For some people, moving and handling pigs is a real challenge

On some farms, moving and handling pigs is a real challenge.

Why do pigs react the way they do? A common and frequently asked question.

People tend to focus on undesirable and difficult situations. LSSE not only looks at these undesirable and difficult situations, but also at the situations where things are going well when handling pigs!


Humans have the biggest influence on pig behavior. So always be aware of both cause and effect when you are handling pigs.

By nature, pigs are prey animals, and that is how they behave.

Any potential threat to a pig (moving, handling and/or grabbing by humans), can cause it to fight, flee or "freeze."

This is an instinctive, (natural) reaction. When handling pigs, it is important to avoid these reactions as much as possible.

Due to this prey animal behavior, they will immediately avoid any perceived threat and will also react to sudden noises, sudden movements and aggression. Often with behavior that can make handling them quite difficult in these situations.


While pigs have good vision, (330°) all around, forward they lack depth perception.

As a result, changes in surfaces and obstacles make pigs reluctant to walk forward. They often stop to investigate "new," unfamiliar things, surfaces and obstacles before moving forward. Again, this is completely normal pig behavior.


A skilled person handling pigs gives the animals time to explore new situations.

If you don't give pigs time to explore their surroundings and pressure them to move on, pigs become stressed and often huddle together.

This huddling is accompanied by high-pitched screaming noises and stuffy heavy breathing.

Stress is now a fact!


Source text Ronald Rongen, photo: Marga Fogt