In this album is a range of affordable pig shelters we’ve used over the past four years. As we started our farm from scratch on a strict budget, affordability has been key. One day we’d love to have some of those beautiful pre-made pig arcs, but for now, we’ve made due with a variety of different types of housing. These are all doable with minimal building skills. Most were assembled with an impact driver, sawz-all, and wood screws.
For reference, we’re in zone 7b, which is a subtropical climate. Weatherspark is a great site to compare climates of two different areas. Our typical climate for Wahalla, SC: “In Walhalla, the summers are hot and muggy, the winters are cold, and it is wet and partly cloudy year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 35°F to 90°F and is rarely below 23°F or above 96°F.”
The most important aspects with pig shelters are to keep the pig warm and dry, free from drafts, and to have sufficient ventilation. Most of our shelters are three sided, being open on one side, out of the dominant wind direction. Pigs need ventilation because when moisture builds up in a shelter (simply from a group of pigs sleeping in it), dampness pervades, and pigs breathing that in can develop pneumonia. On very cold mornings, when our pigs leave their shelters, steam rises off their bodies as they emerge from the deep bed of hay and/or straw, that we provide.
Some of our shelters have had raised platform floors, to keep pigs out of water from heavy rainfall. Other times we raise floors with gravel, and then add stall mats over that. We always try to put shelters in an area where water doesn’t run or settle.
I’m sure that many of these shelter ideas could work for colder climates, with some adjustments.
Simple 4 pallet shelter. A fifth pallet could be added across the front for colder weather.
Adding slats to pallet shelter, to cut draft.
Roofing, and posts on the ends keep the pigs from moving the pallets out.
Finished pallet shelter
This was built four years ago and is still standing strong.
Even the chickens love it!
Base for cattle panel hoop shelter.
Adding diagonal supports
We also made a chicken tractor with a door.
This one had roofing across the third side.
Completed hoop, door optional.
A dog house can make a great piglet shelter, or in this case, goat shelter.
Various shelters on pasture.
A dog kennel is a must-have as a temporary breeding or holding pen, sick pen, or area in which to trim hooves or tusks.
Connor working on a french drain to divert water away from a pallet wall.
French drain construction
Gravel in french drain.
Covering up one side of our carport barn with metal roofing.
Peek inside a stall before covering up the side.
Outside view of farrowing area, showing pig doors.
Construction of a 6 pallet shelter for a larger group of pigs.
Plastic sheeting cuts drafts.
Several inches at the top all around is open, to allow ventilation.
Interior with door covered. This actually was not necessary and led to too much moisture buildup. We only do this for short periods of time, when we have extremely cold temps (usually 1-2 nights each winter)
Another hoop shelter, this time with a wider base.
Raised floor in hoop shelter.
Small hoop shelter, based on four small pallets.
Chalet style hoop shelter, made by cutting hoop.
Pallet shelter with added sun shade.
Meishan pigs in hoop shelter with tarp shade.
Pigs snuggling inside pallet shelter.
deep hay bedding keeps them warm.
Quick and easy single hog panel shelter.
Just add tarps.
Secure to two T posts.
Add tarp on top and lots of hay.
Size reference for the small hoop shelter.
A pickup cap can make a great piglet shelter!
Plywood across the front of a pallet shelter, deep hay bedding.
Pallets are a must-have on the farm.
Plywood across front of hoop shelter, with quick & dirty door cut out.
Digging french drains to deal with heavy rains.
Pigs keeping warm in a hoop shelter.
pallet wall on back of hoop shelter, with tarp blocking draft.
Pigs can bed down in a greenhouse in the winter, or even farrow in one.
Dog kennel wrapped in a tarp to block draft.
Two years in, pallet shelters still standing.
A dogloo makes a great shelter for smaller pigs.
Small hoop structure- plywood across back.
Large 6 panel pallet house
Old barn tin.
We later added barn tin all around the sides.
These are so heavy.
Creating a giant pallet structure.
Exterior covered in barn tin, roof is plastic corrugate panels.
This boar shelter is the nicest, most heavyweight shelter on the farm.