beats this kind of interaction.
Flexibility to Suit Your School’s Requirements
Are you thinking of ways to enrich the children’s curriculum or, perhaps, considering what topics to cover for the Outdoor Classroom Day? Why not rent our Miniature Pigs and give your children this unforgettable and rare opportunity?
We are very flexible with our visits and can work together with you on a programme to suit your school or nursery’s educational needs. From a Power-point Assembly presentation to a whole day educational programme for all your classes, you can discuss with us your specific requirements. As we are educated to a Masters Degree level in natural sciences, we are happy to adjust the level of our presentation from EYFS to KS3 or above and include a variety of topics to discuss.
Please, get in touch with us, we will be delighted to help.