Versatile Hoop Buildings

Hogs in a hoop building.  This is the typical and intended use of the hoop buildings on our farm.

Hoop buildings are a single-arch structure covered with a tarp-like material that is stronger than a typical greenhouse.  They are an economical and efficient way to raise hogs.

Another draw is their versatility.  They make great storage for machinery, hay, or even grains.

We had an excellent oat crop this year and needed to make room for corn in our bins.  We put a tarp down to keep the ground underneath dry, then we augered the oats into the building.

I like how the stream of oats undulates, as it falls.  Below is a picture of the mountain of oats after we finished.

8 Responses to Versatile Hoop Buildings

  1. Jane Powers says:

    Will you write a post about the entire hog process? (Forgive me for asking if you have done this already, but I looked and couldn’t find anything that described it.)

    For instance, for how long do they stay in the hoop buildings, and what happens to the manure? How many hogs (I want to say “pigs” on account of living in Ireland) do you raise each year?

    Thank you!

  2. curiousfarmer says:

    Sure thing, Jane. I’ll write a post this fall. Glad to know you’re interested.
    Hogs are marketed around six months of age, weighing 250 to 310 lbs. The manure is probably the best part of raising hogs in hoop buildings. We are raising around 600 hogs this year.

  3. James says:

    somewhat related tidbit:

    The angle at which a pile of anything naturally forms is called the angle of repose.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angle_of_repose

  4. curiousfarmer says:

    That is interesting, James. The wiki article shows the lair of an antlion which I have seen before. They build their traps in sand at roughly the angle of repose of sand, so when an ant tries to walk through, the ant slides down the trap and the antlion attacks. I’ve seen this at Governor Dodge State Park.

  5. Doug says:

    I like the natural light in the hoop buildings. It probably makes the hog’s weight gain happen more efficiently. It supposedly makes humans 1% more efficient in the workplace.

  6. curiousfarmer says:

    I like the light as well. When the old gray tops started wearing out after ten years and letting water seep through, we replaced them with white and they are brighter. I like it better.
    I would definitely take a 1% gain in efficiency!

  7. Payden says:

    I am wondering where you farrow your sows on your farm, do you farrow in a hoop building also? Or in that red barn?

  8. curiousfarmer says:

    We farrow at my parents’ farm in an old dairy barn which is kept at 70 F so we can farrow in groups throughout the year, including winter.

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