Pasture a problem as Piglet puts on pounds

A Dunedin woman is on the hunt for the perfect piggy pasture as her pet, Piglet, runs low on fresh grass to graze on.

Animal lover Sarah Alexander adopted Piglet the kunekune from pet store Scales, Feathers, Fins and Fur in December 2022.

"I picked him up and I just fell in love with him," she said.

She takes her porcine pal on walks around South Dunedin daily, and Piglet has his own bed in Ms Alexander’s bedroom, despite his snoring habit.

Things were "really cruisy" to begin with, but heading into their second winter together — and Piglet weighing in at about 120kg — her yard was running out of grass for Piglet to eat, Ms Alexander said.

"He likes to wander around from about 2pm in the afternoon til dinner time, which is 6pm, and then he grazes from then until bedtime, which is generally around about 8.30pm.

"But because we’ve got no grass he’s getting very bored and his boredom turns into problematic situations where he’ll break things — it’s kind of like toddler tantrums almost."

Sarah Alexander and pets (from left) Lucy, Roxy and Piglet take regular walks around South...
Sarah Alexander and pets (from left) Lucy, Roxy and Piglet take regular walks around South Dunedin. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
She hoped to find someone willing to let Piglet graze in their yard for a couple of hours every now and then.

"I’ll totally go pick up after him, take a bucket with me and pick up his poo, bring it on home and everything.

"But yeah, it’s getting a bit difficult."

She described Piglet as "very, very sassy".

"If he’s not happy, he will tell you about it. He will just stand there and whinge."

Although Piglet had an attitude, he was a "really smart" pig, Ms Alexander said.

"He knows where the lollies are in the house - he goes up to the drawers and nudges the drawer. I’m waiting for the day that he figures out he can open the fridge.

"He was actually in the front bedroom to start off with and then I moved him into the backyard when I got a bit more confident that he could be out in the yard by himself.

"And now he’s just in and out as he pleases and does whatever he likes. He rules the roost a little bit actually."

Along with Piglet, Ms Alexander lives with her two dogs Roxy and Lucy and her rabbit Snowman.

Piglet quickly became best friends with Snowman, she said.

"Because Piglet was smaller when I got him than what the rabbit was, they bonded immediately. They hang out together every day."

She had not owned a pig before, but had always wanted some sort of "exotic animal".

"I’ve had chickens, I’ve had birds, rats, guinea pigs, quite a few rabbits.

"I came across Piglet and was like, ‘right, you’re coming home with me’."

Ms Alexander said her "ultimate goal" was to pay off the mortgage on her home and start fresh somewhere with more land for her animals to enjoy.

"I’m trying to make it work but it’s not really the full situation we need to be in, but it gives me a goal to work for anyway.

"I’m doing it for them. [My dogs] would love a bit of land just as much as Piglet."