Low Stress Pig Handling Techniques Save Time

CANADA - A Saskatchewan-based low stress pig handling trainer says the techniques that save time when moving pigs also save a lot of frustration, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 14 December 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

Low stress pig handling techniques use the pigs' natural behaviors and instincts to make moving them from pen to pen or onto trucks for transport easier and less stressful for both the handlers and the pigs.

Nancy Lidster, a low stress pig handling trainer with White Fox-based DNL Farms, says in a lot of cases the techniques that save time also save a lot of stress and frustration but the key thing is knowing what to look for.

Nancy Lidster-DNL Farms

Pretty well any facility will work but the handlers have to understand what they have to do to make them work.

It's still a matter of reading the pigs and you have to let them be calm, you have to set up your movement and keep them calm and it really doesn't matter what facilities.

Some of the things that we have might be wider alleys and that sort of thing that we didn't have before but even they can have challenges.

No matter what you've got, if it's a narrower alley, then we've got to make sure that we have flow going and that we don't bunch them up because a single pig turning sideways or stopping can block the whole works whereas if you've got a wider alley other pigs can go around them and not really interfere with things that much but it's still a matter of realizing that it's pig movement that we want.

Instead of thinking in terms of moving pigs what we're looking at is setting up movement and then that movement actually carries them and then we look at the limitations of the facilities that we're in and just make sure that we're not doing anything that makes them pile up or bunch or those sorts of things.

Ms Lidster says people are interested in doing things more easily and efficiently.

She says when handlers see dramatic benefits from making small changes in the way they do things they become quite eager to make the necessary adaptations.

For further information visit dnlfarmstraining.com.

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