If you’ve decided to take on a new challenge, raising pigs can be a fun family activity and is great for teaching kids responsibility. The first thing you’ll need is a shelter and pigpen, and these can be made from standard hog panels, t-posts, and wood or pallets you can find in your local hardware store.
The living area should be kitted out with plenty of straw but also a few extra necessities to keep your drift happy. This post shares the top essential pig supplies for those just starting out, as well as ideas for useful products you may want to check out.
The 6 Essential Pig Supplies
1. Hog Feeder
Pigs are never happier than when they’re chowing down, so they’re sure to appreciate a quality hog feeder. If you need a recommendation, check out this hog feeder by Brower. It’s designed to be shared by up to four pigs and is weatherproof, which is important for keeping out invading pests and moisture.
It can contain approximately 1.5 bushels and is made from 20 gauge galvanized steel. It can be refilled from the top to avoid getting in your pigs’ way when they’re having dinner and is 19.5 inches high, 12 inches wide, and 20 inches long.
Not every user had a good experience with this product, but it has received good reviews on average, with some users mentioning that they appreciate that it can be shared amongst multiple pigs and that their pigs have responded well to it. Others have mentioned that it’s a little flimsy and needs to be well-fastened to stop it from moving around.
2. Livestock Waterer
When it comes to watering your pigs, you can either go for something simple and traditional like a standard water trough or an automatic waterer. Automatic waterers are better for making sure your pigs are getting fresh, clean water, as standard troughs tend to get a little messy.
This automatic livestock waterer by MACGOAL is made of stainless steel, is rust-proof, and comes with a float valve for automatic refilling. It flushes out dirty water through a drain plug at the bottom of the trough and can be attached to the wall if necessary. This waterer has a large capacity and is 10.6 inches long, 10 inches wide, and 3.9 inches high.
User experience is largely positive, with some users liking how easy this waterer is to clean and how effectively it works. Some found it a little too small, and others mentioned that it works better mounted to a wall.
3. Pig Feed
Pigs aren’t known for being picky, but they generally eat a grain-based diet containing barley, wheat, corn, or other crops. This pig feed by KALMBACH is listed as suitable for all pigs, and we can certainly appreciate the simplicity of that! It’s GMO-free and nutritionally complete, made up of essential oils, minerals, prebiotics, and probiotics.
These pellets also contain vitamin E to reduce odors in manure and support a healthy immune system. There aren’t many user reviews on this product, but the ones we did find were positive, which is a good sign.
4. Sorting Boards
Sorting boards are simply used to help you send your pigs in the direction you want them to go. They can be useful for helping you avoid getting knocked over by large or overly enthusiastic pigs as you move them around.
These US-made sorting boards are sturdy, lightweight, and are designed to be easy to hold, even with only one hand. They come in three sizes—18 inches, 36 inches, and 48 inches. You should get one board for each person who will be helping to move the pigs.
5. Heat Lamp
If you’re planning on breeding pigs, heat lamps can provide some much-needed warmth for your piglets when it’s especially cold out and also for helping sick pigs recover. Premier 1 “Prima” Heat Lamp comes with a plastic grill to protect your piglets from the bulb and prevent it from dropping down into the straw. You can choose between a package with or without a bulb, which is a 250-watt infrared bulb.
6. Drench Syringe or Drench Gun
There may come a time when one of your pigs gets sick and needs to be administered medication orally. For this purpose, you can use a drench gun or a drench syringe like this reusable one by Rurtec Limited. You can choose from a 20 ml and 50 ml syringe, and the Luer needle and drench nozzle fittings are included, as are a spare o-ring and seal.
This syringe has received many positive reviews, with users mentioning that it’s sturdy and easy to use. It can be used for a variety of animals including pigs, sheep, goats, and horses. You can also use them for giving water to pigs that refuse to drink.
Raising pigs at home can be a rewarding and enriching experience, especially for families with children. Though pigs are pretty easy to please, a bit of financial investment is still necessary to make sure your pigs live a comfortable, happy life. Your best bet is to go for high-quality, sturdy products from the start to avoid the possibility of having to repurchase equipment down the line.
Featured Image Credit: acceptphoto, Shutterstock