Meet Bernadette Francine! When this Hampshire farm pig came to Lollypop Farm in 2010 from the Erie County SPCA, she was just a 5 month old piglet. Needless to say, Bernadette has grown up! When Bernadette first arrived, our farm staff wanted to be sure that as a permanent resident of Lollypop Farm, she would have companionship. Baby Bernadette was introduced to three little potbelly pigs. When pigs interact with each other for the first time, generally they establish a hierarchy – so if small pigs are assimilated into a group with a full grown big pig, there’s a chance that the big pig could accidentally harm the little ones. However, Bernadette was only a piglet when she arrived, and she was smaller than the potbellies who would only reach around 150 – 180 pounds at most. The group got along swimmingly.
Bernadette becomes a staff favorite
Bernadette was an immediate hit with the staff and visitors here at Lollypop Farm. She was sweet and intelligent, and took quickly to all sorts of antics around the farm, such as walking on a harness, learning to “sit,” and greeting other farm animals and visitors. She was the star of photoshoots and videos, all documenting her growth and her journey as she became acclimated to life on the farm.
Bernadette continued to grow rapidly, but her little potbellied pals didn’t care. When Bernadette was old enough, the whole gang moved outside to the farm walk. Now they live in an open pasture with three cattle, and they’re all the best of friends. One of Bernadette’s original pig friends found a home of his own several years ago, but Bernadette, “Boo” and “Tater Tot” (pictured) will live out the rest of their lives together. The pigs get to greet Lollypop Farm visitors as they stroll down the farm walk, and Bernadette will notoriously come running down the hillside when called.
Bernadette grows, and grows, and grows
Bernadette weighed around 80 lbs. when we first met her in 2010. She now tips the scales at over 500 pounds, and is the largest pig on the farm! Bernadette is a sweet girl, and loves the attention she gets from staff and visitors. The next time you visit the Farm Walk at Lollypop Farm, don’t forget to stop by the pasture where Bernadette lives and say hello!