There are many different types of setups for show pigs, and we all have the ones that work for us. However, when it comes time to bringing your pig home, it is important to have their new pen ready to go.
Why is it important to have your pig’s pen ready as soon as it walks off the trailer? Pigs are easily influenced by stress, and this can be caused by a change of environment. When they are young, which is when you are usually bringing new pigs home, this is even more of a concern.
At this age, they are easily bothered by the cold and when they are wet. This can cause them to focus their energy on staying warm instead of using it to grow, and your new project does not need any setbacks! What are ways to have your setup ready for these small show prospects?
- Find a place in your barn that will block the elements; such as the wind, rain and snow.
- Keep dry bedding down. Remember to change it and keep your pen clean, especially in areas where water and manure collect.
- Have heat lamps plugged in and setup in a corner. We suggest securing your heat lamps in more than one way. For example a wire, screw and a clamp. You do not want your heat lamp to fall and catch fire or the glass to land in your pen and cut your pig.
- Have a drinker with a nipple. Your pigs are less likely to make a mess out of their water this way and in return they stay dry and warm.
Now that we have their living area in order what about feed? Usually at this age your pigs are still on starter and will be getting ready for the next step of feed. We suggest asking the breeder of your pig if you can buy at least one bag of feed from them if you are planning on changing feed. By having the pig’s original feed, you can slowly change it from that feed to whatever you want. Again, this will help with stress and hopefully keep your pig from going off feed while it is adjusting to its new home.
What are ways to keep your new pig on feed after a move?
- Purchase a bag of feed from the breeder for easy transition (if you are planning to change the brand of feed it is used to).
- Have your feed on hand and ready to feed when the pig gets home.
- Have a feeder that the pig can easily reach. We suggest using one that you can clip onto the side of the pen.
- Mix electrolytes into their feed or in their water. This will give them a needed boost all traveling animals need!
These are just some helpful hints that we like to see happen to pigs that leave our barn. We hope that they help you when you are bringing home new projects. Remember, the better adjusted your project is and the easier transition it has, means your pig has a head start on the competition!