Copyright
William Dietrich.

The location, construction and operation of hog houses online

. (page 1 of 2)
Online LibraryWilliam DietrichThe location, construction and operation of hog houses → online text (page 1 of 2)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


ft ' -.JiaSsLs^'^. r\LJ * j .% .? &.] ^ . ^-ali,; /



" <% University of Illinois



Library at
Urbana-Champaign













^rl/~






UNIVERSITY LIBRARY

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA-CHAMPAIGN

The person charging this material is responsible for its

renewal or return to the library on or before the due

date. The minimum fee for a lost item is $125.00,

$300.00 for bound journals.

Theft, mutilation, and underlining of books are reasons y

for disciplinary action and may result in dismissal from

the University. Please note: self-stick notes may result

in torn pages and lift some inks.

Renew via the Telephone Center at 217-333-8400,

846-262-1510 (toll-free) [email protected]

Renew online by choosing the My Account option at:

http://www.library.uiuc.edu/catalog/





UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS



Agricultural Experiment Station



BULLETIN No. 109



THE LOCATION, CONSTRUCTION AND
OPERATION OF HOG HOUSES



BY WILLIAM DIETRICH




URBANA, JUNE, 1906



SUMMARY OF BULLETIN No. 109

1. A hog house should be located so that it is well drained, well lighted, and
gives access to pasture, good shade, pure running water and clean mud wallows.

Page 287

2. The two principal kinds of hog houses are the individual houses and the
large houses with individual pens. Each has its points of advantage.

Page 288

3. For sanitation the building should be constructed so that it is dry, venti-
lated, free from dust and drafts and so that the direct rays of the sun fall upon
the floor of the pens at the time the winter crop of pigs is farrowed. These rays
should also be excluded during the summer. Page 291

4. The building should be made serviceable by being built so that it can be
used every day in the year and be arranged so that the largest amount of work
may be performed with the smallest amount of labor. Page 293

5. For large houses gates and partitions made of wire are best because they
do not obstruct the light and heat rays frpm the sun, do not hide the pigs from
view of the attendant, nor from each other, and do not furnish lodgment for dis-
ease germs. Page 296

6. The large hog house is operated so that two litters per year are farrowed
and grown for market and so that the pigs are put on the market at the most
favorable season. Page 301



THE LOCATION, CONSTRUCTION AND
OPERATION OF HOG HOUSES

By WILLIAM DIETRICH, Assistant in Swine Husbandry

INTRODUCTION

In order to grow swine most successfully in a country with a
cold or varied climate, it is necessary to have some kind of a hog
house. The. question that first presents itself is what kind shall it be ?
In studying the swine industry from the market standpoint and from
the breeder's standpoint, it appears that for greatest success in the
swine business, it is desirable to produce two litters a year from ma-
ture sows and to have these farrowed so that they can be put on
the market at the most favorable time.

In the following pages is given a general discussion of the loca-
tion and construction of hog houses and a detailed description and
method of operation of a hog house that has recently been planned
and built at the Illinois Experiment Station to meet the requirements
as outlined above.

LOCATION

The proper location of a hog house or shelter of any kind for
swine is one of the first essentials to success in swine husbandry.

In providing shelter for swine, as well as for other classes of live
stock, surroundings should be furnished that conform as near to na-
ture as the improved condition of the animals and circumstances of
the owner will permit. Swine in the wild state inhabit the forest
where shade, water, protection from cold winds and natural soil are
abundant, and where they may select dry or damp localities as they
please. The best surroundings, then, for swine are those that will
satisfy their natural desires, but so modified and improved as to pro-
mote the largest financial results.

The best location for a hog house, therefore, is one that is well
drained and well lighted, and one that will permit access to pasture,
to good shade and to a stream of running water that is free from dis-
ease germs, where also there are opportunities for making wallows
in clean mud.

