The three basics of life for any animal are water, food and shelter. I decided to start with the shelter and build two traditional pig arks. Not only are they ideal for the job, providing plenty of space, easy to clean and an area for the piglets to get out the way of their huge mamma but they are also pleasing to look at and easy to build.
I found a 'recipe' in the Haynes pig manual and got to work. Rather than endlessly talk you through the process here is a pictorial timeline of the build, I hope you find it interesting and for those that know me, yes I did actually build this:
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The article that I took this from was called Ark in a Day, so did it take me a day, the short answer is no. Whilst the wood and the structure were very easy to connect and build the corrugated steel that I bought was too short. I followed what was written but by the time the wood had flexed and bent in its usual way the structure was just a little too big for the steel. The wooden structure was done in two days and fitting the steel took ten mins, for my first ever DIY project I think it came together pretty well.
The Beginning Farmer in Iowa has a regular podcast feature called 'hard lessons learned', it wasn't till this week that I realised how everyday is a lesson and some of them are hard, so I am shamelessly stealing that idea and will be recounting my failures for you all to laugh at.
Todays 'Farm School Detention' is to never trust what you read. When building anything don't just assume that the measurements on the diagram are correct, they need to be checked, theorised and checked again. Whilst building Ark #1 I went out and bought 10 sheets of corrugated steel at 1.8m long, unfortunately by the time it was built the ark was 1.85m long and the steel didn't fit so I had to buy another 10 sheets at 1.9m. Its not the end of the world because I am sure the spare steel will come in useful but at $350 it was an expensive mistake. By the way, anyone need 10 x 1.8m sheets of corrugated steel?