1979 - Volume #3, Issue #4, Page #20[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Converted Trailer Home Houses Hogs
Francis Maschka, of Minneiska, got the idea from an Iowa farmer who uses a onetime trailer home as a farrowing barn. Maschka bought an old trailer home for $500 and made the needed improvements in it for another $1,700. His first step in converting the 10 by 48-ft. trailer was to tear out the inside walls and put in a concrete floor. "I first put down a plastic sheet and poured 1% in. of concrete over it. The plastic was run up the side walls, covered with cement board 18 in. high, and sealed with a masonry sealer," says Francis.
Three original vents in the roof were left intact, some side windows were closed off, and the big picture window was replaced with a smaller one. Francis notes that the original louvered windows of the trailer are ideal for ventilation.
With design help of a University of Minnesota agricultural engineer, Francis installed fans at the ends and in the middle of the trailer. One fan runs continuously, and the other two turn on by thermostats when the temperature gets up to about 68?F. Heat is provided by four radiant LP-gas heaters.
The trailer is divided into three pens separated by 2-ft. wide alleys. One pen is 10 by 10ft., another 10 by 30 ft. (which can be partitioned into two pens), and the third is a small pen which Francis calls his "runt" pen.
There is a 3-bu. feeder alongside each alley and a plastic water line with one drinking cup in each pen. A set of lights runs along the ceiling of the house.
The trailer's original metal doors were replaced with redwood doors.
Francis cleans manure out of the pens once a week, which takes about 30 min. He notes that cleaning chores could be greatly reduced by putting the trailer over a manure pit. "A lot of hog farmers have stopped in to look at this converted nursery, then gone home to adapt it to their own farms in various ways," Francis told FARM SHOW. For more details, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Francis Maschka, Route 1, Minneiska, Minn. 55958 (ph. 507 689-2639).
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