• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Pigs for drainage

 
hans muster
Posts: 24
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
WHAAAAAAAAAAT? Are you crazy, haven't you seen the thread about sealing a pond with pigs?

Yes I have. And it is a great post, well documented. Thanks by the way!


BUT.

There is a gentle slope, in a wet and waterlogged area. Previous owner overgrazed and compacted the soil with heavy cattle. A pond is planned, but there is a maximal area authorised by the local law, and it is really small. Geese are in another (fox-safe) area, and there is too much Juncus to feed them. Thats why pigs.

Planned is rotational grazing but with the pen staying in the same spot.
If we fence the pigs in a way that they always walk up and down the slope in different corridors. (Pen in one dry spot, and they have to walk between 2 fences down the wet area and up in another place.)

This would locally dig trenches and slightly dry the land, no? (Turn the problem into the solution...)
Trees would be planted behind the fences, as if they were swales done by someone who misunderstood "on contour".

Anyone?
 
hans muster
Posts: 24
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Up.

Is it clear what I meant in the post above? Or did something get lost in the translation?
 
Michael Newby
gardener
Pie
Posts: 634
Location: Mount Shasta, CA Zone 8a Mediterranean climate
106
books chicken duck forest garden greening the desert hugelkultur trees woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Let's see if I'm understanding what you're looking to do:

Sounds like the plan is to use pigs to dig drainage swales in a gently sloping, waterlogged area. Does that sum it up?

I think that a lot is going to depend on why the area is waterlogged. Is there a natural spring or seep right there, is it getting runoff from an irrigated area above it, does it just collect and hold too much water due to the lay of the land? I'm thinking that if it's seepage then then you're going to have a hard time drying the area out just using pigs but if it's one of the other two scenarios then drainage swales might help direct water away from the area to help dry it out.

I'm pretty confident that a breed that likes to do a lot of rooting can make swales for you if you can get your enclosure done right. If the pigs do too good of a job sealing up the swale it might help to break up the seal on the uphill side of the swale. That way you would be encouraging the water to seep out from uphill, collect in the swale and redirect to where you want the water. Not sure if these would be proper swales at this point but I'll leave it up to someone else to come up with a better name.
 
hans muster
Posts: 24
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks!

Sounds like the plan is to use pigs to dig drainage swales in a gently sloping, waterlogged area. Does that sum it up?

yes!

The reason why it is waterlogged is the huge amounts of rain falling here, combined with the compacted soil left after the heavy cattle from the previous farmer.
It will be for next year, but probably worth a shot.

Not sure if these would be proper swales at this point but I'll leave it up to someone else to come up with a better name.

I am almost sure they should not be called swales, as their function is quite the opposite, but will leave it to the native speakers to come up with a name...
 
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic