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Wofati pig shelter

 
pollinator
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I thought I’d start with a Wofati style pig shelter.  Rather then diving in and building the house.  Plus I’m in desperate need for a good winter shelter for my pigs.  I’ll post the build as I go along will be working on this project through the fall.  Please any advice would be great.  
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Digging the post holes
Digging the post holes
 
pollinator
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I'm petty excited to see how this turns out. Looks like you're on very flat land!
 
Byron Gagne
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Yah real flat here

We had dug a pond and let the pigs in ti pack it and shape it for us.  I got the dirt piled right behind the shelter to bern it up with.  

Got a pile of sawdust to cap the thermal mass with help keep it a little warmer anyway.  Also got scavenged tarps to cover the structure with and the thermal mass and sawdust.  Then cap with wet dirt and plant 🌱 on top.

The south facing wall will only be exposed to the air rest Bermed in.  



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posts
posts
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posts
posts
 
Byron Gagne
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My plan at least trying to explain what I’m hoping to end with.  
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Draft looking from above
Draft looking from above
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Side profile plan
Side profile plan
 
Byron Gagne
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I essentially have two pens in the shelter each isolated but Sharing the same structure.  This keeping each side a lot warmer.    Also I designed the outside pens to tie into the wall on the south not allowing the pigs on the thermal mass I’m sure they would destroy my berm in no time!
 
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This is something I want to do next spring. Any progress the last three weeks?
 
Byron Gagne
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I’m moving wood this weekend and cutting the boards for the wall and roof hopefully this week.   I got the hoe booked for this coming weekend.   Just doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day.  Be digging a swale and such then bury the shelter.  

Will post as I build regardless.  As I need this done before freeze up.
 
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How are you going to keep them from rooting up the berm?  Make sure they don’t see a tarp, they will eat it.

Looking forward to your progress
 
Byron Gagne
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There not going to be on the berm
 
Joshua Rimmer
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Byron, I don't see anything about the ceiling height inside the shelter? Just looking at the posts in the pics, it looks pretty low, unless those are HUGE posts. I'm wondering how easy it will be to clean out the pens if the ceiling is low enough to make standing difficult.

I really understand the lack of time, farmers NEVER have enough when they need it, and too much when they don't! I look forward to seeing this as it grows, appreciate you posting.
 
Byron Gagne
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The pens or roughly 8x8.  Yep big beams left over from another project.   Ceiling hieght 4ft.  Keeping it warmer at -40c. Less space to loose heat.  We had a week of -50c last year so I’m not to worried about cleaning more function and heat.   Off to work at my day job.   Later
 
Joshua Rimmer
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Well, you have a good point about retaining the heat, and my hogs rarely mess their shed, they keep it out in the pens. Looking good, I appreciate the updates!
 
Byron Gagne
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Alright got the hoe for the weekend
Milling wood to shore up the shelter
Just getting set up and organized to help the project flow
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Evil laugh
Evil laugh
 
Byron Gagne
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I got the wooden jig to hold my slabs makes bucking up the slabs for cooking wood fast!
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jig for cutting slabs
jig for cutting slabs
 
Joshua Rimmer
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Byron Gagne wrote:Alright got the hoe for the weekend
Milling wood to shore up the shelter
Just getting set up and organized to help the project flow


That should make quick work of the digging!
 
Byron Gagne
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Had a stellar of a day putting in the lumber.  Milled the am and nailed into the pm!  Need to run a couple more boards and bobs your Unckle fire up the old hoe lol!
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walls
walls
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wofati shelter
wofati shelter
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walls for shelter
walls for shelter
 
Joshua Rimmer
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Any progress? Last we saw, you had the walls done and were working on the roof in preparation to burying the whole thing, wondering how it went from there!
 
Byron Gagne
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Yes sorry need to update yah

Frame in the doors and build the fence for the pens
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pig wofati shelter
pig wofati shelter
 
Byron Gagne
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There’s even some seeds sprouting on the berm
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back side of shelter
back side of shelter
 
Byron Gagne
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The be made a few mistakes I guess that’s why you do a practice build lol.

I should have put the exterior wall posts on the outside of the shoring.

I would have milled thicker lumber for the roof it’s sagging abit inside.  No biggie I’ll just shore up a post inside.
 
Joshua Rimmer
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Looking good! If you get a chance, I'd love to see the interior. Your pigs will love it!
 
gardener
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Been following this - great application of the wofati/earth shelter idea!

Can you tell us how thick the dirt is on top of the shelter?  I can't really tell from the pics, and of course the thickness of that layer is critical as mass/insulation.
 
Byron Gagne
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I layed 18” as mike says in his book.  I wasn’t to worried about being exact as anything is going to be better then what they had last winter.  The earth blanked out and around the structure is also vapour barrier then wet soil on top of that according to mikes details  also.  I will definitely make sure I got proper thickness around my house build when I do it.  But I will be also striving for warmer temps int this house.  16x8 structure 3 feet tall with 16 piggies will be very warm regardless.  I even left out the insulation on the front walls as the shoring then can breath abit.   I think for the pigs being dry is more important the how sealed up they or.  They will create a lot of moisture.   Three sides Bermed up with semi insulated mass will create a draft free environment.  
 
