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Training pigs to electic

 
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So... I live on 20 wooded acres. Today I bought two 7 week old kune kune gilts. My dream is to have them rotationally grazing my woods clearing out underbrush and building a silvo pasture (my land was logged about 5 years ago but still has lots of huge oak, maple, beech, and cherry trees). I'm working on a perimeter fence and plan to divide the land into 5 acre quarters (and eventually into 2.5 acre eighths) to begin the de-brushing.

My question is: this is my training pen. Am I doing this right? I've never had success with electric except for netting with pigs- they just run through it. But I hear people rave about electric working for pigs once they are trained. Sorry for the blurry pictures- all I have is a camera on my phone. In case you can't see what I've got- it's a woven wire fence with a strand of electric about 4" off the ground about 6" off the woven wire fence. So far my pigs run into it constantly and seem to think I'm the one hurting them (but it's only been like 3 hours and they're new here and scared). They ran through the front where the netting is a few times and I put up the netting and now they aren't messing with it. Will they learn to respect the electric alone, or will they realize they can run through it as soon as the electric isn't backed by netting or hard fence?

Electric is really my only realistic option for perimeter fencing here, so whether or not the pigs respect it will determine whether I have a goat farm with a couple of pigs in a pen or a pig farm with a couple of goats. What are my chances, and please throw any advice my way on how to make my set up better/ pig tight.
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gardener
Posts: 3498
Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
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cat pig rocket stoves
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Hi Anna;
Give them some time to calm down. They have had a rough day...
Taken away from mom & siblings. Loaded in a crate and driven in a vehicle.
No more milk from mom... life sucks for them today!
Kune Kunes are generally  mellow piggy's. Give them a home, fresh cold water, plenty of treats and they will come round!
 
pollinator
Posts: 1574
Location: northern California
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What I do for savvy critters like goats being kept in and deer being kept out is to bait the fence! Hang little tags of aluminum foil on the wire at nose height of the critter in question and put a little dab of peanut butter on there.  Critter will smell this and give it a lick and get a REALLY good shock!  I've had deer respect a single wire for months this way!
 
Posts: 6
Location: South west MI
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One thing we learned was to keep the training pen on the smaller side, so when they are learning to explore they come into contact with the fence more. And maybe try 2 wires?
 
Anthony Ervin
Posts: 6
Location: South west MI
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We also use woven field fence for a training pen, and have a mix of the hog net an 2 wire. At first i hated using the hog net in the woods but now that i have some spots that the pigs have been before i like using it FWIW. We have ten hogs this year we rotate around.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1470
Location: Victoria BC
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In my(not terribly experienced) opinion the optimal way to train on electric is to use a hard-sided house or pen, and add the electric after the pigs have settled down from the initial stress.

The key thing though is NOT letting them get away all all after running through the electric fence; they really need to bounce off something impervious so that the lesson is 'that hurts, and all for nothing', instead of 'that hurt, but only for a second and hey, glorious weeds over here!'


If you want it to work really really poorly, try the method used by the first farm I interned on: nothing but electric net from minute one! While it was pretty hilarious to try and catch a pig wearing 100ft of brand new electric net while it froliced in a swamp, I don't really aspire to experience this again.
 
D Nikolls
pollinator
Posts: 1470
Location: Victoria BC
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Also, gosh, how cool to be starting somewhere with mature nut trees! They should be super happy!
 
pollinator
Posts: 148
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We used a single line of electric wire inside a hog wire fence for several years when we would raise weaner pigs to market weight. It worked great to keep them from rooting they're way out from under the hog wire.

Took them 3-4 days to figure out to stay off the sides of the pen but then we could leave the gait to the pen open with no problems.

About 4 inches off the ground and 3 inches off the fence.

We're hoping to do rotational grazing  in the forest with them too now that we have more land and I'm planning on keeping the wire about at nose height as they grow but training them in a solid hog wire pen with an electric line at the bottom just like before. Just going to use a nylon electric line since I think that will be easier for them to see. Maybe even a ribbon.
 
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