While pigs are hardy animals, you may want to build a pig house to shelter them from the elements. Whether your pig is a pet or a part of your farm stock, you will want a way to keep the pig safe from predators at night, out of the heat of the sun during the day, and protected from extreme cold that could harm the pig's health. You can build a pigsty in a weekend with some basic carpentry tools and a few helpers.
Pour bottom slab
Dig out your bottom slab area so it measures 2.4 m x 2.4 m (8 x 8 feet) and has a depth of 10 cm (4 inches). Make sure the bottom of the area is as level as you can make it.
Fill the slab area with concrete. Use a piece of 5 cm x 10 cm (2 x 4 inch) board to level off the top of the concrete with the ground. Let the concrete begin to set up, and drag a broom lightly across its surface to give it a textured finish.
Lay out the sill plates for your walls, and nail them into the concrete. The sill plates are nothing more than 5 cm x 10 cm (2 x 4 inch) boards laid flat on the slab. Measure and cut the pieces so that when you have nailed them to the concrete they form a square that is 2.1 m x 2.1 m (7 x 7 feet), centred on your slab.
Build the frame
Cut the framing for the front of your pig house. Measure and cut your 5 cm x 10 cm (2 x 4 inch) boards into the following pieces to make your basic frame: two 2.1 m (7 foot) pieces and three 1.7 m (5 foot 6 inch) pieces.
Assemble the framing for the front of the pig house. Lay the two 2.1 m (7 foot) pieces on the ground, on their wider face, and place two of the 1.7 m (5 foot 6 inch) pieces (on their wide face as well) to form a rectangle, with the shorter pieces on top of the longer pieces at the corners. Make sure that all edges of the wood line up neatly, and nail the 5 cm x 10 cm (2 x 4 inch) boards together where they cross. Place the last 1.7 m (5 foot 6 inch) piece in between the top and bottom boards, so left edge of this piece is 1.6 m (5 foot 2 inch) in from the right edge of your rectangle. This is your middle support and will also act as the door frame.
Stand your front frame up. Have a helper hold it in place on top of the front sill plate of your concrete pad while you nail the bottom of the frame to the sill plate. Have the helper continue holding the wall steady as you prepare the side support frame.
Cut two pieces of 5 cm x 10 cm (2 x 4 inch) 1.1 m (3 feet 6 inches) in length. Nail one of these at each corner of the side sill plates of the pig house so the board is set 3.8 cm (1 1/2 inches) in from the back edge of the side sill plate. You want the boards to run vertically up from the sill plate (it will eventually support the low end of the roof). These are your rear side posts.
Have a helper hold a 5 cm x 10 cm (2 x 4 inch) board up that covers the length on one side, from the top of the front frame to the bottom edge of the rear side post. Mark the board where it will need to be cut so the ends are angled to match the edge of the corner board on the front face and the rear side post. Take the board down. Transfer your marks to another board as well, and then cut both boards (one for each side). These are your diagonal wall supports. Nail them in place, so that each side has one diagonal board running from the top of the front frame to the bottom of the rear side post.
Mark, measure and cut two other 5 cm x 10 cm (2 x 4 inch) boards, only this time you want the board to run from the very top of the front frame to the top of the rear side post. Nail these boards into place.
Measure, mark and cut two boards that will run from the centre of the top piece of your side frame down to the centre of your side sill plate. Nail one board into place on each side. This is your centre side support.
Place the rear frame of your pig house. Cut one 5 cm x 10 cm (2 x 4 inch) board 1.1 m (3 feet 6 inches) in height, and nail it in place on the rear sill plate in the centre. The board should stand vertically, as it will help support the roof. Measure and cut a 2x4 to run on the diagonal from the top of one of your rear side supports to the bottom of the other (it does not matter which side is higher). Cut a 5 cm x 10 cm (2 x 4 inch) board 2.1 m (7 feet) long, and nail it in place at the top of your rear centre and side supports.
Measure and mark the inside top pieces of the front and rear frames, so you have two sets of marks, each placed 76 cm (2 feet 6 inches) in from the outside edge. Measure between the two inside faces of the front and rear top boards. Cut two 5 cm x 10 cm (2 x 4 inch) boards to match that measurement. Lift the boards up between the top boards so they are aligned on your marks, and nail them into place. These boards are your roof supports.
Finish the house
Attach your roofing material to the top of the pig house, nailing or screwing it down as required. Make sure that the roofing material extends past the sides of the pig house by at least 10 cm (4 inches). This will prevent water from running off the roof and onto the sides of the house.
Measure, cut and nail your side boards into place. You want each 5 cm x 15 cm (2 x 6 inch) board to stand vertically and to be placed flush against the next one to form a solid wall. You may want to only install half-height boards on the front frame to provide a window for your pig. Install those boards on the wider side of the door frame support post. Nail an additional 5 cm x 10 cm (2 x 4 inch) boards across the top of your half-height boards (on the inside face) to give that wall additional strength.
Nail or tack a heavy plastic sheeting or clear Plexiglass sheet over the window opening.
Make your door. Measure and install half-height boards (as you did for the window), only this time run the boards from the top down, so the open area, the door way, is on the bottom. Measure and cut boards to fill the door space, making sure you cut them 6 mm (1/4 inch) shorter than the actual measurement. This will make the door easier to open. Cut 5 cm x 10 cm (2 x 4 inch) boards to fit across the 5 cm x 15 cm (2 x 6 inch) door boards with an extra piece running on the diagonal to give the door support. Attach the hinges and latch to the door, making sure that both are on what will be the outside face of the door. Attach the door, by the hinges, to either the door frame support post or the front side post (depending on which direction you want the door to open). Make sure you also attach the receiving parts of your latch.
Paint the exterior of your pig house with a stain or weather-resistant paint. Fill the bottom with hay, and it's ready for your pig to move in.
Paint, stain or otherwise weatherproof your siding boards before you nail them in place. This way you can make sure you adequately coat the edges as well as the face of the boards. The edges are often missed, and this will then allow moisture to seep into the boards.
Don't let the pig into the house until after the paint or stain has completely dried and the fumes have dissipated. Like people, pigs can get sick from eating or licking the wet paint or stain and from being exposed to the fumes.
Tips and warnings
- Paint, stain or otherwise weatherproof your siding boards before you nail them in place. This way you can make sure you adequately coat the edges as well as the face of the boards. The edges are often missed, and this will then allow moisture to seep into the boards.
- Don't let the pig into the house until after the paint or stain has completely dried and the fumes have dissipated. Like people, pigs can get sick from eating or licking the wet paint or stain and from being exposed to the fumes.