Building Hog/Swine Houses Part 2

In constructing pig houses, give close attention on the different parts of the building and the materials to be used. Building pig houses involved costs, however, don’t sacrifice the quality of the materials or its lifespan should be a major consideration.

a. Floor construction

There is a direct and unavoidable contact between the pig and the flooring. Thus, the texture and the slope of the floor are two main considerations during the construction.

b. Ground Pen

In ground pen, the flooring should be set firmly on the earth free from organic matters or on well tramped gravel or crushrock fills. The floor should not be too rough to avoid foot and leg problems. On the other hand, a very smooth floor becomes slippery which can also cause leg problems. It is recommended that the flooring should be finished with the use of a wooden trowel. The slope should be two to three percent, which means a two to three cm depth per meter length towards the canal.

c. Slatted flooring

Slatted floors allow the pig manure to drop or to be forced through the slats. This lessens direct contact of the pig with the wastes possibly carrying pathogenic organisms and/or parasites. Recommended slat spacing for fatteners is two centimeters.

d. Roofing

The kind of roofing material used can help in keeping the temperature low. Aluminum roofing reflects most of the rays of the sun while nipa, anahaw or cogon has a very good insulating quality. When using local materials, the height from the flooring to the girt should be at least 2 meters with a roof angle of at least 35°. For corrugated G.I. sheets, the height should be at least 3 m and an angle of 25° or more.

Type of roofing can also influence rapid air exchange. Air exchange happens when fresh air enters the building easily and pushes the hot air out of the building. The five types of roofs are monitor type, shed type, semi-shed type, double span , and the semi-monitor type of roofing.

e. Pen Partition

Partition can be concrete or slatted and it should be one meter high. The distance between the flooring and the bottom horizontal bar is 0.10 m and the vertical bars should have a distance of 8 cm.

f. Door and Alleys

Doors can be made of iron bars fastened securely to G.I pipe frames with a width of at least 0.60 m. Alleys should be wide enough (1.2 to 1.5 m) for easy movement during feeding.

Equipment and Tools

a. Feed Trough

Long feed trough is the most common equipment used in feeding. Feed troughs should be designed and constructed properly so that:

  • Feed wastage will be reduced to a minimum.
  • Rate of flow of the feed can be regulated.
  • The feeds will not be blown by the wind.
  • It will last long (strong, durable, and easy to clean).
  • It can hold sufficient feed.

It must be constructed with feeding grills such that the pigs cannot lie on it and contaminate the feed.

b. Waterers/nipples

Automatic drinkers or nipples are better because it reduce water spillage and wastage. The two types of nipples are, bite and push nipples.

Bite nipple is installed in the dunging area or at the back of the pen to keep the sleeping area of the pigs clean and dry. The required minimum supply of water is one to two liters per minute for bigger animals while for weaners, it is 0.50 – 0.60 liter per minute.

The push nipple, should be installed 8 cm above the feed trough with a required minimum supply of water of one liter per minute.

c. Other important equipment

Space Requirement

The minimum space allowance should allow maximum rate of gain. Avoid overcrowding in a pen to prevent tail biting. However, constructing too wide pens for a small number of pigs will result to high construction costs.

The pen can be designed with a separate lying and dunging areas or with combined lying and dunging areas. Below is an example of pen designs for ten finishers.

Advantages of the two pen designs

a. Separate tying and dunging areas

  • Cleaner animals
  • Easier to dean

b. Combined lying and dunging areas

  • Lower construction costs
  • Less space required

Disadvantages of the pen design

a. Separate lying and dunging areas

  • Higher construction costs
  • Less space required

Combined lying and dunging areas

  • Pigs are always dirty
  • More difficult to control pigs

Space requirement according to weight of finishers

source: International Training Center on Pig Husbandry (ITCPH), Marawoy, Lipa City, photo from

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