Loading pigs for butcher

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by okiemom, Oct 2, 2006.

  1. okiemom

    okiemom Well-Known Member

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    how do you get/teach your pigs to load to take to the butcher? there are some berkshire pigs for sale (50lbs) that I am wanting to buy. I want 3. i sole our horse trailer because we didn't use it so now we only have a goat tote in the back. anyone train pigs to load up a ramp to the goat tote?
     
  2. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    Are you just wondering how to move the 50 lb pigs or are you wondering how you will move a full grown butcher hog? I don't know what a goat tote looks like but a lot of people have come to buy feeders from me and have put them in their dog carriers. In that case the pigs are small enough that you can pick them up by their back feet and lift them into the carriers. A butcher hog is an entirely different story. We only haul ours off to the butcher in a stock trailer. Whatever you haul them in it pretty much has to be their idea to get into the thing. I have read about a lot of people luring their pigs into their trailers with doughnuts or getting them drunk on beer so they are easier to handle. You can't lift or push a butcher hog. Whatever you haul them in has to be extremely sturdy. Low to the ground and nothing to step up into is best.

    Heather
     

  3. caroline00

    caroline00 Well-Known Member

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    well we lifted our feeder hogs into the back of our minivan... and cleaned, cleaned, cleaned afterwards.... if you can get their hind legs, you can move them as if they were a wheelbarrow... at 50 pounds, you can.... at 250 pounds... that would be fun to watch.

    Getting them to the butcher 6 months later was a totally different story....
     
  4. okiemom

    okiemom Well-Known Member

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    i am looking at what to do w/ a 200+ pig. Nothin' cuddly about liftin' one of those. :p :help:
     
  5. caroline00

    caroline00 Well-Known Member

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    the first time we loaded them into our pickup. The next time we *paid* someone with a livestock trailer in Ham, pork chops and sausage when the pigs came back cut and wrapped.
     
  6. DQ

    DQ Well-Known Member

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    I can't help you with the loading but noticed you're in skiatook! I'm in coweta and was wondering where you found your pigs and are there anymore? the person I was going to purchase from only had two left and they were apparently runty and I didn't feel right about them. bad gut feeling. I have been asking around at local feed stores and no one seems to know who sells pigs! :shrug:
     
  7. rj_in_MA

    rj_in_MA Well-Known Member

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    I just loaded up my two 275 pound pigs today into a stock trailer. Bucket on the head, walk 'em backwards and steer by the tail. Once you get them to the trailer, turn them around and corral them with something so they have only one way to go... up and in. The trailer floor was about at their chest, but they had no trouble stepping in. It was easy and fast. Last year, we tried corralling them the whole way in. Alot of work and it really gets them worked up. This year was a breeze!
    -rj
     
  8. computerchick

    computerchick Keeper of the Zoo

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    early evening, bucket of corn, make sure the ramp has no cracks/crevices etc on it, and we used panels on the side.

    You could also use a 'board' on each side to guide them. A friend of mine used buckets. Not as calm.

    Goat tote should work fine but I don't konw if I'd wnat to be the one to clean up the mess in your pickup :p

    Good luck!

    Andrea
     
  9. Siryet

    Siryet In Remembrance

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    FWIW we alway feed our hogs on a pallet so they are used to stepping up when we are ready to ship them. Back the old borrowed livestock trailer at the gate throw in goodies and the hogs usually walk into the trailer. Do not stand behind them as they don't like that and will want to back out.
    The trick is to feed the goodies and treats at the gate, they will be leaving by and also on pallets through-out the growing period, so they become used to the feel of wood
     
  10. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

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    I'm taking notes! :nerd:


    We tried the drinking thing last time -with mixed results. :buds:


    niki
     
  11. LindaVistaFarm

    LindaVistaFarm Well-Known Member

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    I have a ramp that I feed them at the top. I have regular house shingles covering the ramp to make it non-slip. It is the same height as my pick up truck. It is solid on the bottom and sides so they are not scared to walk on the ramp. They get used to going up the ramp to eat and when time to go to the butcher, I back up to the ramp and take the end gate off off the ramp. Then I simply put their feed in the pick up. It takes them a few minutes to go into the bed of the truck to eat but they are hungry and will go in easily. I have found that hunger will make a 250lb pig easier to handle. When all else fails, a 357mag. to the head and have a couple of buddies to help you load them up. Of course you have to gut the hog afterwards and make sure the butcher that you are going to will accept dead pigs to butcher. Some will not. Afterwards, I simply go to a carwash and wash away the evidence.