Eliot Mason
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Thanks for the detail!  I eagerly await your mid-winter and spring updates
 
Byron Gagne
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I’m interested to put some kind of data logger in the shelter to see what’s happening?  Of course would need one also outside.  I haven’t been following the greenhouse build all the meetings or while I’m at work.  I curious what kind of equipment there using?
 
Joshua Rimmer
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Byron Gagne wrote:I’m interested to put some kind of data logger in the shelter to see what’s happening?  Of course would need one also outside.  I haven’t been following the greenhouse build all the meetings or while I’m at work.  I curious what kind of equipment there using?



I don't recall what they are going to use on the greenhouse, but if you are a bit handy with electronics (no soldering, just plugging wires and flashing arduino code) these can be built for cheap: https://www.instructables.com/id/ESP8266-WiFi-DHT22-Humidity-Sensor/
 
Byron Gagne
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That’s a great idea !
As I would like about 50 sensors for all the mass and projects I want to track lol

Get my Daughtor on this!
 
Joshua Rimmer
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The Easy IoT project is supposed to be simple, and it does have alocal server option if you don't have internet around there or don't want your data in the cloud.
 
Byron Gagne
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Touching up grading around here before freeze up.  Skidder works great before i take it back to the woodlot.  Little more finish with the bobcat and piggies ready to catch spring run off and direct water away from the pig shelter
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skidder work
skidder work
 
Byron Gagne
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Got the posts in the ground before it got to hard.   Was -20c here this am!   Tied up for a couple days.   Then I’ll finish the doors and the rails.  Add pigs and I’m ready for winter!
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posts and railings infront of wofati pig shelter
posts and railings infront of wofati pig shelter
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Posts and railing in front of wofati pig shelter
Posts and railing in front of wofati pig shelter
 
Byron Gagne
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Made progress today.   Figured out the door detail.  Found some tire tread at the dump.  Used it for a curtain over the door!  Pigs will have a hard time tearing that up!   Started piling in carbon diaper in the one pen also.  
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Tire tread at the dump
Tire tread at the dump
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Tire tread for pig door
Tire tread for pig door
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Pig lounging area
Pig lounging area
 
Joshua Rimmer
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Looks great! I bet the piggies love it.
 
Byron Gagne
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Got one gate completed one more to build.  I think I got a hinge system figured out also.  So can raise and lower the gate depending on the deep bedding and snow pack.  Stay tuned!  I milled a thicker board and set at there eye height.  The pig only sees as a barrier.  Using moving boards I learned how well this works.  Be interesting to see if they challenge the gate.
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One completed pig gate
One completed pig gate
 
Byron Gagne
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Got all my burrows moved over except one, and the boar they didn’t want to get in the trailer yesterday.  I went out this am and they were sleeping in it lol.  So this afternoon I may truck them over and put them in the burrows pen.   Then to work on loading and moving the sows.  

I manage to score 15 pallets of frozen pumpkins.  700 lbs each pallet weighs according to the label.  This will cut down on the feed bill and help with deworming.  I hauled 2 dump trailer loads yesterday.   Pretty excited about this score!
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scored pumpkins for pigs
scored pumpkins for pigs
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Pigs in their new shelter
Pigs in their new shelter
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Pumpkins in the back of the dump truck
Pumpkins in the back of the dump truck
 
Byron Gagne
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Everyone is off the fields and home in the winter shelter.  Picked up two tamworth sows.  Tammy 1 and Tammy 2 lol.   Ready to see what winter throws at us.  At least this year I can knowing there protected!
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Tammy 1 and Tammy 2
Tammy 1 and Tammy 2
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Tammy 1 and Tammy 2
Tammy 1 and Tammy 2
 
Joshua Rimmer
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Looking great there, Byron! Piggos certainly seem happy with it. Incredible score on the pumpkins! Mine always love the day after halloween, they get a big pile of discarded jack-o-lanterns, and tear into them!
 
Byron Gagne
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-20C here this am!   The only thermometer 🌡 I could find was my compost one lol.  So I feed out to the piggies and climbed in.   Bedding was dry and so warm inside.  I measured 8C!  28C difference!
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-20C
-20C
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Measured in the back of the shelter
Measured in the back of the shelter
 
Joshua Rimmer
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Wow the earth sheltering and the hogs make a bigger difference than I expected! Thanks for letting us know how it's working, I will be copying this!
 
Eliot Mason
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Wow! indeed!  

28 F would be a big difference, but 28 C is nearly incomprehensible!

For those of us stuck in the non-metric world ... that's a swing from -18F to 46F.

And yes, once we stop celebrating we will ask you to measure with the same or comparable thermometers to avoid measurement error.  : )
 
Byron Gagne
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Eliot Mason wrote:Wow! indeed!  

28 F would be a big difference, but 28 C is nearly incomprehensible!

For those of us stuck in the non-metric world ... that's a swing from -18F to 46F.

And yes, once we stop celebrating we will ask you to measure with the same or comparable thermometers to avoid measurement error.  : )





I feel you don’t believe my results?  I reported what I got with what I have.  First thermometer is mounted in my house and for curiosity I grabbed my compost thermometer as it was handy.  21 pigs in a 3 ft tall room 8 ft deep 16 ft long would be able to create enough heat to easily create this temperature difference.  
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