HOW TO CLIP A PIG
Getting a pig ready for show will take a lot of work and coordination! Besides having the right equipment, the right timing, help and patience will be key in your success! Follow the steps below to have a great start.
Show Requirements: Before clipping your pig, be sure to read the show requirements on hair length. All shows will state the minimum lengths of hair. Shaving off all of the hair may cost you a fine or disqualification.
Step 1: Clipping Preparation
Clip At Home – Clipping your pig should be accomplished at home when you have plenty of time. This is no time for a rush job! Your pig should be more relaxed in the home environment.
Wash your pig & Condition the skin. This will help the clipping process and protect the skin. Even if you don’t think that they have enough hair to make a difference, they do and washing and conditioning will help. Skin conditioners on a clean pig will make a huge difference in your clipping. Never clip a muddy pig. Keep your pig clean 4 weeks before the show to keep the skin in good condition.
Feed Your Pig – It’s easier to clip the pigs after they have eaten a meal. With their tummy full, they are more likely to lay down and relax. This makes clipping a much easier task. The snare can be used, but it causes more stress and noise than its worth. Feed them, let them relax and clip away!
Even though the pigs do not look like they have enough hair to clip, you will be surprised how cleaned up they look. It really makes a difference. Clipping is crucial to make your pig looks its best. Clipping will make them look like a show pig and give them the presentation that will appeal to the judge on show day. They are not to be clipped bald. They should have some hair. The blunt truth for this rule is: The processors need at least a quarter inch of hair to properly process the pig. Without the hair, the pig will manually have to be processed and you are likely to be fined for the extra labor. Besides show styles, this is the real reason “slick shearing swine is not allowed”.
Step 2: Tools Required
Small or Medium Sized Clippers & Extension Cord
Blade Oil and Clipper Coolant
Clipper Blades in 3/4” and ½” lengths. Using standard blade with guards can be a problem as they take too many passes to get all the hairs, but use what you have available to get the correct cut. Refer to Clippers 101 for more specific information on clipper styles and blades or this blade conversion table. Each brand of clipper uses different blade measurements and this chart will help you purchase the correct length blade.
Step 3: The Process of Clipping
The order of clipping should be back to front, starting with the top, then the sides, and finish with the neck and face and legs. Keep the blade flat to the surface and clip against the hair and don’t gouge or dig the blade into the skin. Pig skin is sensitive and will scratch easily from the blades. The goal is to cut and blend all of the hair evenly. It’s easier said than done, but keep working at it! Here are a few techniques to use.
Clipping Techniques: Begin clipping your pig by running the blades against the hair growth. To avoid leaving clipper tracks and uneven patches in the hair, use your free hand to stretch the skin slightly as the blade runs against the direction of hair growth. Clipping in the direction of the hair grown will cut the hair at a longer length. Clean out the cut hair from the blades and lubricate the blades every 5 minutes or as they begin to heat up.
Top Side – with 3/4” blade, clip the top. Once the top is done, move to one side at a time moving from the hind leg (ham) to the shoulder. Note: When using guards, more than one pass may be required to cut all of the hair. Keep the pig relaxed with a few scratches on the belly.
Neck Area – With 3/4” blade, continue to blend the body hair into the neck.
Face Area – With ½” blade, clip the face, jaw, and jowl areas. Back dragging is another method of clipping the face where you flip the clippers over and drag the tip of the blade against the hair. It creates a longer cut.
Final Touches – Be prepared to go over your pig a few more times to catch hairs missed and the transition areas around the creases of the neck and leg areas. Also, always keep your pig clean and brushed like a champion!
Conditioning the Skin after Clipping – Be sure to continue conditioning the skin after clipping.