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Independent pig causing problems

(5 posts)
  • Started 5 years ago by Devon Cream
  • Latest reply from Devon Cream

  1. Devon Cream

    We used AI on one of our gilts and she went through all the right motions textbook style, even making a nest and the right sort of noises and then.....nothing! No piglets and a couple of days later she left the nest and went foraging again.

    So we decided that she would have to be a pet. Now her half-brother at 8 months old was beginning to be adventurous and he broke out of his pen one day to join our pet when she was in season. As he could not really reach her we thought nothing of it but 3 months later we suspected that the pet was in pig!

    We decided to prepare a farrowing ark for her with straw and fresh ground, but when her time was due, she broke out and went instead to the field shelter in which we stored a couple of large round bales of straw. She demolished one of these to make herself a nest and eventually gave birth to 4 piglets, 2 of which survived.

    Then we started having problems. The pet took her piglets everywhere in the first field and we were unable to find any means of keeping them in and so when the time came to wean the babies we took Mum down to join the other pigs in the next field with the idea of taking the babies to market at the end of the week.

    Mum had different ideas because by the end of the day she had rejoined her babies. The next day we found the evidence that she had negotiated a barbed wire fence; a 4 foot bank; another barbed wire fence and old gates and then clambered up through the orchard.

    But we still took the babies to market at the end of the week and then hoped that she would settle down.

    Our problem is that we want her to stay with the boar, but she refuses to stay in the field with the other pigs. Her latest escapade was to push through the hawthorn hedge between the gatepost and bank.

    Does anyone have any ideas as to how we can persuade her that it would be more fun for her if she stayed with the rest of the pigs? Or do you think it would be better to sell her?

    Incidentally the babies had fun with the choice of teats and ended up sharing 6 of them between them.

    Posted 5 years ago #
  2. Hi Devon Cream,
    Have you tried Electric fencing to keep her in.

    If electric fencing is to be used then the pig will need to be introduced to it otherwise the pig will find a way to get through it or will get in a panic. You need to educate the pig about the electric fence and when doing this place an electric fence in front of a wall or stock fence so that you can contain the pig as you train her. Once the pig has touched the electric fence a couple of times she will realise that she does’t want to go through.

    Does she fight with the others when she goes in with them as often if a pig has been separated from others they will fight for the pecking order!

    Hope you can get her where you want her. Keep us posted.
    Kind regards
    Sara @ farmingfriends

    Posted 5 years ago #
  3. Devon Cream

    Sara - thank you so much for the quick reply. I am impressed!

    We use electric fencing on all our pig pens and had never had any probs with her before the day before she was due that night. She spurned the proper farrowing ark with bars which we carefully prepared for her on a piece of virgin grass in favour of the field shelter and all the mud outside it!

    It is almost as if she is paying us back for the ignominy of having babies at her time of life! We have already been told that we are lucky that a gilt of 2½ years became pregnant.

    Do you think we should bring the boar up into the field she obviously prefers?

    The only pig she had a small fight with was her full sister from the same litter who has NOT become pregnant despite half brother's best attempts!

    Posted 5 years ago #
  4. Hi Devon Cream,
    Yes I would bring the boar to her! Do you want her to be with the boar permanently? She may not like this if he is overamorous!
    I kept two Saddleback gilts/sows and we used to hire a boar in for breeding so he was only with them for so many weeks.
    Kind regards
    Sara @ farmingfriends

    Posted 5 years ago #
  5. Devon Cream

    Sara Thank you so much for your support. It seems to be working as both boar and sow have become inseparable! If he is successful, it will be the his 4th litter! Thank you again.

    Posted 5 years ago #

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