Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fencing for Pigs

The first thing we say when asked how to raise pigs is that you need good fencing. I mean real, good fencing... not something slap-dashed together. Those pigs will find a way out and when they do you will either be running around trying to catch them or they will be happily destroying your property... or your neighbors. So do yourself a favor and start with good fencing.

 Not really a fencing picture but I love this shot.

We strongly recommend field fencing with electric hotwire. Sure there are other options but they either don't work... or are just too darn expensive. Remember that pigs can move 3 times their body weight with their nose.... so if you are foolish enough to think your second rate fence is going to work... well. You'll spend a lot of time chasing those pigs or apologizing to your neighbors.

We don't think pigs are smart - but they are persistent. So they will find every weakness in your fence. Electric fence with the biggest, most powerful charger you can afford is the only way to go. We've had pigs try to get under, thru, and just climb over (they climbed like monkeys!) regular fence. A couple stiff charges from a big, knock-you-on-your-tail feathers charger cures them of this. But be advised, pigs will test that fence. A lot. So don't fool yourself that you only have to run it part of the time.

You will learn to love fence. Yes you will.

You'll also have to keep up with your fence maintenance. Meaning, you'll need to go around and knock the weeds down, remove sticks, and make sure nothing is grounding out the hotwire to make sure it stays running. If it's not working either go and make sure the chickens haven't unplugged it (I'm not kidding), or if its particularly hot - make sure the metal pole that grounds the system is not dry. Last summer it was so dry that we had to pour buckets and buckets of water on the ground around the pole to keep it working. It's one of those odd things that no one talks about but now you know.

We talk a lot about fencing around here. It's not difficult but I think some folks are either too nervous to try something new, or don't have the right tools, or someone told them it was too hard. It's not too hard, you can get the right tools relatively inexpensively, and if I can do it then so can you. Remember, we are regular people - I had NO experience when we started this adventure. Get yourself a tpost pounder, a fence tool, some pliers, bolt cutters and a "can-do" attitude and get out there.

Here is my quick primer about fencing - remember I did these projects myself. My husband can do these projects faster due to his cave-troll-like strength... but little ol' me does just fine on my own.

How to Put Up Field Fence

How to Put Up Electric Fence

Fence Tools You Need

A great example of a fencing project that really paid off - so worth the effort.

Another example of a fencing project. This one was kind of an advanced project because we used a railroad tie for the end post....and it was near the property line. And there is a clip of our Bubby barking and I just love that.

Remember I've been moving electric fence all summer - so easy. 

Bonus material:  If you missed it over on 'the facebook' a couple weeks ago - here is the absolute best electric fencing story EVER. It's a little naughty (language) and I have no idea where it came from. I kinda want to be this guy's friend tho.

You now know everything you need to run right out and get pigs - and keep them fenced. If you are thinking that, "Nah.. you'll just use some old fence you have laying around"... then go right on ahead. We'll nod and say, "OK, I hope that works out." But then we'll go and make popcorn and watch you run around trying to catch those pigs. When you come back and ask for fence advice we won't make fun of you... we won't even say, "I told you so." We'll just help you get your fencing done.

Happy Tuesday everyone! Now stop waiting around - get out there and get some fencing done!

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The Paisley Butterfly said...

Wonderful advice! Thank you for sharing :) I personally know how hard it is to chase pigs around. Granted, it was in an enclosed barn, and I was just trying to get them (only 2) back in their pen, but they are fast and determined and resilient! If you don't let it get to you, it can be quite amusing...and messy!

MT Dreamer said...

Oh man! Thanks for sharing the bonus material link to that electric fence story! Hubby got annoyed with me because I was laughing so hard! What a great giggle!

Todd- Fence Installation said...

Great advice. Can be taken for any animal too. Though not all will test the fence like pigs do! Knowing is always half the battle it seems, even with fencing and animals. Thanks for posting!

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Thanks Todd! Are you are real fence guy - or is this spam? Anything to add if you are a real person?

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