Sunday, April 24, 2016

Watering the Pigs

Some years after we purchased Opportunity Farm we found a well. We knew that there might be one but had not sought to find it. Anyway its location was pointed out and we investigated to find a beautifully constructed dry stone well - about 3.5m deep - that tapped into groundwater that flows into the boggy area below our property.
After cleaning up the rotten timber and leaves that had been covering it, we raised the sides to above ground so we could put an effective cover on it.
Then we put in some concrete stumps nearby to make a tank stand and assembled a tank which is filled by a submerged pump powered by two solar panels. Once the tank is full the pump turns itself off.
The tank gravity-feeds via a hose to the pig pen. The pigs nudge an automatic waterer and have a drink whenever they want to. When we go down to feed them and the weather is hot we can use the water to fill a trough so that they can have a bathe and cool off. It was a reasonable expense in money and time to set up but we now have a piece of infrastructure that makes raising the pigs much easier and the pigs much happier.

The waterer and the pig trough. Before the pump was put in we had to fill the trough up twice a day by bucketing from a nearby dam. The pigs would then jump in and spill much of the water leaving either none to drink or just an unappetising or healthy muddy puddle.

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