Building the correct pen for your show pig is highly important in ensuring your pig is comfortable and had the necessities to perform throughout the year. In the video below, you’ll hear tips from Josh Brockman of Brockman Farms on how to set up a concrete pen. However, if you have a dirt area or will be building your pen on another surface, this is still how your pen should be set up but the bedding may need to be different.
You need to make sure you have enough room for your pig to move around and be comfortable, but an excessively large pen will allow your pig to potentially injure themselves. We suggest pens should be 10’x6’ and at least 3’ tall. The sides can be made from pig panels, plywood or another similar material. The key is to make sure there aren’t gaps where you pig an escape or injure themselves.
Comfortable and absorbent bedding are key. White pine shavings work well because they are absorbent and provide the appropriate cushion on a concrete floor. There should be enough shavings that your pig is not walking on bare concrete. However, leaving the space in front of the feeder bare will help keep your pig’s toes even.
As your pig grows, you are going to need to adjust the height of your feeder so your pig can eat comfortably. To ensure the feeder is always the right height, we like to use hanging clip on feeders. Also, by placing them at the front of the pen, you can easily reach over the panels to feed your pig. A good rule of thumb is the bottom of the feeder should be just below your pig’s chest.
Fresh water is the most important nutrient for your pig, so it must be accessible at all times. There are lots of options in terms of the water you selection. The most important fact is that the water is clean and available at all times. Just like your feeder, it is best if you can place the water close to the front of the pen, away from where your pig sleeps so that area stays dry.
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