Knowing how to Handle your Pig

By the time they are weaned young pigs are too big to be easily lifted. Older pigs can be moved from place to place using pig boards.
Pigs are very clever and quick to learn. They can be dangerous.

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Handling the young pig

Catch by the Hind Leg

Piglets can be caught from behind and held by grasping the hind leg just above the hock. The small piglet can then be lifted by placing the other hand under the chest and lifting the animal. When holding the piglet always support its weight against you. By the time the piglet is weaned it will be too heavy to lift.
Handling the young pig

Handling the older pig

Pigs will naturally head for a gap (or opening) when you approach them or try to catch them. You can use this habit to make the pig go where you want it to If two pig boards (wooden boards 0.8m square) are placed either side of the pig’s head it will move forward in the direction the handlers want it to go. As the animal gets older it can be trained to move under the control of one handler who uses a board and a wooden bat about 1 m long.
The handler always keeps the pig board between himself and the pig. If several people try to drive a pig it can turn and charge between them.
Restraining a pig
You can restrain a pig by holding it with ropes against a wall or fence. Large pigs can be easily restrained with a rope or wire loop around the snout.
Restraining a pig

Teeth clipping in young pigs

The teeth of the young pig are clipped as soon as possible after birth. The piglet is born with 8 teeth.
If the teeth are not clipped the sow’s (mother) udder may be injured by the suckling piglets. Removal of the teeth also prevents the young pigs injuring themselves while fighting or playing.

1 Understand why the teeth of young pigs are clipped.
2 Carry out teeth clipping on the piglet as soon as possible after its birth.
3 Handle the sow and her young with as little stress as possible to both.
Why are the teeth of piglets clipped?

Piglets bite the sow (mother) in their fight to get hold of one of her teats and suckle. The pain caused by this disturbs the sow causing her to get up and prevents her young from feeding. The cuts to the sow’s udder also allow germs to infect the udder. In their fight to grasp the teat and suckle piglets will also bite and injure one another. The simple practice of clipping the teeth as soon as possible after birth prevents these problems.
When to clip the teeth
The piglet’s teeth should be cut as soon as possible after its birth. The teeth can be cut when the pig is only 15 minutes old. The sow and her young should be separated for as short a time as possible. In order to clip the teeth you will need either a pair of tooth clippers, or pliers or forceps.
You will need someone to help you separate the sow and her young. You will also need a box containing bedding and a clean empty pen.