Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Pigs in mud  (Read 651 times)

DenisCooper

  • Joined May 2016
Pigs in mud
« on: December 06, 2022, 11:29:34 am »
Hello

After some advice. Iíve got 3 pigs and every year this time of year their large pen gets really deep in mud. We live in a clay area.

Would adding a few large bales of straw to the area make it worse or better.


They end up losing half their feed as they like to bury their feeders.

Thanks

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Pigs in mud
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2022, 12:08:21 am »
When the mud is cold if it gets up to their bellies, you've got a welfare issue.   They would be much happier housed if it gets to that stage.

Until then, use straw at the entrance to the ark so they can get the mud off themselves as they go in.  Then at least they should be dry and warm in bed.

You may find you need to clean out muddy, wet straw every day or two.  Partly because they will be taking wet mud in with them and partly because they may start to pee in the ark as it's so unpleasant for them going outside.  So keep piling the stuff you take out onto the pad at the entrance and put some fresh clean dry straw inside each day to replace what's come out. 

If you don't keep on top of removing the wet straw, again it can give rise to a welfare issue, as they wouldn't have anywhere dry and warm to lie.  They don't cope with that any better than we would, and can very easily succumb to pneumonia. 
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Pigs in mud
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2022, 04:22:57 pm »
I don't remove the wet straw in winter - it's another job to do and involves further trampling on already muddy ground. I let it build up and it is soon flattened by the animals. It also rots down from the bottom so making less to remove in summer. As the straw layer builds up there is less and less mud at the surface so the animals stay cleaner and drier.
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Pigs in mud
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2022, 06:27:47 pm »
The important thing is that the pigs have dry straw to lie on, so yes, layering dry on top of the wet is another option, so long as it's thick enough it doesn't get wet through from the stuff underneath.  They can become ill very quickly if they can't get dry and warm. 
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

DenisCooper

  • Joined May 2016
Re: Pigs in mud
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2022, 08:14:53 pm »
Thanks for the replies. Their house is always nice and dry with fresh straw. The issue in the winter is the perimeter of their enclosure is 6inch deep in heavy mud. They still love going in and out of it but itís really difficult for us to get in and they keep burying their feeders in the mud.

So I was thinking if I dropped a load of straw all round the perimeter would it kind of absorb the mud and make it easier for us to get in and out and them not bury their feeder, or would I make it worse.


SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Pigs in mud
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2022, 09:47:07 pm »
Well you won't make it worse.  But you could spend a lot of money making strawy mud that isn't any easier for you to walk on.  So I might try it in one area only, maybe a 10' wide strip, as an access path for yourselves, and see how it goes.  Do report back and let us know! 
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Pigs in mud
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2022, 09:48:26 pm »
Yes - dropping a load of straw helps immensely. If you have to buy it you should be able to get bottom or top straw from outside stacks quite cheaply. In my experience, short of moving the animals away completely, there is no other way of mopping up the mud in winter.
 
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

DenisCooper

  • Joined May 2016
Re: Pigs in mud
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2022, 10:22:31 pm »
Thanks.

I should be able to get hold of some old straw fairly easily I think.

 

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