Meandering along the patio and lawn adjacent to Resolute Brewery, curly tails and pink snouts seemed to hog the attention of customers on March 1.
Resolute Brewery, 7286 S. Yosemite St., Centennial, teamed with Hog Heaven Farm to bring awareness, education and pig kisses to the people of the south metro area. The event helped mark National Pig Day, which began in 1972.
So many people came to experience the animals at Resolute that the parking lot filled and people parked along the street and down alleyways. Customers and animals alike squealed in delight when customers were handed carrots and cupcakes to feed the pigs.
Hog Haven is a nonprofit pig rescue in Deer Trail, a rural community in eastern Arapahoe County. The farm rescues pigs from cases of abuse, neglect and abandonment and provides education to the public and potential pig owners. At the time of the visit, Hog Haven was home to 47 potbellied pigs and four commercial pork pigs.
Potbellied pigs range from 70 to 250 pounds. They eat a high-fiber diet and enjoy fruits and vegetables, but will eat almost anything they are offered. They are the fourth smartest mammal, matching the intelligence of a 4- to 6-year-old human child, said Erin Brinkley-Burgardt, founder of Hog Haven Farm.
“They really have a mind of their own,” Brinkley-Burgardt said. “You can ask them to do something and they will actually think about it. If they don’t want to do it, they’re not going to do it.”
Many people surrender their pigs to the rescue because pigs do not get along with other animals in the household or they get much larger than the owner anticipated.
Brinkley-Burgardt said that compared to the 3-foot-tall, 650-pound commercial pigs, potbellied pigs really are miniature. However, they do not match the concept of “teacup” pigs, as they are sometimes advertised.
The owners of Resolute Brewery donate their spent grain to Hog Haven farm after brewing their beers, said Andrew Duvall, Resolute’s community manager.
With a flying pig on his shirt and a beer in hand, Jacob Malocha, a Denver resident, walked his pig, Chutney, with a leash and harness. Malocha made a “pigstagram,” or a pig-related Instagram, for his pet, titled 1divineswine. Malocha is not associated with Hog Haven, but enjoys meeting fellow pig enthusiasts.
Malocha has owned Chutney since the 100-pound animal was a piglet.
“I couldn’t figure out what dog to get, and I can be pretty lazy and didn’t want to go on walks,” Malocha said, laughing. “Chutney likes to eat and watch Netflix, so it worked out well.”