Never pick a piglet up by its ears or tail.  This is most painful and will make the piglet very wary of being pickup up at all in the future.

Never chase or frighten piglets before picking them up as this will only upset them and can cause severe distress and difficulty in breathing.

Do not tease the pig or this will make it increasingly aggressive.



Always pick up a piglet as you would a human baby, gather it up with two hands around its body and hold it firmly in your arms or even under one arm—if you don’t hold it close to you it will struggle, become very excited and may fall to the floor and hurt itself.

When handling any age of pig, always remember to make use of your voice—pigs soon get used to their owner’s voice and will respond accordingly.

The best way to get your pig’s attention is to offer it some food.  A pig will always come for food and then you can pick it up or direct it into a pen or put on its collar and lead.


Moving pigs

Be prepared and consider all the possible escape routes before starting to move the pig.  Pigs can run very fast.  When moving the pig, the best way is to train the pig to come to voice.  Use a pig board to help direct its head.  When you transport the pig, ensure the pig can enter and leave the vehicle easily, ideally without being physically picked up, or place it in a carrying crate and the move the whole crate.  It is best to train the pig to a harness, even from 3 weeks of age.  This makes moving and handling very easy.


Moving the pig by voice

Training the piglet to a harness

Handle the piglet as a baby

Handling the adult, support the rear of the pig in particular. Note pigs can be very heavy.

A pig board for directing the pig’s head

A modified car, front seat removed.

Collar and lead

The best type of collar is one that encircles the neck and the body just behind the front legs.  A broad, soft-leather or canvas band can be used with a lead that is about 10-20 feet long and has a hand loop for safety.



A bad tempered owner will nearly always produce a bad tempered or mentally disturbed pig—so make sure you handle your pet with consideration, don’t bully it, don’t scream at it and don’t use physical violence.  For the best results always remember to use Tender Loving Care (TLC).


Veterinary Handling

There will be times when the pig has to go to your veterinarian and it is of great assistance when the pig is trained to sit, lie down and even roll over.   However, there may be times when the veterinarian has to restrain the pig in order to carry out an examination.  These are often accompanied with great vocalization, which if the pig’s feet are being examined, may need ear protectors.  It is not that the pig is particularly suffering; it is letting you know it is not happy.


Restraint of the pig on its rear with a wall

Use your legs to keep the pig steady

With the client’s help, the pig can be restrained for routine examination

Restraint the pig on your own


Catch the pig

Left the pig using your legs to support its back

Lower the pig onto its back

Allow the pig to lie on its back.  Keep it restrained with your lower legs.

Reverse your position, keeping the pig restrained with your legs

Pictures from Dr A. Wilburs