Patrick Twigger

Patrick Twigger

Frome, Somerset

Pigs (indoor)

PIGS AND ARABLE, SOMERSET: Patrick farms 450 acres (182 hectares) growing beans, wheat, barley, oilseed rape and grass for hay. His crops grow with the help of lots of pig muck, which reduces the need for synthetic fertilisers.

Patrick doesn’t breed his own pigs. He buys in 250 weaners from another farm every six weeks for fattening. The pigs which come to Patrick’s farm were born outdoors and weaned off their mother at four weeks old. They weigh around 7kg when they arrive and will be fattened to about 105kg. By the time they are ready for slaughter the pigs are five to six months old.

Patrick sends 80 bacon pigs to the abattoir every fortnight. It is a continuous, rotating system and there can be around 900 pigs on the farm at any one time.

Patrick’s pigs are assured under various schemes including Red Tractor, M&S and RSPCA Assured.

It was Patrick’s father who set up the farm. He bought 10 acres (4 hectares) in the late 1960s and started farming with 90 sows (female breeding pigs). In the years that followed they got up to 220 sows and used to feed them on milk, ice cream, Guinness and yoghurt.

Patrick didn’t join the family business straight away. He studied agriculture for three years at college and worked in Canada for a year on a dairy farm and broiler unit. He looked after 250,000 chickens and milked 300 cows three times a day before returning home to farm pigs.

Contact Patrick

Patrick is a rugby coach for his local club. He enjoys live music, going to the cinema and sitting on the parish council.