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The Pigs Escaped!

24 September 2010 4 Comments

The pigs have escaped three times this week!

Luckily, they’ve only got out into our yard. Each time, they just hang around in the garden, dig up the grass a bit, and lay in the sun. Putting them back in their pen was pretty easy – they’re just like flighty chickens. They’ll flee if you approach them directly, but you can herd them from behind or lead them with food and they’ll just trot straight back in.

So the fence I built with some mates wasn’t anywhere near as good as we thought it was :-).

Each time the pigs got through the fence, we shored up the escape route. But then they just found the next weak point and got out again the next day.

The problem was that we thought the pigs would be smart enough not to try to get through barbed wire. We figured they’d give it a sniff, find out it was prickly, and then back off. In reality, pigs are like little cannonballs. They launch themselves full tilt at the fence, and they’re through before they realise there’s anything in their way.

Luckily I bought an electric fence energiser on Tuesday – I’ve just been waiting for an opportunity to install it. Things are going to be different around here tomorrow!

4 Comments »

  • Darcy Moore said:

    I hope you can outsmart those piggies soon, Darren 😉

  • Darren (author) said:

    @Darcy: Hopefully I’ve got them sorted now – see the next post for details.

  • Jane said:

    Hi Darren I’m glad you now have the piglets under control, we have only had them get out once or twice in the past (not your piglets but others) but they always go back to their Mum. Thunderbird fences and accessories are probably the best. We stock them in the shop and use them at home as well. You could also have used standoffs which attach to the original fence and sit off the fence about 20cm.

    Are they eating the pellets? I spoke to my friend who used to be a pig farmer and he said they would probably need about 500g per day for each piglet. This is if they were eating only pellets, you could probably cut this back if you are giving them all of those fruit and vegie scraps.

    I think they would do a fantastic job of turning up a vegie patch, without the fuel and energy wasted using a rotary hoe.

  • Darren (author) said:

    @Jane: Hi! Yeah, we had a bit of fun with them, but they never strayed far and were fairly easy to get back in the pen. They know where the food, water and shelter is!

    I considered standoffs, but the star pickets on the original fence were facing in all directions, making mounting a bit difficult. The wires also aren’t tensioned properly, and the chicken wire over everything gets in the way. Putting new pickets inside the existing fence seemed simpler and quicker. Next time I have to build a fence it’ll be a lot better!

    The piglets seem to like the pellets, although rooting up the grass was much more fun for the first few days! I’ll probably be by your feed store again this week to get some chick feed – another batch of eggs is starting to hatch.