im trying to figure out how to restrain pigs i have four adult pigs three large white and a saddle back boar, the boar was ringed with wire prior to us getting him and it needs removing and i also want to ring the others but i dont have yards so how do i do it? what sort of yards/restraints do you guys use? for worming etc its easy just a quick jab in the neck but for more invasive stuff they need to be firmly restrained they are all around 150kilos so powerful animals! [^]
WE used to put new wire rings in our pigs, if they had lost them, and the trick is a good post, and a strong rope, give the pig something to eat, and get the rope in the mouth, and pulled up and looped over the top of the snout, and around the post, the pig will pull back and squeal as only pigs can, and then while they are squealing and pulling back you get a very sharp wire, and poke it through the side of the tip of the snout, and using a couple of pliers, twist the wire, and cut it off so that its sticking out a bit, then do the otherside the same, the pig will keep pulling backwards while this is going on, and as long as you are wearing ear muffs, and plugs, and you have let the neighbours know that you are not actually killing said pig, then the whole thing will go well!! Have fun, and dont forget to tell the neighbours first!
Had a vet out to put wire in my pigs noses. She brought a small gate with her. Tied one end of the gate to the gate of the pen, and used it like a crush. Pig went between the two gates to get some food. One person at the pointy end put a looped rope around nose, through mouth, and when pig pulled back, rope goes tight. gate is pushed fairly tight to keep him theire.
Person doing the wire stood behind the pig to help stop him going too far backwards, and did his nose. Looks easy when someone who had done it before is doing it - don't know how well it would work for me!
My Dad built me a Wilbur-sized race, which would actually hold a cattle beast as well. It's slightly longer than Wilbur so there's room for the vet to stand behind him if required, and slightly wider so he can move, but not turn around. I don't know the measurements - we just measured Wilbur and went from there
We used railing as the sides, and at either end is a gate so it is a walk-through race. These are welded onto a steel frame.
You can treat from above, from the side and from behind and we've used it now several times and it has been great.
Please excuse the old door leaning against its side, that's just resting there.
Mike, are these pigs with you for the long haul, and by that I mean you are keeping them for breeding? and you are wanting to put in solid pig rings through the snout rather than smaller ones across the top? If so, you are going to have to get yourself organised and either get some yards or have something constructed similar to what PG's Dad constructed for her, or a small race against a shed.
At the moment your pigs are good sized porker and relatively easy to deal with using the method Rae described - but you will only do it once, maybe twice if you are lucky. Pig rings have a life of about two years so will have to be replaced at some time. Pigs are not stupid and as soon as they are herded into an area where there is a stout post and see that rope, you will have the fun of cork - they have long memories. If you are going to keep large pigs for the long term you really need to look seriously at some method of confining them. Ringing a 300kg boar in a yard is not everybody's cup of tea and they would be a fool to try.
We decided that it was easier to confine adult breeding animals to areas that you aren't going to worry too much, if they tear up the ground, rather than replace the nose rings when they fall out. I use the more expensive type of rings and they last for 5 years or so on ours. The last boar lost his at 4 years of age, but Tammy still has hers and she is over 5 now.
Inger, that is not always a practical solution. I have seen boars create craters that many would have been happy to have had as a dam. For many, this type of land damage is not an option and ringing is a necessity.
I always used the expensive rings and their lifetime varied with the pig. Some managed to rip them out within months of having them inserted, some wore them out within two years, others ended their lives with their original ring. It is sensible to work on a two year turnover for a good pig ring, if they last longer on some pigs, that is all to the good.
My experience with rings was that its not worth the trouble, I used the septal ring and Sadie just pushed it back until it was flat with her nose and she carried on digging.. we did poor Laverne with her flat KK nose, as she had been doing some earth moving but not the mountains, and her ring makes life difficult for normal eating, I would remove it if I could,but the cost would be prohibitive I think a full GA needed.. so her bowl has to be much bigger and food in a higher mound etc.
My boars are always unringed, as they use their noses for foreplay, Colin my last one, and Muss my current one, hardly touch the paddocks, thankfully!
The sows on the other hand ... dig to bloody china and back, no matter what wire ring i put in, nor the posisition, so me and the vet cooked up a plan.
