My homemade pig trough

It’s really really really really easy. So easy I’m almost embarrassed to blog about it but when you stick the subject in google you get a load of cobblers really – lots of those annoying ehow articles and the plethora of copycat content sites but nothing that shows you that its’s as easy as cutting a few board and screwing them together. Thus;

Cut two board to exactly, precisely, to the mm equal length. Make sure you use a set square or something too so that you get straight cuts. You can use any old board I guess – here I’ve recycled part of the barn that fell down last November. Oh, and try to avoid setting your antique circular saw on fire in the process. This has happened to me before and it baffles me as to how it still works the next time I go to use it but it does.

Screw them together at right-angles like the photo, right. You can see I’ve stapled them first just to hold them together – makes it easier to to screw them. Nailing would be quicker but the pigs will pull them apart in minutes. I used four screws along the bottom on a trough that is about 3ft 6in long. Note that you could cut the edges at 45 degress so they sit together but I’m going quick and dirty, plus I want one side to be higher than the other, no matter how marginal, as the pigs tend to stand with their trotters in the trough and nuzzle their food out of it. If one side is higher less food gets out. Also as the boards I have are ‘recycled’ they do not match perfectly, so the first time I poured water in it all come straight out the bottom, but if you feed them in it they’ll push enough food and mud into the cracks that it will be water tight within the week. Then just make another for their food and you’re in business, all mod cons.

Next cut two more boards – I had one long one which I cut three times to make the four pieces but as long as these upright bits are wider than the horizontal ones when they go together you can use any old bits of scrap. I didn’t cut them the same size – just screwed one on to the ‘V’ that we made earlier, sat it upright, found the level with, er, a level, marked where it needed to screw to then up-ended it again and screwedit in.

I then nailed a couple of scrap bits of wood, from a pallet I think, to the bottom of each upright so the piggies couldn’t tip the trough over and voila – as you can see they’re as happy as pigs with their snouts in a trough. This works freestanding as well as up against a fence like it is in this picture. Easy eh?


4 responses to “My homemade pig trough

  1. excellent work with the pig trough – I was looking at commercial troughs today from £50 upwards. Thanks for the idea, I’ll be making this tomorrow – if you want to see my handy work check out my own blog at livinginthelakes.wordpress.

  2. Hi Victoria. Congrats on getting pigs- they’re great! I kept meaning to post an update to this blog to say don’t be too anal about the precise exact measurements etc. This first pig trough fell victim to a split where the screws went down the grain, which is as I found a weaker prospect screwing them in perpendicularly. The next one I built was using barnboards that weren’t exactly anything, and they leaked chronically for the first few fills but these gaps soon self-seal with mud, corn, cabbage or whatever else you put in there. So just relax, throw it together with anything and let nature happen. Oh, and if you criss-cross it with zigging and zagging bits of wood the pigs won’t put pressure on those screws by standing in the trough to chase their food from one end to the other and bicker when they get in each others way.
    And having enjoyed your blog about the trough and your search for a waterer I found the perfect solution to be an old bucket from a tractor, literally too heavy for me to pick up but just heavy enough to drag to their pasture and lay the end of a trickling hose in. Another zero-expense solution.

    • Thanksn for your comments Jamie – I’m loving the new pigs and am also really enjoying reading your blog! Maybe if you ever fancy coming back across the pond for a break you could come up to Cumbria! I’ll keep checking your blog for updates. Good luck with everything you’re doing in Canada and thanks for sharing your inspirational story!
      vicky x

  3. Update! As pigs fight and bicker whenever there’s food about I’ve abandoned the trough idea. I mean, it’s fine to watch them scrap and scrabble if they’re puny little 40lb porkers but when you keep a couple of berkshires for breeding you have to deal with 300lb+ MONSTERS running around biting each others ears off. Hence I’ve gone over to the old rubber bucket on a rope, tied securely to something secure. This is ideal for feeding them individually as you can measure out exactly how many pounds of feed they need and let them get on with scoffing it.
    When the boar and the sow get jiggy and make lovely little bird n bee piggy things I will be raising a load of grower pigs, so will knock up a 110lb free feed contraption out of old plywood and knitted socks. Stay tuned to see this. Jamie

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