Pigs lift things with their noses and easily throw gates off their hinge hooks. This is an instinctual behavior – there is no particular intelligence about it. They stick their noses in low openings and lift. It’s rooting.
It’s a problem with gates. The solution is quite simple. Electrify the gate. The wooden or stone post acts as an insulator and the hot wire from the nearby fencing delivers a charge to the gate through the red switch. The result is if a pig starts poking at the gate it gets a shock just like if it were to poke around at the electric fencing.
The other thing that helps is a pin in the pin of the hinge of the gate. This slows the pig from lifting the gate off of its hinges so it gets a chance to feel the fencer’s charge on its nose. Be sure to open the switch before you open the gate.
Electric fencers are safe as long as you can get away from them. That’s the design. They deliver a very brief pulse, less than a 1/10th of a second spaced out each second. That pulse is low current which makes it safe but it is high voltage up to 10,000 volts which makes it be able to jump across a gap and fur or hair. This is what pushes the pulse out through our miles of fencing. Voltage hurts. Current Kills. Joules are in reserve.
Contrary to the mythology, pigs can be herded through gates that were previously electrified. They just need to be able to clearly see that the gate is open. It works fine for us with both the swinging gates, drop gates and polywire gates on handles.
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I’m amazed at how good my pigs are with respect to fencing. I did have my electric go down for a day and a couple did get out until I got it all working again but most of them just avoid even going near the electric. All my neighbors used to raise pigs and talk about how big a pain escapes were. I hope to remain this lucky.
Yes, once homed, trained and if what they want is inside the fenced area pigs are very good about staying in.
Do you lose much current, it doesn’t look as though your gudgens are insulated? I use a bit of polywire under the gate, to stop them playing with it.
For years we did the polywire under the gate but this is more convient. There is little loss. I’ve played with putting PEX and a nylon washer on the hinges to further improve it and probably will on all of them. A hose clamp helps get a better connection.
If you turn the top hing pin upside down they won’t be able to lift it off the hinge. They would still probably beat on it without the electric.
We’ve done that in the past. All that results in is the pigs destroying the gate. Pigs are extremely powerful and they are capable of trashing a heavy tube gate with ease. We’re dealing with animals that often weight over 1,000 lbs and are solid muscle.
Flipping the hinge pin also limits our ability to take the gate off which we occasionally need to do.
Putting a locking pin in the hinge ping gives us the locking and slows the pigs down enough that they pay attention to the electric. Electrifying the gate teaches the pigs not to mess with it. Once they’ve learned the gates are to be “No-Touch” then they leave them alone. The population of pigs is constantly changing so about 50 new pigs are born each month who need to learn to not mess with the gate.