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Now that your Pig is HOME! Part 3

I hope to find everyone that has been reading the blog happy with the progression of their show pig!  If you are still having trouble training or have any questions please feel free to ask!

Now we are starting the third week of training and I would like to stress the importance of repetition.  Pigs like most of us, like to follow a daily routine.  I understand there is a lot going on for many of you with school, sports, band, work, and whatever else, but we need to make sure that we are still walking our pig daily!  This is to continue to train them for show day, plus to provide exercise.  Exercising daily will keep their joints loose so they will stay sound, increase appetite, and allow regular bowel movements.

Today we are going to start talking about the tricks of the trade.  Common questions we get are how do I keep my pigs head up, how do I keep the skin conditioned, and how do I build endurance?  If you can master these three things you will be ahead of the game!  The problem is too many showman start working on these things too late!  It is important to start all of this now.

How do I keep my pigs head up?

There are many ways you can accomplish this, and I think the best way is to do a combination of a couple of things.  First I would recommend that the feeder and the water are up off the ground. (Make sure the pig can easily access food and water though) Second, when you are walking your pig DO NOT let it dig in the yard.  Take your show utensil and tap the pig under the chin.  You may have to do this constantly in order to keep the head up. Again this is a repetition thing.  Third if you live next to a hay, grass, or bean field it helps to walk through that so the pig is forced to lift their up.  Last, some people put marshmallows at the end of their show utensil and use that to lead the pig with their head up.

How do I keep my pig’s skin condition looking fresh?

The key is to start early and keep the skin fresh the entire time.  It would be helpful for you to own either Sudden Impact or Revive; these are about the same products.  They are a no oil, skin conditioner.  All you need to do is shake the bottle, spray it on your pig, and brush it in.  This keeps the pig from getting dry skin and makes their hair look healthy and shiny.  You will be able to find this at any farm supply store.  If one of these products is too expensive for you that is just fine!  Buy cheap women’s hair conditioner, run water over your pig (away from its pen) then rub in the conditioner. However if this is what you do you MUST rinse it out!  Do not leave it on the pig or it will clog the pores and make things worse.  Also, just keeping your pig’s pen clean will help a ton.  You should rinse your pig off every day, unless it is cold in your barn, but only use soap about twice a week.  You can take a brush and water and clean off most stains if you stay on top of it.

How do I build endurance in my pig?

Having endurance built up in your pig is the easiest way to win showmanship and do well in placing classes.  I will talk more about endurance in the next blog but for now here is what you need to have on your mind.  At the show you will get your hog up and ready about two classes before yours (10 mins), you will walk to the holding pen be in there for probably 5 minutes, showing your pig takes about 10 minutes and then if you win you will have to do the process over again, not to mention if you’re going to do showmanship.  So that is a LONG time you need to be prepared.  By the time your show comes your pig needs to be able to walk at least 25-30 minutes without getting tired!  Today your pig needs to be in the 5-10 minute mark. *This is without getting tired and/or stubborn.

I can’t stress enough how important it is that you get your pig out as much as possible, and continue to work on going a little farther each time and work with teaching them how to respond to the show utensil.

 

Just as a fun note: For those of you in the surrounding area this is the first weekend of the Indiana Junior Swine Circuit!!  Four shows will be held this weekend in Richmond, In.  Friday night, two on Saturday, and one on Sunday!  This is a great way to get your hog some show ring experience and see where you compare to other hogs.  Here is the link to the IJSC website for more information.  www.ijsc.org

 

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Now that your Pig is HOME! The Importance of Water

We all know how important water is.  It is the most essential nutrient to any living being.  Without water we would not be able to grow, develop and survive.  Water plays an important role for your pig.  It helps with the digestion and movement of nutrients through the body as well as acts as an agent to help maintain body temperature.  Over 50% of your pig’s weight
is water as well.  That is why sometimes when you take your pigs to weigh in, they weigh less than what they weighed at home.

