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at our Permaculture Lab?
04
Sep

New Pigpen Taking Shape

We’re slowly building more permanent structures on our land. That includes housing for our animals. This week we put the main structure of a new pigpen together.

Putting the pieces together

When finished this building will house two sows at a time who are about to farrow or just did. It will have 4 spaces, two for the big pigs, and a connected one for the piglets. The piglets have access to their mother for about a month, after which it’s time to wean them of her tits. We can more easily do that when we have this pen done.

Before we build the pigpens of bamboo. We were still moving the pigs over the land, so temporary buildings worked just fine. Those never last much longer than a year though, they rot, insects eat them out from the inside and finally they get so weak that the pigs tear the bamboo apart. Or the wind blows them out of balance during a thunderstorm like in the picture below.

Ideally we would make our buildings out of materials available on site. We lack in wood trees though so for the time being that’s not possible. Building with clay and sand is not the best option for a structure that has to house pigs. In the end we decided to use metal profiles and concrete. That’s not an environmentally sound choice, so we had to really think about long term usability of this building. The profiles are strong, the structure is earthquake resistant and we expect it to easily last for 25 years or longer

The place where we put it up has a stunning view over the huge valley in front of us. It’s an ideal spot for some cabins to house visitors or interns. Building the structure like this makes an easy conversion to cabins possible. We will probably move the pigs again after a few years. By remodelling it later we can keep using this building long into the future as housing for visitors.

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