Cold weather and our pigs

It became cold here the last couple of days and we got a light snow dusting yesterday.

With the cold weather settling over us we got really concerned about the pigs. Being first-time pig owners with no experience under our belts, we didn’t know how cold is too cold. We don’t worry about the chickens anymore, as they handled 10°F temps last winter with no supplemental heat and no issues, but the pigs are an unknown. Just in case, we added a plywood ceiling over their straw bale shelter walls, and piled straw over that. This was suggested by Bruce in the comments to our pig shelter post. We also added more loose straw to their shelter, although they tend to push it out rather quickly.

Thankfully, last night as the news was predicting temperatures in the teens we noticed this recent post from Ebey farm. That made us stop worrying as much. The next morning both pigs seemed fine.

With the pigs still alive and snorting, the usual cold weather chores started, mainly making sure the drinking water wasn’t frozen. Lee brought his ever handy propane torch along (in case the metal nipple was frozen) and the piggos were their extremely helpful selves as always.

After we finished taking care of the pigs, we went out to check on the chicken’s water. Lee had unhooked the hose and drained the pipe in the automatic chicken waterer so it wouldn’t burst. While the cold temps are here we went back to using the small hanging chicken waterer which makes taking care of their water situation easier. As soon as the freezing weather passes in about a day we will hook it back up again. For now, the chickens aren’t sure they like the white stuff. Only a few venture out and make tracks.

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6 Responses to Cold weather and our pigs

  1. Benita says:


    I love the chicken tracks picture!

    So, when will you butcher the pigs?

  2. lee says:

    Benita – Yeah, they look like little Velociraptor tracks. The pig’s butcher date is January 15th at 8am. It’s been set for about a month now.

    Throwback – Yes, the torch is endlessly useful. Odd thing about my torch .. it’s almost 4 years old and I’ve used it to do everything from sweating copper, bending steel, starting fires, thawing pipes, etc and it’s on the original gas cylinder! The thing is never going to run out I think.

  3. Lynn says:

    Oh, the piggys are getting so big already! I love their little pink pig butts in the picture of them watching Lee with the torch! Stay warm! Is your house warm?

  4. Ryan says:

    We are in Southeastern Mass and the temps are starting to get into the low 20’s. I have a 12 week old wessex saddleback pig that is not liking the cold much. We’ve put down a pretty thick layer of straw and covered three sides with plastic to eliminate the wind. He is hunkering down! 3 weeks to go till Christmas dinner.

  5. David Humphries says:

    what is the lower temp tolerance of pigs? we have black haired pigs – consider them mini since i had a full blown almost 2 ft pet pig at one time and these guys are about 1 foot high maybe slightly taller. can they stand above freezing weather? one pig is almost crying and it is only about 50 degrees out. abq,nm.

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