I received an email asking about why I use electric fencing. This person had seen a pig test the fence and get shocked. They were concerned about it being humane for the pigs. I appreciate that someone took the time to ask me about it instead of jumping to conclusions. Here's my response below.
Thanks for reaching out.
I use electric fencing for many reasons and this is currently considered the best practice for producers raising pigs on pasture. This article explains it well. I have shocked myself accidentally many times. It is certainly startling, but does not cause any injury to the pigs or humans if used properly. Pigs are smart enough to frequently test the fence, as you saw.
Electric fence is easy for one person to set up and take down by themselves. This makes it possible for pigs to move to new areas frequently. This allows them to have ground to root in and new vegetation to eat. It also limits the impact the pigs have on one area. If pigs were had to stay in one permanent area they would be compacting the soil and their manure would accumulate in that spot instead of being spread out and acting a fertilizer. I explain more about rotating pigs here. Electric fence makes it possible for me to give them the best life and steward the land to the best of my abilities.
Permanent fencing that mimics this arrangement is cost prohibitive for a new farmer. Pigs are smart and strong and need a very sturdy fence that encloses many acres to create a physical barrier. I have moved my farming operations twice and cannot afford to spend thousands on dollars on pig-proof fencing that I can't take with me.
I love my animals and work hard to give them the best life possible. I appreciate that you took the time to ask about my practices. Thank you.
Leanna at Four Legs Farm