Any advice for a newbies building thier first pig "pen"? - Homesteading Today
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  #1  
Old 03/21/05, 02:44 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 963
Any advice for a newbies building thier first pig "pen"?

We plan to get 2, possible 3 pigs this spring. I am trying to plan our pig pen and we are looking for adivice before we begin.

Thanks!

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  #2  
Old 03/21/05, 03:20 PM
romancemelisa's Avatar  
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: TX
Posts: 375
pig pen

i just built my first one, for my first 2 pigs. i wish i would have gone larger, ours is only 12x12, i'am going to have to expand it soon.

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  #3  
Old 03/21/05, 03:59 PM
dla dla is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Damascus, Maryland
Posts: 356

Here's my advice as a newbie who just sent off the first pig to the butcher:

* Listen to Uncle Will in In. for wisdom, common sense and the occaisional guffaw.

* Listen to Agmantoo for clear simple level-headed advice.

* Learn to look for Old Posts and just read old posts in general. You'll learn a lot. Sometimes you can ask a new question or a clarifying question on an old post and it becomes an even more valuable asset for everyone.

For instance, you'll find a lot of good pen layout ideas on a site recommended by (a fellow whose name I am sorry I can't remember!) on a question I asked about a farrowing pen.

Happy hog days!

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  #4  
Old 03/21/05, 06:21 PM
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Zone 7
Posts: 10,313

Can I assume that the soon to be purchased pigs are destined for the larder? If so, with Spring here and good weather ahead you really do not need a shelter as a 50 lb pig will be a hog prior to cold weather even in you area. Commit this to memory, a 50 lb. pig receiving 150 lbs of soy protein and 600 lbs. of corn will be a market hog in 115 days or less. Therefore, you can forecast the total costs of your market hog. You can alter this by substituting various feeds. Regardless, if you purchase the animals soon they should be ready for the processor prior to cold weather. Hogs do not tolerate cold weather without some shelter nor do they tolerate hot weather without a means of cooling themselves. Hogs do not sweat, that is why they have a bad reputation of wallowing in their own urine. Hogs, given the opportuntity are actually clean animals. Hogs are one of the few animals that will not crap in the area where they eat, again given the opportunity to have the choice. You can toilet train the hogs by placing, with a shovel, their dung in the area that you want to be the toilet. Initially when you get the pigs and while they are small feed them all they can eat free choice. The food to conversion is maximum while they are small. Later as the garden has surplus or spoiled vegetables move those to the hogs. By this time the pigs are no longer pigs and have grown into hogs. If you want to see a pig blossom into a hog quickly, source some cooking oil from a few restraurants and lace that on the other feed that you provide. It is phenomenal the rate of gain this will create. This did not answer the pig pen question other than you really do not need one, you just need a lot/fence that will contain the pigs if you are going to butcher them.

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  #5  
Old 03/22/05, 06:49 AM
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Ky
Posts: 851

the pigs are going to think it is fun to tear it apart. My next planned pig pen will have a foundation and two feet of block before there is ANY wood on the walls or fiberglass translucent roofing panels.

Sunlight kills a whole host of fungi and bacteria that might otherwise cause pneumonia. Cold requires more calories to endure. You need something that can retain heat in the cold, vent heat when it's hot, be bone dry in the rain

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  #6  
Old 03/22/05, 10:03 AM
Also known as Jean
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: MISSOURI
Posts: 1,427

Make the pen more escape proof than you think it needs to be. They are very good at escaping.

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  #7  
Old 03/24/05, 05:48 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: NY
Posts: 3

This is our fourth year raising pigs (3-5 a year) and my wife said she didn't want them again unless we could build an escape proof pen. She is the one who is usually here when they escape. We had tried everything in the past from purchased fencing to electric fence with varying degrees of success. Since we have plenty of woods, I spent a weekend with my brother cutting down pines about 8-12 inches in diameter and made a sort of log cabin fence. It is five sided, each side about 14 feet long 5 courses high and there are spaces in between the logs of only a few inches. It took only two days to make and the three pigs we have this year are yet to escape from it. They are almost butchering size but the logs are too heavy for them to lift up out of the interlocking corners.

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  #8  
Old 03/25/05, 06:15 PM
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: New York
Posts: 98

One word; electricity. I had a hard time getting them to a new spot after the fence was gone. They knew where that line was and they were loathe to cross it.

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  #9  
Old 03/27/05, 05:11 PM
BDB BDB is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: CT for now
Posts: 104

i used pallets nailed together for pigpens over the years never had a pig escape from them and there cheap to build pallets you can get for free most places will give em to you just put a runin in one corner so they can get out of the sun and rain
never had much luck with electric fence the pigs tested it all the time and if you had a power outage the pigs went right through it I always had yorkshires maybe some of the other breeds respond to it beter
good luck with your pen and pigs

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  #10  
Old 03/27/05, 08:52 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,278

Electric fence, properly installed is the way to go.

I had a deer run through my electric fence one saturday night, slept in the next morning, then went to church. Came home around noon, and my pigs were all still in their pen.

I really believe that anyone who has experience problems with electirc fencing didn't install it properly.

Pete

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  #11  
Old 03/28/05, 12:42 AM
RoyalOaksRanch's Avatar
Royal Oaks Taxidermy
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: California
Posts: 843
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedneckPete
Electric fence, properly installed is the way to go.

I had a deer run through my electric fence one saturday night, slept in the next morning, then went to church. Came home around noon, and my pigs were all still in their pen.

I really believe that anyone who has experience problems with electirc fencing didn't install it properly.

Pete
Or perhaps the charge they were using wasnt hot enough? My grandma used to raised Yorkshires and durocs as a business.. And her pens were nothing but one strand of hot wire.. Lets just say her fencing was NOT something you wanted to accidentally brush up against..
I have a 5 miles charge box and a 100 mile charger box.. (THat one can be turned up or down) And let me tell you... You touch eitehr you KNOW it.. never mind those little boxes that "Tingle" these things smack you upside your head LOL I am a firm believer in hot wire.
And yes my pig area will have the hot wire around it Though it will be fenced to keep coyotes and dogs away...
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  #12  
Old 03/28/05, 05:08 AM
BDB BDB is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: CT for now
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I had no problems with my fence or installing it have cows and sheep on electric they never bother it but the pigs keep testing it and if its off or out they go through it
I use the thirty mile chargers there like the ones your talkin about royal they almost cause burns if you touch em

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Last edited by BDB; 03/28/05 at 05:14 AM.
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  #13  
Old 03/29/05, 08:39 AM
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Michigan
Posts: 50
pig fencing

I used those Hog Panels from tractor supply. I fastened them to cedar fence posts on the ends (they're 16 feet long) and metal "T-posts" every four feet in between the cedar posts. Had six pigs in there until they hit 275 - 300 lbs. each, then off to the butcher the went. Never had one escape. I did not use any electric fencing at all. Their shelter was nothing more than four corner posts with pallets nailed to them, then OSB (chipboard) nailed to the outside and roof. Rolled roofing on top and it was done. Good Luck!

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