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Author Topic: Our First Pigs - pen size?  (Read 212 times)

RosstropFarm

  • Joined Oct 2020
Our First Pigs - pen size?
« on: October 04, 2020, 11:40:12 am »
Hello everyone!
We have been reading TAS for a some time now with our eventual goal to have some pigs on our smallholding. Finally the time has come and we now have 4 GOS boys happy in their new pen. It wasn't all plain sailing as they escaped a couple of times the first day followed by hours of trying to catch them through hedgerows and over fields. They soon learnt to respect the electric fence though and all is well again. We expect to learn many things over the next few months and needing an electric fence training pen is definitely a lesson we'll write in stone!

We've now built them a more permanent pen with stock netting, a strand of barbed wire at the bottom to prevent them undermining it and electric strands above to keep them trained to it and stop them testing/pushing the fence as they grow. The question is, what would people recommend as a pen size? The pen is approx 150m squared (almost 10mx15m). Whilst this appears to be much more than the minimum standards I've found, I've struggled to find a clear guide for weaners to pork weight.
Our plan is to keep them in the secure pen for a few weeks to a month and then extend with electric fencing only for additional areas we want them to clear adjacent to the secure pen.

Looking ahead, we hope to have weaners again if all goes well so intend to reuse our permeant pen and rotate with temporary fencing additional areas.

Also just a huge thank you to Rosemary and Dan for sharing your experiences and setting up TAS!

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Our First Pigs - pen size?
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2020, 08:49:05 pm »
The biggest test will be the ground during the winter months. If it's not well drained with a lot of rain four growing pigs can soon make a mud bath.  If you intend to keep pigs into the future I would suggest two areas of the size you have so you rest and rotate.


Four finished pigs is a lot of pork.

bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Our First Pigs - pen size?
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2020, 06:08:34 am »
I'd say your pen was quite small and will quickly be turned over and become a mud bath depending on how well your soil drains. I would give them as much of an area as possible in the hope that they don't do too much damage. Personally I would give them at least 1/2 an acre so they have enough of an area to forrage to supplemement their diet and keep them entertained. I would also be prepared to bring them indoors for a few weeks when the weather gets really bad. You will need to prepare in advance for this as when the weather is really bad it can be very hard to get a trailer onto the fields.

Pigs are lovely creatures, hope you enjoy them :)

RosstropFarm

  • Joined Oct 2020
Re: Our First Pigs - pen size?
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2020, 04:18:15 pm »
Thanks both for the comments.

The pigs are on the lightest and most free-draining soil we have just alongside/within a tree line.

We've discussed today and decided to add a larger area either as additional pens for rotation, or just enlarge the existing. We have plenty of space to let them roam if we can trust the electric to keep them in....

We don't have any inside space - just the ark i've built them.

Lots of pork ready come the end of January. Starting to line up customers for half pigs and hope to have only half or one whole left for us.

 

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