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Lightweight movable loafing shed ideas?

 
Gwen Weerts
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I'm bringing in 4 American Guinea hogs this weekend, and I'll be using intensive rotational grazing with movable electric netting around our pasture. I have a loafing shed that is technically movable, but it would require PVC skids and a tractor. I need to be able to move the whole setup (waterer, feeder, loafing shed, fence) every few days, and it's not practical to move the wooden loafing shed so often. The pasture is open and unshaded, so they'll need a cool place to hang out. One hog farmer friend suggested corrugated drain culverts, which can be easily rolled, but I think those will get too warm under direct sun. Any suggestions? Guinea hogs are quite a bit smaller than other pigs, max 200 lbs at maturity, usually smaller.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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hau Gwen, welcome to the AGH, first off, The AGH can get up to 300 lbs. not 200, just incase that was one of your purchasing points. Average Slaughter weight is 150-200 lbs.

For a Loafing shed, we built a three sided one, Our pastures are set up so the hogs can go back to their house at dark if they should want to.
To make a loafing shed moveable I would suggest Large wheels so that you can move it without dragging.

A loafing shed or hog house needs to be built rather sturdily since they love to rub against anything they can for a good scratch.
Ours just knocked down an oak tree that was in their home base pen it was 2" in diameter, not a big one but they took it down in one rub session no problem, then they ate the leaves.

We have our paddocks set up so the hogs can be moved around easily with electric tape on fiberglass poles, this makes it very easy to move them and we don't have to have anything other than a full perimeter fence.
Ours come when we call them by name. We will have our first litter in around 2 weeks and the second litter is just around 3 months away now. Last week I finished the set up of our farrowing hut.

Good luck, I know you will love them, almost as much as they love belly rubs and ear scratches.
 
Gwen Weerts
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Hi Bryant, thanks for the welcome! I'm beside myself with excitement. Thanks very much for the tip on fencing and shed. I've read it's important to fence train them as piglets so they don't go right through the electrified wire, so I'm starting out with a 16x16 hogwire enclosure, and I'll run the electrified netting on the inside until they learn what it is. The very heavy semi-movable loafing shed is accessible from this enclosure. Perhaps this can be "home base" and I could call them to return to this area each night. For the movable netted pastures, I was thinking of a PVC/tarp shed, but your comment about adult size and scratching has made me reconsider. Back to the drafting board!

What and how much do you feed your AGHs to supplement their grazing? I've started out with a pricey bag of non-GMO hog raiser, but the cost will not be sustainable, so I'm still researching other grain feeds. We have lots of breweries in the area, but most of the spent grains already have already been spoken for.

 
Bryant RedHawk
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Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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We supplement their pasture with vegetables that we get from the local grocery store and a farm market owned by a friend of ours. This produce is what they throw out because of blemishes or age on the shelves.

I currently am giving the sows a non-gmo high protein "sow feed" (aprox 2 lbs. per sow per day, costs is 14.00 per 50 lb. bag) that is designed to help with piglet development but that ends once the babies are through nursing.
This feed does not have any antibiotics or other "nasty" items in it.

We are still developing extra pasture and will most likely end up with 3 acres. Our pastures have trees that were already growing when we made the land purchase.

One thing about the AGH, being a lard hog, they can put on too much weight if you overfeed them. This makes it hard on their joints and you can tell because they will look really fat and not be able to get up or move well.
We find that limiting feed store food is the easiest way to make sure they stay healthy, these are old world hogs not feeder pigs, they do not follow the published standards of "commercial type pigs in any way other than being all about the food.

We joined the AGHA since we are breeding for sale both breeding hogs and eating hogs. I am hoping to get their very delicious meat into the hands of some good chefs here.
our hogs are registered as will be the shoats and gilts. (we do not castrate, there really isn't a need for it on our farm)

 
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