Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Pig Pen Made out of Pallets!

 Pig Pen all built and ready for piglets!

We've been getting ready for the 10 piglets we will be getting in the beginning of May.  As always here on the Shire, we love being able to reuse materials, especially pallets! 

 Therefore we have been stock piling pallets all winter and have really been putting them to work this spring.  We have been making crates for market, signs, shelves for seeds, and most recently our pig shelter.  

This project was very important to the farm, and is hopefully going to be a huge money saver, since when we began looking at shelters for as many hogs as we would like each summer we were seeing upwards of $1000 or more.  The shelter cost us under $50.00.

We began by digging a trench  with our potato plow to bury the pallets' bottoms in.  We dug 2x4 posts (from deconstructed pallets) 2 feet down into the ground, which we then slipped the pallets over and onto and then buried the bottom of the pallets in the plowed path. We also attached these posts directly to the pallets with screws for extra support.  

We then attached each pallet with horizontal supports at multiple levels of the pallets.  Lastly we covered about 2/3 of the structure with a tarp and bungee ties making sure it is taut and able to drain away, which seemed to work since it rained all night before these pictures.  


In the end, the structure seems to be pretty stable and sturdy, functions as a wind-break, and shelter and keeps pretty dry. Of course we'll see, when subjected to 10 hogs bouncing around I don't know how sturdy anything would be.  

On the open side of the pig pen we put step in posts and electric polytwine connected to a solar energizer. We got the idea from Milkwood Permaculture Farm. Our new piglets will spend their first few days with us in this pen, getting to know their new home and learning to respect the electric wire. After that, we will open them up to more and more pasture and forest for grazing.

Can't wait for pigs!

Update: This works perfectly well as a seasonal (non-winter) shelter for pigs, we've used it for two years now, and the pigs still haven't budged it. One thing to consider is making sure your tarp slopes enough to naturally drain off any rainfall, and that this won't pool too much around the shelter but will run off somewhere else. This work great for just training piglets to electric wire, or for sheltering them all season long. But we have another shelter for winter time, see our E-Hut, which we housed our gilt in over the winter (the awful polar vortex winter) with no problems. This is one of our most popular posts, I'm sure because there are so many pallet-enthusiatsts out there and people looking for affordable shelters for their animals. I hope this has been a helpful template for you to try your own pig pen made of pallets!  


  1. Really nice blog. Pallets can be used for many of the purposes such as making furniture, toys, fence to the garden etc. Ant it can also be used for making shelter too. Use the quality wooden pallets to ensure high strength.

  2. We use pallets all around the farm, for shelves, shelters, stalls, feeders, you name it! A friend of ours is building a bar on his property entirely out of pallets! For a DIY personality they offer a lot of possibility.

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