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Ideas for movable house for small pigs?

 
Oystein Skjaeveland
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We are considering having two pigs this summer. They will probably be here from 8 weeks of age in early summer until harvest time in October or thereabout. The will be outside and moved around in a field we want dug. Small pens moved almost daily, with electric fencing. Does anyone have recommendations or examples or plans or ideas for a small, lightweight, moveable, uncomplicated, inexpensive and not too ugly shelter for these pigs? It would be good if one person could move the shelter alone. The temperature will be 10-15 centigrades or more (we have a cold spring this year). The shelter does not need to be insulated. The pigs will only be brought outside when they can tolerate the temperature, otherwise we can use a heating lamp. Thank you for your input.
 
Dillon Nichols
pollinator
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Location: Victoria BC
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Pigs are brutal on shelters! They like to scratch themselves on whatever is at hand, which is generally the shelter. They won't be very small by fall!

Last year the initial solution was a 'C' of pallets on edge, tied together, and supported with t-bar fenceposts driven *deep* in the ground, with a tarp over the top. Then we would rotate the fencing around the shelter, so that we'd only need to move it occasionally. Unfortunately I think the only criteria from your list that this fulfills are 'uncomplicated and inexpensive'.

This worked fine until we had to put them into a wooden pig tractor because they had lost their fear of the electric fence and were wandering through it at whim. Not sure how we went wrong there...



The previous year at that farm, they'd built a nice portable shelter out of rigid PVC pipes, epoxied together, to hold a tarp. The pigs destroyed it in pretty short order.

EDIT: Not sure of breed, but they were aiming for 350+ pounds by slaughter in late fall.
 
Jami McBride
gardener
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Location: PNW Oregon
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Hello Oystein,

I use light weight movable pig housing for my KuneKune and AGH pigs. The first one I made is now over three years old, used all year round here in Oregon USA. I use my houses - as farrowing houses and multiple-generation group house. Typical size is 6'x8' but I have more pigs using mine than just two. So a 6'x6' would be plenty for your situation. Yes, without trees pigs will rub against the house, but it's no big issue.

A couple of questions for you -

What is the approximate final weight your pigs will grow to?
Will there be wet and damp conditions?
 
R Scott
Posts: 3305
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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Best thing we used was a water tank. The poly tanks meant to haul water in the back of a pickup truck, 425 gallon. It was cracked and wouldn't hold water, so it was free. Used a sawzall to cut a door around where the valve was, plus a hole saw to put several drains in the bottom.

It survived several litters and is still being used by goats. We don't have pigs anymore because of the fence problem as Dillon.
 
neil mock
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i built a few of these. i started with plastic roof panels for siding, which the pigs are slowly destroying. i am replacing the destroyed siding with wood. which is much stonger, but also heavier. they need two people to move. they are built on skids, so we can drag them around with the 4x4.
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Walter Jeffries
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Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
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Pigs need shade but they don't need 'shelter' per say. Brush works fine. They need a wallow even more.

-Walter
 
Karen Walk
Posts: 122
Location: VT, USA Zone 4/5
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I made a mobile shelter for some goats a few years ago. The bottom is open to the ground. When the wheels are down the house almost balances, so you just need to push. I can move it pretty much anywhere in the field pictured by myself. The wheels are 24" bicycle wheels I got from a local bike shop.
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Mobile Shelter - Mobile Mode
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Mobile Shelter - Stationary Mode
 
Jared Woodcock
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I agree with Walter, I think the pigs typically produce way too much steam anyway for a house. Many of my house designs failed just because the pigs would pull the bedding out and sleep on the leeward side. My favorite shade structure for open pastures is an old round bale feeder with shade cloth over the top. you can just tip it up and roll it onto a new pasture then flop it back down. It is also built to be tough. I thought about putting some roofing on it to make it rain proof but in the summer the pigs appreciate the shady wallow.
 
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