If the building can be placed on a sandy or gravelly soil it will
afford better drainage than a clay, silt, or peaty soil would furnish

287



288 BULLETIN No. 109. [June,

Light and shade are desirable for reasons that are apparent to every-
one. Pasture should be accessible as considerable food is obtained
from the soil in the form of roots, worms and insects, as well as
many materials that are not foods, but are necessary to the health of
the pigs. A limestone soil is preferable because the water from such
a soil as well as the soil and stone themselves, furnish the lime that
is so essential in building up bone. A rolling pasture is preferable
because it furnishes better drainage and a form of exercise that is
conducive to the production of a large percentage of lean meat. It
also tends to produce strong legs with upright pasterns, which, from
the breeder's standpoint, are among the first essentials of a good hog.
A stream of pure running water is desirable, for then drinking
water in the best form will be available at all times and will be more
wholesome than it would be were it supplied in a trough where it is
bound to become more or less warm, stagnant and foul. If there is
no natural stream at hand water pumped from a well by a windmill
or other motive power will supply the need. A clean mud wallow
is enjoyed more by swine in the summer time than any one other
condition that may be furnished them. It keeps them cool, destroys
lice and keeps the skin in a good healthy condition.

TYPES OF HOG HOUSES

The two general classes of hog houses most in use are individual
houses and large houses with individual pens. A hog house that
is best for one man under his conditions and manner of handling
swine, may not be best for another where the conditions and manner
of handling differ. This difference is due to the originality of dif-
ferent breeders who have solved the problem in regard to hog houses
to suit their individual tastes and conveniences.

INDIVIDUAL HOUSES

Individual hog houses, or cots, as they are sometimes called, are
built in many different ways. Some are built with four upright
walls and a shed roof, each of which (the walls and roof) being a
separate piece can easily be taken down and replaced, making the
moving of these small houses or cots an easy matter. This is shown
by Figs, i and la, page 289. Others are built with two sides sloping
in toward the top so as to form the roof as in Fig. 2, page 290.
These are built on skids and when necessary can be moved as a
whole by being drawn by a horse. They are built in several different
styles; some have a window in the front end above the door while
all may have a small door in the rear end near the apex for ventilat-



1906.



HOG HOUSES.



289




FIG. 1. INDIVIDUAL HOG HOUSE. (SET UP.)




FIG. la INDIVIDUAL HOG HOUSE. (TAKEN DOWN.)



290



BULLETIN No. 109.



[June,




FIG. 2. INDIVIDUAL HOG HOUSE.



ing purposes. They are also built in different sizes. Indeed, there
are about as many forms of cots as there are individuals using them.
The form in which these houses or cots are built is of little signifi-
cance as long as the general principles pertaining to the health of
the animals and the convenience of the breeder are observed.

The arguments in favor of this type of houses for swine are that
each sow at farrowing time may be kept alone and away from all
disturbance ; that each litter of pigs may be kept and fed by itself,
consequently there will not be too large a number of pigs in a com-
mon lot ; that these houses may be placed at the farther end of the
feed lot, thus compelling the sow and pigs to take exercise, especially
in winter, when they come to the feed trough at the front end of the
lot; that the danger of spreading disease among the herd is at a
minimum ; and in case the place occupied by the cot becomes unsan-
itary, it may be moved to a clean location.



HOG HOUSES. 291

LARGE HOUSES

Although individual houses have certain characteristics or ad-
vantages in their favor, large houses, if properly built, also have
some points of advantage and these are good sanitation, service-
ability, safety in farrowing, ease in handling hogs, and large pas-
tures, involving little expense for fences.

Sanitation : In order to be sanitary a hog house should admit
the direct rays of the sun to the floor of all the pens and exclude cold
drafts in winter, be dry, free from dust, well ventilated and exclude
the hot sun during the summer.

Fig. 3, page 292, shows a hog house built with this purpose in
view. The building as a whole is 30 feet wide with an 8-foot alley
running lengthwise through the middle, between two rows of pens.
It stands lengthwise east and west with the windows on the south
side. The important factor to consider in this connection is the
height of the windows represented at E and D in connection with
the width and manner of construction of the building. The window
E is so placed that at noon of the shortest day of the year, the ray
of light which passes through the upper part will fall upon the floor
of the south side pen on the opposite side from the window. This
allows the total amount of light coming through the window at this
season of the year and this time of the day to fall upon the floor
within the pen. In the morning and in the afternoon when the sun
is not at its highest point, a part or all of this beam of light will pass
beyond the pen. Consequently, during the latter winter months,
there will be a maximum amount of sunlight on the floor of the pen.

