There are many reasons why someone might want to learn how to catch a pig. For farmers and homesteaders, pigs can be a valuable source of food and income. In addition, they are notorious escape artists, so learning how to catch one can help to prevent serious property damage.
And even if you have no interest in keeping pigs, knowing how to catch one can be a useful skill to have in case of an emergency. After all, these animals are strong and fast, and they will not hesitate to charge if they feel threatened.
As such, it is always best to be prepared before attempting to catch a pig. Doing so will help ensure a safe and successful outcome for both you and the pig.
Here are some tips – and a personal experience of my own that will hopefully educate (and entertain!) you as well.
Table of Contents:
Why Do Pigs Escape?
Pigs are curious creatures by nature, and they will often escape their pen in order to explore their surroundings. This can be dangerous for them, as they are susceptible to predators and can become lost.
In some cases, your animals may also dig their way out of their pen in search of food or water.
If a pig feels scared or threatened, it may also try to escape its enclosure in order to find a safer place to hide.
Ultimately, there are many reasons why pigs might escape from their pen, but curiosity is often the primary motivator.
Preventing a Pig Escape
By taking these precautions, farmers can help to ensure that their critters stay put. The most common reason that pigs escape is because they are curious or looking to explore the other side of the farm!
Build Good Fences and Check Them Often
To prevent a pig from escaping, it is important to build good fences and check them regularly.
Make sure the fence is high enough that the pigs cannot jump over it, and that there are no weak spots where the animals could dig their way out. It is also a good idea to put a roof on the pig pen to keep them from climbing out.
You can use wire mesh, electric, or any other material to keep your pigs in, but make sure the fence is tight at ground level so they can’t root out.
Finally, check the fences regularly to make sure they are in good repair. If you have an electric fence, check fences every day with a voltage meter (an inexpensive tester) to make sure the electric fencing still has power.
Give Them Lots of Space
One of the best ways to prevent a pig from escaping is to give them plenty of space. Pigs are social creatures, and they need room to roam. A cramped pig pen is more likely to lead to an escape than a spacious one.
Socialize and Connect With Them
Pigs are intelligent creatures that need both mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy. One of the best ways to socialize your animals is to connect with them on a daily basis.
This can involve anything from simple petting and scratching to playing games and giving them plenty of treats like molasses, eggs, grains, or barley.
Pigs also enjoy being around other pigs, so it’s important to provide them with opportunities to socialize with their fellow piggies.
When they feel comfortable and connected with their human companions, they are less likely to attempt an escape. Therefore, taking the time to socialize and connect with your pigs can help prevent a pig escape.
Be Careful Moving New Pigs In
When moving new pigs into a farm, there are a few things to remember in order to prevent an escape. They are very curious animals and will explore any new surroundings. Make sure that the area is secure and there are no holes or gaps that they can squeeze through.
Be sure to acclimate the pigs slowly to their new environment. Introduce them to the new area a little bit at a time so that they have time to get used to it.
How to Catch a Pig
Catching a pig can be a tricky business, but there are a few methods that are more likely to succeed than others.
Keep Calm – Don’t Rush Things
Catching a pig can be a tricky business. They are quick and agile, and if you’re not careful, they can easily escape.
That’s why it’s important to keep calm and take your time when trying to catch one. rushing things will only make the situation worse. You need to be patient and methodical in your approach.
Try Food or Water
There are many methods for catching pigs. Some people use traps, while others may choose to chase the pig down and catch it by hand. However, the most common method is to lure the pig with food or water.
They are attracted to anything that smells sweet or tasty, so bait such as fruit or honey or other small bits of food can be used to tempt them into a box trap.
Similarly, pigs will also often drink from puddles or containers of water, so this can also be used as a way to attract them. Once the pig is close enough, it can be caught and restrained using a rope or net.
When it comes to catching pigs, corrals are often the most effective option.
You can often lure pigs into a corral with bait, such as feed or a salt block. Once they are inside, they can be easily caught and restrained.
In addition, corrals can be used to trap multiple animals at once, which is often necessary when dealing with a large herd. While it may take some time to build a corral, the effort can pay off when it comes time to catch pigs.
