If you live in a wide open landscape, spotting pigs should not be hard, since they prefer to be in open areas. If you notice your pig is gone and cannot see it, simply keep your ears open for any pig noises in the vicinity, and scan open areas. A runaway pig won't be hard to find. If the pigs lives in an enclosed area, you can use treats to lure the animal back to its pen. Use treats or food that the pig will love and set up a small trail for it to follow back into its living area.
If the pig is too far away, you may have to tie it up. Begin with the treats, and as it is distracted, rope it immediately. You can simply wrap the rope around the pig's neck, but make sure it is not too tight. Or you can hog tie the pig, a harder feat to accomplish when alone, but it can be done. If at all possible, have a friend or family member help you with this, since you're going to come across a fair amount of resistance. And although domestic pigs are not dangerous, you'll be placing yourself in some danger as the pig will do whatever possible to escape. The purpose of the hog tie is to carry the pig by the rope, and it should only be done if you can carry the pig.
If you choose to go with the hog-tie route, take the pig once it is distracted and place your arm around the pig's neck. Use your lower body to kick the pig's feet from under it and roll it on its back. This is where you're going to bunch together the pig's feet, and this can be a tricky accomplishment. Position all of the pig's ankles over the belly. Wrap the rope around the pig's ankles, and perform a square knot by crossing the loose ends of the rope and cross together. Repeat the crossing one more time, with the both ends of the rope being on the same side. As you're wrapping the pig, be sure to leave at least 8 to 10 inches of rope room.
From here, the pig will have no choice but to submit.
Save Yourself the Trouble: Prevention
But if you're looking for preventive ways to prevent pig runaways, the first thing to do is to ensure it has plenty of space. Pigs will try to escape if feeling too enclosed. Be sure there is plenty of access to water and food. Make sure its living quarters are suitable for swine in the area.
And if you have a pet pig, try using a harness. It is not only a good choice in guiding your pig outdoors, but it will also be essential in capturing your pet when it escapes. In the case of the pet pig, distract the pig with treats, and attach a leash to the harness when it is distracted. For pigs foraging on open fields, heavy duty fencing is required, and sheep netting can be added to prevent them from slipping through any gaps.
With electric fencing, it may be a drain on your power source, and you'll have to train the pig extensively in avoiding it.
Stay tuned for my next articles on fencing in your pigs the safe way.