The lower part of the window D in the upper part of the building
performs the same function for the pen on the north side of the
alley as does the window E for the pen on the south side.

By this arrangement of windows there is possible a maximum
amount of sunlight on the floor of the pens in winter which will
serve to warm the interior of the house and especially the beds dur-
ing the latter months of winter, thus making it possible to have pigs
farrowed very early in the season. Sunlight not only warms and
dries the building, but destroys disease germs, thus making the build-
ing both warm and sanitary. Sanitation is further augmented by
the upper part of the window D which, when open, acts as a ven-
tilator. It is supplied with weights so that it can be opened and
closed at will by the attendant while standing on the floor of the
alley.

To have this arrangement of windows in the latitude above cited,
it is necessary to have the top of the window E, which throws light



292



BULLETIN No. 109.




1906. ] HOG HOUSES. 293

into the pen on the south side, 5 feet 6 inches from the floor. The
upper window, which throws light into the pen on the north side, is
longer, but a point in this window the same distance above the lower
end as the height of the window E should be 9 feet 8 inches from the
floor. This necessitates a flat roof for the part of the building south
of the alley, which must necessarily be made of some material that
will shed water at a slight pitch. The wall on the north side of the
building is made as high as that on the south side, but the roof on
the north side and alley is made steeper so as to have more air space
and good ventilation. This part of the roof, then may be made of
shingles.

Dryness should be furnished by thorough drainage; freedom
from dust by sprinkling with water and the rays of direct sunlight
should be prevented from entering the pens during the hot part of
the summer days, which in the above mentioned hog house is done
by the manner of construction of the building ; the lower window be-
ing shaded by the eaves and the rays passing through the upper
window fall upon the floor of the alley.

Serviceability : In order to be most serviceable, a hog house
should be constructed so that it can be used every day in the year.
If this can be done, it is permissible to spend more money in the
construction than would be warranted were the building to be used
only a few months during the year. In order to be an economizer of
labor, the house should be planned so that the largest amount of
work may be performed with the smallest amount of labor, which
with the present scarcity of labor is a very important factor.

Farrowing and Handling : Farrowing pens should be supplied
with the fenders which prevent the sows crushing the pigs and
should be built so that the attendant may lend assistance if necessary
both with convenience and safety. By having all the hogs under
one roof handling becomes simpler and in case of bad weather much
more convenient.

An argument that has been advanced against the large hog house
is that by having a large number of brood sows in such close prox-
imity to each other, if one is disturbed or molested in any way all
the others will become fretful and when feeding is commenced at
one end all the rest will become uneasy and injure their litters. This
argument may hold where the partitions are solid board fences, but
by the arrangement described in the following pages, the sows can
see each other and see what is going on about them, and not being
strange to each other nor the attendant, will not be disturbed to so
great an extent. If the feeding is done regularly and in the same
order each day, the sows or pigs soon become accustomed to the sys-



294 BULLETIN No. 109. [June,

tern and wait patiently for their turn. Furthermore, by this arrange-
ment of wire partitions the little pigs are more easily tamed and will
do better because they will not become frightened every time a per-
son passes the pen.

Pastures : By having a large hog house the hogs can be kept
together and allowed to go in a drove from the hog house to the
pasture or to any other available field on the farm and with very little
training each sow with her litter, will return to her own pen at night
thus necessitating few pastures.

PLAN AND CONSTRUCTION

In Fig. 4, page 295, is submitted the ground plan of the hog house
which is shown in Fig. 3. It is 120 feet long by 30 feet wide and is
represented in the Figure by O, S, T, U. X, Y is the alley which
runs lengthwise through the middle of the building and is 8 feet
wide. This permits of driving through the building with a wagon,
which allows the feed and bedding to be hauled in where it is needed
and the manure to be loaded on the wagon directly from the pens
and hauled to the fields.

