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Restraining a pig humanely is the process of showing compassion whilst restricting the pigs movement. There can be various reasons why you might want to restrain a pig, such as physical examination, giving injections and ear tagging.

Handling pigs in different ways is not only stressful for them, but repeat exposure to stress can further affect muscle growth and reproduction success and therefore have bad consequences for the farming enterprise.

Restraining a Piglet Edit

Piglet handling

Piglet handling

Demonstration on how to pig up and hold a piglet.

The thought to integrate while handling any young, is to have a sound understanding of animal welfare. The act of restraining a piglet can be done ethically by:

  1. Lifting the piglet firmly by the back leg and bringing it into your chest.
  2. Place your other hand gently under the chest of the piglet to provide horizontal support.
  3. Hold the piglet firmly to minimise the piglet’s ability to move and injure itself.
  4. Place your other hand under the snout. This will calm the chicken down and stop it from squealing.

After lifting:

  1. Place the piglet over your forearm with the chest in the palm of your hand and the legs hanging either side of your arm.
  2. To place the piglet down, follow the steps of lifting it in reverse. Make sure its front feet touch the ground before you let go, or it might injure itself.

Using a Pig Board for Restraint Edit

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Example for a pig board. The pig board is held in the two hand-holes.

Pig boards are a tool used to help guide adult pigs between pens and paddocks. They are generally tall enough to block the pig's field of vision which makes it appear like a wall.

Within a Fenced Area Edit

  1. Using the pig board, direct the pig to a wall from behind making sure not to tread on the pig, or be hasty. (Remember to let the pig move at its own pace).
  2. Make sure to use walls to your advantage and check which way the doors to the pen open.
  3. Once you have the pig bordered up parallel to the wall, apply knee pressure to the flank to hold it down.

Do you feel ready to take the quiz on restraining pigs? Click here!

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