Set Up a Temporary Pen or Dog Crate as a Trap
A small pig can easily escape from a fenced-in area if there is an opening. To catch a loose pig, set up a trap using a dog crate or a temporary pen.
There are many other types of traps you can use as well. Bait the trap with food, and check it regularly. You could even set up cameras if you want to keep an eye on your corral traps, too.
Once the pig is caught, secure the pen or crate so that the pig cannot escape. If you have a young pig, you may need to catch it more than once as it learns to stay within the boundaries of its enclosure.
Try Waiting Until Evening or Feeding Time – but Don’t Wait Too Long
Pigs are most active at dawn and dusk, so that’s the best time to set your trap. They also love to eat, so if you can find a spot where they’re likely to be feeding, that’s ideal.
Just don’t wait too long. Once they get out, they’re hard to catch. And if you wait too long, they may become feral. There are laws about wild pigs, particularly because they have a tendency to destroy vegetation and cropland, and you don’t want to be on the wrong side of them.
So if your pig gets out, act fast. Get help from your neighbors and try to corral the pig as quickly as possible. If you can’t catch it right away, keep an eye on it and call animal control. Don’t wait too long to try to catch your pig, or you may end up with a bigger problem on your hands.
Check Your Pig for Any Wounds Once It’s In
Any time you catch a pig, you want to check it over for any wounds as soon as possible. This is not only for the welfare of the pig, but also to prevent the spread of disease. Pigs are extremely susceptible to infections, and even a small cut can quickly become inflamed.
As you examine the pig, look for any signs of cuts, scrapes, or bruises. If you find any wounds, clean them with an antiseptic solution and apply a bandage. It’s also important to keep an eye on the wound for the next few days, in case it becomes infected.
Be Patient – Because You Never Know!
My pig got out not too long ago, and although it was a stressful experience, it was also a great learning opportunity. Here’s what happened.
After our pig ran off into the woods, we just knew she was dog bait. The kids were pretty disappointed that they didn’t even get to see her. At dinner we prayed that the pig would come back.
I sat down at the computer and scoured the internet for “how to catch a pig”. It didn’t look pretty, all I could find was info on how hard it is to catch a pig.
I kept thinking to myself, I wanna go look for it again! Finally I grabbed a heavy coat, a flashlight, and a chopped up apple and told Jerry I was going to look for the pig again.
I walked out into the freezing dark woods, and stood as still as I could hoping to hear it rustling in the leaves, or grunting around. All I could hear was the distant sound of dogs barking. Have they found her?
I thought I’d try calling her. What do you call a pig anyways? I decided I’d grunt like a pig to see if she’d answer. There I was, standing alone in the dark woods, holding an apple in my hand and grunting the best pig grunt I could muster.
I looked around to make sure nobody was watching me.
After a minute of that I walked to another part of the yard. I didn’t see or hear a thing. I looked up into the starry night sky and prayed, “Lord, please let the pig come back! Please don’t make us learn this lesson the hard way.
I know that it seems impossible for the pig to come back, but Lord, nothing is impossible for you.” I stood outside for another minute, and then gave up the search and went back into the warmth of my home.
I started to eat the apples, but then decided to put them into the fridge… just in case.
About 30 minutes later my husband had gone outside to get some wood to put on the fire, when he came flying back into the house shouting, “Kendra! The pig is back!!” I ran into the kitchen, grabbed the bag of apples, grabbed my flashlight, and ran out the door.
There it was!!! Way across the yard we could make out the figure of a little pig, grunting around the fencing of its own pen!! Jerry and I went into combat mode. Using hand signals we motioned to each other to circle around the pen and try to corner her.
Slowly, we both made our way through the trees on opposite sides of the little piggy. I threw bits of apple to her, but she had no interest whatsoever in eating at the moment.
I shined the flashlight on her while Jerry came in from behind. She casually turned and started walking right toward him, he stood very still. Just when she was within reach he lunged at her!
Loud squeals filled the air and she quickly escaped his grasp. I busted out laughing! Oh my goodness, this was hilarious!! She ran around to the opposite side of the fencing, right in my direction. She seemed to be trying to find a way back into the pen.
