Tag Archives: homemade farrowing pens

Building a Homemade Hoop Shelter for Pigs

 

My daughter and I made this hoop shelter for our pigs 5 years ago and it is still in great shape. It is fairly easy to build with just a little elbow grease.

Pig Hoop Shelter without Covering
Pig Hoop Shelter without Covering

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This shelter is built from common materials and goes together easily.

2- 16′ cattle panels cut down to 12′

2- 4’x8′ sheets of untreated plywood

4- 6″x4″x8′ treated posts

4- 1″x3″ untreated boards

1- 10’x12′ tarp

Misc: Screws, Lag bolts, metal plumbers strapping, and fence staples

We started by notching the ends of the treated posts. The notches enabled us to overlap the ends of the posts to be glued and nailed together while still giving us a flat surface all the way around. We notched the posts with a circular saw, we used multiple passes to create slices half way through the post. The slices were then chiseled out and smoothed. Update to our original build- We would at this point in the build add a sealed floor of some sort.  Hindsight is always 20/20.

In order to secure the cattle panels in a curved position, we put lag bolts on 2 alternate sides. The lag bolts were put in 2 inches from the outside edge of the posts. We used 6 bolts per side and spaced the bolts evenly along the post. The bolts were left out about 1.5 inches so that the wire panel had a good point of contact.

We wired the to cattle panels together along their length and put one end up against the bolts. The panel was then carefully pulled down so that the opposite end rested inside of the bolts on the other side. We have at that point a base and a hoop. The ends were secured in place with some large fencing staples, and all of the sharp edges of the panel and wires were removed to prevent injury.

The end panels were the next piece of the build to tackle. We held one plywood panel up to the end of the hoop and traced the outline onto the wood. We cut out the curved end piece and secured it to the wire with plumbing strap and screws. The entrance side will have a doorway cut out as well before it is attached. We cut two 1″x3″ boards that ran from top to bottom inside the end pieces. we attached them with screws to give the end pieces more stability. We double checked again for sharp points of screws and made sure to grind them down to prevent future injury.

Attaching the End Panel
Attaching the End Panel
Attaching the Interior Support
Attaching the Interior Support

We covered our hoop buildings with tarps secured with lathe around the bottom edges. This worked great right up to the point when the sows started their nest building phase. They tore huge sections of the tarp off to add to their nest even though they had plenty of straw. We have since corrected this by adding sheet metal strips to the bottom of each side, and we completely covered a few  huts and removed the tarp all together.

There is always improvements to be made, and the first version is just a starting point. These are great huts, but by all means not perfect for everyone. Like I mentioned earlier we would have added a floor to these, and when we build more we will add that option. We have had these huts for 5 years and have only needed to replace the tarps.  As are farm grows I will need to start building more.

http://burninr.com/portablepigshelter.html

 


 

 

 

 

 

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Redesigned Farrowing Pens

Makeshift farrowing pens

Our sows were getting ready to farrow in March and a cold snap was about to hit. We threw together these farrowing pens in our barn. We used pallets to make the walls and to make the divider to the creep area. This set up worked very well, but they were not as sturdy as what we were shooting for. Our sows tore through the creep divider with ease and they had to be reinforced and straightened up daily. The new piglets also found the weakness in having pallets, they crawled through the fork spaces and wandered around.

The creep area worked very well to keep the babies safe. Adding a heat lamp made it a perfect nursery area. When Momma called they all piled out and started eating.

new farrowing pen1

We have upgraded the creep divider to a hog panel. We turned it upside down and enlarged 2 holes so the piglets can easily get in. The heat lamp and the babies are protected from the sow. We also went from 3 pens down to 2, added an ally between them for better access.

We have 1 Hampshire sow in the new setup. So far she has not revealed any flaws. Hopefully we have babies soon, I am getting excited to see how the new divider works, and how well it will hold up.

I will give an update when we give our final evaluation on the design.