training our pigs

Hair and skin, show pig training tips, equipment discussion, what you need to get started
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AprilEly
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training our pigs

Post by AprilEly » Mon Mar 02, 2020 11:14 am

My sons have been involved in our local 4H programs now for 5 years raising and showing pigs at our local fair. Recently an acquaintance of mine, who DOESN'T raise pigs claims we are training and working with our animals all wrong. So.... here you all go. Our project animals are bought the first week in April and our fair is the last week in July. When do you advise that we start working with our pigs, how often or how many hours a week or day should we give? Thank you all for helping us solve a dispute.

mjw1980
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Re: training our pigs

Post by mjw1980 » Tue Mar 03, 2020 12:19 pm

Do you have any reason to switch from what you are doing. Are you getting good results at your show.

Well I would say you start training them when you receive them. I would start with bonding with the pig for a week or two in the pen. Get them used to you and give them belly scratches until they fall over. Then I would turn them out into a smaller working area and do nothing but walk with them and do not use the whip but rub them with it under the chin and on the sides. You want them to get used to the whip being around. After that then start with the whip and teaching them to drive. You never want to make working a bad experience for the animal. You have to learn each pig differently though. We have a Barrow that does not like a heavy handed whip. No matter how long we tried getting rough with him did nothing but make it worse. We have had some that didnt mind getting smacked.

Pac
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Re: training our pigs

Post by Pac » Mon Mar 09, 2020 4:03 pm

We give them a couple of weeks to acclimate and then start training. In the winter, we have shows 3-4 weeks after we get our animals. If you are looking to be competitive you want your animal to have endurance. the sooner you start training the easier it will be to build that endurance up.

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Phoenix-Rising
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Re: training our pigs

Post by Phoenix-Rising » Sat Mar 28, 2020 9:12 pm

AprilEly wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 11:14 am
My sons have been involved in our local 4H programs now for 5 years raising and showing pigs at our local fair. Recently an acquaintance of mine, who DOESN'T raise pigs claims we are training and working with our animals all wrong. So.... here you all go. Our project animals are bought the first week in April and our fair is the last week in July. When do you advise that we start working with our pigs, how often or how many hours a week or day should we give? Thank you all for helping us solve a dispute.
I give mine a week to get used to me then start on "games" to teach whip work and stance then I work 5 min once a day for the third week of ownership then I form a tailored workout for each prospect. Hard keepers get 5 min twice daily of flat work. Easy keepers get 10-20 min twice daily. Later I break it up even more... Fatty pigs get a fast 1/2 mile and a 15 minute showring practice once a day... Underweight or over muscled pigs get 5 minutes of show practice once a day. All this is to say... no pig is the same and every pig could need a different program. Most programs have the same overall items but different levels and intensity. Last season I had two show gilts... One was small over muscled and had Stress Syndrome... she got 5 minutes of low and slow working and placed 3rd out of 16 hogs in a Fair. The second one was a good eater perfect muscle and had to be held... She was on my most intense exercise program and placed 6th out of 35 pigs... she is now retired to my sow barn healthy, fit and bred for her first litter. :D So I would say look your program over and decide if it is giving you the results you want. Hole this helps!
P.s. This is possible to do with school... I'm in crunch time high school and showing and raising pigs and working... ;) it's what you do wheb you have show pig fever! :lol:
P.P.S Some pigs can learn to keep contact with the whip without actually needing to be driven by the whip... I had one the was trained to read slight hand signals like a finger snap... if you kids want to look crazy cool and have time for a challenge. I had the whip but never needed to tap her. :D not common but possible with the right person and the right pig.
Phoenix__rising :D :mrgreen:

2boyz
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Re: training our pigs

Post by 2boyz » Tue Jun 09, 2020 6:04 pm

I have two boys showing 4H pigs this year. We are struggling at getting them to walk with their heads up. How do we improve that

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