Belfast Telegraph

Poppy’s surprise ‘perk’ for Streamvale kids

Visitors to Streamvale Farm were in for a treat recently when saddleback pig Poppy’s piglets decided it was time to join the world.

Nicky Shannon takes delivery of a new batch of saddlebacks

This was Poppy's first litter, and she gave birth to eleven good-sized piglets in the middle of a busy Pets' Corner filled with families and groups of children.

She started giving birth when her owner Helen was doing a bit of shopping in Newtownards, but thankfully farmhand Nicky Shannon was there to follow Helen's instructions.

“I moved all the visitors out, got in with Poppy, kept her calm by chatting and stroking her head, and as each piglet arrived I checked its airways and popped it under the heat lamp to wait for mum,” said Nicky.

Five piglets had arrived by the time Helen had rushed home, and there was an excited crowd of people |waiting outside for news of the next one's arrival.

“Once we realised that all was going so smoothly, we were able to allow small groups of visitors in to watch the proceedings,” said Helen.

“And when all were safely delivered and feeding well from Poppy, we opened the Pets' corner again. I deliver calves regularly at the farm — but they don't come 11 at once, and I don't have an excited audience waiting |outside!”

All the piglets are doing extremely well — and Poppy is too.

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