VIDEO: These pigs were bakin'

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JANUARY’S unprecedented heatwave had a strange effect on the pigs at a farm in Thurgoona, leaving them unable to breed and feed.

The head teacher of the National Environment Centre, a TAFE-run organic farm, said what’s happening at their farm is a slice of the effect of climate change on the region.

Head teacher Rob Fenton said the farm’s two sows stopped cycling and all three of its pigs stopped feeding during January’s heatwave.

“Our free-range pigs simply stopped feeding. At night they just lay in their wallow and whinged about the heat,” Mr Fenton said.

“Our breeding program has been set back because they dropped a cycle and still aren’t cycling. 

“This will mean a reduction in our ability to supply bacon.” 

Mr Fenton put it down to the heat making them “uncomfortable” and stopping their natural behaviours.

He said the centre designed their farm to deal with climate change and it’s now a matter of changing the breeding patterns to the cooler months.

“Our system is able to deal with that change,” he said.

“But we haven’t been able to see some of the impacts.”

January’s heatwave had reportedly unprecedented impacts on the wider community.

Hume Region Farmers Market co-ordinator Nicole Stephens was told of at least three thousand chickens that had died.

“Chickens have poor cooling mechanisms and unfortunately the 42-degree day in January was too much for many of them,” Ms Stephens said.

Wodonga Albury Towards Climate Health spokeswoman Lizette Salmon said climate change was to blame and it was going to get worse.

Ms Salmon urged the federal government to increase its incentives for industries to decrease their carbon footprint.

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