Our Winter Pasture Pig Water Solution
I’m not sure if I need to be jealous of this pig waterer or not. Cameron comes in everyday day after a cold night and tell me how much he loves it and that he could just kiss it. I might be jealous if I had not enjoyed building it so much.
One quick thing about us. I absolutely love building things, especially out of wood, it is something I learned a lot about in college when I remodeled a house with little to no experience. Cameron absolutely despises building things out of wood, I am not sure where his dislike of it comes from, but it runs deep.
So, for us to build this pig water together was quite the treat for me and quite the torcher for him. Now though that it is built it is a treat for both of us!
The challenge was to build something that would store enough water we would not have to water every day, keep the water from freezing and be 100% easily portable because we move the pigs through the trees all winter.
Raising the pig in our Missouri timber like we do has always been a bit of a hassle on the water end. There are no water lines out there (yet) and we must haul water out in storage tanks and trailers, or pump water from a pond and old well when the pigs are close enough. Also, no power out there to use a water heater. Not the worst, not the easiest, but its manageable when the weather is above 32 degrees.
When the temperatures drop and water begins to freeze, it’s a whole new problem. A problem that threatened to cause us to give up our timber raised pigs in the dead of winter and move them to a pen closer to water and power. Something that neither of us wanted to do because the pigs really do love their timber paddocks!
So, we searched the internet for a solution, sure that we were not the only people crazy enough to raise pigs in the timber in the middle of winter. Turns out if there is anyone else out there doing it, they have not documented how they get water.
That left us with this idea that we came up with together. I came up with building a very well insulated building with a storage tank and gravity flow water system. Cameron came up with the actual water system and the plan to put a little propane heater in there. Without the propane heater this big building would have ended up being the kids playhouse. Which is something we joked about when building it because we really had no idea if this would work or not.
Our plan worked! It has already made it through a few single digit nights staying well above 32 degrees inside and keeping us from breaking ice and hauling water by the buckets out to the piggies. To say we are both over the moon happy would be an understatement!