Designing the Perfect Pig Pen: My Journey to Raising Happy Pigs
For years, I have focused on self-reliance. To me, this means having the financial ability to support myself, my family, and those I am responsible for without being tied to a job or things like my time. It also means having the freedom to do the things that are important to me, when and how I want, and feeling secure in my environment, including having access to my own food sources through gardens, orchards, and husbandry.
Recently, I decided to start raising pigs again. In the past, I had raised pigs with my children and 4-H, but my experiences were mixed. The pens we built were basic and required a lot of maintenance, and I wasn’t sure they provided the pigs with the kind of life I wanted to give them.
I believe in being close to my food and providing the animals I am responsible for with a comfortable and caring life that ultimately produces high quality results. Therefore, I decided to design a new pigpen specifically for breeding mangalitsas, known for their exceptional meat quality. The design had to be different from the ones I had made in the past, so I set out with a few principles in mind:
- Adequate water and power for flexibility to install things like heaters and additional watering capabilities
- Well-built, insulated, and of sufficient height for easy access
- Low maintenance
- Attractive and blending in with the farm’s architecture
For the fence, I wanted one that could withstand a lot of pigs. I also included a line of electric fence for added security, and the ability to separate new litters from the boar.
I am very happy with how everything turned out. The pigs are happy, and we are looking forward to offering excellent quality pigs in 2023