I opened the gate and stood off to the side of it, hoping she’d go in. She slowly sniffed her way around, and when she got to the gate… you’ll never believe this… she walked right in!!!!!
I slammed the door shut after her. Jerry and I let out shouts of praise! Thank you Lord! But we weren’t done yet. We still had to catch the pig. If we left her she’d just escape again.
We shined the light on her and did our best to corner her. Man, pigs are incredibly fast! It was hard to see her in the darkness, with only a little light.
Jerry and I took our turns lunging at her. Jerry caught her back end one time, and she let out another loud squeal and got away. I lunged at her one time, only to fall into a pile of goat poop.
Finally, Jerry tackled her. She squealed like never before. I yelled, “Yay!!! Hold onto her!!” We got her back to the cage that he’d brought her home in, and put her inside.
Phew! Wrestling pigs on a cold night is invigorating! We both let out loud cheers, laughing in disbelief!!!
I still cannot believe that she just walked right back into her pen all on her own. That’s nuts!! Praise the Lord!!! He has shown mercy on us, and believe me, we’ve learned our lesson!
We put her and her cage in the workshop for tonight so she’ll be warm. Tomorrow we’ll decide how to keep better keep.
We’re still laughing and shaking our heads. What a night!
Long story short here is this – anyone who has ever chased a pig knows that they are surprisingly fast and agile creatures.
They can easily outrun a human, and their nimble bodies allow them to squeeze through the smallest of openings. As a result, catching a pig can be a challenging task.
The key is to be patient.
Pigs are curious creatures, and if they see something interesting they will often stop to investigate. With patience and a firm hand, it is possible to catch even the most elusive of animals.
To capture a pig can take quite a long amount of time, but it’s important to recognize the trigger for the escape and to use your pig’s favorite treats, like eggs or oats, to get it back in.
The most important thing is to remember the basic needs of your animals and to attend to your own safety in case things get out of hand.
And remember – feral pig laws in the United States dictate that a missing pig needs to be reported within a very short window of time, so you’ll want to try to catch your pig as quickly as possible.
Wild pig populations in many areas are exploding, so it makes sense that wild pig control is a priority for many people. This is doubly true if your pig got out on private property or in residential areas.
Good luck catching it!
last update 08/19/2022 by Rebekah Pierce
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.
9 thoughts on “You Won’t Believe It: How To Catch A Pig”
I can only imagine the chase you had to catch it! But it’s wonderful it came back – straight to it’s pen. I love it when God answers those prayers you don’t expect to be answered!
Praise God for answering prayers!
It was definetly your awesome pig calling ability 🙂 Just remember that she was easy to deal with now… How about when she gets really big? Pigs can be mean and fast. If you ever need to load her in the trailer just back it up to her gate and then put food in it. She should be in there in a few hours. Otherwise good luck loading that porker!
They will make friends with the kids. Get them a toilet brush to scratch her. My 3 year old said one day while I was cleaning the toilet, “How come you’re cleaning the toilet with a pig brush?”
Pigs are notorious for escaping. My dad, a farmer from way back, says if her ever goes to prison he’s taking a pig with him. If there is a way to escape the pig will find it.
Slaughtering is really messy. Check around….we have ours slaughtered and mostly turned into sausage for $50. Worth the money! I’d love to give you some advice on what we have used our pork for (ham, bacon, sausage, chops…so forth) Let me know if you are interested. Otherwise I won’t bore everyone!
I, for one, would appreciate any pig related advice you could share!! Recipes included 🙂 Thanks!
He is good isn’t he ?
I am so glad your pig came back! That is so awesome that it just walked right in it’s cage. My cousin kept wild hogs in a chain length fence, but he put bricks and wood around the outside, so the pigs couldn’t get out.
Good luck with Pork Chop!
Like they say…God answers prayer! So cool…
Oh MY GOODNESS! That was so funny! I totally giggled out loud reading that! I wish someone had a video camera. Congratulations on recatching her! You guys are awesome! Now you can sleep peacefully! =0)
This whole story is hilarious! I love that you got a pig 🙂 Can’t wait to hear more of the adventure and journey!