We have decided to keep one of our pigs (we call her Lady Luck-she was the lucky one out of the bunch) through the winter this year and breed her. We had the space indoors that would provide her with plenty of room to roam around in and it has a concrete floor! They also like to chew when they come into heat!
Pigs like to root around almost constantly, so a dirt floor would not be in your best interest! Especially on those long, cold, winter days when they may be stuck inside.
Pigs are really rather clean. She uses one corner to go to the bathroom in, a corner for her food, and a corner where she sleeps. The corner where she chose to go to the bathroom is no where near her food and bedding! She's so smart.
One of the main challenges was going to be keeping her water from freezing. We wanted to buy a heater, but knew she would chew it and the cord if she could get to it.
Another challenge is keeping the water clean. After rooting in dirt or hay they stick their noses in their water. It never fails. We thought that using an upright water system made out of very durable PVC was our best option to tackle both these issues.
We bought a submersible heater first. Then chose the size of PVC pipe based on the heater we wanted. We used a PVC pipe that is about 6 inches in diameter and 10 feet long. We cut the pipe in half in order to make another watering station for the pigs outside as well come spring. We bought a PVC cap for the bottom end of the pipe too. (That is more noticeable in the first picture.)
We bought a stainless steel hog nipple drinker with a half inch thread. We paid about $4 for it. My husband drilled out a hole for the nipple to screw into. He put the nipple on a slight slant. Make sure you place the nipple towards the bottom of the pipe, but make sure that it won't interfere with your cap once it is placed on. We also tried to keep it at head height for her so she could drink easily from it.
Once you have that in place you can attach the cap to the bottom of the pipe. We used PVC glue. Work quickly! It dries reeeeaaal fast!
We chose a spot in her pen to attach the pipe to that would be easy for us to access and get the water in there.
This pipe can hold about 2 five gallon buckets of water. We attached it to a post with 2 heavy duty zip ties. This way it is not permanent if we want to move it and we will want to clean it out from time to time.
We dropped the heater in it to keep it from freezing and plugged it in where there is no way she can even remotely reach the cord!
She is laaaazy..........
For now there is no cap on the top because of the cord. Once we no longer need the heater we will be able to put a bucket over the top to keep dust from falling into it.
So far keeping her over the winter has been fairly easy. I did say, "so far".;)