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Friday, March 21, 2008

Getting Ready for Pigs

The long weekend is here - we lazed around this morning for awhile, then friends came for coffee and we had a good talk about bees, gardening and looking forward to the last of the snow melting...our winter vacation is pretty much over and our spring season is just beginning to get underway.

So around late morning, we headed down to finish off the pig house and pen. Last year we had them up at the barn...we just moved their pighouse up to the fence and they had their run, getting it all ready for us to use it this year to grow some feed for them. Here's a pic of their setup last year....


over the summer they worked and rooted up the soil, fertilized it and enjoyed it....this year we are going to use this area for a garden for the pigs...after all, they did the work :)


This will help us save some feed costs and we know from last year how pigs LOVE fresh veggies....




ok, so this spring, we are moving the pig's area down closer to our fence, towards our hayfields. The G man moved their house using his machine....we did, however, build the pighouse on skids, so that it can easily be moved using a pick up or tractor....


we are going to keep moving the pighouse every couple of weeks in a straight line towards our property fenceline. For the first couple of weeks, they will have a small area, as shown in our pics. After that, the pigs will have a run roughly 15' x 40'. Every couple of weeks, we move the fenceline, and we'll drag the pighouse.


In the end, we will hopefully have about a 40' x 60' foot garden area, already fertilized and tilled, thank you piggies! We'll use this area to plant rutabagas and turnips (piggy and chicken food).


OK so yesterday we got the T posts in and attached the wooden rails. Today we finished hanging up the fence insulators and running the electric tape. G pounded the ground rod in, and finished setting up the connections. He set the timer inside to turn on the heat lamp on around 8pm and off around 8am....these piggies will be fairly small when they arrive. They'll snuggle up nice and tight in order to keep warm, but we like putting in the heat lamp for them to get a good start....plus we tossed a bunch of hay in the house.


Over the first few days, they'll eat a bit of it, and fluff up the rest of it just the way they like it when they settle in to sleep.....




A close up of the fence tape strung, with wood fencing as a back up....we want to train the pigs to electric fence, but when they are little, they sometimes will run right through it.....don't ask me how I know that one :)


As they get older and we start moving the fenceline, we should be able to just hang up the tape and they won't go near it....




Here's the area almost complete...we may need to put up another row of fencing, we'll see how it goes....


When G built the house, he made a hatch in part of the roof. It's great for being able to throw in a few flakes of hay, plus is good to be able to ventiate the house....





And, a view of the house with the hatch closed....we're hoping the piggies will be nice and cozy in there. It worked well last year....here's hoping....
Check back tomorrow, we'll try to post some pictures of our 3 little piggies!! And a Blessed Easter to everyone!












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