Of Huffs and Puffs and Blown Down Little Pig Houses

It’s pretty much a yearly ritual around here when I’m building new pig shelters; every late fall to early winter.  In the warmer months shelter doesn’t matter as much.  They, like I, like to be in the outdoors.  Even with a shelter available they will find a spot under the open sky to sleep, sometimes even in the dead of winter.  I am sure of it, they prefer the outdoors so they can more easily ponder on the stars, the trees, and the great joys of life which mostly consists of lots of food.  But sometimes, especially when the weather is the worst; when it’s cold, windy and wet, they need shelter from the elements. So every fall I build them one.  Needless to say, when Fonz the 600lb boar finds someone else in his spot, he wants them to move.  Sometimes there is a disagreement, and a board goes missing.  Other times an apple may have gotten wedged under one of the walls.  Apple.  Wall.  Bye bye wall.  Got an itch?  The door way is the perfect scratching post.  You get the idea.  By late spring what used to be a shelter becomes a selection of fine woodworking materials for very small projects.  Hence why every fall I am building anew in preparation for winter.

I’ve been searching for a good solution to this never ending ritual. ( “Good” meaning a shelter both tough *and* cheap.  And did I mention it had to be cheap?)  I’ve had some ideas, but my best solution is someone else’s idea.  I once visited a farm where they used a very large fiberglass container cut in half as a shelter, and ever since I have been on the lookout for one.  I’ve asked friends, contacted contractors and searched the internet with no results.  Until, finally, a few weeks ago a friend mentioned that he knew of one that was available from another friend.  I asked, and he said to come and get it.  Yee haw!  So today we went to get it.  It’s a huge tank, measuring 30 feet by 8 feet in diameter, which held 10,000 gallons of water.

IMG_20131116_132610_947

Unfortunately, because it is so big we couldn’t take it in one trip.  I was planning to cut it anyway, so it was obvious that we needed to cut it first and move it in four sections, making four shelters, each 15×4 feet.  The above pic is after the first section was removed.  Of course, my miscalculations made the day, shall we say… interesting.  It turns out that fiberglass does not cut as easy as you (I) would think.  It likes to make blades dull, especially chainsaw blades.  It was also much heavier than anticipated; much heavier than what I repeatedly assured everyone by saying four of us will be able to easily lift it.  Uh huh.  I also didn’t realize that it was 30 feet long.  I was thinking 22 feet for some reason.  Not big deals.  It was fun to load on the truck…

IMG_20131116_132841_409

And it was an interesting drive home…

IMG_20131116_134129_475

But we made it with only a couple of cross eyed looks from fellow drivers, and without getting pulled over.

What started out as a planned half day project for four shelters turned out to be an almost full day project for one, but it was a good day – for us and the pigs.  We will no longer ever need to build another shelter, and Fonz will have plenty of new spots to kick others out of with no boards to break.  Life is good.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Farm Life, Pastured Pork and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Of Huffs and Puffs and Blown Down Little Pig Houses

  1. Red says:

    What does the end result look like?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s