Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Pig carrier version 2

I've written about my pig carrier before. Here it is carrying a litter of piglets, but it works for big pigs, too.

Version 2 of the carrier will look a little different. I had the carrier attached to the back of the tractor and went up on a big pile of wood chips. backing down the pile, the carrier caught on the ground, and I bent it up pretty well.

Since I'm going to have to do some work on it to fix it, I'm going to fix a couple of flaws that I found while using it.

1) the expanded metal works great to exclude pigs, but tends to split if it's stressed at all. You can see in the photo above that there's a bit split in it. That's a bit of a problem. So I'm only going to use expanded metal for the first 12" off the bottom -- basically the piglet zone.

2) the sides weren't tall enough. I had a couple of pigs jump out of the carrier, and that was a bit of a problem. They didn't do it when the tractor was moving, but if I left them for any amount of time they'd think about it. So I'm going to extend the cage vertically to about 4' tall on all sides .

3) I'm going to make the gate a bit bigger. The opening was narrow, but it was hard to get big sows in and out of it.

4) the barrel bolt on the gate was just too much of a pain in the ass to use. I'm going for a simpler throw bolt arrangement that can be latched in a hurry.


Craig said...

How do you keep the carrier level when you lift it up with the three point hitch? You must have a adjustment bar like you would have for a round bale spear. Is the floor wood or steel?

Rich said...

Have you thought of welding in a livestock panel instead of expanded metal?

The farm supply stores in my area sell 'bull panels' that are about 5' tall and have about a 4"x4" opening. Or, try a 'sheep panel' that is shorter but has even smaller openings.

Bruce King said...

The floor is steel. I thought about a wood floor, and may put one in, but steel has been easy to keep clean (manure, blood & so on).

A hog (bull) panel is one way to go; that's an interesting idea, and pretty light. I finally decided that I'd go with 1.5" square stock rails. The first 4 about 6" apart, the next few 12" or so apart. They're smoother and less likely to injure me or an animal, and in a pinch you can climb them out. I'll post pics when i've got version 2 done.

Bruce King said...

I use a standard fixed top-link for the pig carrier; I'll lower it, back the tractor into the carrier, attach it, and then tighten it to hand-tight. When you raise and lower the box the rear of the box probably raises or drops 2-3", but it's not a big deal. the tractor is rarely on dead-level ground, and a couple of inches of slope over 6" isn't hard for the animals to handle.

I could get fancy and put a hydraulic top link in -- the tractor has remotes -- but I haven't bothered.