Sealing a pond with pigs

Our American Mulefoot hogs are tramping their way through our pasture, paddock by paddock… tilling the soil, uprooting rocks and stumps, and sealing our pond!

We have what was once a pond. My older cousins tell me they remember ice skating on it. It held water for the cows, for years.

But it hasn’t held water very well for a while. And I think last summer’s drought really did some damage to it. So we’ve sent the pigs through there, and in the last couple of weeks, have had some pretty good rain (not much snow, though…). I don’t want to speak too soon, but it seems like the piggies have helped the pond quite a bit!

He's getting better at gently herding our swine.

He’s getting better at gently herding our swine.

The American Mulefoot fellas.

The American Mulefoot fellas.

I don't have a "before" picture. But this used to be totally dry. Now it's probably 60'x35', and 4 or 5 feet deep in the middle.

I don’t have a “before” picture. But this used to be totally dry. Now it’s probably 60’x35′, and 4 or 5 feet deep in the middle.

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4 Responses to Sealing a pond with pigs

  1. Liz says:

    What do the pigs do and how to keep them from running away? Is it just because you have raised them so well? Our pond is pretty dry from the summer, and we would like to get more water into it. Bo thought about digging it out some with hopes that would help. His dad has some pigs, but I don’t think we would be able to keep them in one area to help any with the pond.

    • Haha, HI LIZ!!!! We miss you guys!
      To answer your question, yes, it is partially because we’ve raised them so well. But what that really means is we’ve trained them to be deathly afraid of the electric fence.
      See the white wires in that picture? They touch that with their nose, and it’s like getting punched in the face. They only do it a couple of times before they learn. See this post on how to train them on electric fences.
      A solar powered electric fencer is going to run about $150ish. You’ll spend another $50 for polywire and fiberglass posts.
      What the pigs do, is they root around, stomp around, poop and pee around, and lay around, all of which seals and compacts the bottom of the pond… so I’m told. Again, time will tell if our pigs have done the trick here – we’ll see if the pond holds water for more than a few days. But I think they might have helped, and if it drains out, we’ll keep them in there to continue the sealing process.
      Of course, you have to feed them (about 4-6 pounds per pig per day, if they’re full grown), and give them water until the pond is holding water. It’s a task. But I’ve heard that it works, and it seems to have worked so far for us…
      Come on up to the Ozark House and see it for yourself! We’ll have the guest room nice and toasty… 🙂

  2. Liz says:

    Good to know, thanks! We have an old electric fence that was handed down to us. We needed it to keep an overactive dog inside of our yard. She touched it twice, and that was that. We don’t even leave it on anymore… I will have to see if Bo has more that would cover the size of the pond. He is digging a well this weekend with his dad, and I know that eventually he would like a pump and possible windmill for the pond. That’s a few years away. We would like to keep fish it in for us to eat. A visit would be fun! Bo would especially like to learn all of your farming ways. He just set some chickens this morning, and we are getting a few goats as soon as they are off of their mom. We’re trying 🙂

  3. Connie says:

    a little late to the party here, but WELL DONE!!! Excellent idea! We are going to try and do that here at our place.

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