Outsmarting Pastured Pigs When Moving the Fence

Grass-fed pigs at Norton Creek Farm

Our six pastured pigs are getting awfully big, and they have minds of their own. Every few days, Karen has to move their electric fence to give them access to a new swath of pasture, since grass-fed pork is the name of the game here. Once the fence is off, they can escape if they want to. They’ve done it before. How can you deal with this problem?

I was out mowing and I watched Karen work her magic. She had a trick all worked out: the pigs were hungry. They look to her for food. So their first impulse is to follow her around, not to leave and go foraging on their own. As she worked, she’d pause once in a while to fetch a few hard-boiled eggs from the pickup, and give these to the pigs. This kept them close at hand and totally under her control until she was done. Then she gave them the last of the eggs, stepped over the fence, turned on the juice, and was gone. A job well done!

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