Win a copy of 5 Acres & a Dream this week in the Homestead forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • r ranson
  • Mike Haasl
  • James Freyr
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Burra Maluca
garden masters:
  • Steve Thorn
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Kate Downham
  • Jay Angler
  • thomas rubino

Pig fence question

 
Posts: 5
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am getting into pigs this year. I was wondering if using just hog panels without electric fencing is a viable option. I was thinking of making a 16x32 pen for them.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1733
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
633
forest garden rabbit tiny house books solar woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A few things to keep in mind.....

... 32" high keeps most pigs confined, but not all. I have raised Hawaiian feral pigs, which I discovered can be very good jumpers. I've had boars jump over a wood pallet fence set up on end for the extra height. I haven't had a sow do that. I've had 6 month old babies jump and hook their front feet and elbows over the top of cattle panels that were higher than 32". I'm not sure of the exact height. I'd have to go out and measure them.
... While I've never had a pig climb a cattle panel, I have had them lift them up and go under. So the panel will need to be held down in some fashion. Pigs are very strong when it comes to rooting and lifting with their heads.
... Pigs like to root and can go down deep. So they could go under a panel simply because they created a gap while digging down. They will take the opportunity to escape if a hole develops.
... Pigs like to rub on fences. Unless the fence is sturdy, they can eventually knock a fence down simply by rubbing themselves repeatedly on it.

The idea of the shock wire is to keep them from rubbing and rooting along the fence. It won't stop a determined fence basher or jumper. There for a while I had a sow who was a fence basher. Needless to say, she didn't stay long on my farm. None of my fencing kept her confined for long. She needed something far stronger than what I had.
 
gardener
Posts: 2745
Location: latitude 47 N.W. montana zone 6A
487
cat pig rocket stoves
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Anj;   Welcome to Permies!
Here is an idea for you.
If you have access to used metal roofing, hopefully for free.  Simply dig a trench 6"-12" deep and set the roofing in horizontal.   Then you just need some posts and a top wire or two. Piggys contained.
The roofing does two things. First, piggy heads are generally down. They can't see thru the roofing so they do not want to go out there.
Second , when they root along the fence line (they will) by the time they dig down to the bottom of the roofing , there is no view of green grass on the other side...


Were you just thinking of just raising wieners to butcher weight? Or keeping them thru the winter and breeding?
I would suggest starting with just raising to slaughter. If you like it then you could step up to breeding.

Good luck with your plan!
 
Anj Herrem
Posts: 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Planning on just raising to butcher weight this year to get a feel for it
 
Posts: 46
Location: Saskatchewan
12
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It is recommended to use 3 to 4 t posts per panel to secure them in place. But yes this is a viable option. The reason electric fence is popular these days is for mobility. Keeping 2 pigs in a 16 x 32 area would be barren pretty quick and packed down hard shortly after. With electric it is easy to keep them mobile so no one spot takes all of the abuse.
 
Anj Herrem
Posts: 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If I go with the electric fence what would be the best controller to use?
 
pollinator
Posts: 2129
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
225
kids duck forest garden chicken pig bee greening the desert homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think pigs escape for a reason, and if you keep that reason in check you shouldn't have a problem. I've had pigs for awhile now. I lock them up in the winter. I've had them put holes in the fence a few times. That was the boar trying to get at the sows. Otherwise no problems. I think this is because the area they are in is quite large, so they aren't bored and cramped and attempting freedom. I also keep them quite well fed, so they don't need to escape to find food. Now, maybe I'm wrong about the reasons pigs break out. Maybe I'm just lucky. I don't know. All I know is I have 4' field fencing nailed to wood posts and I haven't had a problem with escaping pigs. I put a hog panel on the front near the gate but that was because I had some dogs break in and kill my peacocks. I've felt no need to put up electric.
 
Posts: 10
3
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
elle saganev is right, pigs only leave if you don't give them what they want.  16 by 32 is NOT enough space for 2 pigs, so they will try to get out.  If you give them enough space and enough feed, water, and things to root around in, they will be happy and will stay there.

You might consider putting them in an area where you don't need to fence every side.  We have found that 10 foot thick blackberry thickets make excellent "pig fence".  

Generally speaking, the more room you give them the less they are going to try to leave that area.  It is, in fact, somewhat difficult to get pigs to move to a new spot if you're trying to rotate them and they are happy where they are.