Fresh Water

Fresh Water

We get several questions throughout of the year where pigs just are not growing like they should and more times than not, not getting enough water turns out to be the culprit.
Most of the time, we do not even realize our pigs are not getting enough water until it is too late.  Today, we are going to talk about helpful tips to make sure that your pigs are getting
all of the water they need.

Your pigs need to have access to a cool, fresh supply of water.  It doesn’t matter if you use nipple waters, bowl waters, trough waters, etc.  As long as the water is fresh and cool and your pig has access to it, you should be good.  If your pig is not getting enough water, they will in return eat less, grow slower, and just not perform as well.  This could mean not making weight and not allowing your pig to reach it’s true potential.

Here are few things we suggest you check on and watch throughout the summer to ensure your pig is getting enough to drink.

Most of us know to check on these:

  1. Is the water warm?  This can be a big problem in the summer.  Do you run your water across your yard to get into the barn/pens?  This is a case in many barns there were converted to house 4-H pigs.  If the hose is setting out in the sun, the water will be warm and your pigs will not drink as much.  We suggest that you cover the hose with
    something or bury it if at all possible.  This can also happen if the hose is ran directly along the roof of your barn against a metal roof.  You can just offset of the water line/hose to help with this problem.
  2. Using bulk water tanks – these are great to use if you do not access or ability to put in permanent waters.  Check and make sure the water does not become stagnate and smelly.  Just like cattle tanks, these can start to grown algae and water become stale.

These are things that can get overlooked

  1. Does your pig know how to drink out of the water?   We have this happen to us sometimes.  We have bowl waters in our nursery and grower.  When we move pigs to our show barn we have a nipple waters.  Every once in a while we will have a pig that will not know how to drink out of the different waters.  With some patience and working with the pig, you can teach your pig.
    1. This is also true for when you go to your county fair.  At most fairs, you have to bucket water your pigs.  There are some pigs that do not know how to do this.  We suggest that a few weeks before the show to start them drinking out of a bucket.  This will make fair week a lot easier.  Also, sometimes the water tastes different to the pig and that could cause them to not drink it.  There are many tricks to help reduce the taste difference.  You can use gatorade, lemonade, or any flavor to mix in the drink to give it a different taste.  Feed companies also sell a variety of additives to add to your water as well.2.
  2. Is the nipple/bowl water plugged?  Sometimes the nipple can become clogged or stops working.  This doesn’t allow for a big enough stream of water to come out.  The pig is rinking, but they are just not drinking enough.  We suggest testing the waters weekly to make sure that everything is in working order.
Checking water pressure on a nipple water

Checking water pressure on a nipple water

The amount of water that is required for each pig changes depending on the environment, age of the pig, their diets, and how much you’re exercising them.  That is why we suggest
to have pigs on full water.  That way the getting what they need.  We do suggest that you use some kind of nipple, bowl, trough, or bulk water.  If at all possible, we suggest that do you do not water out of a pan because pigs tend to flip and play in these a lot, causing your pig to not get enough water.

In conclusion, your pigs need fresh, cool water.  If you wouldn’t drink the water, don’t expect your pigs to!

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Now that your Pig is HOME! Part 2

After a week of your show pig learning how to walk in and out of the barn and is comfortable in the yard, you can begin to work them a little more.  The next step is to teach
them how to turn and walk by using only your show utensil.  Just like before, it will not be easy the first day you try this.

** Try to use the whip or pipe that you will show with.  Pigs like a consistent routine, so if you start with a whip use it the whole time.  A pipe and a whip feel different than each other.  Also, remain calm and just have fun with your pig in the yard.  We still have plenty of time before the show so if your pig is being stubborn, keep a herder board out in the yard with you to help.  The more your pig is out the better it will behave.

Once the pig is out in the yard practice walking your pig straight.  When we tap our pig on the side or belly that means walk straight.  So while your pig is walking, start tapping it on the side to signify straight.  If your pig tries to turn tap the neck and make it stay straight.  If you start letting your pig do whatever it wants now, that behavior will be hard to correct later.  Like training a puppy, be sure to let the pig know you are in charge.

