If you’re thinking about raising some pigs of your own, take into consideration one of the most important aspects in raising the animals: their housing. How will you plan on housing your pigs? Several options exist other than the traditional “hog barn” which is most efficiently used with large groups of animals. If you are looking at raising just a few animals, consider these alternative options:
- Hoop Barns
Hoop structures are Quonset-shaped structures typically made with wood sides and posts and include steel arches covered with a canvas material. Dirt floors with straw is typically used in hoop buildings with pigs.
Raising pigs in an open pasture allows for the animals to readily practice their instinctive behaviors. Shelters in the pasture can be small, portable, three-sided shelters with bedding to provide protection from cold temperatures and shade during hot weather.
- Small, Outdoor Pens
The least costly housing option is small pens with a structure for shelter, capable of housing all the animals at a given time, especially during the summer heat. Floors can be concrete or simply dirt with straw.
Finishing a few pigs on your own can be a healthy and rewarding experience for your family. Now that we’ve outlined some housing options, we’ll continue connecting the American worker with the American farmer in our series on raising a small group of pigs, and discuss feeding options to consider. Stay tuned!