Making A Hog Waterer From PVC Pipe

PVC Pig Waterer DIY

If you have ever had a pig on your place, then you know how much they love to wallow in mud.  Pigs love it so much they will dump their drinking water over to enjoy the fun of wallowing.  The problem- they have no water to drink, except the muddy stuff.  The muddy water seems to suit the pigs fine, but as a person who wants to provide the best for the animals in my care, it doesn’t suit me.

The challenge is that pigs are so strong that they can flip a trough weighing hundreds of pounds like it was a marshmallow.  The choices you are left with is securing a concrete water trough that is about as heavy as the Titanic or going with an automatic system. 

The concrete waterer is not an option because:

1. Because my husband refuses to move anything that heavy without a tractor and we don’t have a tractor.

 2. I like to move the pigs around to till new ground for me and we don’t have a tractor. 

So, that left us with an automatic type of waterer.

There are several ways of using automatic waterers, but again because I want to be able to move the pens around, I decided on a PVC type waterer.  I have seen these many times at livestock shows made out of green PVC and being about 2 1/2 feet tall and about 4 inches in diameter.  The pigs bite the water valve and water flows out.  When the pig stops biting on the valve the water stops.  This means that a pig’s pen can be kept dry if needed. 

The waters are wired into the corner of the pen eliminating the pig from being able to flip it over.  I do not have any intention of denying our pig the joy of wallowing in mud, so I will fill the hole dug by said pig with water just for fun.

In the following pictures, you will notice that my pipe is not green but white.  Also, I chose the heaviest grade of pipe available, 8 inches in diameter and 5 feet in length.  This is because I do not want to fill this everyday and I thought the heavy grade pipe would have a longer life as pigs can be very rough.  The water valves were purchased at our feed store but sometimes these can be hard to find but you can order them here. The other supplies came from the local hardware store.  I purchased a 10 ft piece of pipe and had the store cut it into 2 pieces along with 2 caps to fit each pipe.  All total I spent about $55.00 and will have two waterers when done.

To construct a waterer:

PVC Pig waterer- PVC Pipe with watering nipple inserted

About 6 inches from the bottom of the pipe (the cap is about 4 inches deep) drill a hole using a drill bit with a circular saw blade attached to it.  This bit cuts a circle, a hole in the pipe.  The hole should be just a bit bigger than the nipple valve.  The valve has threads on it so that you can insert it into the hole and screw it in.  The bit I used was the same size as the valve because the next size up in the bit department was bigger than the valve.  So, I used the drill and bit to wallow out the hole some by just drilling around the edge until it was large enough.  Being that I have small hands and not enough strength to manhandle much more than a small goat- I gripped the valve with a pair of vice grips so that I had enough leverage to screw in the valve.  This is the hardest part- which was not that hard.

cleaning PVC pipe so that the glue will adhere and the pig waterer will not leak.
alcohol is also used to clean the PVC pipe and the cap so the pig waterer will not leak

After the valve is in, the pipe needs to be cleaned to prepare them for the plumbers cement and putty.  If the cap and pipe are not cemented together the water will leak out. Also, the valve needs plumber’s putty to keep it from leaking.  First, I cleaned the pipe and cap with orange oil and vinegar to get all the dirt off.  The orange oil was followed by alcohol so that the surface would be super clean and dry faster.  When you are trying to glue anything, dirt and moisture are not your friend.

Plumbers putty rolled into a snake to seal the nipple waterer into the pig waterer

For the valve: scope out about a quarter’s worth of putty and roll it into a snake (think play-dough and preschool).

wrapping the valve with the putty snake
water valve with the plumber's putty all smoothed out

Wrap the snake around the valve where it meets the pipe.  Then, press the putty down pressing out all air bubbles and smoothing the edges.  There were no directions on my tub I just had to guess at it.  Also, I thought I would have to wait until it hardened then I read on the tub that it never hardens.  So, I wasn’t really sure if this would work, but it did.

Inside the pipe

I did the same thing on the inside of the pipe- just to be certain.  This is what the other end of the water valve looks like.  As you can see, there are threads and a screen to keep debris out of the water valve.

plumber's cement that will be used to glue the PVC pieces together on the pig waterer
spreading the cement

Whereas the plumbers putty was labeled as completely harmless, the cement was plastered with warnings.  One of the warnings was not to breath the fumes.  I find it sad that that warning had to be printed.  The fumes are awful and it was obvious that I should not stand too close.  The lid of the cement has a little ball on it for spreading.  Generously spread the cement on the pipe all the way around.

spreading cement on the lid as well as the pipe

Do the same on the bottom cap.  Then put the bottom cap on the pipe, you may need to use a hammer to tap the cap down. DO NOT glue the top cap on, this is where you will fill the water later.

