Would wood fence be OK?

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by saramark, Sep 16, 2006.

  1. saramark

    saramark 1 acre homesteaders

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    We are planning on getting 2 pigs in May for food. Plan on keeping them about 6 months. As a carpenter, I have alot of wood on hand and plan on building wood fence. Question is, will this keep them in?

    I plan on making the fence about 3' high, mounted with 2x6 on the outside, so they can't push the boards off. I will have posts buried in the ground about 3 feet down, 4 feet above ground. The posts will be about 4-6 feet apart. I plan on using barbed wire at ground level and above the wood, leaning into the pen to keep them from climbing or jumping out. Should I go with solid fence or space my boards, if so what spacing?

    I would then have a slide bolted gate that opens in, to prevent them pusing it open or breaking it off. I dont have a ton of room. I planned on about 400 sq, ft. Is this enough for 6 month olds, or should I go bigger with 2?

    Thanks for all the help. I love this forum. Our chickens are doing great and am building a tractor for this spring's 2 dozen broilers.
     
  2. Firefly

    Firefly Well-Known Member

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    Gee I'm so jealous of anyone that can build stuff! I need a tractor, sigh. For pigs I use 2 strands of electric tape with T-posts at corners and step-ins between, and a battery fence charger. Step-in's would have been sufficient at the corners, too, I'm sure. Works great, went up in less than an hour, and is perfect for the constructionally challenged!
     

  3. Horace Baker

    Horace Baker Well-Known Member

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    Wood enclosures are fine, I've made plenty out of pallets. If the boards are vertical, a 1-2" space should be fine. I'd open the gate out, the pigs will quickly make it impossible to open in. I put a couple of open ended L shaped brackets on the gate posts and slip a 2x4 in to keep the pigs from breaking the gate. (I hope that made sense). 400 sq. ft. is more than enough for 2 pigs IMO.
     
  4. swollen tongue

    swollen tongue Well-Known Member

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    I use gal. hog panels..48"x16' with tee posts about every 4 feet. works fine and cost about $16 a piece.
     
  5. saramark

    saramark 1 acre homesteaders

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    yes, that made sense. the wood I plan to use is some "unusable" oak wainscotting that we recovered from an old house I am restoring. It is impossible to putty all the holes, but it is solid and I need free stuff, so it works great. I hadn't thought through the gate getting barricaded by the piggies. Thanks for the advice. Now I just have 6 months or so to wait, arghh, I have no patience.
     
  6. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    I agree with Horace on gate, must swing out or else be a guillotine style that slides up and out.
    What I don't get is how everyone thinks pigs are to be raised out from spring to fall only. They are the toughest(and funnest) critters I have ever had on the farm, and with hay for a nest and simple roof and 3 walls they flourish in the winter. It is actually easier in some respects, as things are frozen so no smell and you don't have to run wallows and constantly monitor them during the heat waves. Hogs have a better appetite and gain weight because it is cool and they feel like eating moreso than when it's dog days hot.
    If you can get your fenceposts planted before ground freezes, I'd say throw up the pen and get pigs ASAP, LOL.
    BTW, If you are willing to think differently than the masses, you won't be competing to buy feeder pigs at same time everyone else wants them ;) :1pig: :1pig: :1pig: :1pig:
     
  7. PyroDon

    PyroDon Well-Known Member

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    our first pig pen was nothing but pallets nailed together and braced .
    wood works for penning most animals after all what do you think was used before wire.
     
  8. saramark

    saramark 1 acre homesteaders

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    We are in Maine, and get really cold winters. Are pigs able to keep warm enough, what age are they able to withstand colder temps? Isn't watering a big pain in the neck in the winter. The hens are enclosed and insulated, but we hadn't considered what to do with the pig this time of year. Any ideas on if this will work in Maine, when would be the latest to buy one, and what we could expect to pay in this area? Thanks again, as usual, now I have to rethink everything. Out with normal, I am what Joel Salatin would call a "nudist buddhist" odd on multiple fronts, but I love farming home style.
     
  9. Firefly

    Firefly Well-Known Member

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    Yes they are, although I agree about the water, UGH! Man, I hate those 7am slogs through the snow with a sledful of milk jugs! :grump: Check out Highlands' blog http://www.sugarmtnfarm.com/blog/ , he's in upper VT and raises them outside all year. Expect to pay $50-75 around here.
     
  10. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    We live where there are long, cold winter also. As long as pigs have a pile of hay deep enough to burrow into they have no problem keeping warm. We kept our hogs in a 3 sided shelter with hay in it all winter. When the weather got really nasty we would plunk a round bale in front of their shelter to make sure they could get out of the wind. I would feel secure about getting a 50 lb. weaner any time of the year and not worry about it getting too cold. Our first batch of piglets was born the end of November with no extra heat source of any kind. Never lost one piglet. In fact the sow hid them under the hay for two days before I discovered they were even born! In my opinion, watering hogs in the winter doesn't get any easier. Trust me, I've dragged hoses through waste deep snow to all sorts of critters. They don't drink alot compared to other animals. For us, two 5 gallon buckets twice a day is good enough for 4 large pigs. There was always some water to spare. For winter watering I would suggest getting one of those huge pliable rubber feeders. That way when the water freezes in there you just tip it over and jump on it. The ice pops right out. With keeping hogs when the ground is frozen you don't have to worry about them digging out of their pen, no smell, and no wallow or worrying about them stroking out on those 100 degree days.

    Heather
     
  11. busybee870

    busybee870 Well-Known Member

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    Well Good Luck With The Wood Pen, Mine Tore The Door Off His. It Was Pallet. He Escaped We Got Him Back, Used Sticks To Prod Him Back Where He Needed To Be. Hes In A Wire Pen, Some Wire We Got From An Auction, He Found A Weak Spot The Other Day And Was Making An Escape Hatch. Yep Its Time For Him To Go To Freezer Camp. Hes 300+ Lbs
     
  12. farmergirl

    farmergirl Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Only problem you might have is that the grown hogs like to chew on the fence boards sometimes :(
     
  13. saramark

    saramark 1 acre homesteaders

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    would this be a problem with chewing boards at a younger age. I am planning 200-225 before butchering
     
  14. CountryMamaof5

    CountryMamaof5 Well-Known Member

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    My young pigs chewed a little on a stick but they mostly were looking for greens. They love roots. I doubt little pigs would chew much on wood .They seem to sleep too much in the sun to worry about wood. I have mine near a wood chicken coop and they haven't messed with it and i have had them 2 weeks
     
  15. Horace Baker

    Horace Baker Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't worry about it, pigs can chew on wire, too, if they're inclined to. If you're really worried, don't leave any spaces in the boards and they won't have an edge to get started on. Shouldn't be much of a problem, though.