Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Keeping Pigs In...or Out

One of the most important aspects of keeping pigs is fencing. Do not skimp on fencing lest your newly acquire piggies quickly become someone else´s as they barrel their way through your inadequate fencing. And barrel they will. Think of little piggie cannonballs as they simply run forwards at full pelt.

Having heavily researched successfully incarcerating pigs we opted for an initial small training run of heavy duty chicken wire with three strands of electric fencing. The first is a double strand of sight wire and plain fencing wire set at 130mm off the ground. The second is set at about 220mm of the ground and is a single strand of sight wire. The gate has been set so that it cannot be lifted off of its hinges and it opens inwards, so there can be no barrelling through it. We thought about running a stand of electric fencing across the bottom of the gate but it is easier to move the piggies through it as they have not been ¨bitten¨ by it.

Once your piggies are used to electric fencing you can then move them out into a bigger area that is, of course, also electric fenced.

Our gate was an eBay purchase that was going to be the gate to our orchard. I know it is far too pretty to be the entrance to a piggery, but that is now it´s lot in life.

The trick to keeping the piggies in is to check your electric fence unit OFTEN. We check daily and walk the fences to ensure that grass growth is not shorting it out. We have a voltmeter to check the patency of the fence, and I sometimes have a HH who will sometimes just grin and bear it as he plays human voltmeter. Sick puppy.


  1. Oh you gotta luv electric fencing. When I had kune kunes they were very good at respecting the hot wire, and I could have them grazing areas behind just one strand of electric tape.

  2. Mmmm! I wonder if it would work with a couple of escape artist goats. Food for thought.

  3. Hi Hazel, we have electric fencing set up for horses, the pigs and to keep foxes out from the chicken run. The next set of ¨lecky¨ fencing will be set at boxer dog height. I don´t see why it wouldn´t work for goats, too.

  4. Hello the Webbers! I am hoping that our little pigs will one day be able to be set in strip grazing as well. I do love Kune Kune pigs, but unfortunately they are not available here in Australia. Yet ANOTHER reason to move to New Zealand!