A while back we wrote about our barn expansion project. The goal was to create a space that we could house animals that required special attention either because they were hurt or sick, or as is now the case, needed somewhere to go to weather the storm/cold. We have made some great progress on this project and have finally moved our first batch of feeder pigs out of our training paddock and into the barn to ensure that they get through the coming winter months (then they head out to their own pasture paddock).
As is usually the case, my oldest boy is my primary helper at the moment. He has dug so many holes, put up so many fences, and leveled so many boards – that he is now a real pro at this sort of work.
Here you can see that the stall wall is up, but we dug a trench to get the hog panel installed.
The east side of the barn is on higher ground than the west side. In order to ensure that the horses will have enough head clearance in this stall we had to drop the floor to be level with the other side of the barn. Then we put up the fence at 4’ tall all the way around. We then had to dig a trench as the hog panel is 50” tall and we wanted it level with the top of the fence.
The hog panel is attached to the wood posts (which are cemented) with fence staples (big thick U shaped nails). And each hog panel will be “hog ringed” to the adjacent hog panel (heavy duty metal rings that clamp closed usually around two wire pieces).
As you can see, this day was already cold. An amazingly cold cold front was coming soon…totally out of bounds for normal weather at this time of year.
Part of this barn expansion required that we take down some of the metal siding to open the back of the barn wall up. We never waste building materials on the farm, so we prepped this internal wall to re-hang that siding and enclose our feed and tack area into a more traditional “tack room”.
We hung 2x4 horizontally in three positions to help us anchor the siding later and dug a trench for the siding to extend into.
We finally got the long trench dug to the right depth and started mounting more hog panel.
(more pics to come) Once the stall was full enclosed we were able to get the piglets moved prior to the VERY COLD night. Catching piglets is fun. Catching piglets at night in a large training paddock is not so fun!
With some straw thrown down, the piglets never slept better!
I went to check on them often. I am always worried about putting animals in new enclosures as you never know what you might have missed…and that they will find.
It didn’t take them long to realize that there was some comfy bedding to burry themselves in for the evening. Pretty soon the food dish was abandoned for prime sleeping spots.
Everyone was quite happy in the morning. Pigs are solid sleepers. But rustle some food in a bucket and they are up and at-em.
Here you can see the finished metal siding by the tack room.
Then it was time to start enclosing the other side of the barn. This starts with a deep hole for a pole from which the stall gate is hung. Once I broke through the top 2” is compacted barn flooring it was smooth sailing. So much so that the hole ended up deeper than it needed to be!
With my little helper we were able to get the post cemented in, mounted to the barn, and fence boards leveled and hung in place very quickly!
I can’t help but be so very happy for my baby piggers. They are comfy comfy comfy.
He doesn’t know it…but he is quite the ranch hand/cow boy.
Then we started to work on enclosing the other side of the tack room.
More pig pics…sorry.
Here you can somewhat see the enclosed section done. We now have two hospital stalls. The non-pig stall is currently being used to get some meat on the bones of a horse prior to winter. I love the flexibility of non-dedicated animal enclosures!