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Great innovation to help pigs to fly.

Beneath The Wood Sanctuary Product

Designeering created a heavy-duty lift, allowing a heavyweight sounder of pigs to have their hooves trimmed. The lift was based on a modular design, with each pig being raised safely and at speed.

The rescue of the pigs

Originally set up for the lifelong care of dogs, sheep, cats, and horses, the Beneath The Wood Sanctuary was recently designated as the home for a herd of almost 100 pigs.

Having been rescued by the Pembrokeshire authorities, the pigs were deemed unfit for consumption and set for court destruction. To cut a story short, it was eventually decided that the pigs could be transported to their forever home.

A massive challenge

The pigs had been awfully neglected at the illegal slaughterhouse, with their condition having deteriorated hugely. Many were struggling to stand and walk, their hooves having been left to grow curved and uneven.

Sanctuary owner Sasha Bennet was extremely concerned, realising the immense challenge of giving a mass pig pedicure. The weight of the problem was particularly clear in the case of Gandalf, the biggest male pig, who measures 7ft in length and weighs over half a tonne.

Sharing expertise

Work began with a feasibility study, introducing a selection of concepts and design options. Following Sasha’s approval we were able to move forward with the creation of technical drawings and manufacturer specifications.

With over 25 years of experience in product and engineering design, Designeering were confident in the structural integrity of their design. However, we called on the support of structural engineers for the assurance of foolproof safety. An assessment of the pig lift and its heavyweight capacity was carried out, with the weight distribution and suitability of proposed metal sections being calculated.

The project was constrained both by the size of the pigs and the rather limited budget. Sourcing of a winch that could withstand the harsh environment would also prove a challenge. After extensive research, we were able to find a reputable manufacturer to team up with.

Further support was provided by metal suppliers, fabricators and manufacturers from Designeering’s network. Many provided their products and services at reduced rates and free of charge.

A unique vision realised

Designeering was able to produce a completely unique lift, allowing the pigs’ trotters to dangle for trimming.

Complete with steel sections, tubes and laser cut sheet metal fabrication, the pig lift sections were welded together for heavy-duty use. An interior chute would allow the lift to move up and down, with a padded central tube added for the resting of the pigs’ bellies. Four large modular tarpaulin foam pads could also be added, or removed, to accommodate pigs of different sizes.

Designed to make the hoof trimming process as simple as possible, the lift would allow each pig to be raised 750 mm from the ground in under a minute. With sufficient space for the handler, the pigs hooves could then be trimmed in between 10 and 15 minutes.
Delivered by Christmas, the lift would make a huge difference to the pigs comfort and wellbeing.

In the words of the client

Massive thanks to you Sébastien for finally making this pig lift a reality. Besides looking like an amazing shiny jewel, it means I’ll no longer have to wake in the middle of the night with another crazy idea of how I can safely lift a pig in the air to care for their feet.

The pig lift has met every expectation, being easy to operate and safe to use. I’m really amazed at what you were able to achieve with such a limited budget. This innovation is a massive improvement to pig care at the Sanctuary.

Thanks again for all of your hard work on this project, the countless hours, and also your help with facilitating discounts and free services from your network of suppliers.

Sasha Bennett, Director at Beneath The Wood Sanctuary

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