If you want your pig to turn you will tap the cheek or neck of the pig.  Directly under the ear is the best.  If you want your pig to turn right, tap your pig on the left.  If you
want your pig to turn left, tap your pig on the right.

A good question I get is: how hard do I need to tap my pig?  You need to be forceful enough that the pig gets the message that it needs to turn without bruising or hurting your pigs.  Just a ‘tap’ will not be enough in the beginning of training.  It is just like shaking hands with someone.  Too weak of a grip doesn’t give you a good impression.  Too hard of a grip can hurt the other person.  A firm grip is just right!  It you are barely touching the pig, it will never understand and if you get mad and “beat” it then the pig will not enjoy walking and actually be harder to train.  Just a few firm taps under the ear will send the message to turn.

Continue to do this daily and try to take your pig a little farther every time it is out.

The photo below is a picture of me in the process of training a boar pig for the summer.  You could say this is an action shot!  But for those of you that are new to showing, pay attention to where my pipe is, just under his ear.  This is me teaching him to turn left.  I used a pipe, but a whip will work fine too.

At this time we are still not ready for showmanship or ready to go into the ring, we are simply starting to train our pig and exercise them.  If anything getting your pig out
daily to exercise will help keep their joints loose and increase their appetite.

I want to make one last note: Although, I say it is important to get your pig out daily that is if weather permits.

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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.

PART 1:

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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Preparing Pigs for the Shaffer Goldrush Customer Appreciation Sale

Every year on the 2nd Saturday of March we hold our annual Shaffer Goldrush Customer Appreciation Sale!  It is in Richmond, IN at the Wayne County Fairgrounds.

This year the Shaffer Goldrush Customer Appreciation Sale is being held on March 9th, 2013!  We hope to see you there!

This is a great event to market December and early January show pigs that are sired by Goldrush boars!  We try our best to advertise the event and cosigners who are bringing pigs to the sale.  We do this by listing the cosigners along with what they may potentially bring to the sale on our website and our facebook page.  We also encourage cosigners to upload pictures of the pigs they are bringing to sale to our facebook page.  We can point potential customers and buyers to the sale to these pages.

Whether this is your first time bringing pigs to a sale or 100th time, it is always a good thing and get your name out in the industry.  That is our goal is to help not only sell your pigs at the sale but also get your name out in the show pig world to help you market the pigs that you have at home!

When preparing pigs to come to the Customer Appreciation Sale here are some tips to help make your experience enjoyable and profitable.

1.  Separate pigs out that you are planning on bringing to the sale — We suggest a few weeks before the sale that you separate the pigs you are planning on bringing into another pen.  This is for several of reasons – 1.  Pen space is limited at sales and generally you get 1 or 2 pens depending on the number of pigs that you bring.  If you are bringing pigs from different litter or pens this allows enough time for the pigs to get used to get each and they will not be fighting at the sale.  2.  You can start dialing in on these guys and working with them.

2. Clip the pigs — Trim the pigs up to make them presentable to the potential buyers.  You do not have to clip them tight, but trim up the hair on their heads and any long hair on their bodies.  We suggest doing this a week or so before the sale because baby pigs are not the easiest to clip!

3.  Keep their pens clean — Keep their pens clean and dry.  We all know that baby pigs love to play in their feed and water and keeping their pens clean can be a challenge.  However try your best.  This helps keep their skin and hair looking healthy.

4.  Spend time with the pigs — I know that this sounds silly but take time to sit in the pen with the pigs.  Brush them down daily, pet them, and get them used to you.  This helps when you are at the sale and you are getting them ready at the sale.  It also is easier for people to look at the pigs in the pens and in the aisle way during the sale.

