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An Ozark Engineer
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Discussion Starter #1
Our three gilts are butcher size now, and their date with the butcher is this coming Friday (Aug 10th).

We were worried about how the loading would go, so decided to park the stock trailer in their pasture yesterday, and commence feeding them inside it.

Wow. No problem! When they heard "Piggie, Piggie, Piggie!" and heard the bucket of goats' milk slosh into the trough, they JUMPED on board!

So, Thursday evening, while they're slurping their milk, I'll shut the man door, and a helper will shut the loading door, and we'll be all set for Friday morning's trip! (I hope!)

NeHi
 

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LOL. When I lived in MT my boss paid $27,000 for a bull and it turned out his semen wouldn't keep but he could breed live cover. We AIed and whenever we got a cow that he wanted to breed to the bull we would trailer the bull to the cow. After awhile we could open the trailer door in a 1000 acre pasture and that bull would hit the trailer at a full run and come to a slide stop.
 

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An Ozark Engineer
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Discussion Starter #3
LOL, Tink! I guess, when the animals associate the trailer with "good stuff", loading ain't no problem!

NeHi
 

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nehimama,
That's the method we used. Just make sure there isn't an opening even near the top that a pig will fit through. We found out the hard way that they can and will jump out! The trailer had a roof but we still had to wire hog panels around the space just under the roof.
 

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An Ozark Engineer
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Discussion Starter #5
Good point, GrannyClampett! Fortunately, this is a stock trailer with a top. Ain't no way they're going to jump out once the door is closed. Only two more days to go! Yippee!

NeHi
 

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Jhn Boy ina D Trump world
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Just wondering how the transport and butchering went. I'll be doing this in a few months as well hopefully.
 

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An Ozark Engineer
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Discussion Starter #7
All went well. There was no "pig circus" yesterday. They heard the milk slosh into the trough inside the trailer, and hopped on board. Away we went!

They weighed in at 265, 260 and 225 lbs.

NeHi
 

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An Ozark Engineer
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Discussion Starter #8
We laid a pallet down on the ground at the rear of the trailer, about half of it's length under the trailer. On top of this, we set a pair of solid aluminum truck ramps, side by side. They were set slightly under the trailer. This made a smooth, non-shifting slope up to the trailer and did not interfere with swinging the rear door shut. The pigs were comfortable with the footing on the ramp, too.

I wish I had taken pictures of the set-up, but it's too late now, and the neighbor has his trailer back at his place. Sorry. I hope you can picture it from my description.

NeHi
 

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NeHi, the solid aluminum truck ramps -- any idea where one might get them and would they hold a 900 pound critter?
 

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An Ozark Engineer
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Discussion Starter #11
Rogo, I don't know where Roger got those ramps, but they are solid! Would you like me to post a photo?

NeHi
 

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An Ozark Engineer
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Discussion Starter #12
Walter, your set-up is great! I know all these suggestions will help others as they attempt to load their pigs for transport, especially first-timers. It really does take a lot of planning and forethought, because, as you said in your article, pigs don't like new situations. If they're comfortable, you can do just about anything with them. But if they're upset - good golly! You've got a circus on your hands.

NeHi
 

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Nehimama, a big trick we find is to make one transition at a time with the pigs. e.g., don't introduce a new type of surface to walk on, looming sidewall (shute) and a narrowing down (funnel) all at once. Instead stretch the funnel, put a piece of plywood on the ground in front of the shute and then they get to make one transition at a time. Temple Grandin http://www.grandin.com/references/new.corral.html has lots of good thoughts on this topic.

Cheers

-Walter
Sugar Mountain Farm
in the mountains of Vermont
http://SugarMtnFarm.com/blog/
http://HollyGraphicArt.com/
http://NoNAIS.org
 
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