Getting Pigs Ready to go to Market

hi I’m Mike this year the group of pigs
that are here on the ranch while their time is coming to an end and last year
we struggled with getting them loaded onto the trailer and getting them off at
the meat processor doing things smarter instead of harder is this year’s model
as we try a new approach and hang out with the Hogs today on the project list
on our Wyoming Life welcome back TO OUR WYOMING life and please
subscribe and continue with us as we explore the ranch life and escape the
ordinary I had somebody ask me a few weeks ago if we are escaping or near
ourselves or is it just something we become a routine – and is the ordinary
just our life now my answer was that there’s never an ordinary day around
here things should always be changing evolving and getting better we should
always be looking for better ways to do things and of course learning from our
mistakes a few years ago we decided to broaden our farmers market business by
offering pork the first year we had pigs we actually started with five then we
went to seven and now we’re up to ten pork could probably even be a bigger
part of our business but right now we’re pretty much maxed out number wise until
we have you know some time to build bigger and better pens and handling
facilities that’s on the list but right now we’re dealing with what we have and
if you’ve ever dealt with pigs you know how stubborn they can be piglets arrived
here on the ranch back in August since then they’ve been hanging out in their
sheds along with protection from the wind Sun and the nastiest winter weather
they were ten pounds when they came here and now quite honestly I don’t know how
much they weigh but we will find out later when we get up on the scale before
we get that far we still have to figure out how we’re gonna get them on the
trailer last year we built a portable wooden loadout chute for the pigs the
chute part actually worked pretty good the pig part of the equation didn’t work
at all Aaron and I spent hours loading seven pigs onto the trailer
they were stubborn and they didn’t want to go up the ramp at all all of our pigs
each year are pretty tame we spend a lot of time with them and I’ve never had one
that acted aggressive towards me and I’d like to think that they liked me I don’t
think that they don’t want to go up the ramp because they don’t trust me I think
they knew we wanted them to do it and they
refused to go along with our plan the ramp was new the pigs don’t trust new
things so this year we’re gonna take a little bit of a different approach and
give the pigs a chance to get used to the trailer and the ramp a few days
before it’s time to go after taking the pigs last year the ramp was removed and
put away this year we’re gonna use that same ramp and first things first get it
put into place the ramp has been stored off in a corner for the last year and of
course snow has drifted in around it getting it out might be a bit of a
challenge with the ramp recovered vennett’s off to
the pig shed and we can put it in place last year after loading the pigs we not
only removed the ramp but we covered the hole with some wood which we’re gonna
have to remove pigs have access to this side of their pens so we need to limit
their movement for a little bit so we cover up a hole in between the two sides
and secure a 4×8 sheet of particle board in place this will keep them from
escaping while we get the ramp up the wood we covered the hole with is now
frozen into the ice around the building but that’s quickly dealt with and then
the ramp can be moved into position with the pigs still on the other side we
can now go and get a trailer for them to get to used to this little box contains
a tool that I like to bring out occasionally and use on my trailers this
is a light Ranger it contains a 12-volt battery it can be used to simulate all
the trailer lights and trailer brakes and allow you to perform all the testing
functions without the use of a truck today we’re going to use it to test the
lights on the trailer that will be hauling pigs with and backing up to the
chute for the next few days the process is very simple you plug in the wiring
harness you turn it on and then you select a function that you want to test
if there’s a problem you now know it’s completely isolated to the trailer and
not the wiring on the truck end but today all looks good and the truck could
come in and bring this trailer to its new parking spot vacuum the trailer up
to the chute is a bit tricky the chute is not attached and once it’s attached
to the trailer then we can adjust the fit something else that is an attached
namor is the piece of particleboard we use to keep the pigs out of the chute
side of their pen and now here they are already investigating the chute but none
brave enough to escape completely thankfully because I don’t want to be
out chasing a pig around today with the pigs pushed back we can lift the chute
into place logging it over the lip on the back of the trailer and then wiggle
it around a bit to get it in place where we want it
before we move pigs into the trailer or at least try to let’s weigh one in order
to weigh these guys we’re gonna use a portable scale that’s good up to about
600 pounds using our old gate as a pace we can bring in a cage that’ll keep the
pigs on the scale leaving them alone with it for a little bit to let them get
used to it then we can bring in the scale base and
move a peg up on to it now we’re aiming for about 250 pounds for the pigs to go
to butcher app in this group some are bigger some are a little smaller an
average-sized volunteer does step forward and into the box and the final
results are in almost perfect with the way incomplete it’s on to the final
round and that’s opening up the trailer for these guys to move into in order to
make it a bit more homey we’re gonna move their water into the
trailer and then we’re gonna get some bread and try to coax them in just a
little bit surprisingly this group isn’t shy and
it’s not long before we have over half the group up and in the trailer now some
do hang back but it looks like we might have found a smarter way to do this work
smarter not harder with the pigs get used to their trailer it won’t be long
until we’re gonna be taking them over to Sturgis for their final ride then there
will thank them for everything that they’ve done for the ranch and
everything they’re going to continue to do over the next coming months for not
only us but for hundreds of customers we’re gonna enjoy ham bacon and more
we’ll even try to work smarter when it comes to getting them off the trailer as
we’ve gotten a few suggestions for how we can do that but for now they’re gonna
get to live it up the next project list will be their send-off and I hope that
you can subscribe and join us as the circle of life continues here on the
ranch new piglets will arrive soon along with all the new personalities and of
course new squeals that that brings along with it I hope you can join us on
Thursday for another ranch Talk livestream this week with special guest
zach johnson the minnesota millennial farmer will be joining us right here you
can get check him out on youtube he is also on facebook and instagram he’ll be
joining us Thursday at 7 p.m. mountain time ranch talk live right here on
YouTube that’s it for us today pigs are pretty much ready to go and everything
went pretty smoothly I’d like to remind you to check out to head on over to our
Wyoming and check out our website you can you can get high sign up
for the herd report but you can also check out the owl store where we have a
brand new apparel available with the new logo and it’s some pretty cool stuff
I’ll see you on Thursday but until then have a great week and
thanks for joining us Wyoming life