I dont have yards here at home for pigs. only a 3 bay shed they sleep in, so with patience, and holding tounge right, we got the rope in their mouths as RaeM described, as pigs will only pull back, some local in their noses, and now they are sporting pretty brass bulls rings
thanks for the replys guys yep we are in it for the long run ronney infact the eldest pig is two years old + and probably nearer 250 kilos now, the reason for ringing is realy for their benefit they are confined to an area that they can dig up, but because of their digging and the recent rain has caused their paddock to become a quagmire and i find that i cant get near beryl with a syringe anymore, food or no food so i do need to find a way to restrain them and the rope around the nose dosent sound that humane to me and will probably very quickly turn to custard so yards it will have to be i recon, PGs race looks just the job i think i can knock up somthing like that using pallets, and i have to get the wire out of poor old bollix nose as it constantly gets knocked and bleeds and im sure its too tight now, I will let you know how i get on,
The rope in the mouth trick is humane, and works extra well, even the vets will use it, then add an injection to deaden the area worked on. That method has been around as long as folks have had pigs. A 250 kg pig rushing here and there, as you are trying to work on it, would be very dangerous, as Pigs can bite very hard, where as with the rope, they just pull back, so they are confined to one place while the work gets done, If you read above you will see that even with a crate the pig had a rope put in its mouth, and then the vet did the job of whatever needed doing.
The pipe you see on my race is old bits of pipe that lined my bore that were replaced a few years ago. I found some lying in the paddock from 20 years before when they were replaced so we had a lot to work with.
The boards are held in with tech screws so it's pretty robust. Technically it should be attached to the fence or a post as it could fall over but once Wilbur is confined, apart from a lot of squealing, he gives up.
Dad made the gates out of unused mesh from building my house and spare bits of box tube he had lying about.
Hey rae i didnt say that it is inhumane only that it seems somewhat inhumane to me! and just because its been around for a few years as a method dosent make it ok, its a bit like the idea that giving birth is natural and therefore not painful, i know for sure my childrens mother would argue that one real strenuously, I would add that my experience of pigs is that not only do they feel pain and become distressed they bloody well remember who did it! the syringe example is classic, beryl will let me scratch her help her giving birth and do pretty much anything but as soon as she spots a syringe you cant get near her!. so i would prefer to avoid doing anything to her that may make her more difficult to handle and when it comes down to it once the restraint method is decided i will get the vet to do it just so she dosent associate me with it because as you say "pigs can bite really hard" i know i have seen her crunching up bones and whole chicken carcasses without the slightest hint of difficulty, and she can easily throw a full size solid timber gate with just a flick of her nose!
Right, let's go back to the beginning
Mike, if you are going to keep breeding sows and boars, you have to get your head around handling them safely and get yourself set up to be able to do so. And the larger the pig, the more effort has to be put into it. This involves two things. A race in which to confine it and stop it being able to turn around or move backwards and forwards. A rope to confine it's head. There is no way in the world you are going to be able to ring a largish pig if the head is going every-which-way and you stand a very real risk of doing yourself a great deal of damage.
Roping a pig is not inhumane, it doesn't even hurt them. It has been the method since we started ringing pigs, and apart from knocking them out, remains the best method of keeping the head in one place. Nobody has come up with anything better. The noise and cafuffle is because they are being restrained - after all do you like being tied up and sat on[}] Use a soft rope such as a vet rope and get your timeing right when it's eating to get it into the mouth and then pull back hard. I can assure you that it will not dislodge teeth, cut gums or suffocate the pig. Tie it to the nearest post or rail as short as you can possibly get it, insert your ring/s and let it go. It will immediately be back into it's food and I kid you not.
You can get the vet to do it but he/she is still going to want the pig restrained before they knock it out and if they don't knock it out, they will do it with a rope and your pig will still associate the whole thing with you because you are going to have to be there.
Bev's photos are very good - this is how the rings should look. Too far back in the nose often still allows them to dig, although not to the same extent. Put in like this usually puts a full stop to it. There will still be the odd smarty pants that will learn to use the bottom jaw or the side of the nose but even if they do, they don't create anything like the amount of damage to pasture. I have had the odd sow that has ended up with the main ring plus 5 across the top of the snout.
On a related but slightly different note, I am looking to buy some pig handling boards, preferably the plastic sort as they are strong and light. I cant find them in New Zealand, can anyone help me find them for sale?
We used a piece of board we had lying around
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