Pig Shelter

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by Oxankle, Dec 6, 2005.

  1. Oxankle

    Oxankle Well-Known Member

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    Somebody tell me how much trouble I am in.

    I built a tiny little cubbyhole for my two pigs when I got them as piglets, but they are near 60 pounds each now, or more, and have been sleeping in a pile of hay I put in the corner of their pen. Fine in dry weather, but snow is forecast now..

    Today I made them a 5 & a half x 4 foot A-frame shelter, but it is not quite ready; need to put a ridge cap and a brace or two on it yet, one end open. I will fill it with hay and let them have it.

    Tomorrow I have to be gone--business in town. Can the pigs handle snow until I can return and finish the shelter?
    Ox
     
  2. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    if they have enough hay to burrow under, it should be ok. or you could try a tarp strung over one corner. or even a tarp over the new A frame?? just tack it down.
     

  3. highlands

    highlands Walter Jeffries Supporter

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    I agree, if they have enough hay then the snow won't be an issue. Our pigs often choose to sleep out under the open sky even in the middle of the winter and we're in the mountains of northern Vermont. We do have open pole sheds and dens if they choose to use them. The key is providing plenty of hay. You can see some photos of our new pole shed dens at my blog at these two URLs:

    http://sugarmtnfarm.com/blog/2005/11/winter-pig-dens.html

    http://sugarmtnfarm.com/blog/2005/11/pig-house-warming.html

    Cheers,

    -Walter
    SugarMtnFarm
    in Vermont
     
  4. Oxankle

    Oxankle Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the responses. I was a bit concerned.

    I had to take my wife to town today, so the A-frame sat in the barn until I got home about 2:30. Rushed out and finished it, hauled it to the pen and suckered the pigs into looking the other way while I opened the gate and dragged it inside. The spent a while rubbing against it, nibbling on it, inspecting it and even rooting it around the pen, though they did not move it more than a few inches.

    I dragged it where I wanted it, forked their hay into it and left. Came back in a half hour to find both of them in it, snug as bugs in a rug. Snow was falling as I left that time. About two inches on the ground now; we got that job done just in time.

    I really like the hillside pig and sheep dens, but the land here does not lend itself to that and I do not own a rock. The land is poor, but no rocks. I am with you on the pigs-in-the-garden bit. I am already planning to put pole beans along the fences!
    Ox
     
  5. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

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    burrowing into hay for snow is fine, but not for rain. When will your snow be melting?
     
  6. highlands

    highlands Walter Jeffries Supporter

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    Ox, I think your A-frame will work fine. Last year I made a ferro-cement pig hut. Basically it was a dome with an awning of ferro-cement over the entrance. That worked great too. Almost anything works - even just a big round bale for them to dig into.

    George, around here the snow won't melt until late April. Winter has set in hard. Don't know how it is in Ox's neck of the woods. Rain would definitely be more of an issue in warmer climates. Around here the big issue is getting out of the wind. It is fierce up here on the mountain. After that, plenty of hay does the trick. A roof over the pigs heads is nice but according to them not as necessary. I do think they prefer not waking up buried in snow unless they are buried in the hay. :)
     
  7. Oxankle

    Oxankle Well-Known Member

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    Fellows, I am surprised to learn so much in so few posts.

    Highlands; I put the A-frame in just ahead of the snow last night and this morning you would think the pigs had lived in it since birth. I had filled it with hay picked up from the cattle rings, waste hay, and they ate and tromped it AND SLEPT ON TOP OF IT. We got down in the teens last night.

    This afternoon I gave them a bale of bermuda, which fluffed up and filled the A-frame. They were eating it when I left. Their water had frozen long since, but I saw where they had chewed holes in it down to the water and had chewed up chunks of ice too. When I tossed in the bermuda they went crazy racing around the pen like Indy 500 drivers, jumping and squealing--playing.

    The snow will be gone tomorrow, temps up to 45 or so. We'll see, but it appears that the shelter problem is solved.
    Ox