Foodies favoring free-range chicken might want to clear some room on their plates for sea-range pork! A Chinese pig-farmer encourages his swine to perform daily dives from a 10-foot tall platform because the exercise improves the quality (and market price) of their meat.
Huang Demin is one of many pig-farmers in Hunan province's Ningxiang county but his pigs stand alone... at the edge of a diving board. Not for long, though, as the pushing, shoving porkers push their way forward like vastly overgrown lemmings and one by one, the pigs plunge into the pond below.
The growing number of tourists visiting Huang's farm are definitely getting a kick out of the goings-on. Check out the pigs in action and you'll find out why they look so clean:
Huang isn't doing this just for the LULZ, he's convinced the regimen provides a number of benefits to the pigs and, by extension, himself. He's definitely added interest to the pigs' daily lives and with that in mind, it's not hard to believe the animals eat more, grow faster and exhibit strengthened immune systems.
Diving alone isn't enough, however, even though the pigs take the plunge up to 3 times a day. Huang and his assistants employ pedometers to ensure each pig takes over 2,000 steps over the course of an hour – only then are the animals fed.
Huang reaps the rewards of the pigs' labor when these not-so-little piggies go to market. Since healthier, happier pigs produce leaner, more flavorful meat, Huang's customers are more than happy to pay a premium: his hogs bring 3 times the going rate at auction. No wonder Huang has, er, beefed up his stock to around 60 swine. Who's snorting now? (via China Daily and IBTimes)