Anchor Ranch After Dark

OK, OK, that was kind of a click bait title.

We received a Fenix headlamp as an early Christmas present.  I don't know the model and anyways this isn't a plug for Fenix, but the point is it puts out about 1000 lumens on max setting and can do that for several hours which means I can take photos like this one:

Working at night by headlamp

Working at night by headlamp

(Photo: New portable-ish pig shelter, halfway completed.)

One of the main sources of extra work we had this year was keeping the pigs sheltered.  Since we move them regularly they don't always have access to the shelter of a tree.  Part of living on pasture is that they do live in the elements, but we also don't want to force them to lie in the baking sun all day, or spend all day in the cold rain.  Keeping pigs inside electric wire is relatively easy so long as the pigs are happy and content where they are.

This year our solution was setting up a tarp for them strung from T-posts.  However that meant pounding in T-posts every time we moved them (sometimes into very hard and rocky soil) and tying up the tarp.  It also meant going out to chase the tarp when what is essentially a giant sail snapped its ties, going out to rescue the tarp when the pigs climbed on each other ("piggyback") to reach a corner and tear it to shreds...basically it meant buying a lot of replacement tarps and, in addition to moving the shelter, a lot of extra work repairing it.  Usually in a storm, at night.

Thus we're experimenting with a more permanent mobile pig shelter for the future.  Iteration 2.0 features cattle panels bent in a half-cylinder and attached with heavy-duty fence staples to pressure-treated 4x4s braced with pressure-treated 2x4s.  Corrugated deck drain covers the sides and a tarp covers the top but this time the tarp is attached with baling wire.  Which probably deserves a blog post some time soon because baling wire definitely wins the prize of most used item on the farm.  

The result isn't likely to be completely pig proof, as pigs are more destructive than an unsupervised two-year-old.  And it can be dragged over flat ground from point A to B , but it isn't exactly "easy" to move.  But it is likely to be an improvement over what we've tried up until now.  We're looking forward to seeing our 2018 pigs trying it out!