While online sales offer endless options from breeders all over the nation, hauling baby pigs to their final destination can be a challenge. Transporting your pig can be one of the most stressful steps of the online buying process – not just for you, but more so for your pig. Long-time hauler Trent Lahr out of Indiana shared his top five tips for hauling baby pigs to reduce stress and ensure they unload to a great start.
Tip #1 Keep them Calm
Making sure your pig is comfortable will go a long way when transporting. It starts with the way you load them on the trailer. Lahr stresses the importance of having patience and handling them with care. “If possible, it is best to run them into the trailer without picking them up as picking them up often scares them from the start,” Lahr said.
Tip #2 Keep them Cool
Once they are on the trailer it is important to keep them from getting overheated. Lahr keeps it cool by using plexiglass or acrylic panels on the trailer’s roof to reflect the sun. He also suggests limiting stops so that you can keep the trailer moving in order to keep a steady airflow for your pigs. During the summer, traveling at night is best to ensure they never get too hot.
Tip #3 Keep them Comfortable
Create a familiar environment on the trailer to help keep them as comfortable as possible. Make sure they have feed, water and dry bedding just like at home. They should also have enough room to lie down.
Tip #4 Hiring a Hauler
If you choose to hire someone to haul your pigs, Lahr suggests checking to make sure they are going to stay on the road. Ideally, you want your pig on the trailer the least amount of time possible. Most haulers will provide food and water for the animal but it never hurts to double check and request that pigs be tended to meet your approval.
Tip #5 Communicate
Communication is key, especially when someone else hauls your pig. If a breeder or hauler is meeting you with pigs, reach out to coordinate delivery times and locations. Lahr suggests contacting the hauler a few days before the scheduled delivery day, and then again on the day of the scheduled delivery in case the hauler is running behind or early. Often those hauling pigs have several scheduled stops along a route. It is important to be flexible and maintain great communication as one of the stops ahead of you can be held up for unforeseen reasons.