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Piglets at Sheepdrove

03 Jun 2015 by Meg Walters

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Piglets at SheepdroveBerkshire sow and her piglets

Pigs are a delight to keep and when provided with everything they need to behave naturally are the happiest and friendliest of all farm animals. Pigs naturally eat lots of grass and plants, and at this time of year they need or want little else.

Nosy pigs

The pigs also enjoy snouting up plant roots and grubs with their powerful noses, and with an acute sense of smell they are able to locate exactly the tastiest morsels. In order to give them access to fresh ground all the time we have to use electric fencing, as erecting permanent pig fencing is both expensive, time consuming and not always appropriate in a field or woodland environment.

Back to school

However, before we release piggies into a new territory with just two strands of wire keeping them in, they have to be trained. We use a fence training paddock and every newly weaned piglet goes in there to learn about electric fencing.

The paddock is fenced with stock netting, and then an inner line of electric fencing. Unlike sheep, cows, horses or even chickens; pigs will jump forwards, not backwards if they get a little zap off the fence, (a bit like a static shock). This would mean that the fence snaps and the pigs run free. 

By placing them in a double fenced paddock, if they do jump forwards, they are stopped in their tracks by the stock netting, and soon learn because they are intelligent creatures that a zap means no escape- so they respect it from a distance.

After a week we can move them into woodland, fallow fields and orchards on the farm in temporary electric paddocks so they can always enjoy fresh ground and plentiful greenery. The pigs have a wonderful time and their lifestyle and diet are the reasons our pork tastes so amazing, so it’s well worth a week spent in fence school!

Author: Meg Walters

How to find us

For directions using Sat Nav or Google Maps always enter 'Sheepdrove Road, Lambourn' and then follow the signs to Sheepdrove Organic Farm and/or Sheepdrove Eco Conference Centre. DO NOT USE THE FARM ADDRESS POSTCODE AS THIS WILL NOT DIRECT YOU THE CORRECT WAY   The best option is to click here for driving directions from the East, West via M4 (via junction 14) or from the North via A34.

Sheepdrove Organic Farm, Sheepdrove Road, Lambourn, Berkshire, RG17 7UU, United Kingdom