What about the odor and the cost of effective fencing?

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by ringtb, Oct 28, 2006.

  1. ringtb

    ringtb Member

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    I was thinking about raising a pig next spring. Right now I have a 30 by 50 foot garden. I would like to fence it off into 2 paddocks and rotate the paddock each year. I would only raise 1 feeder pig in the spring up to slaughter time in the late fall. I would then plant a cover crop, and then rotate the garden next year.

    I have two concerns:

    One is the smell. My proposed project is only about 100 yards from the house. It would be fed prepared pig feed, some kitchen scraps, and hay. We live in the country and the lot next door is empty.

    The other is fencing. It looks like it is the biggest cost. Most likely I would use t-stakes, landscape timbers for the corners, woven field fence, and an electric fence. The biggest cost is the woven field fence. I came up with an estimate of about $400 for the material. I would provide the labor.

    The perimeter woven wire fence around the garden is the biggest cost. I figure I would need the woven wire fence as a backup until the ham is trained about the evils of touching an electric fence.

    Another idea was to make a small enclosure within the electric fence perimeter. This small enclosure would have the woven wire fence and also be electrified. Once the ham is trained with the electric fence, I could then open it up into the electric fence only paddock.

    Ideas??


    Thank you,

    Tim
     
  2. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    I was thinking I would try cattle panels and just make some re-bar stakes to keep them from rooting under the panels
     

  3. LittleRedHen

    LittleRedHen Well-Known Member Supporter

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    With that big of an area you wont have too much of a smell problem at least for awhile. I have 3 pigs in that size of a fence. I dont smell them at all unless they are inthe process of defecating and I happen to be right by them. My chickens smell worse than the pigs. The great part of having pigs on dirt is that their waste goes into the ground. If a pig is kept on concrete then it has no where to go and the smell is horrid!

    My fencing is the woven wire with electric. It works well. I had chainlink previously with hog paneling but they would get through the sides until I put U posts in to keep away from having any slack in the fencing. If you have a weak point I promise you that your pig will find it.

    I had 2x4 welded wire and the pigs acted like it wasnt even there and would bolt right through it. I highly suggest you use hotwire and get things done right or expect a lot of time spent on chasing pigs.
     
  4. Paul O

    Paul O Well-Known Member

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    I have always avoided any pressure treated wood for animal fencing. The lanscaping timbers mentioned could have some nasties in them.

    Paul;
     
  5. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    I don't know that the field fence will keep them in. But the electric should work well. It only takes them about a minute to get trained to the electric fence. However, they will keep testing it, so it's got to be hot ALL THE TIME.

    My only other thought is I would think about raising at least two. One will get lonely and probably be more likely to get into trouble. Plus, twice the bacon, twice the ham... yummmmmmm
     
  6. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    People did not use electric to keep em in up till recently how did they do it? My family in eastern KY raised them in log pens.
     
  7. Pat

    Pat Well-Known Member

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    Instead of taking half the garden out of production per year, why not run the pigs through it during the fall / winter?

    I used combination panels and made a 4 by 16 luggabe pen for our 3 feeders. I used old 4 by 4's (from a wood fence I tore down) for the corners and 4 t-posts on the 2 long sides. I just tie the t-post to the combination panels with old baling twine. When they are still small (less than 75 pounds) I lay used 1 by 6's on the outside of the long sides (and across the end). I had a old plastic big dog house and put it in the pen with them for protection.

    We've had these a little over a month now, and we've only moved them once. This is the 3rd winter for doing this, and as they get bigger we move them oftener. (Just before finishing it's almost once a day). We typically move them into a 16 by 16 (using the 2 long sides from the luggable pen, and 2 16 foot cattle panels for the other 2 sides) for that last couple of weeks to month before they head to freezer camp. They clean up the rows (we use the wide row concept gardening), till it down 8 - 12 inches deep and fertilize it. Plus, by cleaning up the rows it reduces our feed costs by probably 20 percent.

    I'd suggest getting at least 2 also. Pigs like most animals do better in at least pairs. We raised 2 the first year, 3 last year and 3 again this year.

    Pat
     
  8. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    I second Pats method that sounds like similar to what I envision for mine shortly. As long as they are rotated often enough I dont think they will get out from underneath of the cow panels.
     
  9. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    If your house is DOWNWIND from the hog pens, they will be too close, especially so in the Hot summer months.
     
  10. cheesymom1

    cheesymom1 cheesymom1

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    My dad used cedar posts cut from our land. About 4-6 inches round. He made his own style homemade fence using them. They were very stong and held the pigs in very well. Don't forget to put rings in their noses to keep them from rutting. In summer you may have ODOR, but that is why you live in the country-right? Sometimes it stinks. They good things you will get will well out weigh the smell.
     
  11. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    Ringing them would defeat the purpose of putting them in the garden. They're supposed to root.

     
  12. chrisntiff

    chrisntiff Well-Known Member

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    Pigs are super roto tillers. Two pigs can till up a 30 x 50 foot garden in no time. So one pig wont be far behind. We keep our pigs in with one strand of electric wire. We have never had them get out after the first day that we trained them to it. We keep our pigs in their pasture about 300 feet from the house and we dont have a problem with smell. Ringing a pig seems unnatural, why would you want to keep an animal and not allow it to do what it likes to do best? Good luck

    Chris
     
  13. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    I would never ring a pig, I am going to use them to get rid of some wild blackberry patches so I can make pasture.
     
