Farmer shares close bond with 200-lb pig
While most people may subscribe to the notion that the dog is man's best friend, 27-year-old Michael McLish says pigs are the animals that have his heart.
The Portmore, St Catherine-based farmer told THE STAR that ever since he bought his prized pig, Mamz, two years ago, they have had an incomparable relationship.
"We just connect differently," he stated. "She always understands my hand language and she know my voice. Like when I reach the farm and I talk, I recognise that she's the one making noise. She knows the vehicle horn."
On McLish's social media pages, he shares videos almost daily of himself interacting with his 'pet'. One of the more popular videos shows Mamz seemingly trying to cuddle with the farmer.
Mamz is a far cry from the traditional teacup or Juliana pigs that people often have as pets. Those are 'regular' potbellied pigs that are tiny in size. But Mamz is a 200-plus pound duroc pig, a breed known for its superior-tasting pork.
McLish told THE STAR that regardless of the quality of meat he could get from her, Mamz is the last of the original litter he invested in and has no intentions of putting her on the menu.
"Persons are asking me if I'm going to kill her; no time soon," he said. "That's not in my mind right now."
As an animal lover, McLish said that he hands off the task of slaughtering to someone else.
"Even though the other pigs are there for slaughter, I don't stay around for it. I can't take the sounds," he explained.
While she is his clear favourite, McLish said Mamz does not receive any special treatment when it comes to her food or living quarters. However, she is allotted extra time when it comes to baths as McLish said "She likes the water".
Continuing their friendship, McLish said that while Mamz is exempt, for now, from slaughter, he is hopeful that he will get some piglets from Mamz in the near future.
"I'm trying to artificial inseminate her, but that would be my first time doing it," he said.