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housing/feeders for only 3 American Guinea Hogs

 
Jodie Starr
Posts: 17
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I found the AGHs I want; and I will be getting a total of three (3) during the summer of 2014. I am now in the process of preparing them a place that will do the following: (I do so hope some of you in here will help me find these OR get creative in making them myself.)

1. Keep them safe "inside" a "temporary" pen
a) hog panels are being looked
b) electric wire/tape to go along the bottom for training purposes only (Need to know what type tape and what battery/charger or whatever I need to keep it hot.)
c) netting to go over top of temporary pen

2. Keep them out of any bad weather
a) some type of housing small enough for 3 young piglets to stay warm in, i.e. tall enough for heat light (or maybe using a heat pad specifically made for piglets)
b) some type of housing that will hold all 3 AGHs as they grow

3. Feed piglets later on (after these piglets mature enough to farrow) in a way that does not permit grown hogs to get that piglet food (not even sure if this will be neccessary as they will all be free-ranging together as soon as they learn what the electric wire has taught them about staying away from fencing)

So far in my searches, I've only found LARGE types of housings and feeders; but I will never keep over 3 "mature" hogs at a time. May even decide to only keep one breeding pair. (I only have 6 acres total of land they can roam in and my family is small and I do not plan on selling any.)
 
R Scott
Posts: 3305
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
32
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This is what was THE standard for pastured hogs in the midwest for the last 50 years until CAFO's took over: http://www.port-a-hut.com/livestock-shelters.cfm

They may be expensive for you--shipping can be more than the shelters. But they should give an idea.

One of the large local goat ranches uses fiberglass underground fuel tanks that failed inspection--never had fuel in them and were either not made right or damaged in transport. Quarters them into four huts. Strong enough to be buried like a wofati, they were the only thing his bucks couldn't destroy.

We used a standard carport available from a big box store. Added sides to make a barn/garage and use a tarp flap door in front for the winter to hold some heat in.

Heat lamps always worry me in barns, good deep bedding should be more than enough. Those pigs will burrow down into a pile of straw and be cozy.

Hog panels are incredibly useful things to have around the farm. They aren't really that easy to move as rotational grazing, but having them to pen the hogs OUT of new plantings is really useful.


You need really solid perimeter fence. Then any temporary fence can work. I prefer rope/braid over tape--tape takes more space and is a pain to get in the clips. But animals can see it much easier so it is a better visual barrier for animals that care.

http://www.kencove.com/
http://www.premier1supplies.com/

Those are two of the bigger online fence suppliers. Pick a mains charger if you have access to power--they run a LOT hotter and just less to worry about. They are NOT rainproof, though so they need shelter (at least a bucket over the top if on a post). Otherwise get a 12v charger and a deep cycle battery and a small solar panel separately. The solar chargers just are not hot enough IMO or have enough battery or panel for winter or long rainy spells.

Also buy the name brand posts, the O'Briens may cost 50% more but last 3 times longer. If you are running out long fence and moving it a lot, you will want the geared reels--they really speed up moving the fence.

Walter Jeffreys can tell you a lot more on how to rotate hogs.
 
Jodie Starr
Posts: 17
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Thank you Scott. I'll check out those URLS. I googlee "mains charger" and found they were for ipods and blackberries. Knowing nothing about running electricity, I have no idea what I am looking for in a "mains charger". Can you be more specific as to which to get? I can run electricity from my barn down to where the hog pen will be.

I'm thinking just a single strand of wire (electric) along the inside about 6-8 inches off ground. However, what kind of wire OR what kind of tape? I have no clue!

I'm thinking I get whatever type of electric wire I need for this paremeter fencing and attach it to that "main charger" you spoke of (attached to a post that can be covered with a bucket. Then from that charger, run the electric wire/tape to my barn and plug it in....Of course, this is a noob talking; so I really have no idea how to set this up. Sure would appreciate some guidance. The area I will be running this electric wire around is triangle shaped with all 3 sides about the same length, i.e. 100 ft.
 
R Scott
Posts: 3305
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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"mains" means 110v plug in. Sorry, I have been watching South African, Australian, and NZ ranchers talk about herd management all week. Some of the terminology rubbed off.

http://www.premier1supplies.com/detail.php?prod_id=51664&cat_id=170 or http://www.kencove.com/fence/detail.php?code=EXD3

This is the best value for power and versitility IMO--you can plug it in or run it from a battery, it is HOT even in dry ground, and can run plenty of fence for you. You could go cheaper, but not by much. Biggest thing beside keeping it dry is to USE ENOUGH GROUND ROD!!! put in double what they say if you can. You can buy groundrod locally, so don't buy it online unless you price check.

DON'T put the charger (or the grounds) near the water either!!! Pigs are pretty sensitive to stray current and if any gets in the water they won't drink.


http://www.premier1supplies.com/detail.php?prod_id=24378&cat_id=41 or http://www.kencove.com/fence/Braided+Twine+Mixed+Metal+3SS+3CU_detail_RBT43S3CW.php

Both of those are fairly high quality twine. They last longer and carry more power. They do get bulky, but you don't need to fit a quarter mile on a reel. Buy 1 big spool and split it between multiple reels to save money.



http://www.premier1supplies.com/detail.php?prod_id=52481&cat_id=49 or http://www.kencove.com/fence/Geared+Reel_detail_RRSG.php

Geared reels are awesome, you can wind about as fast as you normally walk. With the cheap reels you stand there and crank and crank and the step forward one step and crank and crank..... But for 300-400 feet of fence it might not matter so much.


http://www.premier1supplies.com/detail.php?prod_id=17225&cat_id=47 or http://www.kencove.com/fence/Step-In+Posts_detail_RRTW.php

Posts are a personal preference thing. I really like the pigtail posts because they are indestructible and cheap, even after adding the extra wire clips. But I don't run much fence, only moving 400 feet or so at a time. My friend that runs a lot more rotational fence prefers the obriens because they are lighter and easier to carry more of them. Don't get the store brand versions of the plastic ones--they don't have enough UV stabilizers and the metal spikes are weak. They just don't last so they cost you more in the end.

You can buy the thick fiberglass poles from online or steel T-posts from a local farm store to use for corner posts. None of the step in posts will hold as a corner or an end.

I don't remember the right height for a pig wire, but it is pretty low. If you want to train a pig to the wire, smear some peanut butter on the wire in the training pen. That will get them to hit it with their nose first and then they will respect the wire--but they are ALWAYS checking the fence, they can sense the electricity w/o touching it so they can tell when it is weak or down. Then they run the risk/reward in their head for what they smell on the other side of the fence and you have lost.
 
Jodie Starr
Posts: 17
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Thank you so much Scott. I really appreciate all that information and it will help me better understand what I should do for my AGHs.
 
Anna Spangle
Posts: 19
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My livestock vet said he had seen pigs STARVING on pasture here. We have very lush grass but since it rains 6 months of the year, the grass may be low in nutrients/vitamins/minerals in some invisible way. But I am a little skeptical you can get pastured pork without lots of additional (concentrated calories) inputs. How have people done this?
Jodie how are your Guineas? I am about to buy THREE LITTLE PIGS but raising pork is new for me too. My guinea hogs will be pretty small and I hope to butcher before they get too fat. I am not planning on getting an electric fence; I dislike those things. But I am concerned how well pigs DON'T seem to herd though.
A friend of mine (flower farmer) who saw the titles "chicken tractors" and "plowing with pigs" assumed those books were literally what they sounded like. I told her yes, its just GOOD TRAINING.
 
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