Moving Pigs – Line of Sight


Pig Path

It doesn’t take much to move pigs. The basic technique is to make a corridor about four feet wide or so, preferably headed down hill and to take your time. Poultry netting works great for making the walls of the corridor. Pallets work. Cars work. Culverts work. Boards work. Even something as simple as old broken milk crates in the photo above work fine.


Pigs Eye View of Pig Path

Here’s the view from pig eye level. Those crates that look so insignificant from our eye level five feet above the ground look almost like a solid wall from the low eye position of a grower pig. Yes, they could easily push through the crates but they don’t tend to. Rather they follow the open space as long as they are not rushed or in a panic. This is why taking your time is important.


Growers moved to the North Field

Giving the growers a day or two in a holding pen filled with the smells from where the finishers had been bedding gives the growers a chance to start smelling like their new herd mates before they are mixed in. During that time they also get to touch noses across the fence without being able to get into fights. Mixing groups can be a little tricky.


Goose and Kavi with North Herd

The new growers integrated into the north herd of finishers. Goose in the foreground watches over her charges as Kavi patrols on the hill.

No, it is not snowy here on Sugar Mountain this glorious May 28th. These photos are from back in the winter. It is amazing the change.

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About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor…

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8 Responses to Moving Pigs – Line of Sight

  1. Heidi says:

    You STILL have snow?!?!!? We are just getting finished with our spring planting – but it has been a slow spring. :)

  2. No, thankfully not! Those are photos I took during the winter. We were just moving a group of growers again this week and I thought of this topic again.

  3. P says:

    Wow! I wish it were possible to move our sheep like this. We tried the “corridor approach” last year and had sheep busting out all over, arial kicks and all sorts of nonsense! These days, we move our flock by dragging them one at a time…. sigh.

    I love the pig’s eye view photo!

    Perri

  4. Holly says:

    Time is of the essence. Walter is right, being in a rush is a good way to invite havoc when moving pigs. The other thing we like to do is use treats to entice the pigs to move along. We use bread (out of date bread that we get at the local bakery) to make a path of treats. It is best to keep the pieces small, otherwise the pigs are likely to grab a big chunk and then head back to familiar territory to dine.
    Holly

  5. Joe says:

    Thanks for the timely hints. I just finished moving my six feeder pigs to their summer salad bar and I used the method you recommended. It worked like a charm. It took them twenty minutes to move 150 feet, but it was calm, safe, and fun. Sometime this fall I hope you post hints on getting them into a livestock trailer.

    Joe

  6. Mommyto2boys says:

    Just surfed on into your blog. Love the pigs, I want some so badly!

  7. Anonymous says:

    My grandfather raised horses, pigs, cows, sheep & chicken for all of his life. He was always using pallets, baling twine, old doors, etc. as fences. It’s funny to see the milk crates as fencing. He was certainly a recycler too! ~ Kara

  8. Ian B says:

    Joe,

    Walter has an earlier post on how he gets his pigs into the van. V.useful.
    I back the trailer right up to the edge of the paddock. I feed them in the trailer for a couple of days. The morning I took them to the butcher they were sleeping in there and all I had to do is quietly close the door and drive off!

    Ian

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