I got up one day last week to find my gilts had decided to demolish their shelter. It used to have plywood on the back and a third support in the center. Granted, it was an old shelter, but it had withstood the test of time with eleven goats, so I figured it was stout enough to house four pigs for two weeks. Nope. Unlike goats, pigs like to root around stationary objects, then push and scratch on them relentlessly. For this reason, pigs were historically used to clear forested fields. The pigs would root around the base of the trees, digging up, chewing on, and killing the roots, then the trees would die and fall over.
This is my new and improved pig shelter design, built on skids so I can drag it around. It also has a platform on one end where I can secure both the feeder and the water barrel (I learned the hard way that pigs think it’s funny to push the feeder over and then flip it around until it breaks). This shelter is still standing after five months of pig abuse, so I think the design is pretty good. I use standard pallets for the walls and add plywood across the front in the winter to keep the rain out. Of course, the four gilts that destroyed their shelter last week, haven’t seen this shelter yet, so I may be in for a rude surprise. As I was walking away from the pig pasture the other day, I think I heard one of them grunt, “Bring it, fool”….