Sunday, August 30, 2009

Proper Pig Housing by Shepherds Green

A tight, well insulated house is necessary in cold climates. These pigs came from a sub tropical environment. Young pigs have little fat to protect them; older pigs, especially in groups or two or more sleeping together can tolerate much more cold. Build a large enough house to accommodate your pig comfortably, but not a lot of space for heat loss. A 6'x6'x4' high makes a good size for one to four pigs. In colder climates where temps drop below 0, insulate all walls, floor and ceiling with standard 3-1/2" fiberglass insulation. Interior and exterior plywood walls. A solid floor of 1" boards or plywood. The door should be faced away from prevailing winds and have 2 heavy rugs for doors, one outside and one inside.
A reflective heat lamp can be suspended or a ceramic light fixture installed for use in heating should temperatures be below zero. Use standard 150 or 200 watt light bulbs, not heat bulbs. Keep light at least 2 feet above the pig.
WARNING. Any kind of light is a fire hazard. To be safe use the special heaters made especially for pigs instead. These are available on line from ENasco and from Jeffers Pet. (See link of the Essentials" page. ). Pig heater, installed on wall so it doesn't get overheated under hay, is shown at right.
Fill the house with straw or hay and keep it 16 inches deep. They will bury themselves under it and be nice and warm. Bedding won't last long as it becomes pulverized and flat so keep a check on it. Add a blanket to the bedding for extra protection. If you live in a severe climate where sub zero is common, it is best to plan an indoor sleeping area. If you live in a farm setting and have a barn, build a house inside the barn and throw hay over it as well as in it. Or give them access, in the dry, to a roll or big pile of hay and they will burrow into it. With multiple pigs no heat is usually required in a good barn with plenty of hay. visit:

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