Berkshire Piglets

A Few Suggestions for moving Pigs more easily

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People say it’s difficult to move Pigs, and it can be! 

First of all, at this stage of growth, our three Pigs weigh in at about 700 a combined weight four to five times my own weight! They have hooves, and teeth, and they like to throw their weight around. Imagine! 

This video shows how easy it can be if you do a few things right…

Now, if you take our suggestions, things can still go wrong! However, we’ve had great success, and few if any accidents or injuries handling pigs this way. 

First of all, spend time with your pigs! Give them your time, especially when they’re young. Let them know that they can trust you. Talk to them, call them by name. 

Never reach over their heads! It makes them very uncomfortable and nervous and they may try to bite You! I came close to finding this out the hard way! It taught me a lesson. I didn’t get bit, but once when we were bringing home piglets I reached in the carrier and over it’s head. He nearly bit me, or at least he let me think he was going to! 

Pigs like to push and rub up against You! It can be very intimidating. Especially the first few times. It’s ok to let them rub, and bump, but you still have to let them know you’re the Boss. Never hit them, or beat them, that can make them mean. You don’t want a 200 to 300 pound plus mean pig coming after You. 

Generally animals respect authority, not domination, but they respond well to Leadership in most cases. So, you need to remain the boss. Don’t be afraid to say no to your little Pigs! Taking time to bring them up right will save you lots of headaches later on. 

Do remember though, that in most cases they are going to go for meat! So, give them the best life, and leadership, you can for as long as you can. Then be prepared to do your job, and let them go! It’s never easy, but there are things you can do to make it easier. 

From a young age, get your pigs used to following You. Use their feed dishes and have them follow you, even a short distance, to get fed. Get used to using their names, and calling them by their names. That makes it harder to let go when the time comes, but it makes them easier to handle. They’ll follow feed anywhere! 

A month ago, when we moved our approximately 200 lb pigs or say 500-600 lbs combined, from Briden Farm to The Barn property, they with much coaxing and lots of patience followed us, and their food dishes, right on and off the truck. Then even into the barn, and after a couple of nights inside, right out to the pastures. 

Being able to handle pigs like this starts when they’re young. Spend time with them, build trust, and once they trust you they’ll try to please You. 

We treat them the same as we would dogs, not using rewards, but building trust and love between us and the animals. They learn to trust us, often to their own detriment!

In an emotional way, because we love our pigs, and give them the best life possible for as long as possible. We feed them, and then they feed us. 

Often people stick pigs in a little confined space, but ours get fed at least twice a day, plus treats, and are moved at least every two weeks. This keeps them used to working with us and gives them plenty of room, new ground to work, and keeps them fed, happy, and entertained.

By keeping them from getting too hungry, too bored, or too scared, you also make it easier when it comes time to move them, even for their final move! 

Them other thing we do is try to leave a gate, or place we can easily open up, so they don’t have to cross the electric fence wires. When we’re in a situation they have to cross the wires, we lift the wires up and keep them focused at ground level with a bucket or their food dishes. 

When we move them we move them into a new pasture that has a section of wire between posts, or a gate, that can be easily opened and closed behind them when they come into their new pasture. 

These are just a few of the things we do with our Briden Farm Pigs. A few of the things that make it much easier to handle them from beginning to finish. 

Now that You know how we handle our pigs, how would you like one of Your Own!? What if you could have us raise it for You? You could visit it, learn how to handle it, and in about 6-9 months turn it into Pork! Or have it turned into Pork. We’d be glad to talk to you about it, and you’re looking at about $30 a week for about 30 weeks. At that age, your Pig should be about 180 lbs Hung Weight.

Keenan Family Farms gives a good example of hung weight and how it differs from the actual amount of commercial cuts it yields. 

That would mean you having pork from your own pig, knowing it was humanely handled and well cared for, while yielding some of the best woodland pastured pork available. All for a very reasonable price, and allowing you to have your own butcher process it, and your choosing how you want to wrap it. Butchering and Wrapping is not included in the $30 a week, but does allow you to visit, and see how it’s progressing and the way it’s raised. Then choose your own butcher, or we can give you some recommendations, and then you can wrap it or choose to pay to have it wrapped. Giving you the options you want. 

One of those additional options may also be how you choose to have your hams, bacon, and sausage processed. These are additional costs, but they give you the options and are most always considered extra charges when buying a side, or whole, pig.

If this is something that interests You, or you have questions, please contact Brian at call 902-907-0770

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