How to build a pig pen for your farm
What you should know before you start
The size of a pig pen depends on the number of animals that will live there. The average territory needed for one pig is 16 square feet. Individuals are best to keep in groups in separate boxes. The number of boars in the box can not be more than 5, and the number of sows should be not more than 12. The walls of a pig pen have to be made of durable material, so that the cattle could not destroy them with their snouts. The building must be equipped with a ventilation system and a drain. The roof should be made at some angle to avoid the accumulation of precipitation on it (rain, snow).
Floor is one of the most important points of this building. It must be durable. The most durable option is concrete. The wooden floor can also be quite good, but the board should be strong. It should be noted that the concrete floor is much easier to clean. The dirt floor is not suitable for a swine barn. The animal can destroy it and it is quite unhygienic.
Building a pig pen
The primordial stage of the construction is planning and designing. Draw a preliminary plan for your future pig pen. Using the scheme, it will be easy for you to work on the construction of the pen. Calculating the total area depends, of course, on the number of heads of your farm. It is recommended to build a pig pen with a reserve area. Depending on the material of the pen you should choose the type of foundation. If you plan to build a rather small pen for pigs, it would be wise to make the earth floor out of pallets. It will protect the pen from leaks and moisture. There are some researches that showed that pigs like to sleep on wooden pallets a lot!
If you are planning to make a concrete structure, it is highly recommended to make it combined. In a place where the animals will lying you should bed boards, because pigs like the warmth. You can also put a brick floor - it is even warmer than the concrete one. Another advantage of the brick floor is the ease of laying bricks. Remember that the floor is laid with a slope of about 2-3 inches for flowing of mud and manure. You can also make a stand in the floor through which the waste will be washed out. This method is more practical, as it will be much easier to clean the barn.
For the construction you will need:
- crushed stone;
- wall materials (wood, brick, etc.);
- roofing material;
- a drill;
Walls can be made of any available material, the main requirement – they must be strong. If thermal insulation of walls is insufficient, they can be warmed by foam, insulating wool, etc. If your pig pen is quite large, the windows in it must be located at a height of about 5-6 feet. At least half of them should be able to be opened to ventilate the pen. Drafts affect the health of animals - they are very receptive to them, so there should be no gaps in the window frames. Another important point is the roofing. It must protect the pig pen from precipitation. The most common material for the roofs of the pig pens is roofing slate. The ventilation system in the pig pen should be mandatory. You should make output pipes through the roof which will serve as ventilation. To provide traction, at the bottom of the pipe it is necessary to install the exhaust device.
Developing a pig pen
When the construction is finished, it is also necessary to equip the inside for the pigs to feel comfortable there. Now you should take care of the necessary number of boxes for pigs, the location of feeders, etc. Boxes are set to divide the animals. Piglets (young pigs) are kept separately for controlling their diet. Sows will also need to be separated for an obvious reason. The barriers are traditionally wooden (but if your pen is very large, you can also build brick ones). They must be firmly secured since adult pigs can break them. Also there must be a passage in the pen. You should set the comfortable feeders, for each box separately.
You can make a pig pen of cheaper materials, but they are less durable. This structure must be reliable. Do not forget about the basic nuances of accommodation while planning the swine barn. We hope this article helped you to find the necessary information on how to build a pig pen in a proper way.