• Indian Creek Homestead


I wanted to share the design of a pig shelter we built. I use the term design loosely too, because this was built without plans, just looked at some pictures online to get ideas, and to get a rough idea in my mind of what I wanted to build. Because of this please note there will be details and measurements likely missing (I also built this months ago), so if you decide to build this please double check measurements as you go to make sure things are square. You can also easily modify this to make it smaller, larger, or have less material waste. I am a total rookie builder so I have no doubts someone with more experience could improve on this.

We currently have an A-frame and lean-to shelter for our pigs. They are both designed so you can pull them with a tractor if you need to move them. I will make a post in the future for the lean-to design.

I was initially looking at building this A-frame design based off one I saw on the IPP Facebook page, but decided to build it a little larger and beefier. Nothing against that design and I know it has been successful for a number of people. Our boar is pretty large and the design I saw was to short for him to walk in and I had some concerns about the longevity of the design.

The base consists of two 4x4 pressure treated 10' cut down to 9', one 2x4 8', and one 2x4 10' pressure treated. For the bracing in the front of the A-frame cut the 8' 2x4 down to 77 and 3/4", this will be placed at 8' mark (entrance of lean-to) on your two 4x4's using galvanized fence rail brackets. Then cut your 10' 2x4 down to 84 and 3/4 and screw into the back of 4x4's that will be the back of the shelter. If you want to not have as much wasted wood you could just do two 2x4 8' pressure treated and use galvanized fence rail brackets for the back like you do on the entrance or just half the shortage on each side and not completely cover the 4x4's. Honestly, as I write this I am not sure why I didn't just do that and save a couple bucks, but scrap wood also doesn't go to waste here, it usually gets used up in some other project down the road.

Fence rail brackets for front 2x4 and rear if you decide to do the rear differently then I did. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Simpson-Strong-Tie-FB-ZMAX-Galvanized-Fence-Rail-Bracket-for-2x4-Nominal-Lumber-FB24Z/100375311

If you are wondering why I went with 9' on the bottom it was so I could drill a hole on each side, drive rebar into the ground, then bend the end over to stake it into the ground. I have had the wind flip shelters over and didn't want it getting pushed all over the place by pigs. I also put a couple t-posts at the back so the pigs would be rubbing on those more then just the wood on the back of the shelter.

For the roof you will want to get eleven 2x4 8' and cut ten of them for the rafters to 5' length with a 45 degree angle on each end. One will be used for the ridge board at 8'. Some of the excess you cut off will be used for collar ties to add rigidity to the structure.

I am sure there are tricks for putting the rafters and ridge board together and attaching them to your seal plate, but what I did was had my wife help me hold the ridge board level why I used a brad nailer to just quickly get everything attached. I then went back and screwed everything together with deck screws. Then I added hurricane ties like the picture below to six of the rafters, the rafters on the end I had to use different hurricane ties because of the cross brace on the front and back of the shelter.

Six of these hurricane ties.


Four of these hurricane ties.


Now we want to cut our collar ties from the leftover rafter wood. I placed mine approximately a foot down from the top. You can adjust yours as you see fit and cut to the length you need.

I had a spare floor vent that I placed in the back of the shelter so when it was hotter out I could open it and possibly help a little with airflow, which is why I have the other two boards across the back like I do. Not sure it is very effective, but I had it laying around and thought I would throw it in.

For the back and the roof I used four 1/2" external grade plywood. I put the back on before we moved it to the paddock, but put the roofing one once we moved it just to keep it a little lighter.

Painted the back and the roof before putting metal on the roof just to help with longevity of the wood.

Before adding the metal roofing I added flashing to the front and back because they immediately started chewing on the wood. Our boar Max checking out the new pad.

Pearl taking an afternoon nap and my wife and youngest helping me get the roof on while Max supervises.

I hope this post will be helpful to someone in building their next animal shelter and I will do a post soon on our lean-to we built.

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