The day of the pigs approacheth and the preparations for their arrival continue. To this end, over the last week or so, I’ve been building a house for them to live in during their brief stay (about 4 months) on my microholding.
In previous years, I kept them in a fairly typical-looking pig ark made from wood and corrugated tin (or whatever metal it is). I’ll describe the process of building that before I move on to the more permanent structure I’ve just finished. Unfortunately that lovely little ark was destroyed in the storms earlier this year, when a tree fell on it, crushing it beyond repair.
I built the ark in question to house four pigs and the measurements were as follows:
- Height: 3 foot
- Width: 6 foot
- Depth: 6 foot
That’s a footprint of 36 square foot (which I’m starting to think should be ‘feet’ – any ideas?). The construction is fairly simple. Cut two semicircles from sheets of shuttering ply (I opted for 12mm and the pigs never made a dent in it), then cut out a 2 foot x 2 foot door in the front piece and a small, 3 inch x 1 foot window in the back piece for ventilation.
To connect the front and back together I used five 2″ square lengths of treated timber, attached in the following points:
Some people like to bolt the tin on, as the pigs can rip screws out when jostling around in the ark, and others like to shore up the front and rear with a few extra lengths of timber, but I did neither and it lasted fine. Until the tree fell on it, of course.
Which brings to my new pig house!
I decided to go with a more permanent structure this time, something which I could use for the pigs over winter, and then for other things during the rest of the year. What ‘other things’ these might be, exactly, I have no idea. Time will tell. It will probably just become a place to store big, fat spiders.
Back when I first decided to keep pigs on the my driver (microholding style!) I built a concrete slab to butt up against the front wall of the house so the pigs could have a dry, solid place on which to sleep. It projects about 5 1/2 foot from the house wall, so I decided to build a structure roughly 5 ft x 5 ft. The materials for the walls were:
- 26 x Concrete Blocks
- 40 x Bricks (to almost match those of my house)
- Sand / Cement / Plasticiser
- Plastic DPC (to get between the pig house and my house)
- 5 x 5ft Lengths of Wood (varying thickness to ensure a decent drop for the roof
- 2 x Coroline Sheets (2m x 1m ish)
- Flat Head Screws
The photos at the top of this post should give you all the information you need to know about how I built the house. To be fair, this was my first attempt at building anything with bricks/blocks and mortar… which was quite exciting. And when I finished, I gave it a good kick about to see if it was likely to be knocked down by jostling pigs. The answer is: No! That things could survive a direct nuclear blast. When the world ends and the elements are consumed by fire, God’s going to have His work cut out with that pig house.
The roof, on the other hand, is just wood and Coroline (corrugated bitumen impregnated stuff). I used a 3″ square fence post at the back, a length of treated CLS in the middle and a 6″ gravel board at the front – which gave me the drop I wanted to ensure a good run off away from the house wall. Oh, and the little thing on the side is where the battery and the fence energiser will be housed during the pigs’ occupancy.