The doors at either end of the building and one across the alley
shutting off the pigs from the rest of the building are shown by R.
The pens A are 10 feet wide and n feet deep. Each pen has a
doorway M leading to the outside which is opened by a door sliding
upwards. There is also a door N opening to the alley on the inside.
This door is hung so that when it is open it will turn the pigs toward
the front end of the house where they are to be weighed. It also
permits of changing pigs from any one pen to any other pen and of
easy access for the attendant. L represents the trough which is
placed on the side of the pen next to the alley and which with the
arrangement of a swinging panel above this trough as is shown in
Fig. 5, page 297, makes feeding a very easy and convenient opera-
tion. The fender in the pen is shown by K in Fig. 4. This consists
of a 2-inch tubular iron bar placed on iron posts of the same dimen-
sion and set in concrete in the floor. This bar is placed 8 or 9 inches
above the floor and about 6 inches from the wall and is to prevent
the sows crushing the pigs at farrowing time. The sow will neces-
sarily make her bed in this corner as the other three corners are
occupied, two of which have doors and the other the feed trough.

D, in Fig. 4, shows the platform scale on which the pigs are to be
weighed as desired. This scale is fitted with a frame and the door
on the side next to the alley shown at Q, opens so that when the
pigs come down the alley, it will facilitate turning them upon the



1906.]



HOG HOUSES.



295



WEST



A'



1
1




1
1

H
J
1 .
1


A'


1
1
1
1
1


M
A'


1
1

H
1

1


A'


i

1

"1

J

1


A'


1
H

>!


A'


if

H

J


A'


1

1


M
A'


1
J
i

I


A'


i
1


P"




A'



A'



A'



A'



A'



EAST
FIG. 4. LARGE HOG HOUSE. GROUND PLAN.



_J



296 BULLETIN No. 109. [June,

scales. At the other end of the scale platform is a smaller door in
the frame which opens through a door P, of the building, thus al-
lowing the pigs to pass from the scale room directly to the outside
where there may be a loading chute leading to a wagon.

F is the feed-mixing-room in which are feed bins for feeds of
various kinds represented by I. There is also a door, J, leading to
the outside from this room. H shows the hydrant from which water
is obtained for mixing slops, watering hogs, and for attaching the
hose to sprinkle the floors. E shows the stove that is used for heat-
ing water in winter for mixing slops.

G shows the office, and C the feed bins in which the feed is stored
as it is hauled to the hog house. The opening to these feed bins is
from the main alley of the hog house from which they are filled
directly from the wagon as the feed is brought in. The feed is then
taken out in smaller quantities as needed and put into the small bins
in the feed-mixing-room from which it is weighed out to the pigs at
feeding time.

B shows an alley which leads through the door, T, to the yard
V on the outside. Opposite this is the yard Z. These two yards are
not connected with pens on the inside of the building but are used as
boar pens and are supplied with separate cots and feed troughs on
the outside. The rest of the pens on the outside shown in the cut
as A' are of the same width as the pens inside and are 28 feet long.
They are connected with the pens on the inside by means of the doors
above mentioned, the outer end opening to the lane which leads to
the pastures. The partitions between these pens on the outside are
made of two lengths of common fencing, one 16 feet and the other
12 feet long. The 1 2-foot length is next to the building and may
be made into a gate so that it will swing. By opening all these gates
and swinging them one way, and away from the building, an alley
is made along the outside of the building in case it is not desirable
to use the alley in the building for taking out the manure. But this
is not so convenient as driving through the alley on the inside.

There is a 4-inch drain tile laid from each pen in the building to
the ma'n lines on either side, which are placed on the outside of the
pens, leading off down the ravine. The tile opens up through the
floor of the pen by means of a perforated iron disk which is laid in
the bell end of a length of sewer pipe. The floor is made to slope
toward the drain so that it can be flushed with water.

Fig. 5, page 297, shows the interior section of the hog house con-
taining the pens. All the gates and partitions on the interior, as
will be seen from the cut, are made of wire netting pinels. \Yire



woe. \



HOG HOUSES.



297




298 BULLETIN No. 109. [June,

is considered better for this purpose than lumber for several reasons
as follows.

1 i ) There are no obstructions to light. The rays of light com-
ing through the windows are not prevented from reaching the floor
where they are most needed ; they keep the floor or bed in which the
pigs sleep dry, warm and disinfected.

(2) By this means there is no opportunity for disease germs to
lodge in cracks and crevices or to be harbored in the shadow of solid
fences. In case the hog house should ever become infected with
disease germs of any kind it can be disinfected much more easily
and thoroughly.