100 Replies to “Getting Pigs Ready to go to Market

  1. Growing up on the farm, my father raised hogs for 40 years. And he almost always tried to set the trailer for the hogs the day before to make loading them easier.


  3. Hi Mike, I know about pig's getting out when you're milking cows and you look up and a 200 pound pig is looking at you. It came all the way across the farmstead in the back door. Walked over and 5 we're missing and took 4 hours to find them and get them in. Looks like maple seasons going to be a wash this year. I fell 2 weeks after surgery and did more damage so I have to use a walker to get around. Under the knife again that sucks to loose a season. Unless I can start growing in August there goes Vegetable season. But anyways it was a great video!!!! Thank you

  4. Great video! I think Dr Temple Grandin might have some ideas that could help with pig and cattle handling. You could YouTube search and find her material.

  5. I used to feed my pigs by rattling a bucket of grain or pig feed and calling them. Pig, pig, pig! If they ever got out they always came at the sound of a bucket and me calling them. Follow me inside the pen to the food trough. Cows too. LoL

  6. One thing that never changes with pigs. They can be a real pain in the ham! We raised our own pigs for meat when I was a kid they were all the time getting loose and then we would have to round them up and fix the fence and then wait until the next time they decided to wander off. Always better meat than what was bought from the store but it was a lot of work getting them that far!

  7. If your going to store it outside you should put it on a pallet and maybe paint it to help it from the weather

  8. Jim Heriot in one of his books says that they gave a sow enough beer to get her tipsy enough to calm her down to let her piglet nurse. Perhaps you night try something along those lines to get your pigs loaded up for market. Good Luck.

