Let’s talk pigs for a little bit.
We’ve put in a few permanent pig pens at the back of the property. They’re close to the pasture so that when we are ready to put our pigs on grass they’ll be right there. That day will come. Eventually.
Until then, we’ve got feeder pigs in a few pens that are exposed to the elements. Most of the year, our pigs prefer to be outside as much as possible. But to keep them healthy, they’ll need a retreat from the wind and the rain, someplace where their straw can stay dry.
Honestly, pigs are pretty resilient and can make use of just about any kind of shelter, made out of just about any kind of material. There’s no need to spend a whole lot of money building a shelter. But keep in mind, pigs are destructive by nature. They’ll chew and scratch themselves on anything they can find. So your shelter should be sturdy enough to put up with some abuse.
This shelter is light enough to move if you need to, but it’s not meant to be a mobile shelter. You can use it in the pasture or in a stationary pen. It’s durable enough to hold up to the elements as well as destructive pigs.
And more importantly, it’s easy to build.
Some things to know about this shelter
It took my 11 year old son and I about half a day to build this shelter. We mostly used materials we had on hand, although I bought the 2x6s and the 2x4s. So cost will be determinate on what you need to buy at the store. But in most cases, you should be able to build this shelter for under $200.
Tools I used
- Screw gun
- Miter saw
- Cordless metal shears
- Tape measure
- Rubber mallet
- (2) 2x6s at 8ft long
- (10) 2x4s at 8ft long
- (14) 1×6 Tongue & Groove boards at 8ft long
- Metal for the roof cut at 84 inches long and 45 inches wide
- 2.5 inch exterior screws
- 1in galvanized metal roofing screws with rubber washer
- (2) 2×6 boards cut at 96 inches
- (7) 2×4 boards cut at 48 inches
- (2) 2×4 boards cut at 84 inches
- (2) 2×4 boards cut at 36 inches
- (3) 2×4 boards but at 51 inches
- (8) 1×4 T&G boards cut at 96 inches
- (14) 1×4 T&G boards cut at 36 inches
Stationary Pig Shelter Plans
Step 1: Gather all materials and tools and make sure you have a clean work space. You might consider building this close or even inside the pen if possible.
Step 2: Using the miter saw, cut all of your wood to correct length.
Step 3: Build the sides. Lay out your 2×6 boards. You’ll attach one 2x4x36in board at one end, forming a right angle to the 2×6. This is your back end. You’ll attach one 2x4x48in board on the other end of the 2×6, forming a right angle and perpendicular to the back end. This is your front end. Attach boards with 2.5inch exterior screws.
Step 4: Construct the shelter frame. This is where you will need another person to help. Have your helper hold each side so that it is upright. Attach one 2x4x48inch board at the bottom of the sides for the front lower rail. Attach another 2x4x48in board on the bottom of the other end for the rear lower rail. Make sure the ends are flush. You should now have a square box that stands on its own.
Step 5: Attach upper frame rails. Attach one 2x4x48in board at the upper end of each side to form the front upper rail. Do the same at the back to form the upper rear rail.
Step 6: Attach upper side rails. Attach a 2x4x84in board to each side. Board will be diagonal and should be flush with the rear upper posts. The board will stick out at the front, which is what we want. This will allow for the metal roof to overhang the opening of the shelter.
Step 7: Complete back wall. Measure 24 inches from the bottom of the rear rail up along the rear post and make a mark. Do this on the other side as well. Then attach a 2x4x48in board to the rear upright posts, keeping the top of the board flush with the line you made on either side. This will serve as your rear brace board.
Step 8: Roof rails. Lay a 2x4x51in board across the top of your shelter frame, aligning it at the rear so that the sides are flush. Attach using exterior screws. Then measure from the inside edge of the board 40 inch and make a mark on either side of the shelter. Attach your second 2x4x51in board. Then attach your third and final 2x4x51in board at the front of the shelter so that it is in line with the top front rail.
Step 9: Side panels. Now it’s time to attach the side panels. I used 1×6 tongue and groove paneling because that’ what I had. But you could simply choose exterior grade plywood if desired. Starting at the bottom, attach you 1x6x96in paneling and work your way up about half way. Use a rubber mallet to properly set the tongue and groove. Repeat on the other side.
Step 10: Back panels. Starting at the right hand rear corner, set your first 1x6x36in panel so that the outer edge is flush with rear upright posts. Using the rubber mallet to set the tongue and groove, finish out the back with remaining panels. Drive 2 exterior screws into each back rail (top, middle and bottom). This will secure the panels from popping free from pushy pigs.
Step 11: Install roofing. Cut your metal to size. Position the metal so the there is even overhang at the rear and the sides. Most of the overhang should be at the front. Attach with 1in metal roofing screws.
This is an easy plan to alter based on your needs, environment and available material. That’s one of the reasons I like it. If you have more than a few pigs in a pen, then you can make it wider to accommodate. I think you could even put this on wheels to move it in the pasture.
If you’re looking for something a little bigger, you might like this pig shelter I shared a few years ago. Our boar Churchill is still enjoying this kind of structure after 2 years.
Remember the basic rules for sheltering pigs. As long as they have a dry place out of the wind, you’ll be on the road to a happy, healthy pig.