Electric Fence Training
Most fences are no match for a determined pig. So it is important to
train pigs correctly to respect the electric fence. If a pig has respect
for an electric fence, and its needs are met within the borders, it will
not normally try to get out. But, if the pig looses respect for the fence,
it can quickly become a liability.
It is important to know how pigs react to stimulus to properly set
them up for training. A pig's most sensitive part is their nose, so
that is our target with the fence. We want them to learn with their
nose first. If a pig can get there nose past the fence before it gets
shocked it will have a tendency to run through it. Not Good!! So a
shock behind the nose will make the training process harder.
So, how do make sure a pig does not get
his nose past the electric fence? A double
fence is the easiest way. We need to set
up a fence that will restrain the pig long
enough to make the electric fence a real
We use a plastic snow fence on the
outside, and then a two or three wire
electric fence inside. I set the first strand
low at about 3", then the second at the
height of their nose when they are walking
around, and the third 6" above the second.
They will contact the first wire as they
root around, and the second as they
are exploring their borders. Pigs always
seem to root at the edge of the fence
pushing piles onto the bottom of wire,
so it will be important to check this wire
daily to keep it clear. As time goes by,
and your pigs grow you can raise the
height of the bottom wire. Your pigs will
learn their boundaries, and if you
change any portion they will be very
cautious of their new boundary.
Pigs will respect an electric wire, but they will also test it. If for some
reason your fence is not charged for a length of time, their respect will
gradually lower until they start escaping. That length of time may be a
half a day or a week, It depends on the pigs. At that time retraining will
be needed, but no guarantees it will work. Pigs are very smart, they
will take advantage of any weakness in any fence and remember it for
The snow fence has to be close enough to the wire so the pig
can't push its head past the electric wire. This keeps our
training spot at their nose or close to it. Again if the pig gets
shocked on the back portion or behind its head it will probable
not be held by the snow fence and it will not learn to respect
the electric wire.
3-wire electric fence
backed by snow fence
Pigs have rooted and pushed
piles onto bottom wire.
Electric fencing is very important when pasturing pigs. When pigs
respect an electric fence, it makes rotating pastures very easy.
Temporary pens can be set up, or you can set aside dedicated forage
pastures. Electric fencing is a lot easier to move and maintain, having
this capability on your farm will decrease your workload and increase
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