Hen party: U.K. pig befriends rescue chicken who loves to give him back scratches

February 22, 2022

A giant pig that lives in a house has a new best friend—a hen that had to be moved indoors due to an avian flu lockdown, reports People magazine.

Both animals currently live at Tribe Animal Sanctuary in Lanarkshire, Scotland. Vietnamese potbellied pig Francisco, 4, moved to the U.K. rescue habitat after his former owner—a teenage girl who got the pet for her birthday—could no longer care for him after he grew beyond his supposed “micropig” size.

Morag Sangster, who runs Tribe Animal Sanctuary, lets him run the house along with her four dogs, as reported by SWNS.

Alice the hen arrived at the sanctuary after Sangster rescued her from life on a battery farm used for fast food production. Then, last November, Alice moved from the sancutary’s outdoor area to the inside of the conservatory, in order to avoid an outbreak of avian flu. Alice’s lockdown forced the chicken to live with Francisco. Luckily, the hen and pig became unlikely best friends.

Alice quickly became one of Francisco’s favorites thanks to her pig backscratches, which she conducts by standing on the swine and stretching her claws.”I think all pigs love to have scratches on their back Sanagster told SWNS, adding, “Alice will jump on Francisco’s back, and you can tell he likes it.”

The two-year-old hen will eventually be allowed to move back outside, but Stranger believes that she will choose to spend her time indoors to be near Francisco.

However, one way or another, neither of them will be at a loss for company: Tattoo artist Sangster and her partner John Ryan also have four Highland cows, seven pigs, 50 sheep, three donkeys, seven goats, five geese, five turkeys, and 60 hens under their care.

“We like to see animals as fun-loving creatures, there’s no difference between pets and livestock,” Sangster said of her full house.

Research contact: @people