  9. Hi again! FOOD works every time!! It's the Great Motivator! They looked delicious especially those boneless chops with teriyaki and of course grilled! Lol ! You did a nice job Mike! Til next time…

  10. Hi Mike , Leg ham off the bone YUMMMMM I wish I could get my hands on some of your produce do you make and sell your beek jerky ? If so I would happily pay if you dont mind sending it down to Australia. Cheers

  11. Another great episode, that worked pretty well, letting the pigs think it was their idea to go into the trailer

  12. Another awesome video Mike, Hopefully, that spring blizzard will be cleared out before you have to take the pigs to Sturges. Drive careful, good luck with the unloading, see you again real soon.

  13. I hauled a few thousand of those pigs back in the day. Sounds like you learned quickly how to get them loaded without breaking your back or anything else‼️ Take care and thanks for showing some of the ranch life‼️❤️

  14. Great loading plan. You will definitely need more space as the market business grows. One day you'll be picking up bulk orders in a grain trailer. No more bags. An old eze go grain cart would do the job with a good cover. It could dump right into the feed bunk. Saves the back on bags.

  15. My family has raised hogs my whole life and one thing I’ve learned is that even the slightest lighting change can scare them. The brightness of the sunlight compared to in the shed might have been the problem, try to put a tarp up if you have more problems, it could help.

  16. Good video and I love sausage and bacon as much as the next guy but those pigs are cute, now seeing that Zach is coming on ranch talk I might watch that

  17. Mike,flat boards help out, what they cant see they willnt try to go threw😉. Waiting for tonight. What instore? Who knows,that's what so great😂. Hope yall are staying warm.

  18. Mike the sweep and chute that works the cattle is the same idea and works fine for the hogs just narrow the chute so they can not turn around

  19. Mike the videos are great. Keep them rolling. You are in a very different climate than me so it's very interesting to see your challenges.

  20. Great instructional video on how you do things. I really enjoyed this video. A plus in many of your videos are the products you use, such as the Light Ranger tool and the portable scale. Thanks!

  21. Workin' smarter, not harder — a good approach for all of us! (Doncha wish pigs came with handles so you could just grab 'em and toss 'em into the trailer.)

  22. I saw this video featuring Greg Judy talking about cow size and grass management and I thought of you. It was a fascinating clip

  23. I used to use a pig board on my parents hog farm. They are really easy to make if you have some ply and cut a few handles, and they will make your life really easy.

  24. we watched my dad, grandpa, and older brothers chase our pigs around for about an hour. then my grandmother steps into the pig pen with a stick the size of her thumb and about 4 feet long she starts tapping the pigs on their snouts and shoulders and back them up the ramp in to the waiting truck in about 5 minutes. my grandmother smiled at my dad and said I told to wait and I would help!!! Grandma was a very small pitete woman, that most people under estimated.

  25. Their time should not be 'coming to an end'. They never should have been born in the first place. Find a new career, honey.

  26. This is not the circle of life lol This is the circle of death. Predators are not ending these animals' lives- you are.

  27. Mike always seems to be "visiting his friends" ranch….like he came from his city office job to assist there for a few weeks while his friend is away – such a gentle touch to him with animals and machinery and always clean jeans for sure avoiding breaking a nail……lol…..he can`t be from a ranch or farm originally…..or I might be wrong……great voice and good at narrating for sure 👍👍👍

  28. I grew up on a farm, I sometimes miss it! I still live in the country, just not on a farm.
    I loved when it was time to take the animals to auction! Not because we were selling the animals it was just a great atmosphere in general.
    I had been chased down many times by the cows, I didn’t have that “pet” attachment that some have. Or chopping a hole in the pond for their water and then chasing you across the pond, hearing the ice crack around you…. I have never been mean to any animals, I think they could sense my fear. I do not miss any of that! Yes, I am old and that how we did it in the “back, back” days, as my children say, haha!

  29. Im a butcher/processor in south west ND. We are not usda but we are no different from others. During my time there, i hate dealing with pigs and I know how you feel when moving pigs around. It can be a hassle and time consuming. Im glad everything worked out for yall.

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