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Pig/Hog Electric Fencing Options

 
Daniel Bowman
Posts: 74
Location: Sandy Mush, NC
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Last year was our first time raising feeder pigs and we used a single ribbon tape on a lightweight plastic reel with step-in posts. I love that I could complete the fence without worrying about either a bunch of extra length or coming up slightly short (which is a constant annoyance with the bundles of netting that we use for sheep), but the ribbon was also really finicky to keep at the proper nose height (particularly on the sloping ground of the forest edge and terraces where we keep our pigs). Ultimately, they got out a lot... especially once the ladies started to go into heat. Oy. But, I just happened across the pig/hog version of electronet, which comes in 18"/24"/30" heights. I thought I was sick of using netting out in the pasture and I would save time and frustration using just the ribbon reel for pigs. But now I wonder if nettingf wouldn't ultimately be faster and more reliable. Does anyone have experience with it? Also I am wondering how low of a netting I could get away with. If they are well-trained from an early age and never get out, I have a feeling even the 18" height would work up through the 1 yr old age.
 
Ron Helwig
Posts: 107
Location: New Hampshire
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forest garden hugelkultur tiny house
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We've used the electronet for pigs and it does work pretty well. I think you'd want taller than 18" though.

The first year we did paddock shifting, moving them once every week or so. It really helped to have two of them, one in use and one for the next spot. We made the next spot adjacent so moving them didn't require them to be outside the total net. We did have a couple escapes but were able to move the paddock to where we captured them.

This year we put up a more permanent electric fence as an outer fence and used the electronet to paddock shift inside that. Much better setup. No escapes at all so far. And since it is permanent, we could run line power to the outer fence, and simply hook the inner fence to the outer one to power it. No need for a portable/solar unit.
 
Daniel Bowman
Posts: 74
Location: Sandy Mush, NC
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Hi, thanks for the reply. Is your netting 24" tall? 30"?

We move our cows and sheep every few days with electronet. Definitely important to have enough for at least two spots.

Our perimeter fence is 16ft cattle panels with t-posts and a single hot wire installed at the top, which we jumper onto for paddocks fence power. Works great and the panels are modular, easy to remove the fence (making it reusable once a hedgerow grows in or easily repairable if a large pine tree falls on it, as happened to us last year).
 
George Tyler
Posts: 5
Location: West of Cascades (600' elevation; 44°N. Lat.) Sandy Soil
bee forest garden fungi
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With the electric ribbon, did you have a single-strand only?  I have American Guinea Hog Boars (1/2 size Pigs) kept in by two ribbons at about 8" and 20".  This keeps them in even when the power has been out for a few days.
Though, I must be sure that the Sows are penned downwind and not visible to the Boars.
Also, if the boars get to battling, one occasionaly gets pushed through the ribbons....

Okay, maybe the electric netting sounds pretty good actually.  Though quite spendy compared to ribbon.
 
Daniel Bowman
Posts: 74
Location: Sandy Mush, NC
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Haha, yeah pigs have great memories! I would honestly neglect to plug in our pig fence most of the time, but after an initial couple of shocks they would never test it again. Even when I had taken down a section of fence to move them into a new paddock and the fence is nowhere in sight, they would get super suspicious of crossing over the invisible line of where it used to be. Sometimes it would take several minutes of coaxing! Ahh, I miss them, can't wait for spring!

I would say that 99% of the time we used a single ribbon on our fence. I think for the first couple weeks I had both a high and low ribbon and maybe one other time I added a second ribbon in a tricky spot. The extra work didn't seem worth it to me, but also there was no real disaster if they got out.. they always either went wondering to find me or came wandering back home, since those big mountains of compost never seemed to magically appear anywhere else.

We moved our pigs every week or so and it took anywhere from 4-800 ft of fence to enclose their paddocks, depending on the location, which were all long rectangular strips on contour. It was not an efficient use of fence, but the pigs are multi-functional and we use them to terrace a forest edge hillside around alleys of trees. I figured the ribbon would save money and time, since I had in my head that netting would cost around $1/ft and ultimately be heavy, cumbersome and overkill for pigs. But now I think that the "half height" netting, while not exactly half the cost, is still probably worth it in terms of time and reliability.

It's weird. A couple of years ago, I was dreaming of replacing the sheep and cow electronet with an easier setup, which I always imagined was a set of reels with ribbon or polyrope. I dreamed of taking the time to train the sheep to stay inside two simple lines of fence. Now this just seems like a total pain in the ass and I am a lot more settled on just keeping the netting, no matter how much I have to curse when it gets tangled up.
 
Daniel Bowman
Posts: 74
Location: Sandy Mush, NC
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I came up with a new idea for pig fencing that is adapted to my situation and maybe some other folks, as well.

Here it is:
-start with just the replacement posts for the 30" pig fence at premier ($2/ea) and get as many as needed (probably want to use approx 10ft spacing)
-clip 2-3 horizontal rows of your preferred conductor (wire/tape/rope/ribbon) to each post, using 1.5" diameter durable o-rings or rubber bands (wrap around post, make basket handles, thread through handles)
-add some paracord to the start and end posts for tying it off

While it lacks the verticals embedded in the electronet, which may stiffen the fence and help prevent sagging, with only three horizontal strands, this version is much lighter and so won't have as much weight to support. The horizontals are also easily adjustable on the post by sliding the bands up or down, depending on pig age or breed, etc. I expect you could treat it just like netting for setup and breakdown, but lighter and cheaper. You could make a 220ft roll of fence with 22 posts and three rows of 1/2" ribbon for about $70. Not bad, if it works. I will try it out in the spring and report back.
 
Ron Helwig
Posts: 107
Location: New Hampshire
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Daniel Bowman wrote:Hi, thanks for the reply. Is your netting 24" tall? 30"?


I dunno, maybe 3-4'. It's actually chicken fence that we no longer need for the chickens.

The permanent fence we put in is four strands of aluminum wire routed around the area. We screwed a bunch of offsets into the trees and then pulled the wires around the perimeter. It was tough to do but definitely worth it. We had to use a wire stretcher to get them tight.

We also built a cheap pig shelter by nailing four pallets together (3 sides and one top) then wrapping it with a thick water resistant cloth scrap piece. And we have a spring fed pond, so no watering needs.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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