If you're raising pigs on a small farm or homestead, you'll need to know how to house and fence them properly. Fencing for pigs comes in several forms. And it's essential that whichever form you choose you make it secure, as pigs are notorious escape artists. Here are some of the best fencing and housing options for keeping pigs.
Fencing for Pigs
A benefit to pasturing pigs is the pigs will spread their own manure and fertilize your land. Plus, pigs not only eat grass but brush as well, so you can use them to clear overgrown areas. Hog wire, high tensile fencing, and woven wire all can be used in a pasture as perimeter fencing for pigs.
Also, pigs do dig under fences and can escape this way. So experts recommend using electrified wire toward the bottom of the fence to help deter pigs from digging under it. Using electric fencing allows you to securely keep pigs in a large pasture. Pigs are smart and will quickly learn to respect an electric fence. But you will need to leave a non-electrified "gate" through which the pigs enter and leave the fenced area, as they won't cross a spot where they know an electric fence has been before.
The key to pasturing pigs, as with any animal, is rotational grazing. That is, rotate them to new pasture as the current pasture gets churned up and muddy. So depending on the size of the pasture, plan to rotate your pigs to a new space roughly every week. This is the same method that's commonly used with sheep, goats, cattle, and chickens. You can use simple electric fencing to create partitions within the overall fenced area.
Some farmers also keep pigs in a relatively small enclosure with hog panels. The land will get churned up and muddy a lot faster. But you can use this to your advantage to quickly clear ground and loosen soil that you intend to plant. According to a swine specialist, fully grown pigs should have at least 8 square feet of space each.
When using hog panels to create a small pen with limited resources, you'll have to provide grain in an automatic feeder. Also, add an automatic waterer, and toss in some straw or sawdust for bedding. Note that this can be an expensive way to raise pigs because you'll have to pay for more of their nutrition.
Housing for Pigs
For housing, pigs need a shelter that will keep them safe from sun, wind, and rain. You can build it out of pallets, pressure-treated wood, or anything else you have around as long as it can withstand the elements.
Make sure the shelter can comfortably fit all of your pigs. And it should have ample ventilation. An A-frame structure with open ends can work well. Or a barn with access to the outdoors can be a good option, especially to keep pigs warm in cold weather. Within the shelter, add bedding such as hay or straw. Regularly change it out as it becomes wet and soiled.
Water is also a key part of pig housing. Pigs should always have access to fresh, clean drinking water via barrels, troughs, or other vessels. Automatic waterers can be convenient, and they're often set up within the pigs' shelter (especially barns) because they must be connected to a water line.
Not only do pigs drink a ton of water, but they also appreciate a pool or mud pit in which they can cool off and wallow. And they like to frolic in sprinklers or get hosed off on a hot summer day.