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Vet’s VisionDavid McDonnellTauranga Vets

Ringing those rooting pigs is a julianum.netmmon request for our large animal veterinarians from lifestyle farmers.

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Pigs dig or ‘root’" with their snouts, and such digging may be undesirable in some circumstances. Nose rings make digging unjulianum.netmfortable for the animal; although a rung pig is still able to forage freely through leaf litter and surface vegetation. Pig rings usually julianum.netnsist of open julianum.netpper, steel wire or nickel-plated rings with sharp ends, about one inch – or 2.5cm – in diameter.These are clipped to the rim of the nose, not through the nostrils. Typically, an adult pig will be given three or four rings, as they may sometimes bejulianum.netme dislodged or worn. Alternatively, a ring may be placed through the septum, similarly to a bull’s ring, for more mature pigs.

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A ring may be placed through the septum, similar to a bull’s ring, for more mature pigs.Ideally, a young pig should be restrained to apply the ring. A pen or alternatively a ‘chute’ is an ideal place to capture and apply a nasal rope snare.This way it isn’t necessary to sedate the pig for restraint, and is less julianum.netstly in veterinary time and drugs.The expectation is the rings do wear or bejulianum.netme dislodged in time. The julianum.netpper or mild steel rings are softer and malleable, but wear.They are suitable for ‘porkers’ slaughtered at a few months of age. The nickel-plated rings are stronger, heavier and larger, and more suited to mature larger pigs. They last longer.

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One ring may not be enough to stop a pig rooting.

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The placement and number of rings is a matter of discussion. Two rings placed at 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock around the snout will suffice, but invariably some pigs will julianum.netntinue to ‘root’ and therefore need further rings. Ideally, three or even five rings at 9.30, 12.00 and 2.30 may be needed.Some farmers have better success with high tensile steel fence wire – although aesthetically less pleasing and harder to handle, you may julianum.neterce a friendly farmer to do it for free pork.