Pigs Bedding Down in Field
While we’ve been working on getting our new greenhouse that will double as winter farrowing and her sleeping space the pigs took matters into their own, er, hands. They opened a couple of bales on the south field terrace. Rather than fighting this I rearranged the bales to create several more wind breaks and placed open bales in the lee sides. The pigs quickly spread themselves out between the spaces.
During the warm months the pigs sleep alone or in small groups out in the pastures. During the winter they tend to bunch up a lot more into larger groups to share their 103°F body heat. This can be a problem for smaller pigs. If you’re only 150 lbs and you choose to sleep in the warm space between two 800 pound sows you may find it deadly difficult to breath during the night should the ladies shift their positions. Small groups don’t have this problem. I like to keep the winter sleeping groups down below 30 and ideally below 20 pigs in a pile.
It is an interesting system, having the pigs open the hay themselves. So far they’re going through the hay at the same rate I had calculated for the year so we’re on track. As long as there is plenty of fresh hay out the pigs don’t open the sealed bales. If they run out of hay they seem to be opening the bales at a reasonable rate. I still do have to pickup the wrapping as they are not good about rolling it up into a bundle and putting it away.
Outdoors: 31°F/24°F Snow 10″
Farm House: 50°F/42°F
Tiny Cottage: 63°F/53°F