    Johnny
     
  12. RedneckPete

    RedneckPete Well-Known Member

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    I have a very sturdy wooden crate about six feet by four feet with a roof. This crate is left in the pasture as their "house" and the pigs sleep in it when it rains.

    When it comes time to butcher, I toss a bit of food into the crate, and the pigs dart inside to get it, then I screw a piece of plywood over the door opening. Then I use forks on the bobcat pick this crate up and drop it into the back of the truck. Works like a charm.

    Last time I just butchered right in the pasture, and carried the pigs out as quarters. That was even easier still.

    Pete
     
  13. bee

    bee WV , hilltop dweller Supporter

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    disclaimer! I have personally never moved a pig of any size anywhere......having said that I am told the ultimate "bribe" is an overripe banana; said to get them where you want them with ease. If you try it let us all know if it really works! :dance:
     
  14. John Schneider

    John Schneider Well-Known Member

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    Many good ideas above. We have a program for loading any of our animals and that is to park the trailer or container where the animals can access it for several days prior to shipping...we feed the animals in this trailer or chute and they quickly come to trust it and load easily every time. However, this obviously only works for loading your animals from your own place. Word of caution on picking up 50 pound pigs by the back legs....wear ear plugs! You have never heard a scream as pearcing as this sound! No problem though...they aren't in pain, just a little scared.
     
  15. Ebowhunter

    Ebowhunter Well-Known Member

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    Set up a chute and a ramp the same width as the pig and bait a hungry pig with some fruit. Worked great for two out of three this year. With a little more refining, I understand that a twelve year old can do it.
     
  16. PlowGirl

    PlowGirl Well-Known Member

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    Just about every pig on my place has at one time or another, been "stalled" in my ramp load horse trailer, or step up stock trailer. I also move them from paddock to paddock, using dog food as a "comealong". When it's time for the final haul, a day or two ahead - preferably- a little dog food in the feed scoop, and piggies come a running, just show em where to go. No fuss, no muss.
     
  17. savinggrace

    savinggrace COO of manure management

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    HI,

    I also brought my baby feeders home in the back of my Expedition. (in plastic dog cages)
    We drove with the windows down the whole way-and, cleaned like crazy when we were done!

    I have had to move my pigs around several times-about four times. They lead anywhere when you hold melon in front of them-I am not sure about how they might climb up (step up) into the trailer, but I was thinking of doing dry runs first. I really think the key is to work with them a little. :)
     
  18. Argent Farms

    Argent Farms Pig farmer

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    Well I am going to be trying to load 2 230lb'ers into the back of a pickup in 4 days, I hope I don't have to try too many of these tricks! Lucky for me the concrete pad outside the barn is almost bed height, so there won't be much of angle for them to walk up.

    I'll post any tips I get by loading mine up next Monday.
     
  19. Paul72

    Paul72 Well-Known Member

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    We show at several shows a year and if they are used to going in and out of gates etc. you can definately train them to load. My youngest son shows a 2 1/2 yo 550 lb. sow in breeding stock classes and all we have to do with her is let her out of the gate and have the trailer backed near her pen and she will walk right up. The market hogs I use a low ramp with plywood on the sides, just wide enough that they fit, that way they won't turn around on us. The biggest thing is if they are used to moving around, in and out of gates they usually load easily.
     
  20. nduetime

    nduetime I am a Christian American Supporter

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    This is exactly what we do and it worked like a charm everytime!