Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Building a Portable Pig Shelter

Since adding the piggies to the movable pens, they really haven't had much shelter they've nested in a pile of hay with no roof. So, I spent some time this weekend building them a little something-somethin. It's essentially a (roughly) 45-degree sloped roof set up in a lean-to fashion. The bottom end of the roof lays on the ground, and is supported on either side by two 2x10 boards that act as "legs." Here's a shot of it set up in the pen, providing instant shade:

The portable pig panels in the piggie pen providing potent penumbra for Poomba, et. al.
Sidenote: I really like this^ picture, as it shows the pigs in one pen, the cows in the next two, and the chickens in the background. This area will become a great big garden once the animals get rotated off of it in a few weeks.

Anyway, back to the shelter.

UPDATE 3/25: We just had a freak snow storm come through. I went out to feed the pigs a bowl of kitchen goodies, and they were all snug under the shelter, dry as a bone. They came running out for the food, of course, but it's nice to know they're enjoying the shelter.

As with everything around here, it's a good DIY project. I built it with some wood and metal panels I already had lying around. Like I told Wife, it's amazing how God provides without us realizing it. Last year, I picked up a pile of scrap wood, without really knowing what I was going to do with it. But it was free and available, and some little voice told me to just get it. I used the same wood pile for Bridget's DIY hand milking stanchion as I did for the pig shelter. I have some wood left, enough to build a few more small items in the next few weeks. I also used metal panels that used to be a shelter for a dog run attached to our shed. I had three 2x4's that were exactly the length of the metal panels, and another two 2x6's that were exactly the width of 2 panels next to each other. I cut 3" off each 2x4 to compensate for the width of the 2x6's, but otherwise, it fit perfectly.

So to start, I built the frame to fit. After the three cuts, I attached the 2x4's to the 2x6's to make a big rectangle with a support beam in the middle. I screwed through the 2x6 edge pieces into the 2x4's, lengthwise, for support. Thing #3 helped a lot.  :)

The first 2x4 attached to one 2x6, with the remaining 2x4's ready to go.
The plastic bucket is my sawhorse.  :/

Thing #3 and Colt the mastiff helping.
Wife took some time to make us a wine treat whilst we all hung out outside. It was a wonderful day.

Warm mulled wine from a local vineyard. YUM!
The next step was to attach the legs. I played it by the eyeball test, so I have no idea what angle of what measurements were used. I held up the wood frame and kinda guessed as to what angle would be best. So very scientific, I know.

First leg attached to the frame.

I DID measure the screw positions so I could replicate the second leg. See the guide screws?
Next, I took the metal panels and screwed them to the wood frame. I used the center beam to overlap the panels and screw them both down into the single beam.

Panels attached, and ready to roll!

"Front" view of the pig shelter. It provides great shade.
Thing #3 and I climbed in, and noticed it was more comfortable in there than out. It was a windy day, and the shelter provided a great wind break in addition to the shade. The flat metal panels will help keep rain away, too.

To move it, I simply grabbed the top cross bar and pulled it. It isn't heavy at all, and aside from the bulkiness (and the slight wine-induced zig-zagging to get there), is quite portable. I got it into the pig pen without needing help.

Pig pen shelter providing shade and wind breaks for the little AGH pigs.
I faced it south-east to provide maximum wind protection.
So now the pigs have a shelter, and I crossed off one more thing from the list. I'm working to build a "barn" for Bridget right now, centered around where the milking stanchion is. I installed one fence panel yesterday, and would really like to get it finished ASAP.

The work of a part-time hobby homesteader is never done.....

No comments:

Post a Comment