Pig Pond North Field


Pigs at the North Field Pig Pond

Pigs love water. On hot summer days they look like hippos swimming in their ponds. We have dug a number of shallow ponds, perhaps 10′ to 20′ wide which catch water. The pigs packed the bottoms with their hard pointy feet, a traditional pond sealing method, so the soil holds the water. I chose spots that I tested to have higher than average clay content so this would work well.

The result is a scattering of small pig ponds around our land, accessible from various pastures. The ducks patrol for mosquitoes, frogs and dragonflies have moved in and we even see wild ducks and blue heron.

These reservoirs store water up for the dry month of August when some of our springs stop flowing. This gives the pigs and other livestock as well as the wildlife a source of water during the hot days of summer.

Outdoors: 55°F/36°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 63°F/59°F

Daily Spark: It’s hard to hang the headless horesman.

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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2 Responses to Pig Pond North Field

  1. Bob says:

    Walter,
    A pond is a high priority on our 60 acres in Ontario when we move there next summer. We have a seasonal stream which already creates a shallow seasonal pond in one area for a month or two after the spring melt. We are thinking of digging it deeper in that spot and increasing the height of the very low dam that appears to have been put there by farmers some generations ago. (The land is largely pasture that has been abandoned for a generation or more). In our last visit, I was encouraged by my tests that showed that the clay content in the soil in the area was mostly well above 20%.

    In the literature on livestock that I have been reading, the emphasis is more on fenced ‘dugouts’ rather than ‘ponds.’ I.e., deeper and covering less area to reduce evaporation and keep the water cooler, which could be pumped with solar power for the animals. That makes sense to me (and no permits are needed from government!) but other literature (largely from a permaculture perspective) seems to emphasize ‘ponds’ covering more area and creating more of a natural environment

    Do you have any thoughts on the difference between “ponds” and “dugouts?” And relative advantages etc?

    Once again, thank you for sharing so generously the fruits of your experience and research!

    Bo

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