Understanding an animal’s flight zone makes handling much easier. The flight zone is the animal’s personal space. Their tameness and their level of excitement or stress determine the size of an individual’s flight zone.
A pig’s blind spot is directly behind the animal. This area should be avoided.
The ideal location for the handler is between positions A and B on the edge of the flight zone.
To move the animal forward, enter the flight zone behind the shoulder.
- Move toward B to start the movement.
- Move to A to stop the animal’s movement.
If a handler walks deep into the flight zone, pigs will have a tendency to move in a direction opposite of the handler’s movement.
- An animal will usually move forward if the handler moves from the head toward the rear.
- To move the animal backwards, the handler should move in front of the point of balance.
- Sudden, deep invasion of the flight zone may cause the animal to panic.
Moving pigs (over 10kg):
- Move the pig in a calm, unhurried manner
- Allow the pig to walk to its destination at its own pace at all times
- The pig can be encouraged forward by use of a pig board and voice
- Do not kick the pigs or use sticks/prods to directly hit the pigs
- Pigs should only be encouraged forward, when the way ahead of them is clear.
Moving young pigs via lifting (under 10kg):
- Lift the pig by a back leg, taking care not to ‘snatch’ or ‘swing’ the piglet as you lift it
- Support the chest with your other hand when moving with the piglet over any distance
- Lower the piglet back to the ground, ensuring both front legs have contact with the surface
- Then gently lower the back legs to the floor and release your grip
- Only lift one piglet at a time in each hand