New Pig Pen is just about complete

rbruno

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Hello All,
I have read a lot of threads on the forum with ideas on building pig pens/shelters which have been very helpful. I thought I would share my pig pen that is just about complete. My plan is to raise to feeder pigs in the spring. Not going to get into breeding or anything like that for right now. Just would like to raise a couple and get some meat in the freezer. One pig will be for my family, and my farrier is going to get the other. We are looking at splitting the cost of the two pigs. I built this pen with just about everything recycled from other projects or reclaimed from other buildings. I had a coworker who had a huge oak tree fall on a small out building at her house. When it hit, it created a huge debris field which I have been picking over for a couple years. Since many things were broken, they were good for bigger projects, but I was able to use a lot in the pen. For me, the good thing of using recycled stuff is the cost. I nice by product is it doesn't all get in the land fill. I even cobbled together enough screws and nails to do the entire project with out going to the hardware store. Basically I had to by mortar/cement, siding and roofing. The rest came from left overs. The building is 10X14. It is divided in half to make a 7X10 shelter for two pigs and a 7X10 feed/storage room. The pigs will have a 32X42 fenced area to move around.

The first couple pictures are of my beginning layout and stone work. The grey building is my existing chicken coop. I had a friend who does solar work and his company had bought a property to install a solar field. As luck would have it, there was a huge cut granite stone fire place outside. I went there for a couple days and sledge hammered it a part. Some of the stones for the foundation came from there. The other stones came from the foundation of the barn of my coworker. I have not done much work with stone so it was challenge to figure out the best way to lay the stone.


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I did end up buying the long 2x6 for the sills. I didn't have anything else that was the same size, so I thought I would at least start with something that matched. The rim joist are an old picnic table I pulled apart and had stored for years. The joist are the rafters from the barn with the tree that fell on it. I was able to squeeze the a 2x6 size out of each.


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I will add some more photos tomorrow.

Thanks
Rob
 

rbruno

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The next couple pictures are the bents for the frame. I did a mini timber frame and all the post and beams are pegged together. It took a while again because nothing was the same. A couple post were from the barn hit by the tree, one was left over from my coup, a couple came from a house that I scavenged from. None were the same size so it took a while to fit them to the beams which all came from the destroyed barn and all there are different sizes. When I was an assistant principal in a high school, we had our bleachers replaced that were from the late 60s. I paid two kids 20 bucks to put as many of the boards in my truck as they could. That is the flooring in the feed room and the flooring in my chicken coop as well as several other projects. Gum side down of course.....
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Nailers and the doorway framed up ready for siding and roofing.

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Siding and tin roof complete.

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The blue barrels will be connected to the gutters for water for the pigs. The area under the roof will eventually be a concrete floor. I started running oak boards around the inside just incase one decides to push to hard on the siding. I ran out so I will need to scavenge some more. The area be hind the pen here will be fenced in as well. I made double doors for the inside so I can open the top and dump feed down into the self feeder that will be inside. That way I don't have to always go inside to feed them. The wife painted a barn quilt to break up the solid grey wall. Trim around the door will have to wait till spring.


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I will be finishing the fencing and floor in the pen hopefully in spring and getting the pigs late spring or early summer.

Rob
 

Baymule

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That is one snazzy Pig Barn!! I love the barn quilt. I've been thinking of painting something on my Pig Palace, but your wife just raised the bar! Since you have made the Pig Barn so you can feed without going inside, did you set up the water with hog nipples to keep them from tossing their water tub around?

You have definitely given a lot of thought and study to your Pig Barn. Well done! I only raise feeder pigs too. I don't want to keep a boar and sows, but I sure will spend my money to support those who do. That lovely Pig Barn needs a name! You need a hand painted plaque to hang on that beautiful barn.

