NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Two pigs - slaughter and butchery  (Read 727 times)

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Two pigs - slaughter and butchery
« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2019, 02:34:09 pm »
My pigs only saw the trailer for the first time when I was loading them. I eased off on the food for a day or two beforehand and I walked to the back of the trailer and scooped the food from a bucket- a sound they had become very familiar with. They knew it meant food.. they were hungry and they were used to me anyway. So they walked straight onto the trailer. It was so easy but something I wasn’t sure about until the moment.

Pigs are such individuals and what works one year won't work the next! like you say, you can't say for sure how they will react until the moment! The last few times I've loaded pigs I've brought them in the night before and kept them in a stable overnight, which has worked for me!

100% agree!  We’ve had hungry pigs wander off (actually, charge off!) around the field because we were sure they’d follow the bucket... ;p.

Putting them in the trailer overnight works extremely well.   No stress loading, because you’ve got all the time in the world, they have a lovely time finding the nuts you’ve scattered in the straw for them.  And in the morning, they are usually still laid out comfortably snoozing as we set off for the abattoir, so no stress hormones in the meat either :)
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing
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harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Two pigs - slaughter and butchery
« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2019, 10:00:56 pm »
My pigs only saw the trailer for the first time when I was loading them. I eased off on the food for a day or two beforehand and I walked to the back of the trailer and scooped the food from a bucket- a sound they had become very familiar with. They knew it meant food.. they were hungry and they were used to me anyway. So they walked straight onto the trailer. It was so easy but something I wasn’t sure about until the moment.

Pigs are such individuals and what works one year won't work the next! like you say, you can't say for sure how they will react until the moment! The last few times I've loaded pigs I've brought them in the night before and kept them in a stable overnight, which has worked for me!



I find the best thing is to set up to succeed not fail. Ideally feeding in a trailer or leaving it open where they can explore it is great but not everyone can leave their trailer conveniently for the pigs to train themselves. Handling your pigs builds up trust and getting them used to the stick and board and moving where you want them can pay dividends. Not just at loading but unloading too. Pigs try to lift and go through barriers in a panic so setting up your trailer is vital. Back up to gates or buildings so you minimise escape routes and where you need to block gaps use something solid if possible and whatever have it firmly secured not just propped up. If you can set up so you can close up behind the pig as it moves towards the ramp to you are encouraging forward movement. Straw on the ramp especially if it is sunny helps.

 

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