Unlike what many people would think, pigs are actually
adventurous and curious - which makes for a bad combination
if you want to keep a pig fenced in. Pigs are grazers that dig
for tubers and roots, so they can dig efficiently in order
to loosen the bottom of a fence and get under it.
Most of the time if they do manage to escape from your pen
they will come back, usually around feeding time, but it is
distressing to you and the pig when it does escape,
especially if it can't find its way back or there are
predators in the area where you live.
Pigs will also use their noses as levers to lift things that are
in the way. So if you have a wooden cross braced fence they can
easily lift a board out of the way if it is not nailed down
properly. A fence for pigs must be tight, heavy and secured flush
if not buried at the fence's ground level. Available at most
lumberyards and feed stores are what are called portable hog
panels (or you can get cattle panels, that are taller but leave
more space between the bottom rails) that are the most secure way
to keep your piggy. Portable hog panels are too heavy for them to
lift with their snouts and if properly secured they can not
loosen one to wriggle under it.
Usually if a pig tries the fence and it doesn't lift or show a
readily accessible way for it to get out, it won't try it again.
But if the pig rubs up against a fence and it is weak or wobbles
it will continue to push and wiggle the fence until it knocks it
down. Chain link fencing, Chicken wire fencing, Wood Fence posts,
Picket fencing, and woven wire fencing of any type will not hold
a mature pig that is determined to escape. Mature pigs will not
wander far, however, unless there is insufficient food.
If wire hog fence is put up by a professional who knows how to
stake and stretch it properly it is suitable, but it will loosen
over time and eventually the pig will be able to knock it down
unless it is maintained and retightened. A wooden fence that is
flush to the ground and the boards are at most four inches apart
will probably keep a pig in. Be sure to use nails that do not
rust or over time the boards will come loose because of soaking
rain that rusts the nails. Boards that are not properly treated
with rain protector will also warp and become rotten.
Any woven wire fencing that you put in you will have to put the
boards or fence poles that you use will have to be driven into
the ground at least twenty-six inches otherwise the pig will be
able to knock the fence down. Pigs are very strong and can easily
knock over a two hundred pound adult when the pig is mature.
In the long view hog fence paneling is just a better, easier and
more secure way for penning your pigs. The panels cost from
fifteen to twenty dollars and are available at most feed stores,
farm stores, or even some lumber yards. The store may even
deliver them or charge a small fee to transport them. The posts
for panels can be metal or wood and you should drive them with a
post driver and fasten to the posts with fourteen gauge
galvanized plastic or coated wire. You need to bury the post so
that the barbed bottom plate is under the ground and all you can
see is the post above ground.
The importance of using a coated wire is that in a climate with
any but very low humidity the wire will rust and may fall off
after a year if it is not coated. Be careful not to get the
stranded wire. Rigid wire is the only wire that should be used.
Then cut off six inches and apply three loops to the bottom,
middle and top of the fence. Use pliers to twist the loops
tightly onto the post and the fence. For wood use two inch
staples and nail them to the bottom, middle and top of the fence
and wood pole. You will then have to end the gate at a corner and
use a good sturdy four foot gate. A light weight chain link gate
will not last and your pig will knock it out or even chew it to
pieces in a week. A healthy person in moderate weather can put up
twenty panels in one or two hours after the poles are in
(approximately an eighty by eighty foot pen).
Never use chain link to pen an adult pig. They can easily knock
it over, lift it, or even chew right through it. It is also easy
to climb once it is loose. Woven wire fencing is better but over
time it may become loose at the bottom and the pig can wiggle
under it. Even if you bury the wire two feet underground there is
still the chance that burrowing predators like coyotes or wolves
can dig their way under the wire.
Predators are another thing to consider when buying pig fencing.
You do not want something that a predator can dig under,
especially if you live in the country. Keep that in mind when you
choose your fencing. Pigs can defend themselves but a very hungry
predator can do serious damage to your pigs especially if it is a
young or potbelly pig by him or herself. If you live in the
country where loose dogs or large predators might be a problem
then using electric hot fencing along the top or bottom could
It might even be a good idea to get the cattle panel just to keep
deer and other animals out of you pig pen. Deer carry a specific
parasite called Bratislava (Leptospirosis) and meningeal worms.
If a deer gets into your pig pen the parasites can be transferred
to your pig. Be sure to worm your pig regularly and have it
Remember that there is no such thing as a foolproof fence, so
keeping that in mind, select what is best for you and your pig
when making a pen. Protect your pig from getting out and other
animals getting in to harm your pig. Use proper materials and not
substandard material to make your pig pen. This way you will keep
your piggy safe and happy.
Alluring Plush Piggies