Reasons to Raise Pigs on Concrete
1. Keeps Them Cleaner
Believe it or not, about 99% of all pigs raised in the US are raised in confinement buildings, usually on concrete. In other words, they never see grass, dirt, trees, or the sun.
That’s obviously not the best way to raise pigs, but there’s a reason for doing so. It keeps them a lot cleaner.
When you raise pigs on concrete, you eliminate the “mud” factor.
There is not much to worry about, which, especially come handling or butchering time, can be quite cumbersome to deal with. If you breed your pigs with artificial insemination, the extra muck can also be quite unsanitary.
2. Prevents Digging and Rooting
As a corollary to the last point, raising pigs on concrete also eliminates the likelihood of natural behaviors such as rooting and digging.
There’s nothing for them to push around with their snouts, so you don’t have to worry about your pigs excavating out of their pens with their snouts.
You also don’t have to worry about acres of pasture being destroyed (or your vegetable garden, if they happen to get out!).
3. Can Be Washed With Water
Not only will a pig barn poured on a concrete slab stay cleaner since there’s no mud, but it’s easier to remove manure too.
You can use a scoop shovel for the manure and extra bedding and since there’s a hard floor, it’s easy for you to remove it quickly. You could also use a front end loader if that’s something you have access to on your farm.
Many people also clean the concrete floor with water. This makes it easy to manage, even during the winter months.
4. Easier to Manage During Farrowing
Our biggest concern with raising pigs on dirt instead of concrete is that it is difficult to manage at farrowing time.
When you have a concrete slab, there is a solid floor that makes it easier for your sow to position herself so she doesn’t roll on her piglets. The floor is completely level.
You just can’t get the floor as level when it’s not made out of a solid material like concrete (and using any other kind of material, like wood, will leave it prone to rotting).
Add in the fact that, as you know, pigs like to root, and farrowing gets quite difficult and risky when the floor is not solid.
5. Necessary for Show Pigs
The Pig Site actually recommends raising show pigs on concrete whenever possible. It advises that it should have a 1 or 2% slope toward a drainage area and be finished with a machine trowel.
This prevents the likelihood of your pigs slipping when the floor is wet and also allows bedding to be used without your pig making a mess.