A tiny saddleback piglet born as the runt of the litter has won the heart of his owner and escaped the sausage making machine.

THE startling contrast between Runty and one of his siblings.

The diminutive but determined survivor now has a home for life at North Devon Farm Park, near Barnstaple, and has been temporarily christened “Runty” by owner Lewis Paterson.

Lewis was on hand when the park’s Berkshire saddleback cross Becky gave birth to a litter of 10 piglets on August 9.

“The first piglet to arrive was tiny, more the size of a kitten,” said Lewis. “From birth he’s been a third of the size of his brothers and sisters.”

In fact, Runty currently weighs in at around two kilos, while some of his porkier siblings are now weighing upwards of 15.

But unlike most litter runts, which die within a week or two of birth, this little piggy is not only holding his own, but thriving. Runty has proved to be such a character that unlike his brothers and sisters, who will end up as sausages in the farm shop, his future as a pet is assured.

The plucky piglet deserves a better name than Runty, so North Devon Farm Park is running a naming competition in conjunction with the North Devon Gazette, with the chance to win a family season ticket to the attraction for two adults and two children. Simply send your suggestion to: Little Pig Competition, the North Devon gazette, Unit 3, Old Station Road, Barnstaple, EX32 8PB or email your entry to tony.gussin@archant.co.uk. Please include your full name, address and contact telephone number. Normal conditions apply. Closing date Friday, November 19.