If you are keeping pigs outside then you will need secure fencing as pigs are very curious and will wander about easily.
Pig fencing could be in the form of:
1) Heavy duty post and rail fencing.
2) Post and rail fencing with electric fencing.
3) Post and rail fencing with sheep netting.
4) Electric fencing.
When deciding on the type of fencing most suited to your situation you will need to consider what is surrounding the area where the pigs will live, is it crops, gardens, roadside. You will need to think about cost and whether you want a permanent fence structure as well as is it close to an electric supply.
For heavy duty post and rail fencing you can use half round posts with a wooden rail at the top, middle and bottom. adding an electric fence wire will prevent the pigs from rubbing on the fence and therefore helping the fence to maintain it’s stability. You can also add sheep netting to the fence to prevent the pigs from getting through the gaps in the rails. Obviously this type of fencing is a more permanent structure and is more costly and labour intensive to errect it.
If electric fencing is to be used then the pigs will need to be introduced to it otherwise the pigs 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 pigs as you train them. Once the pig has touched the electric fence a couple of times they will realise that they don’t want to go through.
When you do take the electric fence down you may find that the pigs will not want to go over the area where the electric fence was so try putting straw down where the fence was and the pigs should cross the line or tie ribbon to the electric fence and then when the fence is removed the pigs will realise they can cross as the ribbon has gone.
Electric fences can be mains operated or battery operated if you are not close to an electricity supply. The mains electric fencing is more reliable and stronger. If just using electric fencing then the pigs will need to have 4 or five wires to keep them in.
You also need to think about the fact that pigs dig up land and root about in the soil so you bottom fencing rail needs to be close to the ground or you need some sheep/pig netting attached to the bottom rail to deter you pig from digging under the fence and then escaping!
Hope this gives you food for thought or should I say fencing for thought!
A useful book for a new pig keeper and breeder is the book Starting With Pigs by Andy Case.
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