Pig Proof Enclosures

Prevent Piggy Escapades
08/31/2010

Never underestimate the power of a pig.
Don't even doubt it's strength and resolve, because it WILL get through that fence you just spent hours or even days putting up..Or under it, or over it..
Unfortunately, it's hard to tell what a pig can and cannot get through until it's up and the pigs are in there. Plus, like all animals, what works for most might not work for yours.
So, to make things easier for you...


4x4 Fencing
Also known as goat fencing, this does not make a good pig enclosure, no matter how you anchor it, how many posts you use, how close said posts are together, or if you bury 6" of it.
Unless you bury 2 or more feet underground, which wouldn't really leave you with a very tall fence, about a pig will root and root until it finds the other side - it's daily schedule is empty except for that mudbath at two, so it has lots of time to dig and climb and test all sorts of escape routes. Which brings us to fault #2 of 4x4 fencing, pigs like to put their front hooves on fencing and stand there, which will bend, stretch and break wire fencing, opening up a convenient little opening perfect for piggy escape artists.

This one was recently confirmed as a no by my grandfather who keeps, or attempts to keep, pigs in a moderately sized fence made of 4x4 fencing, metal posts, and the pig's shelter is an old recycled walk-in cooler.
Which works very well for keeping chickens, but several experiences have taught every family member and neighbor nearby that this is NOT a good piggy paradise, and they will get out...And maybe show up in your backyard or on your front porch, and maybe they'll knock over your water fountain on their way out.

Now, 4x4 fencing or similar products could be useful if you decide on a wooden fence, because you could use te 4x4 as a standby in case they break a board or two. It should be used on the outside of the fence because as previously stated, pigs will lean on it, rub on it, stand on it, possibly causing it to break and a pig may become entangled in it which could cause lacerations and quite possibly strangulation.



Concrete
Of course, you could opt for a sty with a concrete pad and concrete walls. Your pigs certainly wouldn't escape that very easily. Of course, you would have to use a wooden or wire gate, which they may break or root under, thwarting all your efforts to keep them enclosed. Plus, concrete can't be good for piggies since they can't root, or wallow in a mudhole, and it's probably not good for their hooves or their backs since they're supposed to walk in mud and dirt.

However, a small concrete sty may be a very good thing to have if you plan on doing your own butchering since it would be very easy to sanitize between uses, simple to clean and you wouldn't have to worry about them escaping since they won't be in it for very long.

Of course, if you want to be able to move your pigs around then concrete isn't the wy to go about it. If you plan on moving them every day or so, 4x4 fence might work well for a couple of pigs who can be entertained enough by their new surroundings so that they don't

Wood
Wooden fencing can be a very good enclosure for pigs, if it's constructed properly. It has to be high enough so that they can't climb over it, strong enough so they can't push it over or break through it, and it would probably be a good idea to have a 6"x12" cement base. Which means you should dig a trench one foot deep by six inches wide and fill it with concrete and put your posts in that so you have a good, sturdy base to build your fence from, and you make it harder for them to root under.

It also seems like it would be a good idea to reinforce your fence with wire fencing around it so, like I stated previously, they'll be detained if they break a board.



It may seem expensive, but if built correctly you'll have to make little or no repairs to your pig pen, and you won't have to spend hours chasing loose piggies back into the enclosure (trust me, it's not fun!)