  14. 6e

    6e Farm lovin wife Supporter

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    Yep, I'll second the advice about the electric fence. Pigs will keep testing it on an hourly basis almost. And it is no problem for them to go under field fence.
    I have never noticed our big girls smelling until it rains and they're in mud. Then they smell! Every farm animal smells when it's damp outside.
    They do do a beautiful job of rototilling.
     
  15. ringtb

    ringtb Member

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    It looks like I am leaning toward an electric fence only. Below is a list of approximate prices if I wanted to construct a 25’X50’ perimeter electric fence with 2 paddocks. It would have two gates, and have four wires, one really high to keep out the deer.

    Amount Size Name Total Price
    1 5 Mile Zareba Fence Controller $ 39.84
    2 1/2X6' Galvanized Ground Rod $ 13.00
    25 Feet Stainless 11.3 Gauge Ground Wire $ 5.00
    2 1/2" Bronze Ground Rod Clamps $ 3.50
    8 6 1/2' CCA Wood Posts $ 39.04
    16 8' T-Posts $ 79.68
    6 Economy Handle w/ Spring $ 8.34
    32 Wood Post Corner Insulator $ 30.40
    3 T-Post Line Insulator $ 22.50
    1 50' Insultube $ 7.50
    1 660' roll Zareba Poly Fence Wire $ 25.56
    4 Plastic Warning Sign $ 3.00
    Total $ 277.36

    I still want to go with just one pig. I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew.


    Tim
     
  16. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure I would trust the 5-mile charger. We have one and it is really really weak. We have the pigs in a the 25-mile and it gives a much stronger shock.

     
  17. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    Agree with homebirtha. You want some real ZAP on that fence. Why 25 feet of ground wire.? One wire from energizer to bottom of ground rod should do whole system - what, maybe 8 or 10 feet at most?
    PS - 2 Littermate Pigs are actually easier than 1! They have a friend, a playmate, and this avoids stress of separation, anxiety over being alone, boredom, loneliness, isolation and such factors that make an animal discontent and more prone to challenge fencing and be a general poor-doer.
    Yes, our experience has been that pigs are intelligent enough that psychological well being affects their performance :)
     
  18. ringtb

    ringtb Member

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    The reason for the 25 ft ground wire was the power outlet is set away from the fence.
     
  19. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    OK, so the energizer is placed at or near the power outlet. The ground wire attaches to energizer and straight down into the earth attached to the ground rod. Then the hot polywire attached to the energizer travels the distance to the fence. If this is inconvenient they make special wire for this purpose that you bury underground, then come out at fence and attach.
    Just a suggestion - The polywire may work, but I think you would get much better results with the Polytape. Polytape is wider so more visible. Also, the alternating band of light/dark colors gives dileneation so animals can see it. Many species do not see colors - they only see contrast. This is why polytape works so well. Especially for deer at night if that is a concern.
    Not trying to muck up the project as I see you have done quite a bit of homework, only making suggestions from what we have experienced...cheers.
    PS We have some permanent perimeter fences that use 7 1/2 foot T-Posts with 4 strands of wire - 1 right at the top - and the deer jump them as if they weren't there. Sorry, but I don't think the materials you have listed will keep out deer.
     
  20. highlands

    highlands Well-Known Member

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    We have about a hundred pigs and 30 breeding sows plus boars. We don't have a problem with smell. I have been to farms where the smell is a problem and they only had a few pigs. I think the difference and reason we don't have a problem is:

    1) we keep our pigs on pasture most of the year so they have a lot of room to spread their manure.

    2) we keep our pigs on pasture most of the year and feed them hay in the cold season so they have a lot of fiber and carbon in their diet that bonds the nitrogen. Not only does this keep the smell down but it saves the nitrogen which I want for our fields for fertilizer.

    If you can smell it then you are losing valuable nitrogen. Add carbon to their diet as in hay or pasture. Add bedding. Wood chips work as a lower layer but I like hay best as the pigs eat it too so it is feed as well as bedding.

    All of our housing is open three sided sheds and dens so there is plenty of air circulation, a deep bedding of hay and the pigs don't dump their wastes there in a concentrated spot as much as you'll get with a small space.

    In the winter we do keep some pigs in garden corrals. They clean out the summer gardens and till them up. I like to move them around between spaces and again, I feed plenty of hay, some of which they mulch into the soil. That absorbs the nitrogen in the urine keeping the smell down. To deal with weeds from hay seed we run the chickens through the gardens for a couple of weeks prior to planting. Works great and saves on labor.

    Lots of ways work. I like electric fencing. When the piglets are small or the pigs are new to electric you need a tight physical barrier around the bottom. Put electric just inside of that to train them to the electric.

    Later once they are larger and trained one or two wires will keep them in an area if what they need is inside that space. For a smaller space you need to fence harder.

    For our outer perimeter we use 4 wires of 12 gauge high tensile wire. If it was just the pigs I would use 3 but we also have sheep.

    For paddock divisions we use 2 or 3 wires of polywire on step in posts. I don't worry about piglets moving between paddocks, just the larger pigs.

    For garden corrals and other smaller spaces I use high tensile woven wire with a nose wire at the bottom.

    Electrified poultry netting works great too and is excellent for weaning or holding. Large pigs will hop over 28" netting but respect 34" and 42" netting.

    In some places I just have stone walls. That works for out on pasture but I prefer augmenting it with high tensile wire on the perimeters.

    I would suggest an energizer of at least 1.5 joules. I had one of 0.25 and it was worthless. I like my 6.25 joule energizer even better. Buy as much power as you're willing to spend money on.

    Enjoy your pigs. They're fun and tasty.

    Cheers,

    -Walter