Have you located feeder pigs yet? Word to the wise, don't wait till the last minute, Covid has brought out the farmer in lots of people and the prices can get high and feeder pigs can get scarce. Also, do you have a date for slaughter? Around here, they are booked out a year or more. I locked in a slaughter date for August 2021 in November 2020! And I think I only got that because we are good customers. I was starting to think that we would have to slaughter them ourselves, which we can do and have done. If you think you may go that route, let me know, in one of my pig threads, we slaughtered 3 hogs because of not getting a slaughter date. It was work, but we were very happy and satisfied with the results.
 

rbruno

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Hi Baymule,
Thanks for the comments on the pen. I really like building these small out buildings. My chicken coop is kind of the same thing. A lot of my thoughts on how to put this together has come from this forum. There have been some great ideas shared here which I really appreciated. I nailed to gather the material for the barn quilt and the wife took it from there. The layout is a pain to get started, but it is all just a repetition of the same geometrical shapes. So, once you get the proportions you like, you just start connecting the dots. She took all the time to tape the lines and do the painting. We should work on a name for our small farm. The times we have made sausage in the past, we joke about names if we ever went into business but never settle on one. :)

The blue barrels in the pictures will be used for water. I have poured two small concrete slabs on the side of the pig pen and on the other side of the chicken coop. You can't see them in the pictures. Eventually I plan to split the fenced in area so that they can be off one side of the small field area it one side needs a rest. One barrel will be in each side. The slabs are just on the other side of the fence. The gutters will feed water into each barrel. The barrel will sit right next to the fence, so the hog nipple should be able to reach through. Each will have a garden spigot that I will connect a hose to each. If one gets low, I will open the spigots to at least let the water balance out or just fill one from the spigot in my barn. With the barrels outside of the actual area with only the hog nipple sticking through, I hope I won't have any issues.

I have been communicating with a local farm about feeders for the spring, and I think I have locked down two. The farm has a liter of pure Berks coming in March, and I have reserved two from that liter. The farm has been very helpful and great with communication. One of the questions I will ask will be about slaughter. The farm is close to me so I would imagine they have someone they use because they sell pork to customers as well as sell feeders. I have also heard about the delays for slaughter here in MD as well. I have a long list of things to bend their ear about and this is certainly one of them.

Thanks,
Rob
 

Baymule

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At what age will you be taking your piggies home? Fast forward 6-8 months for slaughter, probably 8 months, because they are heritage hogs. Check with the people you are buying them from and ask what is the best age for a good carcass hanging weight. Then call IMMEDIATELY for a slaughter date and say your prayers that you get one.

We moved in here in February of 2015 and have had feeder pigs every year. I've veered off into crazy a couple of times, buying fully grown hogs at give away prices and feeding them on soured corn, pasture or hay for 45 days or so before taking then to slaughter. One was a 500 pound boar that actually weighed (on a truck scale) 820 pounds and hanging weight was 506 pounds! He cost $100, I'd say we came out ok on that deal!

I have to admire you, you are actually prepared before you get pigs! :lol: I am in the camp where I get (insert animal here), then figure out what to do with them. LOL LOL
 

rbruno

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The pigs should be about 8 weeks old. I am looking at a Sept-Oct slaughter timeline. I reached out to the farm about who they use for slaughter and the timeline. Waiting to hear back. The last thing I want is to get to 6 or 7 months and then not have something lined up. I have some people around me I could probably get to help, but it is not a position I want to be in.

I have to say I wasn't prepared for my chickens. I had started the coop, but not finished it when I had an opportunity for chickens. I made a make shift pen in my feed room for my horses. I lost space to store hay and had to half crawl into the pen to get the eggs. Plus water and feed was a pain too. Learned that lesson..... I hope to be more prepared this time because I know pigs are an entirely different ballgame then a couple chickes.
 

Baymule

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In 2017, I had 3 hogs eating 50 pounds of feed every other day and a slaughter date too far in the future by a couple of months. Since the 3 hogs were a neighborhood deal, we got together and slaughtered and processed them them. I put it all in my pig thread. Every year, I start a pig thread from start to finish. Why don't you do the same? It is all a learning experience and you will go back and read your past threads and be amazed at where you started!
 

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