Water Babies
April 24, 2015, 10:38 am
Filed under: April 2015 | Tags: , , , ,
Little pigs at the fountain

Little pigs at the fountain

April 24, 2015

Winter is over, so I have put my homemade pig waterers back into service. The curious piglets figured them out quickly. They were soon fighting over the nipple. In a very short time they aren’t thirsty anymore, but they love to play with the water nipple. I guess its like kids and a spigot… any reason to play in the water is great!  😮

At first, it’s cute. They monkey around delightfully playing in the water. By day three or four it becomes annoying for the farmer. There is always one smart Alec who learns to hold the nipple in his teeth and let the water flow out of his mouth…and ALL OVER the floor. Then again, just like small children, the pigs, run, splash and play in the water. They have a great time until their entire pen is soaked…even their nice straw beds. Like a dutiful parent, I clean up the mess, remake their beds and offer no water at bedtime 😮 This cycle however, continues until the pigs go off to freezer camp!

In summer, the mess must be kept to a minimum otherwise the flies find great places to lay their eggs….and what a yuk fest that is!  Having water readily available is necessary and it helps the pigs grow. It is much better once the pigs are out on pasture. They still play in the water, but the dirt soaks up most of it. The pigs still find a way to make a sloppy place to play. They don’t sweat so the mud keeps them cooler. I guess all this mess making now is just good practice for later.

I make my waterers out of a 15 gallon plastic jug/barrel. I use two pipe flanges with the barrel sandwiched in between. I use silicone caulk to keep it from leaking around the bolt holes and face of the flanges. I then drill a hole in the center of the flange and screw in a pipe nipple, then a bushing and last, the pig nipple. It is important to set your pig nipple up for gravity flow. They come from the factory set up for pressure.

4 Comments so far
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If you leave them set up for pressure the pigs have to suck the water out. Keeps the mess down cause just pushing on the spigot only gets a small trickle not a steady flow. That’s how we do it in our 50 gallon barrels. Otherwise we would have to refill every hour!

Comment by stidhamranch

Part of what you say is true. There is less mess and they don’t use the water too fast. However, they do not get enough so it effects their rate of gain. They grow much slower when water is not readily available.
I know what you are thinking, but trust me. In fact, try one pen set up as you have them now, try a second pen with the nipple set up for gravity. Use pigs from the same litter or at least the same age. You will see what I am talking about.
If you have put the nipple together correctly, they still have to push down/suck on it, for the water to come out.

Comment by ricelandmeadows

Mine are all outdoor so they have a barrel of “clean” water ten some sort of pond thing that they swim in and also we let them drink from the hose everyday. I will try it because i think a sloppy muddy mess in front of the waterer will help keep them cooler anyway 🙂

Comment by stidhamranch

You are right on target! Keep up the good work.

Comment by ricelandmeadows

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