favorite hog trough design

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by greenhorn, Jun 6, 2010.

  1. greenhorn

    greenhorn Well-Known Member

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    We are ready to turn the 4 little piggies out onto the pasture. I need to build a trough to hold their supplemental food and have seen a few designs to try, but thought I'd ask the experts!

    What I've read so far is a 55 gallon drum split lengthwise with "feet" of PVC pipe under the curve. The other contender is the v-shaped 2"X12"X4' with sides that both the end caps and the leveler.

    Other suggestions? I'm looking to keep this project <$40 :)

    Also, favorite containers for water? They flip all the tubs I've given do far, but I could try to weight them with large rocks outside??

    Thanks.
     
  2. highlands

    highlands Walter Jeffries Staff Member Supporter

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    The ground - cheap as it gets
    1/3rd barrels - cut down from plastic food grade 55 gallon drums - tough and cheap
    Rubbermaid troughs - bigger but a lot more expensive

    On the barrels I've tried cutting them both ways. I like best cutting them so they are a circle, getting two troughs plus a middle ring that's useful for something. Doing the lengthwise split with feet I found not so good. Not nearly as rugged or stable.

    Same for water except I sink full barrels into the ground, drop a big rock in and pipe water to it. This is rugged and stays put so the animals don't move it around. Rocks around it make for standing space and as a side benefit they wear their nails/hooves on the rocks.

    Cheers

    -Walter
    Sugar Mountain Farm
    Pastured Pigs, Sheep & Kids
    in the mountains of Vermont
    Read about our on-farm butcher shop project:
    http://SugarMtnFarm.com/butchershop
    http://SugarMtnFarm.com/csa
     

  3. greenhorn

    greenhorn Well-Known Member

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    See, I KNEW someone had already invented the wheel! I just need to hear that these kind of applications actually work! I'm going to try the across-cut 55 gallon barrel....someone sells them around here (food grade) for $15 each.
     
  4. Ed Norman

    Ed Norman Well-Known Member

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    Out on pasture we have some water heater tanks cut in half lengthwise with rebar welded to keep them from turning. We are building some nice new pens and will pour a little concrete at the gate end to set the self feeder on. We plan to make a concrete basin there that extends under the fence, so slop can be poured in without a helpful snout assisting with the bucket.
     
  5. greenhorn

    greenhorn Well-Known Member

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    This is another concern of mine, how to get the food in to them without really having to go in with them, kwim? Water is pretty easy to figure out with a hose and all, but I haven't figured out the best place to do the feeding. I'd love to be able to climb onto the fence and pour the food over into the trough, but I don't really want them rooting around along the fence line for what spills. Maybe I shouldn't worry too much about gettin gin there with them, I'm just thinking about when they get to be 4 big piggies!
     
  6. Ed Norman

    Ed Norman Well-Known Member

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    Pour a little bit in a spot first while they are running towards you. They all go there first. You dump the bucket in the trough and run away, ya big chicken.

    Or you could build a 5' long fence out in the middle and lean over that to pour in to the trough. How mean are these hogs?
     
  7. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

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    Greenhorn, are you going to be rearing pigs for some years to come? If so spend a bit more that $40.00 and make something that you will still be using 10 years down the track.

    We went through this whole gambit of feed troughs and associated problems. Kevin found a 6ft x 12" (I think) diameter piece of steel pipe and had a brain wave that worked. He gas axed it in half lengthwise then welded in two pieces of steel at either end to close in the ends and to make "feet" to stop it rolling or being tipped. He then got reinforcing steel and welded them across the top of the pipe at equal intervals of about a foot - this stops "bully" pigs getting in the trough and hogging it. We have been using these troughs for 16 years. Younger pigs find them too heavy to tip over, older pigs do once they have eaten. If they fill up with rainwater, a person can easily roll them over to empty them. They are indestructible. When we found that it worked, we bought smaller diameter steel pipe and made up troughs for baby piglets.

    If you don't want to get in with your pigs (and I don't know why you wouldn't) Ed's idea works very well.

    As for water, use nipple waterers. Inexpensive and will last if installed correctly. Ensures that pigs don't use their water dishes as a wallow and that they then have access to clean water.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  8. greenhorn

    greenhorn Well-Known Member

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    It's not that I don't want to get in with them, it's if I can avoid it I would like to. Or at least make it as easy and efficient as possoble. Not out of fear, but out of knowing that in a few weeks the romance will wear off of going in with a bucket of slops, being pushed and jumped on and feet stepped on by greedy porcine, probably getting knocked over and falling in the slops, dropping the f-bomb a few times in front of the 3yo (who will spend the rest of the day saying "fwwuck!"), blaspheming while kicking a pig, then having to go to confession for blashpheming.....well, you can see what I mean.
    I also want my ds10 and ds9 to be able to feed them sometimes and the thought of them in with 4 150# eating machines pushing and shoving to get the food gives me pause. Also, I'm 5'1" and weigh about #110.....

    The bait and dump idea of Ed's is probably what will happen. Ed, I'll assume you forgot to put the ;) ;) emoticon after "ya big chicken" :) I ain't no chicken, goll durn it. I'm always out in the pasture with the cows and bull, though I do usually have a piece of PVC pipe handy.

