Pigs are surprisingly clean animals, and you could make a pig miserable by simply building a cage around a mud puddle. Pigs need protection from the elements in the same way that humans do, and they need separate areas to eat, play, relieve themselves and even roll around in the mud.
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Things you need
- Building materials
- Feeding and watering troughs
Choose a relatively flat area to set up your pig pen. You will need a location that offers drainage after rain or maintenance, because standing water and mud can attract insects that can bite a pig and make it miserable. Many people set up pig pens on concrete slabs to facilitate cleaning.
Build a small house or structure that will protect the pigs in case of rain or cold weather. A pig's coat of fur is minimal at best, and this animal can be as sensitive to temperature changes as a human. Always provide a place in your pig pen where your animals can stay warm and dry.
Ensure that fences are at least 1.2 metres (4 feet) high when you set up your pig pen. Pigs may not look agile, but they can jump and run quickly when properly motivated.
Designate areas in the pig pen for various pig activities. Pigs are actually clean and organised animals and like to maintain separate areas for eating, sleeping, playing and relieving themselves. Place the food and watering troughs away from the area where the pigs have chosen for a bathroom, for instance.
Place plenty of straw throughout the pig pen, keeping additional amounts in the area where the pigs sleep and relieve themselves. Straw can help pigs keep warm during colder weather, and it can also help to absorb urine odours as well.
Decide whether you want to provide a muddy area for your animals when you set up your pig pen. Pigs do not enjoy being dirty and only roll around in the mud to cool off during warm weather. You may be able to omit muddy areas if you provide outdoor fans or shade in your pig pen.
Build your pig pen from sturdy materials that will withstand the abuse of pigs. These animals do enjoy rooting and digging, and they can push over a flimsy wall or dig a tunnel under an inadequate fence.