They may make unusual siblings, but these piglets have literally had their bacon saved after being fostered by a labrador.
The tiny animals were orphaned after their Great White sow mother died of a suspected heart attack days after giving birth to them.
Two of their siblings had been put with another sow but with 11 piglets of her own, there was no more space for the remaining two.
Luckily, the quick-thinking owners of the farm they live on introduced them to six-year-old labrador retriever Molly who was suckling her own puppies.
Despite apparently being “confused” initially by her new foster children, Molly’s instincts kicked in and she is now mum to a family of piglets as well as puppies.
Farm owners Adam Szymborski and Serena Spearey, who run Keythorpe Valley Farm in Rutland, East Midlands, said: “The other sow already had 11 of her own piglets to suckle and took on two of the piglets.
“We brought the other two into the house and put them under the heat lamp we’d got on for the new pups.”
They started bottle feeding the piglets but when they put them in the whelping box they just joined the other pups at “mum’s milk bar”, he said.
“Initially, she had a look at them as if to say ‘what’s this?’ as the piglets make different noises, but she’s a mum and her motherly instincts basically mean she’ll look after anything.”
He added: “The piglets are already more active than the three-week-old pups and are able to climb out of the whelping box and run around the house causing mayhem.
“They’re playfully biting the faces of the pups who don’t seem at all fazed by their presence.
“They all just snuggle together in one big pile when it’s time to sleep.”