Monday, February 16, 2009

ham and sausage- coming right up!

last week we catapulted the new pig pen to the top of the priority list, as we've had continuing incidents of the pigs getting out. when we first got them last fall, i had grand plans of fencing them in down in the field with and electric fence. that way, i figured, they could till up my new garden for me. however, pigs are escape artists very smart, and unless the charge on the electric fence is very strong, and extremely consistent when they are piglets, it becomes nearly impossible to contain them as they get older and bigger.

lesson learned for next time. (and yes, there will be a next time. and the plans are even grander!)

so now we are the proud creators and owners of possibly the first pig tractor. ever. and don't forget that you saw it here first!

Dave got a cull pile of lumber from work, some 16' 2x12's, and a few stock panels from tractor supply. while he had a general idea of where he wanted to end up with the design of the tractor, there were no specifics. however, there is an old saying about the perfect fence: horse high, pig tight and bull strong. there is a lot of wisdom in that, and we knew that the pig tractor would have to withstand being moved nearly every day with the tractor, as well as containing the 200+ pound pigs slamming and rooting around in there.

both girls were excited and eager to go outside and help daddy and G. they both love being outdoors.

G worked steadily, helping the 2 days that it took to build the pig tractor. we shingled the roof and two sides, while the back has another piece of stock panel. it's covered right now with a piece of plywood, due to the cold weather, but is designed to come off in the hotter weather. that way there will be air circulation to help keep the pigs cooler.

the whole pig tractor was built on the trailer, so when it was done, Dave just hooked up the trailer to the tractor, and we took it down to the field. it was fairly easy to get the pigs from their old (and muddy and gross) pen, into their new home. right away they started to root around. i was glad that they have better quarters now.

we gave them a treat of slops, and they dug right in, pushing and shoving to get the best pieces of garbage.

Dave taught me how to drive the tractor over the weekend, and this morning G, A and i went down to the field. i took along a bale of straw in the tractor bucket for the pigs bedding, and i moved the pig tractor to a new spot for them. they immediately start rooting and pawing around, and even thought the ground was still frozen so early in the morning, they seemed to be finding something to eat.

we're just a few weeks away from the pigs being ready to butcher,so i'm trying to fatten them up as much as i can.

because happy pigs make sweet pork!

1 comment:

Angie said...


Pigs sure are funny creatures. I remember we had some a few years ago and they were always getting out. Nick has raised a ton of them. He did one every year for 4H

Your pen looks great, almost too nice to be a pig pen :)


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