How To Build A Pallet Pig Shelter For Free! (Almost…)

It’s nice to have shelter for your animals but unless the farm you purchase already has barns or an animal shelter on it you may be on your own to figure out how to get the job done. In this post I’ll walk you through the steps on how to build a pallet pig shelter for free. Or almost free anyway.

That’s my case currently on our farm. When we purchased the farm 3 years ago, our farmhouse was the only structure on the property. That’s not always a bad thing, though, as I have a clean slate to work with and can build the structures to suit my needs.

Any good, successful business is going to be looking for ways to reduce costs and increase profits. Farming is no different.

Unfortunately, many farmers fall into the trap of thinking that new, pretty equipment is a sign of success, or worse that it leads to success. That’s usually not the case.

Most of the successful farmers that I’ve had the pleasure of knowing have generally had one thing in common, they knew when to spend money on equipment and when not to. Generally speaking, the time to buy is when it’s no longer profitable to borrow it (if you can), rent it, hire it out, or build it yourself. My father was one of those that was very adept at building the things he needed himself. While I didn’t manage to pick up all of his skills, I did learn some of them. The greatest probably being a desire to learn.

Building Knowledge

I’ve gathered many books over the years about general building, farm mechanics, and farm projects.

One of my favorites is a 1947 Popular Mechanics Farm Manual that belonged to my grandfather. Old books like these show us a look back at a different worldview.

If you needed a hog house or feeder you built it. Functionality was far more important than impressing the neighbors with fancy equipment.

Old farm manual

Of course, the world is a much different place today than it was in 1947. Things change. What once may have been common is no longer and visa versa. However, the desire to make more from less still exists.

For me, in many ways, it becomes a challenge. What can I make from pile of scrap that I’ve accumulated that I would otherwise have to purchase?

This time it’s going to be a pallet shelter for my new feeder pigs.

Building the pallet pig shelter

Whenever I introduce a new group of feeder pigs to the farm, the first place they go is into a pen for training them to the electric fence. While they’re in the training pen, they need some sort of small shelter to keep the wind and rain off of them until they move out to the pasture.

pig pen with makeshift pig shelter
diy pig shelter in a pig pen

The list of items I’ll be using is pretty simple:

  • 2 pallets
  • 1 salvage 2×4, about 87 inches long
  • 1 scrap 2×8, about 24 inches long
  • 2 pieces of corrugated barn tin that blew off of an old barn
  • 2 ½ inch deck screws
  • 1 ¼ inch sheet metal screws

The tools needed are:

  • a cordless drill
  • some sort of saw (I use a chainsaw…)
  • a tape measure
  • some tin snips
  • a pencil

First I begin by cutting the 2×4 in half and laying each piece on the ground.

Then, I lean the pallets against one another to make an A-frame on top of the 2×4 pieces. I secure them together using the 2 ½ inch deck screws. It’s not really important where you put the screws, just find a solid section of lumber that will hold together. The main goal is to keep the pallets from spreading apart at the bottom apart.

Next, I mark the cut location on the 2×8 scrap board by placing it at the top of the A-frame. I will cut two and use these pieces as gussets to give the structure some rigidity at the top. I use the same 2 ½ inch deck screws to secure these in place before I put on the tin.

The last phase of construction is to measure the pallet length and cut the tin into pieces that can be attached to the sides using a pair of tin snips. I put the tin on using self-tapping screws. I also cut a ridge cap from the same tin, which adds a little bit of rigidity to the overall structure.

The last thing to do now is just put it in the training pen. The good thing about this kind of shelter is that it doesn’t have to be too strong because the pigs that will be using it are small pigs that have just been weaned. They’ll only be in this training pen for a couple weeks.

Again, it may not be all that pleasing to the eye, but it gets the job done. I’ve sure never heard the pigs complain.

Thanks for reading

Andrew Bryan
Andrew Bryan

Andrew is a 7th generation Missouri farmer and the 4th generation to live on and farm the property that is Plane View Farm. After being left vacant for about 15 years, Andrew purchased the property from family and set about the task of renovating the house originally built by his grandparents and restoring the pastures to their former glory.