Pig waterer supplies

An ingredient recap-

Tools

  • drill,
  • drill bit with circular saw blade
  • hammer
  • vice grips
PVC Pig Waterer
PVC Pig Waterer

Once all the pieces and joints are clean and dried, now is the time to fill the waterer up! Simply remove the top cap (the one you did NOT glue on) and fill with a water hose.

As we have used these waterers, we have found that they work best in pens with a single pig. With multiple pigs, even with multiple waterers, they fight over the favorite waterer and this gets ugly. So, if you are raising a feeder pig or using a pig for garden tilling in a mobile pen, these work great.

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.

Herbal Folklore

Check this post out- it is very interesting. I love the colorful history that herbs have and I also love that science it starting to prove that some old wives tales are true.

Sanctuary Gardener

Fantasy forest house via 1ms.net SG

Tuesday evening, I attended my first meeting of the South Carolina Herbal Society here in Charleston. Because I’m very interested in learning about herbs and herbal medicine, I brought my membership form and annual fee with me. After the first meeting, I can already say that it is going to be worth it! The leader of the meeting is an experienced herbalist, and she shared for an hour and a half on herbal folklore. As we know, there is usually a thread of truth underlying “old wives’ tales” or folklore, so it was interesting to learn how people used herbs centuries ago. Although she couldn’t possibly touch on every herb and its folklore in that short period of time, she did speak about the most common herbs. I’d like to now share with you some of what I learned.

I took pages and pages of notes during the meeting, writing furiously to…

View original post 1,491 more words

There May Be Snow, But The Seasons Have Changed: A Different Kind Of Snow Day With A Hot Chocolate Recipe

Jonathan in the ice

I love snow days, I always have.  Once we began the farm, snow days were certainly different from the snow days where we just got to bundle up and watch movies.  Making sure the animals have water, shelter, and extra feed can take away from the pleasure at times, but it also brings its own kind of pleasure.

At this stage, the number of our animals is greatly reduced  and Jonathan, who loves snow and ice and cold, was happy to carry out the duties awaiting him.  Sierra and I got to stay indoors and relax.

BUT here is the thing that made this snow day different- my oldest two were not at home, they were at their homes.  In the past, even though they had moved out, they still came home- to my home- on snow days and got iced in with us.  This time they did not.

Savannah called midday and I said to Sierra, “I bet she is calling to see if her daddy thinks she can drive on the roads and come home.”  Well, she was calling to see if he thought it safe to drive but she was wanting to go to Dakota not here.  Home for now means being wherever Dakota is, home for her is now more about a person than a place.  And that is good, given that their wedding is now just a few months away.

As for Cheyenne a day at home with no college or work meant a day at her home.  She now lives with my grandmother, her great-grandmother.  I know that home very well as I have spent many days there with two of my most beloved women.  I know that she spent plenty of time standing in front of the Deerborn heater warming her backside then turning around to warm the front.  Central heat is nice but there is something about having a warm spot to back up to on a cold day.  She was content in a warm house full of love- her home.

This is the first year that I have seen a distinct separation from my home to their own homes even though they moved away two years ago.  I thought it would be more upsetting but its not.  It is in its due time.  There are seasons in our life, not just spring and winter, but seasons for certain types of living.  My season for having all of my babies at home has passed.  I love having time to focus with the younger two and I love having teenagers.  Most people find me crazy, but I love it.  Its a new season, but a good one.  Each season has its place.  The mistake most mothers make is to try and hold on to one season for too long.  This simply causes strife and conflict and it will not stop the season from changing.  The seasons will change with or without our permission, best to embrace the change and enjoy every moment for what it is.

So, today we will enjoy another day at home with just the younger two and make some more memories and drink hot chocolate!  I have my own hot chocolate recipe I developed and we  just love it.

Here it is so you can make homemade hot chocolate that tastes way better than anything from a package.

Hot Chocolate

2 Cups whole milk

3 cups heavy cream

3 tablespoons of Cocoa

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons of vanilla

Mix together and heat through in a heavy bottomed sauce pan.  Top with marshmallows if you desire (which we do).

The sugar could be substituted with organic raw sugar, honey, or agave nectar if you are looking for an unprocessed version.