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Discussion Starter #1
We cleaned the pens today and all went good. The piglets kept getting in our raked piles, but we made due.

We pretty much just use a leaf rake, shovel, and 5 gallon buckets to clean our pens. We just dump the buckets in the compost pile. I was curious to know what others do. I think we may invest in some sort of pitch fork with close tines.

Also any special methods of givin your pigs belly rubs? It seems we have discovered a leaf rake to be the best method. They just melt.
 

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currently my pigs are in a traditional pen at a neighbors house. But in a month, I'll be living on the farm full time. Then my plan is to leave the pig poo where it lands and garden in that space the next year. Moving the pigs each year and come back to the original space in the 5th year. This gives me fresh and fertile soil to garden in and removes a bit of my labor from the process. Of course that means all shelters and feeders have to be on skids to facilitate moving them once or twice a year.

I think the minimum recommended wait time is 3+ months between the last pigs and planting human food in a given space.

BTW - I really like the way you have re-purposed the pallets.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
currently my pigs are in a traditional pen at a neighbors house. But in a month, I'll be living on the farm full time. Then my plan is to leave the pig poo where it lands and garden in that space the next year. Moving the pigs each year and come back to the original space in the 5th year. This gives me fresh and fertile soil to garden in and removes a bit of my labor from the process. Of course that means all shelters and feeders have to be on skids to facilitate moving them once or twice a year.

I think the minimum recommended wait time is 3+ months between the last pigs and planting human food in a given space.

BTW - I really like the way you have re-purposed the pallets.
Thanx.

Im gonna have to put some thought into that movin the pig pens around. I could do it with the pallets, but as you said the shelters have to be on skids.

I thought of putting the boars and borrows in the compost pile on a every couple of months schedule or something to keep it turning. This will give the gilts and sows some time off I guess.

Our new game plan after fall planting is to put the cows in the garden to make quick work of the bulk that is left and then the pigs to finish and till it all up.
 

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Thanx.

Im gonna have to put some thought into that movin the pig pens around. I could do it with the pallets, but as you said the shelters have to be on skids.

I thought of putting the boars and borrows in the compost pile on a every couple of months schedule or something to keep it turning. This will give the gilts and sows some time off I guess.

Our new game plan after fall planting is to put the cows in the garden to make quick work of the bulk that is left and then the pigs to finish and till it all up.
using the animals to do some of your work is a great idea. There's a vid on youtube by Geoff Lawton and a Vermonter commercial composter that uses chickens to continually turn his piles and add N. Using the cows and pigs to do end of season work in the garden is good for them and good for you. But where I live, there is no end of season. We have something planted year round.

I'm going to try Highlander's technique and plant a pumpkin patch next year in the area that will receive the pigs in the fall. Then let the pigs do all the hard work of harvesting the pumpkins. I'm planting an acre of turnips this month in the area that will get the pigs late this year.

ETA - for moving your pens, you might consider a single strand of electric. Joel Salatin keeps his pigs in a woodlot with a single strand of electric, about a foot off the ground. It is tied to trees with an insulator and parachute cord. Salatin eventually mills those trees, so he wants to leave no nails behind. This contains pigs in range of ~50lb - 300lb. Since he does no breeding, he keeps no larger pigs. I'm just thinking out loud, maybe keep your breeders in your pallet pens and use electric when you want the finishers to do your gardening.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
using the animals to do some of your work is a great idea. There's a vid on youtube by Geoff Lawton and a Vermonter commercial composter that uses chickens to continually turn his piles and add N. Using the cows and pigs to do end of season work in the garden is good for them and good for you. But where I live, there is no end of season. We have something planted year round.

I'm going to try Highlander's technique and plant a pumpkin patch next year in the area that will receive the pigs in the fall. Then let the pigs do all the hard work of harvesting the pumpkins. I'm planting an acre of turnips this month in the area that will get the pigs late this year.

ETA - for moving your pens, you might consider a single strand of electric. Joel Salatin keeps his pigs in a woodlot with a single strand of electric, about a foot off the ground. It is tied to trees with an insulator and parachute cord. Salatin eventually mills those trees, so he wants to leave no nails behind. This contains pigs in range of ~50lb - 300lb. Since he does no breeding, he keeps no larger pigs. I'm just thinking out loud, maybe keep your breeders in your pallet pens and use electric when you want the finishers to do your gardening.
Thanx for the info and great ideas. Feel free to think out loud anytime. Brainstorming from 2 heads is better than one.
 
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