Pouring concrete pad around south whey trough.
Pigs, like chickens, horses, cows and sheep, often pee while they drink. This results in the area right around the whey troughs being very muddy, especially in the fall and spring when there is extra wetness from the weather. I slope it, berm it, drain it and provide rocks but it is still a muddy mess.
This fall while we were pouring concrete for the knee walls of the new greenhouse I got the bright idea to pour a concrete pad around the the troughs. Every time one pours concrete one must order extra. While it is a little more expensive to order the over run, it can be a disaster not to have enough concrete when you need it. Thus the 10% extra rule. Then if your calculations were right and the bracing worked such that the forms didn’t flex you end up with too much concrete. What to do with it?!? Well, I always have a side project ready to use the extra so it isn’t wasted. Thus the hexagon form that became a mystery photo.
Pigs watching concrete cure.
On this final pour of the year I used the concrete overage for pouring the pads around the troughs. Using a stick I drew long, deep radial lines from the trough out to the back edge of the pad. These act as drain lines to move water off the pads and away from the troughs. The lines also act as weak points in the concrete so that should I decide to move the pad I can break it up along those lines and move sections, one at a time, using the tractor.
To keep the pigs back and out of the fresh concrete I strung up some electric fencing. Thus the crowd watching the concrete cure. What they really want is to get to the whey – we fed them some extra apple pumace and whey in another area to keep them distracted.
Now that the concrete pads are cured the pigs are back drinking from the whey troughs. I think they are happier. They’re no longer standing in knee deep freezing cold mud. They pee off the back of the pads – I made the pads just large enough for the large pigs. As an added bonus, the concrete wears the pig and sheep toenails through the winter when the rocks of the pasture are covered in deep snows.
Outdoors: 29°F/26°F Cloudy, Ice
Farm House: 59°F/43°F
Tiny Cottage: 67°F/57°F