Log in

Register



Moving and transporting pigs

  • solo pigPigs are den-living, home-loving individuals with a poor herding response.
  • They dislike being moved, especially from dark into bright light.
  • In panic they will scatter and race back to their den (pen) -even when it’s burning down!
  • Loading and unloading pigs for transport is a stressful and damaging time. Pigs can be pushed, bruised, get limbs caught down gaps, meet new pigs and fight.
  • Suggestions for loading pigs:
    • Select the pigs and put them with their fellow travelers’ the night before in an unfamiliar pen.
    • Reduce feed but keep on full water.
    • Move them in the early morning.
    • Don’t attempt to rush them or punish them.
    • Give them time to investigate the situation.
    • They’ll go better up a ramp rather than down one.
    • Keep the ramp sides fully covered.
    • Spread bedding on the ramp.
    • Use a feed trail in the direction you want them to go.
    • Use a hand-held board for coaxing to block their direction.
  • Don’t beat them or drag them by their ears or tail.
  • Awkward individuals can be reversed with a bucket over the nose and eyes.
  • If a total shambles develops - go and have a cup of tea and let things settle. By the time you return, they’ll be in the truck on their own!
  • Suggestions for transporting pigs:
    • Provide plenty of ventilation during the trip.
    • Avoid transporting above 22Celcius.
    • Park in the shade on hot days. Don’t park for long periods.
    • Avoid physical exertion and excitement.
    • Don’t feed pigs during the 12 hours before transport.
    • Avoid transporting breeds and strains prone to stress.

Reference: MAF's Code of Recommendations andn Minimum Standards for the Transportation of Pigs (1998)

Go to top

Sign up for my monthly newsletter!

Get all the latest news along with practical tips and expert advice.