does this help to keep pigs in their pen when they have decided they prefer to be out of it? they have rooted up everything in their pen and now want what's outside of it. would a ring in their nose hwlp and how do you put it on? thanks JIL
We tried electric inside a pen and they gave the wire a wide berth. Trouble is, that shrank the pen to a tiny area in the middle where they felt safe.
Get some ringing pliers and insert the ring with the opening facing out. Place it over the little rooter and all the way down until nose hits inside of ring. Clamp down fast and hard. You already adjusted the pliers to shut it the correct amount, right? They usually shake their head if they are bigger, so I clamp fast and release the pliers, and they toss it free. If you hang on, the ring sometimes gets torn out again.
Or you could remedy the problem, instead of just slapping a band-aid on the symptoms. They're bored. Either move their pen -- think: MIRG on a small scale -- or give them something new to do in the current pen -- bed it deeply with a mix of straw and hay, the more seed heads it has in it the better. Toss root veggies underneath the bedding for them to find. Put a t-post in the center, string some heads of cabbage up on twine and hang them from the post. Cut some 2inch holes in a length of PVC, cut root veggies to pieces just barely smaller than 2 inches, fill the pipe and cap it off on both ends. Toss it in the pen.
__________________ I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day. - E.B. White
I did put hay in this morning thinking they wanted the grass that is starting to come up around them that they can't get to, it seemed to make them happy. they are 2 yrs old and have figured out how to get out of their pen. I am not a very big person and they are very big pigs lol. thanks
Hogs running out in a pasture have plenty to do, rooting is a natural instinct and getting out is also. Once hogs start getting out, you have to take measures. Hogs are smart so they want to continue their bid for freedom. Our boar had plenty of hay in his pen, but he wanted out to visit the sows, so he rooted under the pen panels and got out. We had an awful time getting him back in. A hog ring would have prevented his rooting under the panel. I guess he needed one of those blow up sow dolls to keep him from getting bored. Hog rings were invented and are still on the market to prevent rooting, so there are a lot of band aids running around, but at least they are not rooting up the place and getting out all of the time. Get someone to help you ring those hogs and add an electric fence also, that way you have it covered. When it comes to me or the pig, it would be me that is getting the protection and security.
Hogs running out in a pasture have plenty to do, rooting is a natural instinct and getting out is also. Once hogs start getting out, you have to take measures. Hogs are smart so they want to continue their bid for freedom. Our boar had plenty of hay in his pen, but he wanted out to visit the sows, so he rooted under the pen panels and got out. We had an awful time getting him back in. A hog ring would have prevented his rooting under the panel. I guess we should have furnished him with one of those blow up sow look alikes. Hog rings were invented and are still on the market to prevent rooting, so I guess there are a lot of band aids running around, but at least they are not rooting up the place and getting out all of the time.
There speaks the voice of common sense. I've seen two adult pigs completely root up a 5 acre paddock and then, not being content with that, dig their way under the electric fence and start on the next one. Never ate the grass, just turned it over. At that stage they were brought it and rung before they anihilated the farm.
So yes, ringing them will help hugely. Doing it is another matter. How big are they? Rather than try and give you written instructions, have you a neighbour or farming friend who could show and help you do it?
I have ringed them before. I can't say it was a real advantage to me. The ones that weren't ringed got rid of alot of underbrush which was a plus. If these hogs are any size, you better get ready for a workout if you do ring them.
If they are in a small pen then do it. If they have room to wander I would say no.
If you must ring them then use "humane" hog rings and learn how to apply them properly. They cause much less stress and injury than normal rings.
"Humane" rings are called that because you only apply one and it goes into the soft flesh between the nostrils; not in the very tender flesh of the outer nose. They are designed to only hurt when the hog tries to root, sliding it's nose forward in dirt. They don't hurt the hog when it's just snuffling through loose leaves or hay. They also don't interfere with many natural hog behaviors such as the work a boar does to get a sow ready to mate. You apply one, tip pointing up, being careful to not go too deeply into the nose to where the cartilage is. Use small ones on piglets and larger ones on hogs.
Although I did it in the past I don't ring mine anymore and their rooting, what little they do, helps tremendously with my pasture and woods improvement.
Build a better fence? You didn't say what type of fencing you have that they are getting out of... If it's a permanent pen you can make it stronger if you have a little cash to spend on stronger materials, or if it's a portable/temp kind of area, try moving them around every day if you have the room and time to manage it.
My main hog pens are fenced with heavy pipe fences on wooden posts, lined with hog panels that are wired to the pipe. Small piglets have places they can squirt thru but the adult hogs are not as strong as the fence and have never gotten out.
Without the hog panels, I did have a couple sows who would "Houdini" wiggle sideways out between the pipes. I swear their ribs folded down like a mouse, it was incredible.
I have never used hog rings on the nose, but personally, would try the humane ones before the other type. I've ringed a bull and probably will again, but won't do it to my hogs, just personal preference.
1. You must use a ring pliers that is made for the ring; usually from the same manufacturer. The pliers has small grooves that help hold the ring for insertion.
2. The sharp ends go into the front of the septum - the soft tissue that separates the two nostrils, one end in each nostril. Only in the front part; if you insert them too far into the nostrils you will cut into the nose cartilage. Feel your own septum; the rings go into the soft part between the outer tissue and the cartilage.
3. Squeeze the pliers only enough for the two ends of the wire to meet. Oversqueeze and the points will come through the other side of the septum. The pliers have a set screw that can be used to prevent oversqueezing. Practice with a few rings first to get the set screw properly adjusted.
4. The wire has a bent middle that angles away from the horizontal plane of the ring. This "tip" should point upwards when the ring is installed.
5. You must use the correct size for the hog. If it is too small it will soon need to be replaced. Cutting out an old ring is a real problem for you and the hog. If the ring is too large it could shift left or right and will hang incorrectly.
6. The hog must be securely restrained to prevent further injury should the hog jerk its head. The best restraint is a hog catch - a pole with a looped wire that is used to restrain the hog by its upper jaw.
Think carefully before ringing your hogs. I have learned that it just isn't worth it. Rooting can be a good thing. Fences can be improved.
ADDED: A very wise man once told me, "Hogs are like tools. They are made to do certain things. Use them the correct way on the right job and they will be very helpful. Use them the wrong way or on the wrong job and they will just frustrate you. Try to modify them and you will have ruined a good tool."
I have them enclosed with hog panel using tee post every 4 ' now and adding the extra t post has helped. we had been moving them around but this winter stayed pretty frozen so we hadn't moved them yet. normally they will devor an area in a day or 2. we are going to try and put barbed wire around the bottom and set up housing to breed them I have a boar coming to visit for a month. we have a lot of wooded property that we want them to clear and we prob wont ring them. if I can keep them happy and contained. thanks.
I would like to add that if you don`t have rings for your pigs the local feedstore, elevator, farm store and some old time hardware stores may carry them, or have them on a dusty shelf out back. I found some harness parts in an old hardware store one day. Good luck > Marc
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