5.  Condition their skin — Start brushing and working on their skin before the sale.  This gives them the pigs that healthy glow and shine.  We use Sudden Impact or like products  to work on keeping their hair and skin looking good.

6.  Have the pigs practice drinking — Know how you will be watering the pigs at the sale.  If you will be having your pigs drink out of a bucket, start in advance making them drink out of a bucket at home.  If you are bringing a nipple waterer for them to drink out of, make sure they know how to use it.  Also, the water may taste different to the pigs.  If you are worried they will not drink the ‘new’ water, start mixing some electrolytes or flavoring in the water at home to get them used to the new flavor and mix it in with the water at the sale.

7.  Feed — Have the pigs on a high quality show feed to prepare them for the sale.  We suggest using a sale prep or like feed.  Talk to you local feed guy, give us a call, or someone who has attended the sale in the past to see what they suggest.  This helps give the pigs that bloomy look.  However don’t go too crazy, because sometimes this feed can cause their stool to be loose.

What to Bring to the Sale

1.  Paperwork for the Sale — For our sale, you will need to bring your original health paper and copies of the health papers.

2.  Shavings – We do not provide shavings for the sale so bring at least 1 bag per pen.  Also make sure you bring enough in case you need to change out shavings while you are there.

3.  Pen Cards — Make pen cards and signs about the pigs you are bringing to the sale to hang on your pen.  We recommend that you have the sire, dam, and date of birth of all of the pigs that you will be bringing to the sale.  We also suggest that you have pictures of the boar you used, picture of the dam, past champions you raised, and any other information that you may have that will help promote your pigs.

4.  Heat Lamps — You do not need to have these, but if your pigs are used to really warm environments then a heat lamp would be helpful during the night.  We do have the heat on in the building and keep it warm in there, however with doors opening and closing, it can get a little chilly at times on Friday night.

5.  Show Supplies — You do not need a lot of show supplies for the sale but a brush, spray bottle, easy clean (so you don’t have to wash them and the wash racks are outside!), and any kind of spray to add a shine to them.  Also throw a show whip or something to move the pigs up and down the aisle for customers to look at.

6.  Feed — Bring feed the pigs are used to bringing.  However we also suggest to bring another kinds of feed as well (ex. sow feed, grower feed, nursery feed, etc) in case the pigs do not want to eat when they get to the sale.  This way you have several different types of feeds to try.

Follow Up After the Sale

If you bring purebreds to sell at the sale, we suggest that you transfer the pigs to the new owners name as soon as we send them to you.  Also if you have individual registrations on the pigs before the sale, you can bring the registration paper signed to the sale and give it directly to the buyer.  We just like to make sure that everything gets done in a timely fashion.  It makes the buyers happy as well!

We are very excited for this excited for this effect and we hope that it is not only profitable for the cosigners but fun for the entire family!  As always, let us know if you have any questions!  Can’t wait to see you there!

 

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Online Sale #1 – Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Its that time of the year!  Show pigs time!  We are excited to announce that we are having our first online sale of 2013!

We will be selling these guys and gals on showpig.com , Tuesday, February 12, 2013!

We are offering 31 powerful December show pigs that are perfect for the World Pork Expo, NSR Summer Spectacular, jackpot shows, and early county fairs!  We believe that this is one of the best sets of pigs that we have ever put together!

You can view our entire line up by visiting the online sight here or check out the photos on our facebook page!

Here is a sneak peak of some of our entries!

Lot #5

19-13 Duroc Gilt

Sire:  Big Buck

Dam:  Hoosier x High Performance

DOB:  12/8/12

Lot #13

54-8 Yorkshire Gilt

Sire:  Security

Dam:  High Cotton x Full Size

DOB:  12/10/12


Lot #21

50-2 Hampshire Barrow

Sire:  Wimbledon

Dam:  Titanium

DOB:  12/3/12

 

Let us know if you have any questions!  You can call us at 888.690.2022 or you can email us at shaffer@shaffergoldrush.com!

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What a day at the Fort Worth gilt show!

