This factsheet provides guidance for building fencing that can be used to contain and exclude pigs. This can include fencing that prevents pigs from having outdoor access to your property and/or fencing that keeps feral pigs out of your livestock and crops.
It can be difficult to keep pigs in their outdoor housing cages. Pigs can leap over barriers and are agile and strong. It is important to keep them contained. If they aren’t caught, escaped pigs can quickly become a problem and cause a loss of revenue. An escaped pig can become feral in a matter of minutes. If other feral pigs live nearby, they can breed quickly and produce multiple litters every year. Any swine that is not in a fenced area, including domestic pigs, wild boars, and hybrids, is considered a “wild pig”. You can stop them by installing a feral pig fence around your property.
Wild pigs are one the most destructive mammals on the planet. They cause severe damage to native ecosystems, agricultural land, and other animals.
Wild pigs pose a number of risks and can lead to lost revenue.
- Significant damage to crops and fields can be caused by rooting (pigs can cause crop and ground destruction).
- Predation and/or harassment of other livestock (they could kill calves, goat children, lambs, or deer). etc. This will prevent or deter feeder access.
- Aggression towards people (razor-sharp tusks may cause serious damage to people, including even death)
- Disease transmission (wild pigs may transmit diseases to the swine industry as well as zoometric illnesses to humans)
- Natural ecosystem damage (trampling and wallowing, rooting and resource competition), animal damage and plant damage, including destruction and consumption of small reptiles or amphibians, and natural ecosystem destruction
Fences reduce the chance of your pigs running away and protect your herd against wild pigs. As an animal owner, it is your responsibility to make sure that your animals are safe. If crops or feed sources exist, escaped pigs are likely to roam onto neighboring properties. You can be held responsible if your pigs escape. This includes damage to crops, livestock, and property. Escaped pigs can become a road hazard and increase the likelihood of accidents. For any stage of the production cycle, pigs must be kept outdoors. Make sure your fencing is sturdy, tall, and strong to protect them, your farm, and other animals.
Options for fencing
There are many fencing options available for outdoor livestock housing. The type of fencing you choose will depend on how durable it is and how easy it is to set up/repair.
It is important to consider the size and type of animals housed when choosing the fencing type for your farm. Not all fencing types are suitable. Piglets, for example, will need fencing that is smaller than full-grown pigs. However, fully-grown pigs will need stronger fencing than piglets. When designing a fence plan for your farm, it is important to consider how big your pigs are. If the fence isn’t properly designed, pigs will be able to go through, over, or under it. Their strong noses can also lift fences, even posts if they are not secured.
It is crucial to evaluate fencing options for their suitability for pigs when researching them. It is important to consider the size and ability of the pigs.
Pigs can leap so fences should not be less than 1.5m high if they are kept outside. If possible, pig fencing should be lower than the ground. You can either bury some of the fences beneath the ground or attach a mesh skirt that is buried underground up to 60 cm. The risk of rooting under the fence is significantly reduced if the angle is 90 degrees underground. Double row fencing using an underground mesh skirt at a 90 deg angle on one fence and an electric wire between them is the “gold standard” in pig fencing. Double row fencing is a common practice in many areas where pigs are kept outside.
Best Fencing Techniques for Pigs
- Install double-row fencing
- Make sure the fence is sufficiently high to stop jumping (minimum 1.5). m For adult pigs
- Place a mesh skirt 60cm underground to prevent rooting (at least at a 90-degree angle, if possible).
- Add electricity to another type of fencing (inside the enclosure, or between double rows of fencing)
Although the initial cost to construct “pig proof” fencing can be expensive, the cost of recapture, the risk of being exposed to wild animals, and the peace of mind that comes with it are well worth it. Not only does it reduce the chance of losing revenue, but it also protects native habitats and wildlife in Ontario from any damage that escaped pigs could cause.