We use a Speedright 6000 charged with a deep cycle battery.  It can power several acres of polywire.  We swap out the battery every 2 to 3 days.

Once the pigs are trained to electric this is far more than you really need, and in the summer we just use a solar charger on adult pigs and have never had them really test it.  You do need a good charger when training them to fence.  Ideally you would borrow a heavy-duty charger from a friend, train the piglets on that, and then swap over to a solar charger for the rest of the time.

Pigs that are trained to the electric and happy inside it will stay there.
 
Anj Herrem
Posts: 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If I am planning on having 2 and rotating them weekly or bi-weekly how big of a pen would be sufficient?
 
gardener
Posts: 943
Location: Galicia, Spain zone 9a
202
dog duck chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts pig bike bee solar ungarbage
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Anj Herrem wrote:I am getting into pigs this year. I was wondering if using just hog panels without electric fencing is a viable option. I was thinking of making a 16x32 pen for them.


Is that feet or meters? Feet seems a bit small, but metres is a fair amount of space.
 
Anj Herrem
Posts: 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Originally I was thinking 16x32 feet. If I am moving them every week or two how big should it be?
 
Mandy Launchbury-Rainey
gardener
Posts: 943
Location: Galicia, Spain zone 9a
202
dog duck chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts pig bike bee solar ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It is quite difficult to quantify. If you are moving every couple of weeks they need enough space to not turn that space into moonscape and that will depend on their size as they grow. I have discussed this with our local farm vet and on our 900 m2 pig field, he suggests dividing one half into 60 m2 plots and moving them as soon as the wear and tear becomes obvious. So that would be shorter time periods on each plot as they grow. The other half is woodland,  where, if the 1st of our 8 plots hasn't recovered in time, they can root about freely until recovery is sufficient. As the summer goes on they will spend more and more time in the woods and under the fruit trees. Of course, all this depends on how much bought in food they are getting.  If you put a feeder in the centre of the plot with a set amount of feed, then when the feeder is empty is the time to move the pigs. Again, that time will be shorter and shorter. It really does depend on your overall space and feeding regime. But for me, whatever we do, I want them to be happy and having enough space to pootle about without always having to avoid a fence is important. Our minimum will be 60m2, on vets advice,  which works out to around 650 sqft. Given that 32 ft is your longerst border, increase the width to around 20 ft and you will be giving and extra 20% of space, but that should be adjusted with experience of your pigs, their age and breed. I hope that helps.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1146
Location: Virginia USDA 7a/b
256
hugelkultur forest garden hunting chicken food preservation bee
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Anj,

Some really good advice on here. Electric is awesome since you can change a plan in an hour, and make bigger paddocks as needed. The up front cost is high but I've been using the same nets for three years and they are in great shape. For full size piggys they come in a 42" height which does dual for chickens after the piggys go through, making it an easy starter rotation system. I would advise getting a 0.6 J or greeater charger as a weak zap is a useless fence and its marginally more compared to replacing nets and animals. I move the nets by hand in about ten minutes per 100" section including making the new paddock by cutting vegetation on the line. With 4 nets I can move them in about 35 minutes.
 
Mandy Launchbury-Rainey
gardener
Posts: 943
Location: Galicia, Spain zone 9a
202
dog duck chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts pig bike bee solar ungarbage
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Tj Jefferson wrote:Anj,

Some really good advice on here. Electric is awesome since you can change a plan in an hour, and make bigger paddocks as needed. The up front cost is high but I've been using the same nets for three years and they are in great shape. For full size piggys they come in a 42" height which does dual for chickens after the piggys go through, making it an easy starter rotation system. I would advise getting a 0.6 J or greeater charger as a weak zap is a useless fence and its marginally more compared to replacing nets and animals. I move the nets by hand in about ten minutes per 100" section including making the new paddock by cutting vegetation on the line. With 4 nets I can move them in about 35 minutes.



Thats a good idea.  I was thinking I would have to buy wires and nets separately but if the nets will do for the pigs and chucks - I want to follow pigs with chickens.
 
She'll be back. I'm just gonna wait here. With this tiny ad:
Heat your home with the twigs that naturally fall of the trees in your yard
http://woodheat.net
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!