When a 500-Pound Pig Hounds Sheep and Puts Honest Dogs Out of Work, It Just Doesn't Seem Kosher

updated 05/04/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/04/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

When Ian Watters and his brother Clive want to shift the 257 sheep from one field to another on their 59-acre farm, they shout, "Piggie, piggie!" Sure enough, along plods a 500-pound Tamworth hog. The flock follows sheepishly. As we know, sheep can get along with almost anyone, especially someone weighing a quarter of a ton. "When the pig decides to snort, well, everything will move," attests Ian, 35.

What happened to the herd-tending border collies for which Great Britain is famous? "Our fields are small. Only if you're in thousands of acres do you need a dog," explains Clive, 34.

It was pure accident, this new pig gig. On the Watters farm, dogs, chickens, ponies and pigs are free to follow Ian on his morning chores. Most lose interest as he makes his way across the fields. But not the pigs. Ian noticed a new spirit of cooperation from his sheep when a large hog joined him.

The Watters now have four herding pigs and plan to breed a litter just for handling sheep. That way, they can keep on casting those (woolly) curls before swine.

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