So feeder pigs are looking more and more like a reality for this year. I have the feed part sorted and put the finishing touches on my pen plans for them today!
I base my plan on a 100x120x100 trapezoid sliced into 4 spokes around a central hub. The central hub will allow me to build a solid raised water tank with bite valves and not have to move it. The pigs will spend about 4 weeks per paddock. I picked this size based on an average 'square feet per pig per day' ratios based on several sources I read from books and other blogs. My average was about 32 square feet per pig per day. This is based on not overgrazing as i do not want to kill off the grass. By my plans each spoke is ~2450 square feet allowing for up to 40 or so day per hub if I had to (I know this is not an exact science but the numbers help me). I got the hub and spoke idea from the Smiths Medows Farm (http://smithmeadows.com/farm/how-to-raise-pigs-on-pasture) blog but watered it down to my size. They do 26 half acre slices for 50-60 pigs moved every 2 weeks. Crazy!
Anyways, water in the middle with a portable shelter and feed trough. Pigs start on one side and work their way to the other for easy fencing. I picked a trapezoid over a square as I don't think the pigs would make good use of a sharp point on the outside triangles. Adding 10 extra feet of fencing per paddock is nominal compared to the added usable area.
I plan on using 3 or 4 strands of electric wire around the outside and 3 on the inside moving 'walls'. There will be a solid gate at the bottom center for entry per this photo
This whole thing will be set in the back portion of my property that used to be dairy pasture about 50 years ago. It is all overgrown now and I plan to seed in some alfalfa or other perennial pasture mix to add to the nutritional value for pigs in the future (assuming this goes well and we want to do it again)