Mail Bag – Pigs Out!

Broken Fence Post Makes a Great Insulator

Nick wrote:
We are having a huge problem keeping our momma and her 11 babies in their pen. Up until today the strand of electric rope we had was working. Now its not. What do you have the best luck keeping them in? Also hard to herd them back into area. Will they go back at bed time where they usually sleep?

If they have learned that they can challenge the fence then you need to fence hard, both a physical fence and within that a strong electric fence with wires at the nose high and low heights for both sow and piglets.

Electric fencing is psychological. If they challenge it they can go through. A physical fence slows them down enough for the electric fence to do its job. A physical fence won’t stop them either unless it is extremely well built. Together the two are very effective. Once trained to obey the electric fence the pigs don’t push it.

The pigs do need to have what they want (food, water, bedding, shelter, companions, mates, offspring, mother) inside the fenced area and what they don’t want (scary things like predators) should be outside the fenced area.

At this point you might want to get some heavy wire hog panel for the outside physical fence. Wooden pallets, 2×4’s, logs, plywood all work too in a pinch.

Generally they will return to their familiar home area for food and sleeping.

As a general rule we fence for the grower pigs through adults since piglets stick close to the sow. If you’re on a busy street or close to neighbors you have to fence tighter for the piglets. Around gardens the same. As the piglets get up to weaner size you’ll need to have fencing that works for them too. This may mean a low physical fence outside the electric to bounce them back so they can learn to respect the electric fence.

Best of luck!

Outdoors: 40째F/25째F Mostly Sunny, light snow
Tiny Cottage: 59째F/53째F

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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2 Responses to Mail Bag – Pigs Out!

  1. Anonymous says:

    Baiting the fence works very well to re-educate a Houdini pig

  2. Holly says:

    Nick, I wanted to add that it is not unusual for our pigs to start pushing their boundaries more in the fall. The fields are becoming more sparse so the grass starts to look greener on the other side. That is why Walter mentioned being sure that they are not motivated to wander by making sure that they have all their needs met. Some nice extra hay may help keep them home.

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