Pig housing plans for small scale farmers
Have you been looking for a standard type of pig housing plans for small scale farmers? Well, there is no standard pig housing plan. Designs and housing plans for pigs are normally chosen to fit the management system that is most appropriate to the situation.
What you need to take care of is accommodation and equipment for the different ages and classes of pigs. For small scale pig units with 2 to 15 sows, you can use a common pen for several classes and ages of pigs at particular times. Where the number of sows surpass 15, I recommend specialized pens and buildings for the various stages of production.
Universal pig pen
The smallest unit is that of a sow and her piglets, which you take through to fattening and finally marketing. Though the space is not used efficiently, small units of 2 to 6 sows can be accommodated on a flexible pen which can be used for:
- 1 sow and her litter, or
- 2 litter of weaned piglets, or
- 3 to 4 gestating sows, or
- 9 growing / finishing pigs of up to 90kg live weight, or
- 1 boar
Farrowing and care of new-born piglets is a key aspect of pig production and you should aim for the sow to farrow as many times as possible with minimum piglet losses. Piglets are mostly lost through death caused by trampling by the sow. It is for this reason that sows are confined in specialized pens to prevent trampling. To accomplish this, you can erect fixed or removable guard rails to divide the pen and keep the sow to one side. You might fear that the sow may not have enough exercise, but the suckling period of 6 to 8 weeks is relatively short. It is more strategic to keep the sow confined with her litters.
When you are to use the universal pen for farrowing, place guard rails 25cm above floor level and 25cm from the wall to protect the piglets from being crushed. Position in one corner of the pen a creep for the piglets. Construct a temporary ceiling (e.g. wire netting covered with straw) 50 to 60cm above the floor in the creep area to prevent draughts and to maintain warm temperatures for the piglets during their first weeks of life. Heat with an infra-red lamp instead if electricity is available. Feed the piglets in the creep area out of reach of the sow.
You can further develop the universal pen into single or double row units as the number of sows and piglets increases. The building can be extended to accommodate 2 to 4 more sows by adding 2 pens for fattening at one end every time a farrowing pen is added at the other end. Arrange the semi covered manure alleys along the outside walls separated from the rest of the pen. This arrangement will allow rain water to help flush away the waste to the drain channel and onto the manure pit which must have the capacity to contain this water.
Single row pig unit for 2 sows and fattening pigs
Double row pig unit for 4 sows and fattening pigs
You can equip the roof with gutters so that rain water can be drained away separately or be collected for use as drinking water for the pigs. Of course you have to observe the construction details of a piggery unit
Housing for medium scale pig farming
Specialized pens for pig units housing more than 6 to 8 sows are recommended for the various production stages. The pens can be quartered under the same roof. Large production volumes can be housed in units accommodating up to about 15 sows. Further increases should be undertaken by separate units of up to 15 sows, as too many animals in one building is a potential health hazard.
Housing for large scale pig farming
Special provisions must be made for efficient health control in large scale pig units. This means that not too many animals are housed in one building; animals of approximately the same age housed together; using an all-in-all-out system with thorough cleaning and disinfection of every house between each batch of pigs; placing the building 15 to 20m apart and surrounding the entire site with a secure fence.
Specialized pens in separate houses for the various stages in the production is provided for more than 20 to 30 sows. Each type of pen is designed with dimensions for the most efficient use of the building space as they don’t have to fit in a layout with other types.