While raising pigs, consideration needs to be made to maintain the value quality, reliability, and efficiency of various recommended management systems. This informs the need to produce the uniquely designed pig catcher for restraint of pigs for pen cleaning, vaccinations, observations, routine farm practices etc.
It is indicated that farmhands and stockmen who handle and restrain pigs should be shown the correct techniques relevant for the size/age of the pig. Correct handling and restraining a pig will reduce the risk of injury and stress to both the pig and stockman. Below is a list of considerations necessary for pig handling.
|Equipment Required||Personal Safety|
Before restraining a pig for treatment ensure:
- All the required equipment is ready to use
- The equipment is easily accessible once the pig is restrained.
- When moving pigs, ensure the way forward is clear, secure and obvious to the pigs and ensure that the pigs are moved from dark to lighter areas with no shadows.
- When restraining pigs, ensure the area will not pose a risk of injury to pig or stockman ie nonslip floor, flat sides, clear of distractions etc
Use of snares/pig catchers for restraint
If the task will take a long time, e.g. to lance an abscess, the use of a restraining snare or snatch may be necessary to provide adequate restraint. They should only be used when absolutely necessary, and the person snaring should be trained and competent at this activity. The snare/snatch should be designed specifically for the purpose of restraining pigs and kept clean and hygienic.
Outline of use
- Set up the area of restraint as above
- Control the pig’s movement with a pig board
- The size of the snare loop should be relevant to the size of the pig being restraint
- Place the snare loop in the mouth and over the top jaw and snout of the pig, and adjust the snare diameter with the rod.
- Move the loop as far back in the mouth as possible before tightening it
- Hold the pole/snare securely, then use the pig board to immobilize the animal.
- A second person can then perform the required task
- Release the pig as soon as possible by smoothly loosening and releasing the snare and then return the pig to its pen
- Pigs should not be restrained by snatching for prolonged periods.
- Do not attempt to move the pig by pulling the pig by the snare
- Pigs should not be tied up by the snare.
- Never pick a piglet up by their ear – this can cause ear hematomas – or by a front leg or tail
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