(3) Wire partitions allow the hogs always to be within sight
of each other and of the attendant. By this means the sows, when
they are shut up to farrow will not become estranged from one an-
other, and will not be so likely to fight after returning to a common
pasture.

Part of the floor of the hog house is made of hard brick, laid on
side in the pens and laid on edge in the alley; the remainder is of
cement. Lumber is not used, because, being necessarily laid on the
ground to prevent cold air or cold drafts getting beneath the floor,
it would rot out too quickly, making it very expensive. Brick is
thought to be a little warmer in winter than cement and not so slip-
pery but both are being tried. Brick, of course, is colder in winter
than is lumber, but this can be obviated by using bedding or by mak-
ing an overlay (portable floor) of I inch lumber for the corner of
the pen where the bed is made.

COST OF HOG HOUSE

The hog house is divided into unit lengths of ten feet each ; this
being the dimension of the pens parallel to the long dimension of
the building.

Where there is proper drainage, an earth floor is probably the
best kind of a floor in a hog house although it is a little harder to
keep in repair. Therefore, by omitting the floor, tile drain and eave
troughs, the building still contains all the essential features and
costs approximately $122.00 per unit length of ten feet which con-
tains two pens. If tht carpenter work and painting can be done
with the regular farm help at odd times when there is no other em-
ployment at hand, the building can be constructed for approximately
$100 per unit length of ten feet. This includes the labor as well as
the material on the tar-and-gravel roof, which is the flat roof on the
part of the building south of the alley, a two foot brick wall under-
neath the structure and the iron posts, gates, panels and fenders
which cost at the rate of $13.60 per pen.



1906. ] HOG HOUSES. 299

The cost of the hog house with all the accessories as outlined
above is as follows :

Foundation, tile drain, floor and chimney $ 649.25

Lumber and windows 639.70

Iron posts, gates, panels and fenders 244.80

Hardware 53.65

Paint and painting (two coats) 54.00

Labor (carpenter) 290.00

Tar-and-gravel roof 79-15

Scales . 100.00



$2110.55

The cost of the foundation, tile drain, floor and chimney seems
rather high but due to the slope of the land in this particular in-
stance, the foundation at the west end of the building is three feet
higher than would be necessary had the building been placed on a
level spot. The foundation wall at the east end of the building is
two feet high.

The cost of the brick floor with cement filler when the brick is
laid flat, as in the pens, is 8oc per square yard and when laid on
edge, as in the alley, $1.12 per square yard. The 4-inch cement
floor in the pens cost $1.00 and the 6-inch cement floor in the alley
cost $1.35 per square yard. This is exclusive of the cinders used
for the foundation in both the brick and the cement floors.

The lumber and windows form a considerable item of expense
but this includes the lumber in the fence of the outside pens. A good
grade of lumber was used throughout and the shingles used were
the best on the maiket. The walls of the building are made of one
thickness of lumber, viz., the drop siding on the outside of the stud-
ding. It was found, however, that for the coldest weather of this
locality, the building is not quite warm enough.

The cost of the scales includes the work of installing the same
by an expert.

The total cost of $2110.55 does not take account of grading,
hauling cinders, nor of the fence posts.

LOCATION AS TO PASTURE

As said above a hog house should be located so that it will give
access to pasture. Fig. 6, page 300, shows an arrangement by
which this can be accomplished.

In the above mentioned cut, B represents the hog house, A', the
small pens on the outside adjacent to the pens on the inside, and V
and Z the boar pens mentioned above. L represents a small pasture
that may be used for a boar or any other hog or pigs. D is the lane



300



BULLETIN No. 109.



[June.



r




WE


:ST


1



J


J




H


H













1

3









2
o

I




. -i




, r- j


' r




j




t






i
i




1






1




1






i i
i |




!




j


i. j




I -"
i


H




I


L


i
i






_j




i






i i




i


-i




i




i






1




i




j


I




i -i

i


H




1




i






?




i p
i *-






I
1




i


H




1 i




i






i i








j


r
I




i '_


H




LA::




"lA^I


1

Online LibraryWilliam DietrichThe location, construction and operation of hog houses → online text (page 1 of 2)