Pig Proof Fence

Pig Proof Fence

Pigs are not terribly hard to fence once trained to electric, provided the electric stays on and everything they want is inside the pastures where we want them to be.

Piglets on the other hand are more challenging to fence. They have not yet learned the fencing and they’re small so they slip through quite easily. The fence above is pig and piglet proof. It consists of a mix of woven wire for the bottom part and electrified smooth wire for the top. Some places we put a hot wire low inside to discourage nosing. A hot wire low outside can discourage predators.

Our fences are evolving towards this. First we were using it in the weaning paddocks but now we’re using it more and more. I suspect that over time we’ll shift to most of our fences being like this.

Update 20170516: Still loving this type of fencing setup. Someone asked about the height of the woven wire section. I’m not out there to measure but I think that is about 24″ of high tensile netting fence at the bottom in that place. Since I couldn’t find that short a fence what I did was split taller fences using my handy, dandy honking huge chop saw and a metal cutting blade. If you can find a source of low fence then it will be easier.

Also see:
Pigs Fixing Fences
More Fencing
Fence Lines 2
Line Fencing
Poultry Netting for Pigs
Moving Pigs With Fence Panels
Calibrating Pain
Dumb Pig, Smart Pig
Pig Trap
Fence Jumpers

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Daily Spark: We almost got a deer last night but my wife swerved the truck and we missed.

About Walter Jeffries

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17 Responses to Pig Proof Fence

  1. David Lloyd Sutton says:

    Is that four-foot woven wire? What rating? How high is the uppermost of the (two?) electrified strands? Is the material against the base of the fence intended to deter piglet under-squirming? And is that fence suitable for sheep as well? You have mentioned in the past that you might resume with some sheep one day. . . Are those hose segments you’re using for insulators? If so, do you split them and put them in place? Or do you feed them on the wire by post count before stretching and slide them along as you go?

    As you are in Fall, so are we, which means, here in N. Ca., that the dead yellow grasses, long blown down or trimmed for fire safety, are sprouting green. On the other side of the upper end of Davis is a field, about four hundred acres of flatness, used for oats, which has been a brown desert for months . . . noticed yesterday that it has two inches of green over its entire surface. The winter is our growing season. Amazing what a few inches of rain can accomplish!

    Rereading Charcuterie, as I’ve mentioned, and noticing that the focus is on smaller home or chef-used batches. Yesterday I took delivery of The River Cottage Curing and Smoking Handbook by Steven Lamb. Of course, you folks probably already have it. In case you haven’t, I’ve just flipped through it and notice that there is a substantial component regarding commercial production, the facilities necessary, and so on. And I noticed some discussion of using natural cures, which are apparently verboten commercially. Fine photographs. I’ve three books to review for the San Francisco and Manhattan Book Reviews, and Charcuterie to finish before I can delve into it any more. Drooling a bit.

  2. Trey Jackson says:

    How many seasons does a fence like that last?

  3. Edmund Brown says:

    Sorry, I’m not quite clear what your fences are evolving toward because of a little ambiguity in the way you worded the above paragraphs. Do you mean your fences are moving toward what is shown in the image? Or that they’re moving toward the image plus the low hot wire inside and a low hot wire outside too?


  4. Servius says:

    Do you have an estimate for how much it costs to run your electric fences? Of course, electricity rates will very by region but can you give an idea of the relative cost?

    • Good question. I don’t have current figures with the energizers we now used. I did measure this years ago and it was a trivial amount of energy. The energy is only there on the wire for about 1/100th of a second each second as a very short pulse. I remember that the energy use was less with less grounding. I’ll put that on my to-do list for revisiting with our new fencer energizers.

  5. J.D. Ray says:

    In the Microlots Nesting post, a three-wire (?) fence is visible in the background. Is that one of the cross fences that sub-divides the perimeter fence shown at the top of this post, so you have paddocks within a larger perimeter? If so, is the paddock fence meant to be movable? We’re planning to buy a litter (10 +/-) of weaners (shoats?) next year, and want to get set up for them now. Eventually we will probably want to grow to a larger finishing operation, though I’m not sure just yet whether farrowing will be in our future.

    • That is a paddock division fence – they are less intense than field or perimeter fences as a general rule. How tightly you have to fence depends on the pigs, how well they’re trained to fence, how much of what they need and want is inside the fence, what scary things are inside the fence, etc. If you have close neighbors or dangers like busy roads you need very good fences. Predators are another big concern.

  6. Aimee Thuen says:

    How far apart are the posts?

  7. Brandon Berry says:

    The bottom two strands appear fastened on the same side as the woven wire fence. If those bottom two energized strands are touching the woven wire, and the woven wire is touching the ground/posts, doesn’t this short out those strands? This looks like a really nice fence set-up I’m looking to try but not too sure about what’s happening with those bottom two strands.

    • The bottom strands are part of the ground system and high tensile but used to backup the woven wire to make it stronger. If you want a hot wire inside or outside low down then offset it horizontally from the woven wire so it can be hot. A low budget approach is to setup the high tensile smooth wires and then later when you have more money add the woven wire. Alternatively you could put the woven wire on the back side of the fence posts outside the high tensile smooth wire – this lets you have have those wires be hot but loses them as reinforcement for the woven wire.

  8. Ted says:


    Your site has been a huge help this year as I’ve gotten up and running with a pastured Kunekune breeding operation. My first fencing work is fine for my larger breeders, but I’ve got smaller pigs (30-80lb) that are amazing escape artists. They’ve pushed out of 5kV poultry netting. Woven field fence does work for them, so I’m very interested in trying a short run of this setup. Do you recall the hole size on the fence as? When you chop a 48″, do you do anything with the stands off the bottom? What do you use for tensioning?

    Thanks so much!

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