Gestation Calendar 10/18/2019 Breed Today for Feb 09 Litters


Now that your Pig is HOME! Part 1

First of all, thank you to everyone who has or is planning on purchasing a show pig from Shaffer’s Gold Rush. We really appreciate your time and business with us!

I am going to start a weekly series, Now that your Pig is HOME, to help guide you on the training of your show pigs and preparing them for the show.


As spring is coming around and the weather is warming up, it is VERY IMPORTANT to be getting your pig out in the yard! It is never too early to start walking and training your pig. Obviously, your pig will not be trained by day one. They are either going to run everywhere or not move at all! This is why it is crucial to get your pig out now, while you weigh more than your pig! The pig is still small enough that you can handle them. If you wait until your pig is 200 pounds or more, you are only setting yourself up for frustration and failure.

Here are the steps that you need to be working on this week/weekend. Getting your pig out of the barn, allowing them to get used to the being in the yard, and getting back into their pen in the barn. Although, this may seem pretty simple, sometimes this is the hardest part of training your animal. Again, very very important that we start this NOW, TODAY, not tomorrow! When getting your pig out of the pen for the first few times, I strongly recommend that you have a helper with you. Someone needs to have a herder board and help guide the pig towards the door. If the pig wants to turn and run back in, gently use the board to push them outside, then shut the door behind you, if possible. **This will require A LOT of patience, remember your pig is simply scared. There is no need to get angry or upset at the pig. It will only be like this for a week at the maximum, so the more you get them out, the better they will be at walking out.

Once you have maneuvered the pig to the yard (it is best to walk on grass, avoid rocks and gravel) just let them do their thing for a few minutes. Let them get comfortable in this new place and sniff and smell around. This may sound silly, but sometimes it is very helpful to have a dog or cat out in the yard with them. Once the pig appears comfortable, start tapping it with your show utensil. This is just to get them familiar with your whip or pipe, don’t worry if they are not responding well.  There is no need to be overly aggressive with your pig at this point.  You have a couple months until the show, that is why we are getting the pigs out now so we can teach them a little at a time. Let them roam your yard a little while longer, but try not to let them root or dig up your yard.

Now the hard part! Getting back to the barn! Again have at least one other person help you by using a herder board. ** Remember staying calm is key, this can be frustrating. Gently guide the pig towards the barn. Stay low to the ground, in case the pigs tries to turn around. Using your arms and hands to guide the pig is best, not your feet and legs. Taking your time is key, if you try to push your hog too far, too fast it may overheat or possibly stress. Remember it is easier to do this while the pig is small, so you are stronger them and can push them in the barn if needed. Once the pig is back in the pen, reward it with food or love!

The key is to make the first couple of outings enjoyable for the pig, so it will want to return outside! You need to repeat this process daily if possible. It may take a week before the pig will walk in and out of the barn on its own.

As always, feel free to call with any questions that you may have!  888-690-2022

Be looking back here at the blog for Part 2 in Now that your Pig is HOME!

Lynsee 🙂

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  1. Emma
    Posted April 12, 2013 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    This is my second year showing at 4h I love my pigs esp my York miss Kay. Me and my mom are going to start using your information.thank yoo

    • Lynsee
      Posted April 12, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      That is great! I will be adding information weekly. If there is anything that you need or questions along the way that are not covered in the series, just call and let me know.

      PS – I love the name Miss Kay 🙂


  2. Elaine
    Posted April 19, 2013 at 4:56 am | Permalink

    I like your blog. I have 3 granddaughters in 4H showing pigs. I will be sharing your blog with them. It is good for them to learn from someone who knows what they are doing. Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge with all of us.

  3. Angie
    Posted December 23, 2015 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    I have just recently gotten some feeder pigs that are a mix breed, which I understand is not ok for showing. I am out there daily, walking with my pick stick to train them to walk with me and I am wondered if there is a harness that I should also use when teaching them to walk. I love the information you have given here in this series, it has been very helpful. Thank you for your time and expertise and sharing it!

  4. Khristine
    Posted January 6, 2016 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    Thank you so much for all this information. My girls are raising show hogs with FFA at school and their adviser doesn’t give them much information. I will not only be sharing this with my girls but with the other hog kids as well.

  5. Amanda Carruthers
    Posted February 22, 2017 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    Do you have any suggestions for a pig that likes to run away. We can never get close enough to use the pig whip on her. If we kneel down she will come up to us but the second we stand up she is off and running again. We have had her for 4 months now.

    • Posted February 22, 2017 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      There are some pigs that really like to run and once they learn that they can, they want to all of the time. What I suggest if possible, make a small area out of gates or even in a pen in the barn. An area where she can not run far away. Start working with her that way. Let her know that you she can’t run or do not give her the option.

      Another suggestion is to let her run her energy off first. If you have an area that you can turn her out and let her run around/burn off energy and then start working with once she starts to wear down. Once she starts to get tired, you can slowly start to work with her on introducing the show stick, and start working on what to do. This is something that will just take time. Be careful that she doesn’t get too tired/hot on you either. We had several pigs that were very high energy. We had a long stretch of grass by a pasture field that we used to walk our pigs down. If they ran down this stretch or back to the barn, we would make them walk it again until they didn’t run. However they started to tire down/get hot we would stop and let them relax. Some we fixed the running problem in a few days and we others that seemed to always run. What we did at shows with those is give them a good walk the morning of show to help them release their energy.

      Something we did too was have something with a herder board or some type of gate, stay in front of the pig to let them know they could not run. The person out front gets a pretty good work out but it is another method to try.

      Pigs are kind of like dogs, you have to let them know that you are the boss, if not they will do what they want. Some are more strong willed and harder to train than others and you may have to get creative when you have one that will not follow the rule book. Since she does come to you when you kneel down, try giving her treats of some kind like marshmellows or jelly beans. That way she is associating you with goodies. As you are walking her, stop and give her treats to help stop with the running. I even know people who put a marshmellow on the end of the whip to get the pig used to it and wanting to stay beside it.

      Good Luck!

  6. Jennifer Annell
    Posted May 24, 2018 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    if you don’t have a fenced yard will yoru pig run away

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