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Author Topic: how much space to pigs need  (Read 41301 times)


  • Joined Oct 2008
how much space to pigs need
« on: October 10, 2008, 07:05:36 pm »
We are looking to get 2 weaners but were wondering how big their pen should be?

Any advice would be great.

Voss Electric Fence


  • Joined Jul 2008
  • GMT -5
  • Callender Farms
    • Callender Farms, New Hampshire
Re: how much space to pigs need
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2008, 07:31:52 pm »
We use a 100 sq ft per pig outside area and 25 sq ft of covered space for sleeping, when we winter over our pigs. We usually only have 2 in the winter but that will be changing this year, so we added more fencing. (opps there goes the back yard...) I'm not sure what the actual minimums are but we have found that to be the smallest space we put them in.  :pig:
"I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals."  -Winston Churchill-


  • Joined Jan 2008
Re: how much space to pigs need
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2008, 05:23:54 pm »
The minimum space for a pig is a crate a couple of inches bigger than a pig. Yeah I know,inhumane,but it does still go on unfortunately. The minimum amount they need is the largest area you can give them,but, the smaller it is,the more 'rest' the land will need between raising weaners and the higher the risk of infections for your pigs.
   I have an area 25m x 28m attached to the barn in which they bedded-down in. Within 2 months the whole of that area was ankle deep in mub and not a bit of vegetation in sight (previously it was waist high in nettles,brambles,thistles,ivy,giant plantains and docks). So,for the last six weeks I put them on another strip 28m x 12m of grass which they almost nearly cleared completely too. Their area now looks like a bowling green and not a weed nor a stone in sight!
  It will be another 6 months before I get any more weaners to bring on,which will give the grass etc, that I've sown,chance to grow enough. It's also a good idea to keep a few chickens in with your pigs (egg boxes out of reach) as they clean the soil of all the worms,slugs,snails and other nasties,lowering chances of infection........ Ree
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Ash Field Farm

  • Joined Apr 2008
  • banbury
  • my girls
Re: how much space to pigs need
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2008, 05:41:40 pm »
hi ya i havent got round to getting my pigs yet it will be a later thing as iam to busy ive just got part of my cattle starting my own herd lol any way as far as i know  from many months of reserch  1 acre of land is surfficant for 10 pigs outdoors  in the 7-8 months u keep them (IF BOARS TAINT THE MEAT OTHERWISE the expresion i was given was it would be like eating a teenage boys bedroom if u let them get older  lol )
if there gilts  u could keep them a bit longer like a month  or so  as they dont taint the meat but it becomes more fattty because they get ready for farrowing and store fat as nutrition  use a low fence with a electric line close to the floor as possable  cos chasing pigs round for hours is a waste of time lol  well good luck have u though of wat breed u want to have  :pig: :pig:


  • Joined Oct 2008
  • Normandy, France
Re: how much space to pigs need
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2008, 12:29:32 pm »
Hi Ash Field Farm - I have re read  your post, and understand that you haven't got your pigs yet.  That being the case, if you are worried about boar taint, ( there is a whole thread on this subject by the way), then go for castrated males and/or females.

Depending on your breed selection, the outdoor rare breeds are slow growers anyway, and whoever advised you about females going to fat is totally wrong.  We have males and females growing on for meat, and they will only go to fat if over fed.  In the time we have had pigs, and we have a lot of them, I have never seen a gilt change in anyway because she wants to farrow.  Unless someone can correct me, I have never heard of a broody pig.  So, that is something you do not have to worry about.

With the numbers you are talking about - 10 pigs - it is also not necessary to slaughter them at 7 - 8 months. That would be your personal choice.  You can grow them on to 18 months and still have beautiful meat and of course excellent sized joints.  Unless you have a particular plan in mind, why not stagger the 'finishing' and test the theory yourself.  Do two at a time taking the last two right through to 18 month plus.
Please make sure you do not leave one on its own though, it would be desparately unhappy and very cruel to do so.

Ree is right with dimentions and advice - his pigs were very happy in their home with plenty of room to root around, and he is now resting the land for the next pair.

With 10 pigs and land available, this may dictate how long you can keep yours, but if you can move them around and rest areas, then take the experience all the way, and please keep us posted on how it all goes, and what choice of pig you decide on.

Kate  :pig: 

Bonjour et avoir un bon jour !


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: how much space to pigs need
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2010, 01:27:36 pm »
OK, so we're planning ahead a wee bit  ;D, but let's say we wanted to get a couple of weaners and fatten them up for slaughter at the usual weight.

Space is likely to be at a premium, so what size of pen would be thought of as 'reasonable' for a couple of   :pig: s?  Is the 700m2 mentioned above about right?

« Last Edit: January 28, 2010, 01:29:10 pm by Womble »
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett


  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: how much space to pigs need
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2010, 05:04:04 pm »
We keep one batch of 3 on two pens of 30ft x 40ft. They are there for 6 months, April to October, then the land left until the following spring. We swap them between the pens but both are pretty trashed by the end - one has a covering of grass now, the other is just mud.

The hut is maybe 8ft x4 ft and works fine - they sleep in a heap or outside if it's really warm.

I wouldn't like to keep them on less ground.


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: how much space to pigs need
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2010, 08:37:10 pm »
I wouldn't like to keep them on less ground.

Thanks Rosemary, that's interesting. So you're basically using two pens, at 10mx12m each, or in other words 20mx12m = 240m2.
Right, I'll file that one away for future reference as my 'reasonable minimum'.
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett


  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: how much space to pigs need
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2010, 08:42:46 pm »
You should check with your chosen abattoir what the max weight is they will deal with. Its 100kg at ours, so no huge baconers or home kill for them. Ours don't get that fat, but if you wanted to kill an older sow for sausages she would be definitely too large!


  • Guest
Re: how much space to pigs need
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2010, 07:12:37 am »
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  • Joined Mar 2009
Re: how much space to pigs need
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2010, 10:10:30 am »
If you are rearing them for the freezer then dont go for the 'as much as you can give them!' they will grow slower, of course they need space to run around and root/ dig etc, but thats all thats really needed. As for boar taint, take no notice, as long as they go to slaughter by the age of 6 months then you have nothing to worry about. Boars will grow quicker than gilts so could be more cost effective, good luck enjoy your pigs! :pig:


  • Joined Jan 2009
Re: how much space to pigs need
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2010, 03:01:44 pm »
I have been looking into this too. I was a bit alarmed that an ark manufacturer said 8x6 was enough for 10 porkers, so later found this on the The Business link site (which does have good links to defra and seems easier than searching the whole defra site) gives these housing floor space minimums. Uses weights to floor ratio in square metres. Hopefully they dont mean this is all the space an animal might have access to.
Av weight pig
(kilograms)    Min area per pig

10 or less      0.15
10 to 20            0.20
20 to 30            0.30
30 to 50            0.40
50 to 85            0.55
85 to 110       0.65
Over 110        1.00


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