The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Livestock => Pigs => Topic started by: Broadwood on July 10, 2021, 12:51:05 pm

Title: Pig housing
Post by: Broadwood on July 10, 2021, 12:51:05 pm
We are hoping to get our first pigs next year, I would like to build an ark for them, but I'm struggling to find any details of what size the ark should be (for 2-3 weaners), which we will raise for meat.  Floor area, door opening size, etc?

Our holding has the remains of some old stone/brick pig stys, and I would eventually like to rebuild these to use.  These will be used for farrowing, and also instead of arks in the fields.  Again I'm struggling to find any dimensions that these should be, opening/door sizes etc.
Title: Re: Pig housing
Post by: Richmond on July 10, 2021, 06:24:47 pm
I think our ark is about 8' x 8' (without going down the field to measure it!) and 3 weaners fit in there very comfortably.
Title: Re: Pig housing
Post by: HappyHippy on July 10, 2021, 06:36:07 pm
It really depends on what materials you've got available to you.
For 3 weaners to pork weight you'd probably get away with 6ft by 4ft floor space, but if you think you'll end up farrowing or keeping more weaners/taking them to bacon size then 6ft by 8ft is more useful (you can reduce the size inside with hurdles or bales of straw)
We built most of ours using curved steel sheets (8 ft wide and 4 ft high) and the ends were made from exterior ply which were easy to cut doors out of and add ventilation holes. 3ft high by 2ft wide will be ample for an opening and having it to one side rather than centrally gives a wee bit more protection from the weather.
We also have some great arcs made from old plastic heating oil tanks - they're great for weaners, but wouldn't be much good for adult pigs. They have the added bonus of a built in floor and are easy to roll around if you want to change the position or site. Lots of hot water and washing up liquid once you've cut the doorway then 10 minutes with a pressure washer to rinse it. They're probably my favourite ones.
For farrowing pens you want a bit more space - around 8ft X 8/10 ft and if you're building it from scratch try and build in a farrowing rail or fixings for a removable one. I'd also suggest making sure the roof height is tall enough for you to stand up comfortably - stooping over or banging your head on a roof trying to quickly get out the way of an overprotective sow isn't ideal!
Everyone will have their own ideal set up, but this worked for us.
Hope that helps a wee bit?
Karen  :)
Title: Re: Pig housing
Post by: Broadwood on July 21, 2021, 08:23:04 pm
Why do most pig stys (stone, brick, etc) only seem to have a low height door for the pig, and no back human size door?
Title: Re: Pig housing
Post by: harmony on July 22, 2021, 10:04:32 am
To keep in the heat. Winters were colder and warm animals eat less. Old animal buildings weren't built with ventilation in mind or access for machines to go in and muck out.

A sow in a farrowing ark will act like a radiator. A sow in a high roofed building may need a heat lamp for her litter.

You tend to put an ark on higher ground so it will be drier but also windier.