Directions for building a hog self feeder

pig image by Leonid Nyshko from

Hogs are fairly low maintenance animals, although feeding them does take time. Hogs are normally allowed to free feed, or eat as much as they want throughout the day. This helps them gain as much weight as possible before they're sold, which makes them more valuable on market day.

You can build a hog self-feeder that gives your animals unlimited access to fresh food.

Lay an empty plastic 55-gallon barrel horizontally on a level work surface, and place a mark 10 inches up from the bottom. Cut along the length of the barrel at the mark, discarding the top portion. This will create a deep trough that will keep your hogs from tossing food out as they eat.

Turn the trough over and drill 20 to 25 holes across the bottom. These small holes act as drains that let rain water and condensation pass through the feeder, rather than puddle in the bottom and cause mouldy feed.

Cut two, 6-inch long vertical slits at one end of each pipe. Make each slit at least 1/2 inch wide to allow feed to pass through the pipe and into the trough. Lay the pipe on a flat surface and start cutting from the end of the pipe, cutting 6 inches towards the middle of the pipe. Turn the pipe over and cut another slit on the opposite side of the pipe to make two complete slits, and repeat with the remaining two pieces of pipe.

Set each pipe vertically with the slit-side down in the trough and attach it with zip ties. Space the pipes evenly along the inside of the trough, with one pipe at each end and one pipe in the middle. Cut a small hole on either side of the pipes with a sharp knife, and feed a zip tie through the hole and around the pipes. Pull the ties tight to hold them firmly to the trough.

Place the completed self-feeder in the pen with the hogs, and fill the pipes with commercial hog feed. Fit the top of each pipe with an end cap to prevent damp feed.