Wow!  That is all that we can say!  We have been more than blessed with an awesome showing from Shaffer Goldrush offspring at the Fort Worth Stock Show Gilt show!  Congratulations to all of the breeders, exhibitors, their families, and everyone else who helped along the way!  We are extremely proud and excited for you!  All we can say is, what a day!

 

Bull Rider sired the Grand Champion Gilt Overall (Champion Duroc Gilt)!  She was bred by JJ Genetics and sold at Duncan.  I believe she was the 7th Overall Duroc Weanling Gilt!  Exhibited by Paxton Knies!

Capital Investment sired the Reserve Grand Champion Gilt Overall (Champion Hampshire gilt)!  She was bred by Diamond V Show Pigs!

Mile High sired the Champion Crossbred Gilt!  Shown by Jeremiah Gonzales.  Bred by Jacob Holland & Luke Pharr!

We will more updated information soon!

 

We hope that everyone is having a great week!  We are preparing to leave for Georgia to attend the NSR Winter Type Conference.  We hope to see you there!

 

Aimee

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Happy Friday 1/18/13!

We hope that everyone had a great week and has an even better weekend!

This has been a busy but random week here at Goldrush.  We are gearing up for our 9th annual Customer Appreciation Pig Sale.  It will be held on Saturday, March 9th at the Wayne County Fairgounds!  We will be posting the entry form very soon!  This year we will be having Brian Hines from Michigan in to sift the pigs and Kevin Wendt will there to auctioneer.  We are also excited to announce that this year we will have Karen Miller from Karen’s Kaptured Moments (KKM) there to take pictures!  We are very excited about this new addition to the Sale!  Hopefully taking pictures will go much smoother than in the past!

Bradley and I are also gearing up to head to Denver!  This will be our first time attending and we are really looking forward to it!  We have no clue what to expect but looking forward to seeing some really good hogs and cattle too!

Today we took some pictures of some of the mature boars that we have one stud.  Outside of it being cold outside, mature boars are alot easier to picture than the young guys who are still trying prove that they are boars and out t whip the world.

Here is a sneak peak of some of the pictures!

Platt Attack

Here is a picture of Platt Attack as a mature boar!  He is looking really good and doing an awesome job for us!

 

Capital One

Capital One is a Capital Investment son that we are very excited about!  He is a Capital Investment x Lug Nut bred by Delbert & Trevor Peters of Indiana.  He was their Indiana State Fair entry and injured right before the show so they were unable to show him.  He has came out of his injury and is doing a great job for us!

 

Happy Weekend Everyone!

 

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Online Breeding Certificates

We are excited to announce that the online breeding certifcate request form is here!  We have working hard on way to better help our customers and we feel that being able to request a breeding certificate form is one way that we could do just that!  You can request these any time of the day and from the convience of your home, office, phone, or where ever you are!  Our goal is to process these right away but please do allow us 3 business days.  If you need one done right away, just give us a call at the office and we will take care of that for you the same day!

Here is how to request the breeding certificate form.

1.  Go to our website

2. On the home page, scroll down until you see the Online Breeding Certificate banner

3. Click on it

4.  Fill out the information for the litter you have to register

5. Click submit

6.  We will recieve the information and send off what we need to the breed registry once the breeding certicate is paid in full.

It is just that simple!  Please let us know if you have any questions!

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Revolution -A Hampshire Sire

Revolution

(Point Taken x Home Grown)

Bred by Heimer Hampshires

Reserve Champion Hampshire Boar at the 2012 Fall Classic in Duncan, OK

 

We are extremely excited Revolution!  We feel that Revolution is one of the most unique and powerful Hampshire boars we have seen.  Revolution is stout made with a huge top and hip!  One the move, he is super sound structured.   We want to say Thank You to Jesse and his family for giving us the oportunity to own this great sire!

He has now been here about 2 months and he still looking great.  We can’t wait to see pigs out of him this summer!

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