Pig Brings Lunch To His Sick Brother Every Single Day
“He is very nurturing to him — to the point where he won’t let any other pigs near him” 🐷 💗 🐷
Horton and Henry were only a few months old when rescuers found them — but they had already formed an undeniable bond.
Starving and terrified, the two brothers were being raised at a pig farm — and had gone without food so long that their bones were visible. They were covered in ticks, riddled with parasites and anemic from the lack of care.
They were afraid of people, too.
“They were scared to death,” Ellie Laks, founder of The Gentle Barn, told The Dodo. Gentle Barn rescued the bonded pair in the summer of 2015, but it took a while before the young pigs were comfortable enough to open up. “We sat with them every day for weeks to comfort them,” Laks explained.
Recognizing that they were safe, Henry and Horton slowly began allowing their caretakers to get a little bit closer to them — as long as they had plenty of snacks in hand.
“We read books to them and sang them songs,” Laks said. “It was as if their eyes went from dull to bright. After a few weeks, they started rolling over to let us rub their bellies.”
Soon Horton and Henry were well enough to go out into their pasture. As they gained more weight and got stronger, their hair started getting softer and they spent their days basking in the sun.
But even as they grew up, they did everything together — wherever Henry grazed, Horton trailed not far behind. When Horton laid down at night, Henry was right there under the blankets with him.
“They were inseparable since day one,” Laks said.
But by the time the pigs reached their first birthdays, caretakers realized that Horton was having trouble walking. His legs were struggling to support his massive weight — a common issue in the unnaturally large pigs raised for food.
“They both grew very, very quickly,” Laks said. “But Horton’s size coupled with his bad conformation turned into mobility issues.”
Horton had to have surgery and takes anti-inflammatory medicine to help his condition. He’s feeling better now, but he spends most of his time on “bed rest” in his and Henry’s barn. But, like good brother would, Henry makes sure Horton doesn’t go without.
As Horton’s legs got weaker, caretakers noticed that the already-loving Henry was becoming even more affectionate toward his brother.
“When we bring out hay for them to eat at lunch time, Henry will grab a mouthful and bring it right into the barn for Horton,” Laks said. “He is very nurturing to him — to the point where he won’t let any other pigs near him. He knows that Horton is delicate and vulnerable.”
During the day, when Henry is out in the pasture, he never stays too far from his brother.
“If Horton makes a peep, Henry is right back there to check on him,” Laks said. “He’ll check back in throughout the day, too, just to make sure he’s doing OK.”
According to Laks, this isn’t an uncommon behavior in pigs. As highly emotional animals, they thrive on social interactions with others — and form deep bonds with family, friends and human caretakers.
“Pigs have a highly developed language,” Laks said. “They’re always communicating through their different snorts or grunts. Henry especially loves people, too. He’s always up for a belly rub and some veggies.”
While lunch is definitely an important part of the day, keeping Horton comfortable is also a priority for Henry.
“We’ll sit out straw for bedding, and Henry brings that in for [his brother] too,” Laks said. “And I’m sure Horton says thank you in his own way.”
After everything they’ve been through together, Henry doesn’t seem to mind the extra work.