Divided Trough

Belly Up to the Trough

Last year we bought several 300 gallon cattle troughs to use for feeding whey to the pigs. Set in the ground, to account for the pig’s shorter legs and necks, these large troughs work very well. The photo above shows an experiment with subdividing the trough so that two different groups can feed from it across a fence line which has worked very well. There was one weaner pig that took a dive and came up on the other side but she interestingly figured out to repeat her performance to get back and then stayed on her side after that. The rocks and crate in the trough are to give footing to any pigs or chickens that do fall in.

Outdoors: 78째F/50째F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 76째F/69째F

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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17 Responses to Divided Trough

  1. Jennifer says:

    Where do you get the whey for the pigs? My husband got a sow a few months ago with the thought to eventually breed her. Now we have a boar too and I have no clue what I'm doing so any advice helps.

  2. We get whey from a small local dairy that makes butter and cheese just over the mountain from us. Look around your area. Dated milk from grocery stores is another possible source as is simply having your own goats or cow and giving the excess to the pigs. Feeding pigs is an excellent traditional use for whey that turns a waste into high quality pork.

  3. Rosalyn Price English says:

    We (my amish girlfriend and I) have been lamenting the lack of affordable feeder pigs this summer – she has such an excess of Jersey milk she is dumping it in her garden! Sigh. Found two places for feeders, the cheapest at 35.00 each is pretty steep for this area. (Central PA)
    Bet that meat is going to be TASTY!!!

  4. Carol says:

    Be care full of buying the cheapst pigs. I bought pigs for years in the spring from Walter and they were great. Then four years ago I got some cheap ones from someone else for less. Man were they expensive. One died so that increased the price of the reamaining two right there. Then they grow slow so it cost more feed. I figure thos cheap pigs cost me twice as much. Since then I buy from Walter. Good genetics make a big dif.

  5. We've been giving our two feeder Tamworths our surplus goat milk every day and it's their favorite thing in the world. When I put dry food (bread, grain, etc) into the trough, the immediately nose it out, looking for pooled milk on the bottom.

    There are always sources of slops to be found, most of them under our noses. I sell my goat milk soaps at farmers markets and it just now occurred to me, after three months of pig ownership, to ask my bison-raising friends for their butchering scraps.

  6. CouleeView says:

    Walter, I see that you use poultry netting around your hogs. Don't you have problems with them rooting dirt and shorting it out? That is what ususlly happens to us.

  7. I developed a simple solution for that – de-electrify the bottom wires. See this post for how to do it and other tricks of pigs in nets.

  8. chubeef says:

    long-time-reader-first-time-caller! I just got my first 8 piglets. They are on grass while it lasts and I tried some dated eggnog and whole milk and they went at it like they were starving..but it looks like it gave them squirts! Is it too soon to try milk? or do you think I have other problems? Thanks for all you are doing?

  9. Chubeef,

    It is likely the change and diet and the richness of the diet. The eggnog and the milk have a lot of fat. If they are used to just the pasture this lubed them up so to speak. A good method is to fade in new foods, giving them just a bit at first and then gradually ramping up the level over a week or two.



  10. Aidan Hamilton says:

    I find troughs fill with leaves and dirt from dirty noses. How often do you have to clean the troughs? Is it just a simple scooping and maybe a rinse?

  11. Aidan Hamilton says:

    Is it the same for your waterers?

  12. Aidan Hamilton says:

    Do you have any thoughts and/or experience with nipple waterers? I’ve been contemplating a portable nipple system with above ground poly lines. Might have to go above hog height to reduce damage…

    • I tried several different brands of nipple waterers. They don’t work in our situation because they get clogged up quite easily and half the year they simply freeze. In a warmer climate with very well filtered water they might be a good solution. They don’t work with the whey or milk, for long.

  13. Sean Govan says:

    Do your pigs ever break the whey pipe?

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