    About the cost, I need to get something set up asap and if this project goes well this year and we continue with pigs I'll probably do something a little more durable. I'll check out the nipple waterers....I really hate when they dump their water.

    Thanks for all this input! I love this chance to learn.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2010
  9. CK25Hulk

    CK25Hulk Well-Known Member

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    Funny, sounds like me when I started with 3 pigs earlier this year. I think I worried more about it than what it was really worth.

    I built a simple wooden trough out of 2x12's I had laying around. Yeah they push it around some, but it was cheap and still works for me. I can grab some pictures if you are really interested, but it isn't an engineered design if you know what I mean. If you think they are going to push/flip it then it has to be super heavy or anchored to the earth well.

    their are tons of ideas on this forum, the search will help you quite a bit. Search for threads on my user name I linked an old school plans from yesteryear. May give you some ideas.

    For the water trough the 55 gallon drum is by far the easist to maintain and fill. however like you after I set it up I didn't know if they would drink out of the nipple thing mabob and later changed it out to the paddle waterer. I like it alot better and they took to it much quicker. Alot of people on this forum said throw some Peanut butter on that thing... they never seemed to do anything with the PB, don't ask me you would think they would love it.

    Two key things if you switch or use the paddle water from Jeffers Livestock. put a pallet under the waterer and the paddle cup. It is harder for them to root under and you really don't want them stepping on the cup bowl. Second put the waterer barrel at a corner preferable where you have electric lines that form that corner of the pen. Mine don't screw with much at the corners, not much to move around. I found this out after I moved the water to the middle of their large pen. Once I did and the water got low... they wanted to play soccer with the barrel. I used 2 ratchet straps to strap the barrel to a 6" round fence post dug about 2' in the ground.

    http://s462.photobucket.com/albums/qq349/KiotiCK25/Hog Waterer/?action=view&current=DSC_0334.jpg

    good luck, it will work out better than expected.
     
  10. olivehill

    olivehill Well-Known Member Supporter

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    This. :goodjob:


    For water we got metal pans/pails about the same size in diameter as the inside of some tires we had around waiting to be "properly disposed of" and wedged them down in the tires. Works like a charm, but in the summer months they mostly drink out of their kiddie pools anyway. I freeze water in cut off 2-liter and gallon jugs and toss them in the pool on hot days for them to eat, play with, lay against, etc. They think it's hog heaven.

    As far as going in with them, my advice would be to just do it right from day one. If you teach them young that you're not to be pushed around you'll have a lot less trouble when they're bigger. They're incredibly intelligent animals. They love food, yes, but they're not big, dumb, eating machines. They understand boundaries, so set them and enforce them and you'll have a lot better experience with them in the long run.

    In handling any of the livestock I personally like to think ahead to the "what if". What if, 6 months from now one of them is injured in the middle of the pen and you HAVE to go inside there for something? What if when they're half grown they manage to get your feed trough or water bucket or <insert item of choice here> away from the fence and you HAVE to go in and get it? What if? Assume when they're full grown you are going to HAVE to go in there for something and operate under that notion starting now. That way when that day comes you're prepared. It's a heck of a lot easier to handle animals that are accustomed to direct human contact from the start.
     
  11. twospirit

    twospirit Well-Known Member

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    as the new owner of my first three pot bellies, I appreciate this thread.

    Michael
     
  12. greenhorn

    greenhorn Well-Known Member

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    Just wanted to reiterate that I'm NOT afraid to go in with them :) It's more of a convenience and practicality thing.

    So far they are eating out of 2 large black rubber feed bowls. Once I give the food, I hop over the fence and do the water which is currently in a large galvanized tub. I dug a hole to sink it in partially, but I dump the old water out completely, rinse and refil 2x a day. Then they wallow and play in the mud from the old water.

    They are cracking me up as they run through the pasture in a little 4 piggy squadron. They go over to the fence to "talk" to the cows and to the dogs who they played chase with last time they were together.
     
  13. Rogo

    Rogo Well-Known Member

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    Jeez, some of these posts are nightmares!! I handle my piglets from day one, petting, belly rubs. I 'spose it helps that I free choice feed so haven't been jumped on, etc. Roaming free instead of pens helps also.

    I realize that we all do things different and some can't do what others do, but I always look for the easy way of doing things. Things that are less traumatic for both the pigs - or any of the critters - and me.

    One 4 week old piglet I carried home in my arms as I drove. I kept petting him as I drove. He never even squeeled. It wasn't a long ride, but he was pretty much tamed by the time I got home.
     
  14. RedneckPete

    RedneckPete Well-Known Member

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    I'm building three concrete "bowls" in the next week or so to solve exactly the problems you mentioned. I'm doing it with a 24" tube with a 16" tube inside it. I'll try remember to take pictures. I figure the end product will weigh 2-300 lbs, and will take a really motivated pig to move it much.

    Pete
     
  15. Ed Norman

    Ed Norman Well-Known Member

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    Last week we were running some concrete. We had a little left. I took a cracked plastic 55 gallon drum and sawed it off about at the first ring. We put in a little concrete, a little scrap wire for rebar, then the rest of the concrete. Then we shoved in a big protein bucket and DW stood in it to mash it down. Next day we pulled out the bucket but left the concrete in the drum since it was old anyway. It made a nice big heavy bowl. We poured it in the new sow pen so we don't have to move it around.