Handling a Hampshire

Ridgetop

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This pig is for eating, not for a pet. Is it a boar or a barrow (castrated)? While your husband doesn't want to get hi too fat, it really doesn't mater in hogs since they do not marble like beef. Hogs lay on fat in layers and it will be trimmed off by the butcher. Actually, the older fatty breeds are the tastiest eating. They were fatty breeds since in the old days lard was a valuable commodity. Today USDA has guidelines for lean meat hogs and most of the commercial breeds are genetically bred for lean meat. Unfortunately, lean meat is often dry, tough meat. However, your DH is right to want to slaughter around 300 lbs. Keep him in the pen, he is not going to respond to playtime. He will probably enjoy you scratching him on the spine with a twig in his pen. He does not need to come out of his pen until the day you load him in the trailer to go to the butcher. Some hogs are nasty tempered, some are mild and sweet tempered. Sounds like you have one of the grouchy ones.

The easiest way to move hogs is with pig panels/pig boards. You can buy plastic boards in farm catalogs, but you can make them easily and cheaply. Use 1/2' plywood (any thinner and the pig will be able to crack and split the panel), cut it into 24" tall x 36" wide panels. Using a saber or jig saw cut 3" x 6" wide holes in the top corners of the board. These will be hand holds when using the boards. We wrapped the hand holds with duct tape to avoid splinters. Using these boards you can move pigs easily. This size will be usable by children as well as adults. If you are tall you can cut the panels 28" tall, and if you are big and strong, you can make them a few inches wider. However, don't overestimate your strength since you will be holding these panels in front of your knees as you are guiding the pig where you want it to go. If the hog is determined, brace the panel against your slightly bended knees. Don't let it take you unaware. Hogs are tricky and smart.

Hogs will go through any wire panel they can see through but they will not go through a solid panel. If they cannot see what is on the other side they will not try to go through it. Pigs are smart though and if they figure out that they can nose under the panel and flip it up they will try to do that.

Using pig panels 2 people can move a hog where you want it to go. One person can move it too, but it will depend on the surroundings, and you will need to be quick and hustle. There should be some sites on the internet that show people moving pigs with panels. We used to use pig boards to move all the hogs at our fair. 10 men and kids with boards moved 200 hogs from stalls to scale and back in about 3 hours. We used to keep several panels propped next to the pig pens in case hogs got out or we had to move them around.
 

Baymule

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We loaded a large boar like that, then a really BIG sow, the back end was wired, and the front end was tied. It still took 3 people! There was no way to get the trailer to either pen.
 

Beekissed

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If you are nimble, you can also back a hog where you want it to go by putting a 5 gal bucket over its head. It will try to back out of it and you just keep pressure on the front of it and can move him where you want him to go in that manner, but you have to be pretty light on your feet to do it and keep up with him.
 

Duckfarmerpa1

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If you are nimble, you can also back a hog where you want it to go by putting a 5 gal bucket over its head. It will try to back out of it and you just keep pressure on the front of it and can move him where you want him to go in that manner, but you have to be pretty light on your feet to do it and keep up with him.
You mean like this? :lol: This is my lean Portly looking for the leftovers that I took to Slim Jim yesterday... nest to her is Jumbo...they are sooo goofy :)
6EF994BB-1BF6-4D5B-93E6-90FCC47BBDCE.jpeg
 

Beekissed

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Yep. Do an experiment when their heads are in the bucket and just walk forward with it, keeping their heads in the bucket....then steer them around. It works best in smaller areas and pens with less slick mud underfoot, but it can be done.
 

Ridgetop

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If you are nimble, you can also back a hog where you want it to go by putting a 5 gal bucket over its head. It will try to back out of it and you just keep pressure on the front of it and can move him where you want him to go in that manner, but you have to be pretty light on your feet to do it and keep up with him.
That is how we loaded our first hog for slaughter. We had raised Ham Hocks (a Red Duroc) from a week old orphan. We would have entered her in the Fair but the Ag teacher said he didn't think she would make weight. He said she needed another 200 lbs. of feed before taking her to slaughter and she would be around 275 lbs. Ha Ha! We should have entered her in the Fair just for the practice since she would have been fine. After another 4 bags (200 lbs.) of feed we took her to the butcher and she weighed almost 500 lbs. No wonder we couldn't lift her into the trailer! We finally put a bucket over her head and backed her into the trailer.

We also moved hogs into position for Fair pictures with a flat rubber pan of corn tied to a wire or thin rope. We would pull t across the ground and the pig would follow it happily. Works best if the pig is hungry. Then again aren't they always?
 

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