RicelandMeadows


Backyard hog keeping
April 24, 2013, 7:50 pm
Filed under: April 2013
Pen of Pork

Pen of Pork

April 24, 2013

 

A friend of mine asked me, ” What is the best method to raise enough pork for his family on a limited amout of acreage?” I am sharing this photo and post with him and all of you. This portable pen is a cheap, sensible, effective and humane way to raise a couple of pigs for your freezer.

This pen measures eight feet by sixteen feet. It has runners at a two foot spacing underneath. The floor is constructed of treated deck boards. The house part is made from native hardwood boards and roofed with metal roofing.

The pigs have free choice feed and fresh water, access to outside and a nice warm or cool (depending upon the season) place to live. They stay very clean and happy in this arrangement. Their manure and urine fall through the floor of the pen, but it can be collected and composted if desired. The ground below absorbs the droppings, making the whole affair very easy on your nose.

The pigs grow from weaning to slaughter weight in about four months, in this manner. They can be raised any time during the year, but winter watering can be a challange. The rest of the year, this pen is a great labor and time saver. The pigs stay confined until butchering day, yet get daily exercise and a nice bed.

Once the pigs are gone, the pen can be moved ahead the length of the pen. The ground underneath can be prepared for a small garden, a great place to  grow flowers or perhaps just reseeded for lawn…. but the grass will really grow there 😮

The walls of the pen are made from a livestock panel bought at most any farm supply store. The hog feeder is a commercial one that holds about 100 pounds of feed. Water is supplied by a gravity system made from a food grade barrel, a spigot, piece of hose and a hog nipple waterer. As long as the water level in the barrel is higher than the nipple, water flows easily any time the pigs want to drink.

I bed their living quarters with straw, but woodchips, leaves, grass clippings sawdust, or  old hay will work fine just to name a few. They will make a bed from the material and be warm, dry and comfortable. Pigs, when given a choice, will not manure in their bed or near their food. They are the cleanest farm animal. Stinky, poopy pigs are usually the result of the farmer…not the pig.

This, ” pigs on the porch” method is a great way to introduce backyard hog raising to anybody. Everyone benefits, the farmer, the nearby neighbor and most especially … the pig!

 


1 Comment so far
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I hope to have our two hogs around June first. Would love to get the in person”nickel tour” when you have a spare hour Ralph. Great post, thanks for sharing!

Comment by Mark winchell




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