How do you shovel the poo?

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by kidsngarden, May 24, 2006.

  1. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden Well-Known Member

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    I mean Really! Most of the winter you can't tell the poo from the mud in our pen. It dried out for a few weeks and there was some definite spots here and there. I go in to shovel and the darn pigs knock over the wheelbarrow. Now it rained again and the puddles look nasty! I feel sure our gilt will get a disease! (she's all alone now as we butchered her four brothers)

    Oddly enough she really doesn't seem to have a preference to where she does her thing. there is one favorite spot, but really it's everywhere. What happened ot the one particular spot?

    So what do you do to clean up the place?

    Kids
     
  2. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    We abondoned ship on our pen that we had the pigs in during the winter. Your winters must be totally different than mine. Everything here freezes solid and is covered by a fresh blanket of snow on a regular basis. By the time winter is done there is a lot of build up. When everything thawed out I built the pigs a new pen on a clean spot. I don't try to shovel anything out when I don't like the looks of the pen they are in I just move it. I know that's not possible with everybody due to the restrictions on the amount of land one has but that's what I do.

    Heather
    ..YES, and then Hubby gets to pull up old pen and clean up area with a front end loader....Busy Hubby LOL.
     

  3. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

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    pasturing = no shovels
     
  4. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    ..pasturing = no shovels = distribution of fertilizer = better pasture !
    ......good call George,LOL
     
  5. Argent Farms

    Argent Farms Pig farmer

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    Mine have their choice about whether to be in the barn or the pasture, so half of the problem is cleared up right there. For the times that they do crap in the barn I just go in there every other day with my utility trailer and shovel it up. I scatter powdered lime on the dirt floor in the areas where they do their business, makes it easier to spot against the white background and cuts down on the smell a bit.
     
  6. kidsngarden

    kidsngarden Well-Known Member

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    We will move her soon. Can't we just leave the space with the poo and let nature work in over, then plant some good seed for pasture? Where she's at now will be garden when the doo is composted.

    What constitutes pasturing and why don't you have to shovel then? She has a pretty darn big space, but there is no vegetation cause she and her brothers dug it all up. It seems like you would need a heck of a lot of space to have anything grow with pigs around! We are kinda' putting the cart before the horse as we have 4 acres of mostly woods and are clearing out bit by bit. The goats live in the woods with an electric fence perimeter and we continue to clear as we can. Pigs took over old lawn space as well as chickens and ducks.

    kids
     
  7. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    Sounds like a good idea to me. There's no reason why her old space won't compost down. You may want to level the ground a bit but I guess if you are going to make it into a garden that won't matter too much. With wanting to clear out woods you have the perfect system. Let the goats get the high stuff and the pig get the low stuff. We're still in the beginning stages of figuring out a pasturing sysytem for our pigs. Last summer we had two sows in our heifer pasture for a while. The area was so large (at least 30 acres) that the damage was pretty minimal. I've read of alot of people having their pigs in annual crops. They let the pig eat the crop that was planted and then plow it up and replant it when the pigs have eaten everything. One thing I have seen from all the reading and listening to people on here is that there is no one right way to do things. Alot of people make alot of different things work.

    Heather
     
  8. sunshine estate

    sunshine estate Well-Known Member

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    I just shoveled out my pot belly's pen yesterday; I had forgotten that they were suppposed to have a favorite bathroom spot, but this pair does...unfortunately, it's close to where I feed them and it's not practical for me to move their feeding area...

    I'm new to pigs, but I've seen every variation of "bathroom areas" with cats and dogs...from completely reliable even in a bad situation to completely oblivious no matter how easy you make it for them to choose the right spot...

    I don't remember seeing this suggestion, but if you are planning on keeping a sow you might want to consider slaughtering her and looking for another one; if scattering manure is going to be an ongoing hassle for you...she will probably raise piglets that scatter manure; and how well the piglets will do if she "poos" in her "nest" area is something to consider...
     
  9. John Schneider

    John Schneider Well-Known Member

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    George and UpNorth are definitely on the right path. You really could give some consideration to having a set-up where you can rotate her around. In a perfect world, you have paddocks that are pasture and then one is your garden. The pasture that has all the winter's supply of 'stuff' is tilled and planted with veggies etc.. You can just get into a routine with your pastures or paddocks where you don't have to do anything more than you would normally do with your garden. When the garden is finished in the fall, you can move your pigs into it to 'till' it further along with cleaning up any leftovers and then you can move them out again and seed it in pasture and move on to the next paddock next spring. I have recently built paddocks that surround the pig house so that I can rotate around, but they still get to live in their house no matter what pasture they are in. It works well but it takes quite a bit of work to set up initially. Good luck with whatever you decide to do!!!
     
  10. smumitson

    smumitson Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I have thought of doing paddocks that rotate around thier house as well. How big are thier areas? How bug is thier house? We are trying to put up a house that can be divided into an area for farrowing as well. Any ideas on that?

    Of course the issue is always money to do all these things!

    kids
     
  11. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    If you have a copy of Storey's Guide to Pigs, see page 128. It has diagram of the hub and wheel system!!! John can verify how well it works. It will be the next hog facility we build, that's for sure!!!!
     
  12. oneditto

    oneditto Member

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    I use an ol' pitch fork that has tines that are only an inch or so apart and it works great!
     
  13. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    oneditto sounds like you got yerself a Silage Fork!
     
  14. Firefly

    Firefly Well-Known Member

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    Well then, he's all set for the 3-tier system, isn't he!
     
  15. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    Firefly I was simply explaining that type of fork is a silage fork used for feeding Haylage or corn silage on dairy farms. In no way was I suggesting he use fork to feed the poo he is moving, hope noone interprets I was suggesting any such practices.