What are the factors to consider in selecting a site for a swine project?
The pigs house for pigs kept in a pasture or other fenced in area should be sturdily built in order to prevent the pigs from accidentally demolishing it, filled with clean straw for bedding, and warm and dry. The housing provides the pigs with shade from the hot sun and keeps them warm in the winter.
While the bedding straw will remain clean, since pigs do not defecate where they sleep, it should still be replaced regularly when the straw has broken down.
You can keep old straw outside the housing, since pigs clean themselves by wiping with the straw before they enter their dwelling.
You should also ensure that the pigs have plenty of clean water which should be replaced daily to keep them healthy.
Apart from the pigs house, their pen should have a fence to keep the pigs inside their allotted area and prevent them from wandering around. You might want to consider installing electric fencing in order to prevent the pigs from knocking it down.
You can also buy a commercially-built pigs house, which will be specially built and customized to the pig farmer's specifications; such housing is not cheap but is a worthwhile investment that will save you time and trouble.
If you have a lot of pigs, you can also use a barn as a pigs house, since this would restrict the amount of space the pigs take up, as well as making it easier to control them. Keeping pigs in a barn can also help head off problems with disease, since the living environment can more easily be kept clean, while making it easier to collect pigs waste to turn into fertilizer.
You should divide the barn into a feeding area and a sleeping area, with a door to allow the pigs to travel between rooms. The feeding area should have a feeding trough where the pigs will eat, as well as a watering trough. To ensure easy cleaning, there should also be a water system and hose, so you can easily hose down the room after the pigs have finished eating.
The bottom of the walls should also be made of heavy material such as concrete, rather than wood, in order to prevent the pigs from destroying it by chewing on it. The bed area can be smaller than the feeding area, but should also be filled with clean bedding that is replaced on a regular basis.
Selection Of Housing Locations
- The site should be at an elevated place that cannot be flooded by rain water.
- The site should be protected from the sun (shade from trees) and have ample fresh air.
- Away from residences (around 8-10 meter away downwind).
- In case of a large scale pig farm, the site selected needs also to be: well connected to roads throughout the year.
- Suitable for manure disposal, connected to reliable water and electricity sources.
Construction plan for a good pig house/shed
The important points about the pig house are as follows:
- The floor of the house must be 3 X 3 m.
- The floor of the house must be raised about 60 cm above the ground.
- The floor boards should have spaces of 2 cm between them.
- The roof must be rain, proof.
The high side of the roof should face in a direction where some sun can shine a little way into the house on this side: but there must always be shade in some part of the house.
A pigsty can be constructed cheaply by using locally available materials. It needs to be constructed according to climatic conditions and according to the pig production system.
- The pigsty should be comfortable for the pigs: good ventilation and ample shade, no overheating, no smells, no draft and no dampness.
- The building should be constructed with its length axis in an East-West direction (protected from sun and rain).
- The pig building needs to be divided into different pens for each phase of the production cycle. The number and the size of the pens depend on the expected numbers of pigs to be housed in each production phase.
- The costs of constructing the pigsty should fit the pig production systems. An efficient pig production is required to cover high construction costs.