A PACKET of pot-bellied piglets have been born this week to Smithills Open Farm.

The litter of 14 piglets were born on Monday to pot-bellied mum Patricia and kunekune dad Barbossa.

Carl Grimshaw, aged 33, runs Smithills with his father Anthony and is giving talks about the piglets to families who visit the farm during the summer holidays.

Mr Grimshaw, who has worked on the farm since leaving school, said: “Everybody goes crazy for the piglets. We give talks to adults and children, it's all about educating them how we breed them and why."

The piglets are still on mum's milk at the moment and Mr Grimshaw said they would expect them to start picking at Patricia's food (sow nuts) when they get to about three weeks old.

They have not been named either but one of them with white feet will be Harry Trotter.

When staff began arriving at the farm in Smithills Dean Road at 8.30am on Monday Patricia had already begun giving birth and by lunchtime she had given birth to all 14 of the piglets.

13 of the piglets survived and are doing well in their pen next to a proud llama mum and her four-week-old cria.

Mr Grimshaw said visitors to the farm had also been enchanted by the cheeky alpaca babies.

Despite weighing in at about 200kg pot-bellied and kunekune breeds are described as miniature pigs and this can often lead unsuspecting pet owners to buying piglets mistaking them for micropigs.

Mr Grimshaw said: "They will buy one at six weeks and then they get to 200kg which is no longer "micro""

The sensational summer weather has proved both a boon and a burden for the farm. Mr Grimshaw said: "It's been really, really busy which is good but it's been tough because the grass hasn't been growing because it's been so hot.

"We have the animals out [in the fields] but we have to bring them in to feed them. The cows will go out and then stand at the gate waiting to come in and feed."

The piglets will remain at the farm until they are about 10 weeks old and the talks run four times a day throughout the summer holidays.